2018 VA Loan Limits in Arizona

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Big news for 2018 VA Loan Limits in Arizona. They have gone up, yet again! 2018 Arizona VA Loan Limits for Maricopa County have increased from $424,100 (2017) up to $453,100 with no money down. This mean Veterans and Active Duty Military can finance more with no additional money out of pocket. Our VA Home Loan Benefit is the only 100% financing with no money down and no private mortgage insurance home loan available on the marketplace. This increase makes the VA loan one of the most competitive loans available for Veterans today.

Did you know that the VA does not actually have a maximum VA Loan limit? They just have a maximum loan amount with no money down. The VA will allow us as Veterans to finance more than $453,100 by putting down 25% of the difference between the purchase price and the 2018 Arizona VA Loan Limits of $453,100. This is an incredible opportunity for Veterans seeking financing above the $453,100 threshold with no money down.

2018 VA Loan Limits do not just apply to purchasing a home. The good news is that if a Veteran would like to use the VA Loan for the purpose of a refinance, they too are eligible for the increased loan limits as well.


Buy Land with VA Loan?

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Can I Use My VA Home Loan to Buy Land?

Using Your VA Loan to Buy Land and Build a HomeThe Department of Veterans Affairs allows borrowers to use a VA home loan to buy land and construct a new home on a piece of property as an alternative to buying a pre-built home.

There are restrictions placed on the way the funds can be allocated. VA loans must be used for eligible purchases, which allows the Veteran to “purchase or construct a residence, including a condominium or cooperative unit, to be owned and occupied by the veteran as a home.”

The loans can include the land where the home will be situated and may also be guaranteed for the construction of a residence on land the borrower already owns. It’s also possible to use the funds to refinance a purchase money mortgage or contract for the purchase of the land.

Restrictions

The VA home loan to buy land cannot be made under the VA program for unimproved land with a future intent to improve.

The loan also must be closed before construction can begin to allow the money to be allocated to pay for the land the home will reside on with the remainder placed into an escrow account.

This gives the bank the authority to distribute the funds and ensures that the builder can receive payment during construction.

This isn’t only applicable to those who want to buy land that is for sale. If you meet the requirements for a VA loan, land that you already have in your possession qualifies for funding under the program.

The simple answer to whether you can use a VA home loan to buy land is yes. It can’t be in a flood zone, in an airport noise zone, and must be away from high volt electric lines or unstable land conditions where landslides, sinkholes or earthquakes are common.

Finding the Right Lender

The primary problem you might find with using a VA loan for construction is locating a lender who will allow these types of loans for construction. There are no regulations in place that require lenders to finance construction loans.

You might have to try approaching a few different lenders before you’ll find one that is willing to work with you on the project.

In some cases, it is necessary for you to first get a conventional loan from a community lender or builder for the initial financing, and when construction is complete, refinance it under the terms found in the conventional VA loan.

The best way to ensure that you don’t waste your time applying for financing that isn’t relevant to your home-buying needs is to ask the lender questions right from the start.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for the first time, do research and locate a lender close by that will offer financing to put you in your dream home once and for all.

Better yet, call me – I can steer you through the process and help you find the right VA home loan at the best interest rate.

 


Home Improvements VA Loan

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Can I Get a VA Loan for Home Improvements?

Home Improvements VA LoanIt’s common for veterans to want to know if there is a VA guaranteed home loan available for home improvements. The answer depends on whether you want to buy a new home with a VA loan or you already have a home.

Unfortunately, the VA does not offer as simplified a loan program as the FHA’s 203k loan program, which offers higher loan amounts to cover rehab.

Here are instances in which you may be able to use a VA mortgage for home improvement projects.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a specialized loan that’s made alongside a standard VA home loan for an existing home you want to buy or a refinance loan for your primary residence to make energy efficient home improvements.

The EEM program is a bit confusing, however. To use an EEM, you need to make an offer on a home and request additional funds to make energy efficient home improvements once you’re under contract.

There are a couple of common tiers for this program:

  • Improvements up to $3,000. This tier is the easiest to qualify and you will usually need a copy of a contractor bid or quote that itemizes the costs and manufacturer information for each item that will be installed.
  • Improvements of $3,001 to $6,000. This level of improvements also requires an energy audit that shows a year’s worth of utility averages for the home you’re buying. This audit will be reviewed to determine if your proposed improvements will make enough of a difference in energy use.

With an EEM, you can get up to $6,000 more on a loan in addition to your VA loan to make improvements to your home. The downside is not all upgrades will qualify.

Examples of acceptable improvements include furnace modifications, insulation, storm doors and windows, and thermal windows. Items that don’t qualify include air conditioning units, roof replacement, and vinyl siding.

VA Rehab Loans

A VA home loan can be used to not only buy a home but simultaneously purchase and improve a property. In general, the VA requires that a home be in move-in ready condition.

While it is possible to get a VA loan on a home that needs work, this requires finding a lender that makes these uncommon loans as well as a VA-approved contractor. The plans and specifications for all home improvements must be itemized by the contractor with an estimate for how long the improvements will take.

VA Cash-Out Refinance

If you already own your home and want to make improvements, a VA cash-out refinance may be a good choice. A cash-out refinance involves adjusting the interest rate on your loan with the option to take money out from the equity in your home. The money can then be used to finance home improvements or anything else.

A VA refinance can even be an option if you have a non-VA loan now and want to refinance into a VA loan while cashing out some of your equity.

Alternate Solution: Refinance Into a VA Loan

There is one final option that may be the best choice if you want to buy a home that needs significant work and ultimately end up with a VA mortgage.

VA rehab loans are uncommon, although the FHA 203k loan and USDA rehab loan programs may be a good option. Some qualified veterans choose to use a FHA 203k loan or other rehab loan option to purchase and fix a home before refinancing into a standard VA loan.

The downside of this option is it results in higher costs. The first mortgage will come with closing costs and likely a higher interest rate for a period of time.

 

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How Do VA Loan Rates Differ?

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Getting the Best VA Loan Rates

VA Loan RatesBuying a home is a very big financial commitment. So of course you want to find the best VA loan rates available.

When you are looking to buy a home, one of the most important factors involved is the type of mortgage that you receive. For those that are members of the US Armed Forces, or are prior members, getting a mortgage through the VA could be a great option.

VA home loans provide borrowers with several different benefits. VA home loans are fully guaranteed by the VA, which gives the providers of the loans another source of repayment if the loan goes into default.

Because of this, VA home loan providers have lower requirements for borrowers to meet. For example, the VA offers loans with no money down, has lower income level requirements, and does not require a high credit score.

While VA home loans have lower requirements, they can be more expensive for borrowers. On average, home loans from the VA have higher interest rates for several different reasons. The actual rate that you will receive on your VA home loan will depend on a few different factors.

Your Credit Score Affects VA Loan Rates

The first factor that will determine the rate that you receive on your VA home loan is your credit score. While the VA usually only requires a credit score of 620, those that are looking for a more affordable interest rate will need to have a higher credit score than the minimum.

For those that are looking for the best VA loan rates possible, a credit score of 720 or higher will be required. While it is important that you have a good credit score, your interest rate could be improved if you have a co-signor that also has a good credit score.

Down Payment

When you are looking to get a loan through the VA, another factor that will impact your credit score is the level of down payment that you have. In most cases, the VA will approve a loan with as little as zero percent down. However, these loans are still considered riskier by the VA and the lender. Because of this, you will be charged a higher interest.

If you are looking for the lowest rate and fee structure possible, it would be beneficial for you to put down at least twenty percent. This will also reduce your initial principal balance, which will reduce your overall payment even further.

Income Thresholds

Another benefit of getting a loan through the VA is that they have looser income requirements for borrowers. Most traditional lenders want to have a borrower have a debt to income ratio of 33% or less. VA home loan providers will offer loans with much higher ratios.

While they are willing to offer these riskier loans to borrowers with lower levels of income, these VA loan rates are higher to compensate for the additional risk. Those that choose to buy more affordable homes will end up being offered a lower overall interest rate.

 


Can I Finance 2 Homes Using VA Loans?

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Finance 2 Homes Using VA Loans?

Can I Finance 2 Homes with VA LoansOne of the ultimate sacrifices that someone can make is risking their life by volunteering in the US Armed Forces.

One of the benefits of being a member of the military, or being a former member, is being able to take advantage of mortgages provided by the Veteran’s Association. VA home loans come with affordable interest rates and typically have lower requirements when it comes to down payment, credit scores, and income levels.

While VA home loans are great financing options, they are generally intended to be used for primary residences only. In no situation is it permitted to use a VA mortgage to buy an investment property or vacation home.

Because of this, it can be difficult to use a VA home loan to finance 2 homes. However, there are some situations when it may be possible to have more than one VA home loan out at one time.

Need for Two Personal Residences

The VA mortgage benefit is available to active members, military veterans, and spouses. In some situations, an active member of the military may need to have a home near an assignment of duty. At the same time, the spouse and rest of the family may need to stay in another area of the country.

In these situations, the VA may approve the family for two different VA home loans. However, this will typically require a special waiver and approval from the VA and the mortgage lender that will be servicing the loan.

Selling a Home

Another situation when you may be able to qualify for a second VA home loan and finance 2 homes is if you are looking to sell one of the underlying properties, but need to purchase another home first.

In some situations, you may need to move into a new home, but will have to keep your old home for awhile.. This can be due to either economic factors, home improvements at the new home, or temporarily living in a different home from a spouse. Like other situations, this case will require special approval and waivers from both the VA and the mortgage servicer.

While there are some situations in which you will be able to qualify to finance 2 homes at once, there are other requirements that can make this more challenging.

One of the challenges of being approved for both loans at once is that you will need to meet the income requirements necessary to pay both loans. When approving a new loan, the VA will do analysis of your global cash flow and loan payment requirements. Based on this, they will want to ensure that you make enough money to pay for both mortgages. Due to income requirements, this can make it hard to qualify for both loans at once.

Another reason why many people do not qualify for both loans is due to down payment requirements. While most VA home loans do not have large down payment requirements, those that would like to buy another property with a VA home loan can be required to have a larger down payment. In some cases, they may require up to 20% down.

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FHA Loan and VA Loan Compared – Who Wins?

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FHA Loan and VA Loan Compared – Who Wins?

Often times when a Veteran is getting ready to purchase a home they will ask me “is a VA Loan the best route for me to go?” My answer to that question is simple…Yes! Truth be told if I were purchasing a home I would ask the exact same question. It’s important to understand the loan product and type that you are receiving (after all it is for 30 years) and that it’s competitive against other mortgage options. Reasons such as this is exactly why I wanted to put together a quick video explaining the differences between FHA Loans and VA Loans and most importantly how they stack up against each other when put side by side.

It’s important to understand and remember that every loan has different charactoristics associated with it. For example on a VA Loan the VA Loan allows a Veteran to purchase a home up to $417,000 with no money down. A FHA Loan however caps the Veteran (in Maricopa County) at $270,050. Furthermore FHA also requires a 3.5 % where as the VA Loan does not. Lastly the FHA loan requires something called Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which requires .85% of the loan amount on an annual basis making the FHA significantly more expensive over the life of the loan.

Take a moment to watch the video and see how the VA Loan compares and of course if you have any questions over anything at all feel free to roger up with me and I would be honored to be of service to you.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino
480-351-5904


The 2 Forms Needed on the VA Home Loan

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The VA Home Loan requires 2 forms. The DD-214 and the VA Certificate of eligibility. Simple enough right? Wrong. These 2 forms have caused much confusion for Veterans when applying for the VA Home Loan. First we will take a look at the DD-214 which we all know as our discharge paperwork. The reason why the DD-214 is so important on the VA Home Loan is because it tells the lender what type of discharge you had from the military which will determine if you are eligible for your VA Home Loan Benefits. As many Veterans know this form is incredibly important for more reasons than just using your VA Home Loan. So if for some reason you have misplaced, or lost it, thats okay. This form can be ordered from the Veterans Archives Website at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ Now please understand that you MUST have this form prior to applying for your VA Home Loan. I say this because if for some reason it’s lost or misplaced it can delay your home buying experience causing stress for you and everybody involved on the transaction.

The VA Certificate of Eligibility causes much confusion for Veterans when attempting to use their VA Home Loan benefits. Furthermore this form is designed to tell both lender and the Veteran that the Veteran has sufficient entitlement/guarantee to use the VA Home Loan. Veterans please understand that just because we may have a VA COE does not mean that we automatically qualify for the VA Home Loan. A Veteran can have a VA COE and be eligible for the VA Home Loan and still not have the minimum credit score that the lender requires which is 600. To apply for your Certificate of Eligibility you may do so by contacting me directly at https://www.valoansforvets.com/contact-me/

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


PCS Orders to Luke AFB

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For Active Duty Military PCS orders are a part of life. Once PCS Orders to Luke AFB are received Airmen and their families are faced with many difficult decisions. With so many moving parts it often times can be a tough choice when deciding if it’s better to live on base, rent, or buy a home in the civilian sector. If you have received PCS Orders to Luke AFB you may be asking those questions right now. That said understand that you have choices. The Luke AFB community offers many great options for Airmen and their families when moving to Arizona. If you have given any thought about purchasing a home but are intimidated by the process please understand that it is not as hard as many say it is.

First off understand that living on base while it may be convenient can have a waiting list and leave you with no decision other than to move out into the civilian sector. Secondly, a question that you need to ask yourself if this. How long will you be stationed at Luke AFB? If you will be stationed at Luke AFB for more than 2 years (and in some cases shorter) it may make sense for you to purchase a home. As you are aware if you live on base Uncle Sam pockets your full BAH where as if you rent or own in the civilian sector you get to keep the difference between your rent or mortgage payment.

Lastly, if you are debating between renting and purchasing understand that often times you can own a home for just as much, if not less, than what you could rent a home for in the Luke AFB area. Furthermore receiving PCS Orders to LUke AFB as an Active Duty Military Service Member you are entitled to home purchasing benefits that civilians could only dream of. With the VA Home Loan an Active Duty Service Member may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and limited closing cost. In some cases I have personally assisted Airmen with purchasing a home and literally not paying $1.00 out of pocket to do so.

So if you have received PCS Orders to Luke AFB then and you are interested in purchasing a home and would like to find out how much you qualify for we would love the opportunity to give you a free pre-qualification and discuss your budget with you to see if purchasing a home is right for you and your family.

To apply for you VA Home Loan and see how much you simply click on the link below and apply and somebody from our team will follow up with you in less than 24 hours.

https://www.valoansforvets.com/apply/


VA Funding Fee

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Any Veteran that ever uses a VA Home Loan will pay a VA Funding Fee. There are exceptions to this which we will cover shortly. Simply stated the VA Funding Fee is fee required by law which makes Veterans contribute towards the cost of using the his or her VA Home Loan benefit. Typically the VA Funding Fee is paid 3 ways…Financed into the loan, paid for out of pocket, or paid by the seller. In my experience most Veterans have opted to finance the VA Funding Fee into their loan amount so they can avoid paying the VA Funding Fee out of pocket.

Let’s talk about how much this VA Funding Fee will cost you, the Veteran. For a first time user the VA Funding fee is typically 2.15% of the loan amount. However, for a first time user that happens to be a Reservist or National Guard the VA Funding Fee goes up slightly to 2.4%. Anybody that has used a VA Home Loan more than once is considered a subsequent user and is subjected to a higher VA Funding Fee. For these Veterans using a VA Home Loan for a second time or more are required to pay a 3.3% VA Funding Fee.

There are ways to reduce the VA Funding Fee or possibly not pay it at all. To reduce the VA Funding Fee the Veteran has the option of putting anywhere from a 5%-10% down towards the purchase of their home. If there Veterans puts as little as 5% down the VA Funding Fee will be reduced to 1.5% and if the Veteran puts down 10% The VA Funding Fee will be reduced to 1.25%. As you can see the VA encourages Veterans to put money down towards the purchase of their home if they are able.

For Disabled Veterans, meaning you are have a service connected disability from the VA and are as little as 10% rated your VA Funding Fee is waived. Needless to say if a Veteran and have this benefit it can literally save the you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Keep in mind you must prove this to your lender in order for it to be waived. To do so, simply provide a copy of your VA service connected disability paperwork to the company originating your VA Home Loan to get your VA Funding Fee waived.

Fore more information about the VA Funding Fee and your VA Home Loan please click on the link below and fill out an application and we can follow up with you shortly thereafter.

https://www.valoansforvets.com/apply/

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


Why VA Home Loans Matter in Arizona

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Here in Arizona there are over 500,000 Veterans living among us right now. Kind of a big deal right? The reason why I say this is because I know how many Veterans that are out there that don’t know the full description of their VA Home Loan benefit and how it works. I am also reminded of how many of our nations finest men and women that are still serving and deployed overseas that will eventually exit from their branch of service and join the ranks of the civilian sector. Keep in mind that this is a number that I believe will continue to increase due to the ending of military operations in places like Afghanistan. Which leads me to my next question…Are Veterans prepared to purchase a home and use their VA Home Loan Benefits when returning from the military or at any other point in their lives?

VA Home Loans are so unique. In reality there is really no other type of home loan out there that exist that allows a Veteran to purchase a home up to $417,000 with no down payment (and in some cases higher). Furthermore, Veterans must also understand that in order to use your VA Home Loan Benefit you do not need to have a 800 Fico score as much of the media may lead you to believe. With VA Home Loans, most lenders require a 620 credit score allowing Veterans with less than perfect credit to purchase homes. Lastly, the VA Home Loan allows Veterans to purchase a home with limited closing cost, saving the Veteran in some cases as much as $1,500 in closing cost.

So why do VA Home Loans matter? Simple, because they are the bridge between Veterans and home ownership! In closing, I am often times asked the question… “Jimmy is there ever a time when a Veteran should not consider a VA Home Loan?” No. I say this because in most circumstances that I see on a daily basis the VA Home Loan is just as competitive as a Conventional home loan and certainly more competitive than a FHA Home Loan.

To apply for a VA Home Loan please click on the link below.

https://www.valoansforvets.com/apply/

Thank you and may God bless you for your service to our great country.

With gratitude,
Jimmy Vercellino