Veterans Association (VA) loans are among the best financing options available when it comes to homebuying — a well-deserved benefit in recognition of the service and sacrifice made by service members, veterans, and their families. 

Although VA loans are provided by private lenders, the VA guarantees a portion of each loan, enabling lenders to offer more favorable terms. A VA loan may be used for a purchase or renovations related to adapting a home to accommodate a service-connected disability. Applicants must meet certain credit and service qualifications for eligibility. 

In summer 2019, Congress passed new legislation in the form of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which, among other things, expanded the home loan program and removed limits on the amount of financing a veteran can secure through the program. What does this mean for veterans interested in buying a home? A few things: 

More opportunity for vets in areas with high cost of living

Previously, VA loans were capped at $484,350. The removal of this loan limit opens up the opportunity for veterans to purchase homes in high-cost areas. The median home price in San Francisco, for example, is about $1.7 million

Zero-down financing

Another significant benefit of VA loans is the option to purchase a home with no down payment, reducing up-front costs. Before the new law was enacted, veterans who purchased a home priced above the cap were required to make a down payment equal to 25 percent of any amount exceeding the limit. With the introduction of the new law, veterans may take a loan of any size with no down payment required, upon approval from a lender. Since VA loans are guaranteed, they also don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI), another significant savings over the life of a loan.

One flat fee

VA borrowers are charged a one-time funding fee, the amount of which is clearly outlined by a VA fee table based on the veteran’s service status, down payment amount, and whether he or she is a first-time or repeat borrower. This helps veterans make decisions about their loan, equipped with clear and transparent information. 

VA loans are a valuable asset for those who serve our country. These changes in legislation make the loan program even more valuable. An Open Mortgage loan specialist can help you determine your eligibility and access your rightful benefits.

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