VA Loan Recent Updates
12/9/14: 2015 VA County Loan Limits Released Click Here for Details
VA Loans Benefits
VA Loans are federally backed loans available to veterans who have served our country as well as active military members. In San Diego County, you can borrow up to $562,350. VA Loans offer a number of key benefits, which could make it the right choice for you when shopping for your new home.
- - No down payment is required
- - Borrowers often get a lower interest rate
- - Lower monthly payments since VA Loans don’t require the additional expense of private mortgage insurance (PMI)
- - Regulated closing costs
- - No upper limit on the income of the borrower
- - Prepayment of loan without incurring prepayment penalties
- - Mortgage can be assumed by another buyer if you decide to sell during the term of your loan
- - Easier to qualify for a VA Loan than other types of home loans if you have less than perfect credit
- - If your home is brand new, the builder must offer you a one year warranty guaranteeing that it is up to VA codes and specifications
First Time Home Buyers
To take advantage of the benefits that VA Loans offer there are a couple of key steps that must be taken to make sure that you qualify. To qualify for a VA Loan, you must have served 181 days during peacetime, or 90 days during times of war. Additionally, you will qualify if you served 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves. Furthermore, if you are the widow of someone who died in the line of duty, you will also qualify. The paperwork needed to qualify you for a VA Loan is as follows:
- A Certificate of Eligibility or the VA Form 26-1880 must be obtained and filed with your lender to make sure you qualify for the loan.
- You must also submit a copy of your DD214, or discharge paperwork, to the lender. Only veterans who have been honorably discharged may qualify for a VA Loan.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
The VA Streamline Refinance Loan, also known as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, allows you to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate. The VA Streamline is a good fit for Veterans and active service people who want to lower their monthly payments while saving on a lower interest rate. Furthermore, the closing costs can be rolled into the cost of the loan, so that you aren’t stuck with out-of-pocket expenses. There are a few key requirements that you must meet when applying for this loan:
- - You must be current on your mortgage and no more than 30 days late on a payment within the last year.
- - You must have previously lived at the home.
- - The new monthly payment for the VA Streamline Loan must be lower than what you are already paying.
- - You cannot receive any cash from the refinance.
- - You must have financed the property previously with a VA Loan. This is considered a VA to VA Refinance.
VA Approved Condos in San Diego
As you go through the process of finding a home, you’ll figure out whether a single family detached house or perhaps a Condo is better suited for your price range, lifestyle and family needs. It’s important to know up front that if you want to use your VA loan to buy a Condo, that condominium must be a VA Approved Condo. Searching the VA’s portal for approved condo’s can be challenging! The VA’s “search engine” isn’t exactly google- in fact the search tool is very limited and also the way in which the condo data is recorded in the VA’s portal is a bit counter intuitive. To determine if a condo is “VA Approved”, you have to search the VA’s information portal here: https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/VBAHome/condopudsearch
To make things easier, we’ve been building out a list of Condo’s that we know are already VA approved and we’ve built an interactive Google Map for easy viewing. In addition, you can call us to assist in your VA Condo Search- over the years, we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to find condo on the VA’s list that are hard to see.