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

Owning a home is the American dream. And what better place to own a home than in Dixie County, Florida? With its white sandy beaches, warm climate, and abundance of fishing and hunting opportunities, Dixie county is a truly idyllic place to call home. But for many Americans, the dream of owning a home in Dixie county remains just that—a dream.

The good news is that VA loans can make the dream of homeownership a reality. In this post, we'll take a closer look at VA Loans and how they can help you achieve your homeownership goals. Let's delve right in!

Understanding the VA Loan Program

The VA loan program is a government-backed mortgage program that helps eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists finance the purchase of a primary residence. VA loans are available through private lenders such as banks and credit unions, guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

This guarantee protects lenders from loss if borrowers default on their VA loans, making it easier for lenders to provide financing to eligible veterans. VA loans are available with both fixed- and adjustable-rate terms.

So, what are the origins of this program? VA loans were first introduced in 1944 as part of the original Servicemen's Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill. The VA loan program has helped about 25 million veterans and military families achieve the dream of homeownership.

Eligibility Requirements for VA Loans

To be eligible for a VA loan, you must be a current or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves. You must also have completed a minimum period of service, which varies depending on when and how you served.

If you're a reservist or national guard member, you may be eligible for a VA loan after completing six years of service. For active-duty service members, the minimum service period is generally 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.

In meeting these service requirements, you must also have a good credit history and sufficient income to make your monthly loan payments.

What Is the VA Funding Fee?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) charges a one-time funding fee to help sustain the program and cover losses. The fee may be paid in cash or included in the loan amount. Borrowers exempt from paying the funding fee include veterans receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability, surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or from a service-connected disability, and veterans who would be rated ineligible for regular military duty except for a service-connected disability.

The funding fee amount varies depending on several factors, including whether it? Is the borrower's first time using the VA loan benefit, whether they have used it before, the type of loan, and if they make a down payment? For example, first-time users who finance the entire loan amount pay a higher funding fee percentage than subsequent users financing at least 5 percent—also, those who make no down payment pay a higher funding fee than those who do.

The good news is that the funding fee can be financed into the loan so that borrowers don't need to come up with cash to pay it at closing.

VA Loan Limits

Depending on the county you live in, the loan limit for a VA loan will differ. That's because the loan limits are set at the county level and based on the conforming loan limit - which is the largest mortgage that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can back.

So how does that work? The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses those same limits to calculate its maximum guaranty amount. They do this because the government backs a portion of every VA loan - so they want to make sure that if a borrower defaults, they'll be able to cover their losses.

In the vast majority of counties, the limit for a VA loan is $647,200 in 2022. In cases where a county has a higher median home price than the standard limit, the limit will be raised accordingly. In these "high-cost areas," veterans can get loans for up to $970,800 for a single-family house.

So, whether you're looking to buy a home in a rural area or a major metropolitan city, it's essential to know your county's VA loan limit. That way, you can be sure that you're getting the best possible deal on your mortgage.

What Are the Categories of VA Loans?

With VA loans, there are four main categories. The first is the standard VA purchase loan, which is available to eligible veterans who need to finance the purchase of a home. The second category is the VA cash-out refinance loan, which allows veterans to refinance their existing mortgages and take out cash equity simultaneously.

The third category is the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), available to veterans who already have VA loans and want to lower their interest rates. Lastly, there's the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program, which helps eligible Native American veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on federal trust land.

What Are the Top Benefits of VA Loans?

While many other types of loans are available to active and former military members, VA loans offer unique benefits that make them an excellent choice for many borrowers. Here are just some of them:

VA Loans Offer 100 Percent Financing

Imagine buying your dream home with no money down. That's what you can do with a VA loan. You don't have to have any money saved for a downpayment because the VA will provide 100 percent financing for your purchase. Instead, the entire purchase price will be financed through your VA loan. This means you can buy a house with no money out of your pocket.

This is an incredible benefit for Veterans who may not have the savings available for a traditional down payment. But even if you have some money saved, you can use it for other things - like fixing up your new home or covering the closing costs.

VA Loans Have No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a familiar concept for anyone who has ever taken out a mortgage. Usually required when you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, PMI protects your lender if you default on your loan. The problem is that PMI can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly payment, which never goes away - even if you eventually build up enough equity to cancel it.

VA loans are different. Because the government backs them, VA loans don't require PMI. That can save you a lot of money over the life of your loan, and it's just one more way that VA loans help our nation's veterans save money and achieve the dream of homeownership.

VA Loans Have Flexible Credit Requirements

While most conventional loans require a minimum credit score of at least 620, VA loans allow borrowers with lower than that score to access financing. This means that you may be able to qualify for a loan even if you have less-than-perfect credit. That's because the VA considers factors beyond your credit score when evaluating your loan application.

So if you have other positive factors in your favor, such as a steady income and employment history, you may still be able to qualify for a VA loan.

Additionally, VA loans also offer more leniency when it comes to bankruptcy and foreclosure. So, if you've had some financial setbacks in the past, you may still be eligible for a VA loan.

VA Loans Are Reusable

Many veterans don't realize that their VA home loan benefits can be used more than once. You can reuse your VA loan benefit to buy another home, even if you still have an existing VA loan. And, you can do this as many times as you want!

So, what does this mean for you? If you're a veteran who wants to move to a new home but still has an existing VA loan, you can do so without having to go through the process of refinancing or taking out a new loan. This can save you a lot of time and money. Plus, it means that you can keep your current low-interest rate.

VA Loans Offer Competitive Interest Rates

Interest rates are essential when you're taking out a loan-the lower, the better. VA loans offer an excellent benefit: they consistently have some of the lowest interest rates. That difference may be a point or less, but over the life of a loan, it can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.

VA Loans Don't Have a Pre-payment Penalty

Pre-payment penalties are fees charged by lenders when borrowers pay off their loan before the end of the loan term. These fees can add up quickly, making it difficult for borrowers to refinance or sell their homes.

Fortunately, VA loans don't have pre-payment penalties. This means borrowers can pay off their loans anytime without incurring additional fees. This is a massive benefit for VA borrowers, making it easier for them to get out of debt.

VA Loans Are Assumable

One of the lesser-known benefits of VA loans is that they are assumable. If you sell your home, a new buyer can take over your loan. They'll need to qualify with the lender first, but assuming a VA loan can be an excellent way for buyers to get into a home they might not otherwise be able to afford. And since VA loans offer several other benefits, they can be a great deal for both buyers and sellers.

So if you're considering selling your home and have a VA loan, mention this benefit to potential buyers. It could make all the difference in selling your home quickly and for top dollar.

Green Suburban High Ranch home and American Flag

How Do You Apply for a VA Loan?

Now that you know about VA loans and their many benefits, you're probably wondering how to apply for one. Here are the steps involved in the application process.

Get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

This step involves getting a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. This document proves that you are eligible for a VA loan, and applying for one is required. The easiest way to get your COE is to request it online through the VA's eBenefits portal. You can also get it by mail or at your local VA Regional Loan Center.

Choose a VA-Approved Lender

Not all lenders in Dixie County offer VA loans, so it's essential to choose one that does. VA-approved lenders are familiar with the VA loan process and have the experience needed to help you through every step of the application process. Before choosing one, shop around and compare rates and fees from multiple lenders.

Get Pre-qualified for a VA Loan

This step involves providing your chosen lender with basic information about your income, debts, and assets. Based on this information, the lender will give you a general idea of how much you can afford to borrow. Getting pre-qualified is an excellent way to start the home-buying process, and it can help you narrow your search to homes that fit within your budget.

Find a VA-Eligible Home

Now it's time to start shopping for a VA-eligible home in Dixie County. Be sure to work with a real estate agent familiar with VA loans and the VA loan process. They'll be able to help you find homes that fit your budget and that are eligible for VA financing.

Get a VA Home Loan

Your VA-approved lender will work with you to complete the application and gather all the necessary documentation. That includes your COE, income and asset statements, and a home appraisal. Once that is in order, the lender will submit your loan for VA approval.

Close On Your VA Loan and Enjoy Your New Home

The final step in the loan process involves signing a lot of paperwork and paying closing costs. Your VA-approved lender will walk you through the process and help you understand what's required of you. Once everything is finalized, you'll be the proud owner of a VA-eligible home in Dixie County.

Why Is Dixie County, Florida a Great Place to Buy a Home With Your VA Loan?

As a resident of Dixie County, there are lots of fun activities to look forward to in this great community. These include:

  • Visit Manatee Springs State Park - Manatee Springs State Park is a great place to take the family for a day of fun. The park offers swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the crystal-clear waters of the springs.

  • Shop Till You Drop - Dixie County is home to the Dixie Crossroads Shopping Center, which offers a variety of shopping and dining options. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or a delicious meal, you'll find it all here.

  • Catch a Football Game - If you're a fan of high school football, then you'll want to catch a game at the Dixie County High School Football Stadium. The stadium is home to the Dixie County Bears, who are always a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron.

  • Enjoy a Round of Golf - Dixie County is home to several excellent golf courses, including the Suwannee Golf Club and the Chiefland Golf & Country Club. So whether you're a seasoned pro or a weekend duffer, you'll find a course perfect for your game.

  • Go Camping - You'll want to check out the Dixie County Campgrounds if you love camping. The campgrounds offer a variety of amenities, including RV hookups, tent sites, and cabins.

Don't Wait to Apply for Your VA Loan!

There's something for everyone in Dixie County, and VA loans make it possible for eligible borrowers to purchase a home here.

With no down payment required and competitive interest rates, VA loans are an excellent option for those looking to buy a home in this beautiful community.

So what are you waiting for? Start your VA loan application process and enjoy your new life in Dixie County!

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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