The VA mortgage program is guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. The VA loan program provides veterans and/or their surviving spouses with a 100% guaranteed mortgages with no down payment required. This is great for Vets looking to purchase in Manatee County as most mortgage programs like FHA require a 3.5% min down payment. Conventional loans require even more down payment. Below we will discuss some of the eligibility guidelines for the VA approval.
- VA loans have varying eligibility requirements depending on the duration and type of military service performed. Veterans who served on active duty for 90 days during wartime, or 181 or more continuous days during peacetime are generally eligible. There is also a two-year requirement if the veteran enlisted and began service after September 7, 1980 or if the veteran was an officer and began service after October 16, 1981. Additionally, there is a six year requirement for National Guards and reservists along with other specific criteria.
- Surviving spouses of a service member missing in action or a prisoner of war may also be eligible. The best way to see if you’re eligible for an VA loan is to visit the following website, which lists all eligibility criteria for Florida VA loans. You can apply for and obtain a VA loan with any VA lender that participates in the VA home loan program. To get started, you will need to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA, which we would be happy to assist you with. If you need help, just submit the quick request form on the right side of the page.
- VA loans are for primary home purchases only. No vacation/second homes for investment properties.
VA has a few different mortgage programs for purchase and refinance:
- First, if you currently have a VA mortgage and want to learn about lowering your interest rate, the VA streamline refinance or IRRRL is the way to go. Unlimited loan to value, no appraisal, all documentation is “streamline” no hassle.
- VA purchase program – Prospective homebuyers around Sarasota can borrow up to 100% for a purchase with NO PMI or private mortgage insurance. VA is the only 100% home loan available in Manatee and Sarasota County that doesn’t require monthly mortgage insurance.
- VA loans can be both fixed-rate mortgages or ARM (adjustable-rate mortgages) with the 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and 5/1, 7/1 ARM common options. A VA funding fee of 0% to 3.6% of the loan amount must be paid to the VA, and can be financed on top of the total loan amount. See the VA funding fee chart here.
Benefits of VA Loans:
VA loans come with a number of benefits and advantages that can make them a solid choice above conventional options. Let’s take a look at some common FAQ’s, more can be found here.
Do VA loans require a down payment?
No. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the lack of a down payment requirement, which was previously mentioned. Additionally, mortgage rates on VA loans are typically cheaper than those on conventional mortgages, though that will vary based on your unique borrower profile. So you could wind up with a lower rate and less out-of-pocket expenses, which is certainly helpful for the home buyers in Manatee / Sarasota County that have limited cash savings. Additionally, VA loans are generally easier to qualify for than other mortgages.
Is there a maximum VA loan amount?
Once again, the answer is no. The VA does not limit how much you can borrow, though there are limits on how much liability the VA is willing to assume. Put another way, lenders won’t go above the VA county loan limits, which vary from county to county.
The VA loan limit is aligned with the conforming loan limit of $726,200 though there are high-cost counties that go higher in south Florida.
Borrowers can get loans up to these amounts without a down payment. But if the loan amount exceeds these limits, a down payment may be required. A down payment may also be required if a veteran has already used their entitlement and it hasn’t been restored.
Do VA loans require a minimum credit score?
Aside from not needing a down payment, there isn’t a minimum credit score requirement for VA loans. However, most lenders that originate VA loans will have in-house requirements that require a minimum credit score of 600.
VA Mortgage Hub is Florida’s leading 100% VA loan resource serving you 7 days a week. Questions? Please call us at ph: 800-743-7556 or just submit the quick Info Request Form on this page
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