VA loans are designed to make it easier for current service members and military veterans to qualify for buying a house.
Since these loans are offered to anyone who fits the eligibility requirements, you get to enjoy benefits such as being able to skip making a down payment. You can also negotiate the interest rate on your loan and avoid paying mortgage insurance premiums.
Yet, every good thing comes with a few stipulations. VA loan limits are one area where we find people tend to have a lot of questions. After all, no one wants to be told that their dream house costs more than the VA loan will cover.
There are also changes this year to the limits that could affect your home buying process. Being aware of the current limits and how the process works helps you make the best decisions as you start looking for a house.
How Are VA Loan Limits Determined?
Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not set the limits for these types of loans. Instead, the loan limits this year are the same as the conforming mortgage loan limits that are set by the Federal Finance Housing Agency.
You should know, however, that there are limits on how much liability the VA will assume for a loan, and this does have an effect upon how much money a lender offers veterans.
How Often Do the VA Loan Limits Increase?
This year is an exciting one for anyone interested in applying for a VA loan. That’s because 2019 brings another increase to the baseline limit.
While the limits are assessed every year, it is never a guarantee that they will go up since they tend to follow the housing market and status of the economy. They have even gone down in some years, which means that it is best to utilize the higher limit now while you can.
What Is the Current Limit on a VA Home Loan?
In 2018, the limit for a VA loan was $453,100. This year, the current limit for most of the United States is $484,350. This represents a 6.9% increase from the previous year!
Keep in mind that there are certain high-cost counties that are given higher limits due to the rising cost of houses in those areas.
Are VA Loan Limits the Same Throughout Arizona?
You can expect to see the same limits throughout the state. The majority of the counties affected by higher limits are in states such as Colorado and Alaska where the cost of living is higher. There, the higher limits help offset the more expensive loans that homebuyers in those counties must request.
With the housing market in Arizona stabilizing, you can find many homes that fall within the designated limits.
Is It Possible to Buy a House Above the Limit?
There are certain times when you may need to buy a house that is above the VA loan limit for Arizona counties. For instance, you may need to maintain a certain standard of living or prefer a specific location.
In these cases, you still have options for buying your dream home. Typically, you will need to be willing to make a down payment to cover a portion of the additional cost that the limit does not cover.
The limits placed on VA loans are there to help lenders feel comfortable making you a loan. Now that the limits are higher than ever, this is the best year to start looking for your new Arizona home.