Getting a VA loan in DeSoto County, Florida, with no down payment can make buying your dream home a reality. Whether you're looking to buy your first home or upgrade to your dream home, you must have all the facts on the VA loan program before you begin the home buying process.
So this article will explore everything you need to understand about VA home loans in DeSoto County. This will include the different types of VA loans, eligibility requirements, how to apply, funding fees, loan limits, overall benefits, and if it can be used more than once, and other exciting things about living in Desoto County, Florida.
Are you a Hometown Hero? Find out your eligibility for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in DeSoto County, Florida.
The Basics of VA Loans
A VA loan is a mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These loans are available to eligible veterans, active duty service members, and select surviving spouses. The VA does not lend money directly to veterans but guarantees the loan, making it easier for lenders to provide financing.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) insures mortgages made by approved lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. This guarantee protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. This allows lenders to offer more favorable terms to borrowers, such as no down payment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Read on to learn more about VA loans and if you're qualified to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity.
You may be eligible for a VA loan if you are a Veteran, active duty service member, reservist, or National Guard member. You may also qualify if you're the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or due to a service-related disability.
Veterans can get a VA loan with no down payment, a significant advantage over other types of loans. To qualify for a VA loan as a veteran, you'll need to meet the following criteria:
You must have completed at least 180 days of active military service during wartime or at least 90 days during peacetime.
You must have been honorably discharged from your service.
You must have a satisfactory credit history.
You must be able to prove your income and employment stability.
- You must have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You may wonder how to qualify for a VA loan as an active military member. The first step is to get your Certificate of Eligibility. You can do this by going to the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Once you have your COE, you must find a lender participating in the VA loan program.
Once you have found a participating lender, you must complete a loan application and provide proof of income and assets. You must also have served at least ninety days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.
To qualify for a VA loan as a surviving spouse, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be unmarried at the time of your spouse's death.
You must not have remarried since your spouse's death.
You must have married your spouse for at least one year before death.
You must have lived with your spouse for at least one year before death.
- Have a certificate of eligibility from the VA.
VA Loan Funding Fee
You may have heard that there are no down payments required for VA loans, but this doesn't mean you don't need money! The VA loan funding fee is a one-time fee charged by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help cover the costs of the VA Home Loan program. The borrower pays the outlay, which can be added to the loan amount or paid in cash at closing.
The government requires this financing fee, but some veterans may be exempt, and the amount is determined by the loan type, loan amount, down payment, and the borrower's usage of the loan. Putting down 5% or less on your first home purchase will cost you 2.3% of the total loan amount and 3.6% on forthcoming loans. Make sure you have an emergency fund to prepare you for anything coming your way.
VA Loan Limits
The current VA loan limit is $647,200 for most parts of the United States which increased from $548,250 in 2021. The cap for the high-cost regions in the country has also increased and reached up to $970,800 for a single-family home. With these limits, you can be sure of finance up to 100% of the purchase price of your home with a VA loan.
Additionally, if you're eligible for a VA loan and have remaining entitlement, you can apply for a VA loan multiple times as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. There's no set limit on how many times you can obtain a VA home loan. Get in touch with Veterans United so that you can better understand the specifics of their loan program.
Types of VA Loans
It's essential to understand the different types of VA loans to get an idea of your options for your VA home financing assistance. Each type has its unique benefits and drawbacks, so knowing your options will help you decide the best fit program for your situation.
The following are the available VA loan types to be aware of before beginning your loan application process.
VA-Backed Purchase Loan
A VA-backed purchase loan is an excellent option for eligible applicants seeking to purchase their first home. This loan requires you to meet the lender's credit and income requirements, have a valid Certificate of Eligibility and intend to occupy the home as your primary residence.
With a VA-backed purchase loan, you can buy a home with no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance premiums. You can use this loan to buy a single-family home, a manufactured home, new construction, a modular home, or a condominium unit that meets the VA property requirements.
VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan
A VA cash-out refinance loan is a refinance loan that allows you to take out equity from your home. This can be in the form of cash, which you can use for any purpose, or as a way to consolidate other debts. You can take out up to 100% of the value of your home with this type of loan, and all you need is some equity in your home to qualify.
Taking a VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan has many perks, including the fact that you don't need private mortgage insurance since the house is already yours, so the lender has no risk. Nevertheless, you'll need significant equity in your home to qualify for this type of loan.
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program
The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program helps native veterans, service members, and surviving spouses finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land or reduce the interest rate on a current NADL.
Eligible veterans and service members can get a NADL with no down payment. The program is available for both new constructions and existing homes and can be used for single-family homes, condominiums, multi-family units, and manufactured homes.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
Also called the VA Streamline Refinance Loan, the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program is available to veterans with an existing VA loan. The IRRRL makes it possible to refinance your loan with a lower interest rate and monthly payment.
To qualify, you must have made timely payments on your current loan for the last 12 months. Plus, you can only use this type of loan to refinance an existing VA loan-you can't get one for a new home purchase.
Benefits of Obtaining VA Home Loans
If you're in the market to buy a home, it may be helpful to know the advantages of using a VA Home Loan. A loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers numerous benefits that can save you time and money.
Below are the top benefits of obtaining a VA home loan in DeSoto County, Florida:
No Down Payment
One of the most significant benefits of applying for a VA home loan is that you may not be required to make a down payment. Unlike conventional or FHA loans, you can finance 100% of the purchase price of your home with zero money down. This is a considerable advantage since saving up for a down payment can be difficult, especially if you are on a tight budget.
No private mortgage insurance (PMI)
You don't have to worry about paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI) with a VA home loan. That's because the Department of Veterans Affairs protects lenders from loss by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. Lenders typically require PMI when borrowers make a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price.
Lower Interest Rates
The most apparent benefit to applying for a VA home loan is the potential for lower interest rates. Because the government guarantees VA loans, lenders are more willing to offer lower rates to qualified buyers. This can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan and make your monthly mortgage payments more affordable.
Reasonable Credit Requirements
Another main benefit of applying for a VA home loan is that the credit requirements are more reasonable than other types of loans. For example, a conventional loan typically requires a credit score of 620 or higher, whereas a VA loan only requires a minimum credit score of 580. You may still qualify for a VA home loan if your credit score is lower.
No Prepayment Penalties
When applying for a VA home loan, you can rest assured that there will be no prepayment penalties. This means you can pay off your loan anytime without worrying about being charged extra fees. This can save you a lot of money in the long run and is a great perk for those who may want to sell their home or refinance in the future.
Top Five Things to Do in DeSoto County, Florida
DeSoto County, Florida, offers a variety of sights to see and activities to participate in. Whether you're looking to enjoy the natural beauty of this county or learn about its history, you can be sure to find everything here!
Here are the top five things to do in DeSoto County, Florida.
Visit the Lions, Tigers & Bears, Inc.
Lions, Tigers & Bears, Inc. is a big cat and exotic animal rescue located in Arcadia, Florida. The sanctuary is home to over 100 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, leopards, cougars, and more. You can tour the facility and learn about the work of rescuing and caring for these amazing animals.
It's a great place to spend time with family or friends while learning all about the importance of conservation efforts! Special events include birthdays, holiday celebrations, and more.
Visit the Peace River Campground
The Peace River Campground is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and escape the city life's hustle and bustle. The campground is located on the Peace River, perfect for fishing, canoeing, or relaxing.
The scenery is beautiful, and the amenities are top-notch, including but not limited to laundry facilities, hot showers, a heated swimming pool, LP gas, a game room, and a campground store. The campground also has a playground and a picnic area, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
It's possible to rent campers and RVs with everything included. You can also pitch your tents close to shelters that offer water and electricity. Campers are invited to bring ATVs and other vehicles smaller than golf carts (golf cart rentals and ATV wash areas are available).
You'll meet the famous Snickers, the miniature horse, Hawkeye the hawk, Johnny the tortoise, and well-loved cats, dogs, and goats.
Visit the Arcadia Municipal Golf Course
The Arcadia Municipal Golf Course is one of the best things to do in DeSoto County. The course is located in the heart of Arcadia and offers a challenging 18-hole round. This famous golf system is also affordable, with rates starting at just $15 for adults and $10 for juniors.
It's a great place to play golf with friends or family, and the scenery is beautiful. The course is also well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. This is the place for you if you're looking for a challenging game of golf.
Visit the Beaches
The beaches in DeSoto County are some of the best in the state. With crystal clear water and white sand, these beaches are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun in The Sunshine State. There are also plenty of activities for those who want to stay active, such as swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Here are several beaches to try:
- Dotzler Beach
- Port Charlotte Beach Park
- Palm Island North Beach
- Lake Manatee State Park
Explore the City
Start your day by exploring one of the many shopping areas in DeSoto County. You'll find everything from boutique shops to large department stores. In the evening, check out one of the county's bars or clubs like The Open Road Bar, Nav-A-Gator Bar & Grill, And Grill, and Arcadia Orioles.
The options range from laid-back dive bars to energetic dance clubs, so you're sure to find a place that suits your mood. End your day with a delicious meal at one of the county's many restaurants.
What do you do if you want to buy a home in DeSoto County, Florida, but you can't afford the 20% down payment required? You might think your housing dreams are over, but fortunately, another option is available. VA home loans in DeSoto County are available with zero down payments, competitive rates, terms, and fees.
Call your local VA Loan Center or a VA-approved mortgage counselor today to learn more about these VA loans and other financing options in this county.