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VA Loans in Bradford County, Florida: Take Advantage of the Zero Down Payment

Veterans and active service members deserve to own a home in a nice neighborhood. It takes bravery and selflessness to heed the call to arms and serve and defend your country. Luckily, the government realizes this too and is committed to helping you purchase a home in Bradford County with no money.

The VA loan program is a lifeline to veterans and active service members who wish to purchase a home in Bradford County. With a VA loan, you can buy your dream home without paying a fortune in interest or a down payment.

Dig in as we detail how to buy a home in Bradford County with a zero-down mortgage.


How does the VA Loans program work?

The VA loan program offers specialized zero-down mortgages to veterans, service members, and eligible military spouses. The United States government created the VA loan program in 1944 to help returning veterans buy homes without money. Private mortgage lenders, including banks, issue these loans, but the government guarantees them through the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The government back guarantee allows conventional lenders to extend mortgage services to borrowers who wouldn't otherwise qualify for one. A VA loan lets you secure a mortgage with reasonable terms when buying a home with no money down. Since its inception, the VA loan program has helped more than 25 million veterans become homeowners. A VA home loan is your lifeline to fulfilling your homeowning dream in a hostile market environment.

Veteran and active service members can access affordable mortgages even as lenders tighten their underwriting guidelines. VA loans are more forgiving regarding credit score requirements and don't require you to put any money down. With a VA loan, you can easily purchase a home in Bradford County, Florida, with no money down.

Unlike other government-backed loan programs such as the USDA loans, a VA loan has no income limits, loan caps, and geographical restrictions. But you can buy property in any corner of the country with a VA loan. Your creditworthiness will determine the loan amount.


Why use a VA loan to buy a home

The VA loan program was specially crafted to reward members of the disciplined forces for their hard work and service. You can say that a VA loan is a hard-earned job benefit for veterans and service members.

The program aims to expand homeownership among this class of hardworking people. Therefore, the loan program rewrote the rule books to extend flexible underwriting guidelines to eligible borrowers.


Low-interest rates

While the interest rates may vary between lenders, all VA loans carry some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Creditworthiness is a primary consideration when taking out a VA loan, but low credit scores and no money down won't punish you with higher interest rates. Unlike conventional mortgages, all borrowers can secure affordable interest rates, where low scores and no money down lead to higher rates.


0% home deposit

Eligible borrowers can use VA loans to purchase a home in Bradford County with no money. The VA loan program provides 100% home financing to help veterans, service members, and qualifying spouses become homeowners. The VA loan program can accelerate your home ownership journey by requiring no money down.

You don't need to wait months or years to make an offer on your dream house. Conventional lenders require borrowers to raise to 20% of the home's cost as a down payment. With the price of the typical home in the US topping $400,000, a 20% down payment would mean raising $80,000 in cash. A VA loan saves you the hassle and headache of saving such a tremendous amount.


No Private Mortgage Insurance

While conventional mortgage lenders accept down payments as low as 3%, the privilege comes at a cost. Anything below 20% triggers Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which ranges from 0.5% to 1.5% of the loan amount. That means a PMI of 1.5% would tuck in an extra $60,000 to your homeowning costs.

Worse, none of that money pays off the loan despite adding hundreds of dollars to your monthly repayments. A VA loan lets you build home equity much faster by scraping PMI.


VA loans are assumable

Another perk of using the VA loan program to buy a home with no money down is that VA loans are assumable. VA loan assumption means letting another borrower, even one who isn't a military service member, take over the loan. The borrower assumes the VA loan as is – its outstanding balance, interest rate, repayment terms, and more. Assuming a VA loan is beneficial to both parties but is subject to availability as some lenders don't support the service.


Who can apply for a VA loan?

Since VA loans are a job benefit for service members, they come with several demanding requirements. You must meet the minimum service requirements to qualify for the VA loan program. According to the VA, borrowers are eligible for VA loans if they meet one or more of these requirements:

  • Provided 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.

  • Provided at least 181 days of active service during peacetime.

  • Have served in the National Guard or Reserves for at least six years.

  • You're a surviving spouse of a service member who died in combat or due to a service-related disability.

If you're a veteran without these demanding requirements, you may still be eligible for a VA loan. In some cases, eligibility comes down to the type of discharge. You may still qualify for a VA loan if:

  • You were discharged for a service-connected disability or on medical grounds.

  • You were discharged due to a force reduction, government convenience, or hardship.

  • You received an early discharge but had served 21 months of your 2-year enlistment.

Eligibility for VA loan in Bradford County

You can use a VA loan to purchase a home anywhere in Bradford County with no money down if you check all the right boxes. You must meet the minimum service requirements, secure a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and meet the lender's income and credit requirements.

VA-certified lenders in Bradford County will require a Certificate of Eligibility to approve you for a VA loan. The COE is an official confirmation from the Department of Veteran Affairs that you meet the minimum service requirements. Lenders need to certificate to confirm that you're eligible for VA loan benefits.


Getting a COE in Bradford County

Getting your COE certificate is a simple process. Lenders can easily pull your COE using your date of birth and social security number. However, you have three options when you need to get your COE:

  • Apply through your preferred VA-approved lender

  • Apply online through the VA's eBenefits portal

  • Apply via Mail through VA Form 26-1880

Applying for COE as a surviving military spouse

Surviving spouses require the COE to verify eligibility before unlocking the VA loan benefits. The process depends on whether the spouse is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

Spouses receiving these compensation benefits should fill out VA Form 26-1817 and get copies of the veteran's discharge paperwork, such as DD Form 214.

Spouses not receiving compensation benefits should apply via VA Form 21P-534EZ to Florida's VA Pension Management Center. They should attach a copy of their marriage license, the veteran's death certificate, and discharge papers.


VA lender requirements

The VA works with accredited lenders to provide VA loans to qualifying veterans, service members, and surviving spouses. The private lenders provide the funds, while the VA guarantees to repay the loan if you default on payments. Naturally, private lenders impose additional requirements on borrowers. Luckily, the VA guarantee makes them more accommodating to VA loan borrowers.

Typically, lenders will consider your creditworthiness before granting you a loan. That includes checking your credit score, credit history, income, debt-to-income ratio, and residual income.

While the VA loan credit scores vary between lenders, most require a credit score in the 580 to 620 range. Besides your monthly income, VA loan lenders also consider your residual income. They want to ensure enough money is left over each month to cover your typical financial obligations after paying your mortgage.


Types of VA loans

The VA loan program provides several home loans to help veterans and active service members buy their dream homes. These loans include:


VA Purchase Loan

A VA purchase loan enables veterans and service members to purchase a new or existing home with no money. Eligible members can use VA purchase loans to buy condominiums, single-family homes, multi-unit properties, and manufactured homes. You can also use a VA loan to build your dream house from the ground up.


VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan

The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) is the most popular of the VA loan program's refinance options. The program offers two refinance options to help current VA borrowers secure better terms. They're known as VA Streamlines because they are simple and low-cost. You'll not need an appraisal, credit underwriting, or an appraisal when refinancing a VA loan.

The VA IRRRL refinancing option is only available to veterans with an active VA loan who wish to secure better interest rates. The streamlined service is only available to borrowers whose loan terms allow them to recover costs and fees. The time limit lets you harness the full benefits of the refinance.


VA Cash-Out Refinance

The VA cash-out refinance qualified homeowners to take cash out of their home equity to meet their other needs. You can use the cash-out refinance to pay off debt, medical bills, pay for school, or other pressing needs.

Veterans with or without an active VA loan are eligible for this refinancing option. You can refinance up to 90% of your home's value with VA cash-out finance. Veterans with conventional home loans can use this refinance to secure better loan terms and lower their monthly payments.


VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

The VA energy efficiency mortgage is available when refinancing or purchasing a home. Veterans can access up to $6,000 in additional loans to upgrade their home's energy efficiency. You can apply the extra loan amount towards qualified home improvement and upgrades.

For instance, you may use the funds to install thermal windows, solar heating, heat pumps, and cooling system. However, you may not use these funds to make non-permanent additions to your home. You may not use the option to buy home appliances or install temporary solutions such as window air conditioning units.


Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program

The NADL program enables Native American veterans to buy, remodel, build, upgrade, or refinance a home in Native American trust lands. The loans are available to veterans whose tribal organizations participate in the VA direct local program.


Adapted Housing Grants

Veterans who sustain total or permanent disabilities in the line of duty may be eligible for special housing grants. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) and Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) help injured vets obtain suitable housing.


Suburban Residential Neighborhood with American Flag


How to apply for a VA loan in Bradford County, Florida

Loan pre-approval is the first step when applying for a VA loan. If you are a veteran or a service member but aren't sure if you qualify for a VA loan, simply start the application process. Typically, you can close on your dream home in Bradford County in about 45 days with no money down.

Here's a simple process to help you buy a home in Bradford County with no money down:

  • Get a VA approved lender - Only VA-approved lenders can help you buy a home in Bradford County with a VA loan. The VA maintains a list of approved lenders to help you buy a home with a zero-down mortgage.

  • Verify eligibility - you'll need to verify that you're eligible for the VA loan programs by providing the lender with a COE certificate. Most lenders can help you secure the certificate, but you can get it yourself.

  • Finalize the application - Furnish the lender with all relevant documents, including tax returns, pay stubs, W-2s, and more. Submit your duly filled application and complete the application process.

Benefits of a VA loan

Below are the top benefits of using a VA loan to buy a home in Bradford County, Florida:


Affordability

Securing a VA loan is the ultimate way to own a piece of the sunshine state without breaking the bank. The program entitles you to an affordable mortgage to let you purchase your dream home in Bradford County. Here are some benefits of using a VA loan to buy a home in Bradford County.


Family-friendly

Bradford is the third smallest county in Florida and is primarily a rural settlement. That makes it an ideal place to raise a family, surrounded by a supportive community and plenty of open spaces. Most properties are on impressive swathes of land, giving you all the space and privacy you need.


Affordable real estate

Bradford County features some of the most affordable real estate prices in Florida. As of 2022, the median homes are sold at $259K, which is way less than the going prices in other parts of Florida. At about $171 per square foot, home prices in Bradford County are way lower than the national average. You can easily use the VA loan to buy vacant land and build your dream house from the ground up.


Low cost of living

Moving to Bradford County can be the key to unlocking your financial freedom. The county's cost of living is up to 15% cheaper than the national average. Using a VA loan to buy a home in Bradford County makes your hard-earned dollars go further. You can buy a generous property on a large tract of land and meet your financial obligations without breaking the bank.


Great school district

The Bradford County School District oversees 11 public schools comprising elementary, middle, and high schools. The county boasts some of the top-ranked public schools in the sunshine state. The district is well-staffed, with a student-teacher ratio of 15:1, higher than the 17:1 national ratio. The county's education cost is $3,000 lower than the national average of $12,000.


Why buy a home in Bradford County, Florida with a VA loan?

Taking out a VA loan only rewards veterans for their selfless service. It also provides you with an opportunity to build your wealth and net worth. Besides getting you the best value for money, you have plenty of recreational activities to enrich your daily life.

Using a VA loan to purchase a home in Bradford County, Florida, will improve your quality of life.


The Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park

Home to RallyPro Performance Driving School, the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park is a hidden gem in an otherwise tranquil environment. Head to the park for adrenaline-pumping action as you hone your driving skills.

Bring your car to the most diverse motorsports park in the county and match up against the best. Hone your off-road and race-track driving skills, enroll your entire family in defensive driving class, and keep them safe on the road. The park features an event-packed calendar all year round for you and your family.


Gold Head Branch State Park

Perched on the rolling hills, Gold Head Branch State Park is among the few remaining swathes of longleaf pines. The park is a diverse ecosystem cutting across seepage springs, lakes, marshes, and scrub. Naturally, the park is home to an equally diverse range of wildlife. Enjoy quality time outdoors with your family as you hike along the park's nature trails.

Or bring your fishing gear and catch your lunch fresh from Little Lake Johnson. Slot the time to visit the park's picnic ground and enjoy the picnic area's pavilions, grills, and tables. Arrange a camping trip to one of the three sites and spend some time in the wilderness while enjoying modern comforts, including water and electricity.


Kingsley Lake

Set on 810 hectares, Kingsley Lake is a geological and historical marvel, not to mention the perfect getaway for the entire family. Known as the Silver Dollar Lake, the lake boasts an almost perfect shape, having formed in a sinkhole. It's a haven for people in North Eastern Florida who don't fancy a long drive to the Gulf. Or prefer fresh waters to the salty surfs of the ocean.

Kingsley Lake is a mecca for swimmers who wish to have fun in the spring-fed waters. The area is a hub of family-friendly activities ranging from boating, fishing, swimming, picnics, and more. Plenty of cottages and camping sites let you spend more time in the beautiful place.


Bradford's Sportsmen Farm

Fancy some action without the mortal danger? The Bradford Sportsmen's farm is just what you need. The farm offers one of the best shooting facilities in Florida. It features two automated, 14-station sporting clay courses. It also boasts two fully automated strands controlled by portable long-range controllers. The farm includes a pistol and rifle range to accommodate shooters of all skill levels.


Starke Golf and Country Club

Prefer shooting something less lethal? Head down to the Starke Golf and Country Club. Tee off in their charming 9-hole course that's friendly to beginners and skilled golfers alike. The semi-private golf course was designed by Roy Albert Anderson in 1959 and is open to the public. Some fairways will push your golfing limits, but the peaceful and tranquil rural environment makes the course a real gem.


Get a VA loan and become a homeowner in Bradford County, Florida

The VA loan program is crafted to reward veterans and active service members for their bravery and selflessness. Seize this opportunity and join the growing ranks of veterans buying homes in Bradford County with no money.

Enjoy the low-interest rates on VA loans and use them to realize your homeowning dreams. Bradford County is part of rural Florida, where properties are large and spacious and won't blow a hole in your finances.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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