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

There are several financing options available to qualified applicants, and these loans can make buying your first home more feasible than it would be otherwise. If you're looking to buy a home in Hendry County, Florida, and have served in the military, or you're a surviving spouse, you may be eligible for a VA loan, which allows you to finance your purchase with zero down payment.

VA loans offer homebuyers considerable benefits over conventional financing options with zero down payment requirements and competitive interest rates.

VA loans might be your best option if you're looking to buy a home in Hendry County, Florida but don't have thousands of dollars for a down payment. With the correct information, navigating the process can be smooth and trouble-free, allowing you to close on your home faster and get on with your life.

This article will explore everything you need to know about VA loans, including different types of VA loans, who's eligible, how to apply, the loan limits, VA funding fee, the overall benefits of these loans, and more exciting things about Hendry County, Florida. Read on to learn more!

What is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These loans are available to eligible service members, veterans, and surviving spouses. Since there is no down payment requirement on these loans, VA Loans are outstanding for people who do not have enough funds to put down on their new home.

Even if you don't qualify as a veteran under the VA's definition, you may still be eligible to apply if you're purchasing your home with your eligible spouse.

The VA does not lend money directly to veterans or other borrowers; instead, it guarantees a portion of the loan, allowing lenders to provide financing with more favorable terms. However, besides securing loans from private lenders, the VA can also directly loan money to borrowers under certain circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements

You can get approval for this type of mortgage with no down payment, which makes it easier to qualify, and you can even get assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pay your closing costs.

However, not everyone will qualify for one of these loans, and there are specific eligibility requirements that all borrowers must meet to receive approval. To be eligible for a VA loan, you must:

  • Be an active duty military member or have served in the military for at least six years.

  • You have been honorably discharged from your military service.

  • Service members must have at least 90 days of continuous service (at least 181 days if in a combat zone).

  • Have had no felony convictions within one year before applying for a VA Loan.

  • You must meet all other VA qualifications, such as income and residence.

  • You must not be delinquent on any federal debt or have an unresolved debt with your spouse's bankruptcy case.

If you're the surviving spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or due to a service-related injury, you may be eligible for a VA home loan.

There are a few things to keep in mind, though. First, you must have been married to the service member for at least one year and must not have remarried since your spouse's death.

You must obtain a certificate of eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs. You must also meet specific income requirements and show that you're creditworthy.

VA Loan Limits

The VA loan limit is currently set at $647,200 in most counties in the United States. This limit has increased from $548,250 in 2021. On the other hand, the limit for high-cost areas has also increased, reaching up to $970,800 for a single-family home.

If you have more than one property you want to buy with your VA mortgage, the maximum combined purchase price cannot exceed the maximum limit set for your specific county.

For example, if your county's limit is $600,000 and you want to buy two properties together, and their combined purchase price exceeds this limit, you'll have to pay cash, find another financing option, or buy just one property.

Can You Use VA Loan More Than Once?

You can obtain a VA loan multiple times as long as you meet the eligibility requirements since VA loans are not a one-time benefit. If you have remaining entitlement, you can apply for more than one VA loan once. If you're interested in this, talk with a home loan specialist from Veterans United about your options and their particular guidelines.

VA Loan Funding Fee

The VA home loan funding fee is a one-time fee paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs. While this funding fee is governmentally required, some veterans may be exempt from it, and the amount is set depending on the type of loan, loan amount, down payment amount, and the borrower's usage.

If you're a first-time home buyer and put down less than 5%, you'll pay 2.3% of the total loan amount and 3.6% on subsequent loans.

Different Types of VA Loans

Generally, there are several different types of loans that can help you achieve your home-buying goals. Understanding the difference between the types of VA loans can help you pick the right option that best suits your needs, speed up the home-buying process, and save thousands in interest payments along the way.

This is regardless of whether you're buying your first house or looking to refinance your current home loan. Here are four different types of VA loans to get you started:

VA-Backed Purchase Loan

A VA-backed purchase loan is a great option for eligible applicants looking to buy their first home. With this type of loan, you must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), meet the lender's income and credit requirements, and intend live in the house as your primary residence.

The Department of Veterans Affairs backs the loan. You can use it to buy various types of homes, including single-family homes, manufactured homes, modular homes, new constructions, or condos that meet VA property requirements. You can use the loan to cover the entire or a portion of your home purchase price.

Veterans can typically obtain VA-backed loans with no down payment, better terms, fewer closing costs, low-interest rates, and no early repayment penalties than non-veterans. You can get a purchase loan reaching up to the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae limits or even exceed their limits if you choose to make a down payment.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

Also called the VA Streamline Refinance Loan, this program is available to Veterans who currently have a VA loan and want to refinance to a lower interest rate. The process is simpler and faster than a traditional refinance, and you don't need an appraisal.

IRRPL offers competitive rates and no monthly mortgage insurance premiums. You can borrow up to 100% of your property's value.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program offers home loans to eligible Native American Veterans who wish to purchase, construct, or improve a home on Federal Trust land or to reduce the interest rate on such a loan. If you're not a native American Veteran but have a native American spouse, you can still qualify for the NADL program.

There are additional criteria to qualify for the NADL. Your tribe must have a Memorandum of Understanding with the VA that states how the loan program can be used on tribal lands. To be approved for a housing program, you must submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and prove you're financially solvent enough to make the monthly mortgage payment. In addition, you must be the rightful owner of the contracted house.

VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan

A VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan is an excellent option for veterans who want to consolidate their debt, get cash out of their home, or both. This loan allows you to refinance your existing mortgage at a lower interest rate and get some money out of your home equity. You can use the cash to pay off debt, make home improvements, college tuition, or anything else you need.

The best part is that you don't have to worry about private mortgage insurance with a VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan. That's because when you take this type of loan, you already own the property, and there's no risk to the lender if they lend you money. To qualify for this kind of loan, however, you'll need considerable equity in your home.

VA loan text on paper and money

How to Apply

There are plenty of reasons why it makes sense to apply for a VA home loan, whether you're buying your first home or looking to refinance your current mortgage. Understanding the application process beforehand will help you avoid surprises and ensure everything goes smoothly without problems like loan application denial. Below are the basic steps of applying for and obtaining your VA home loan.

  • Choose a VA-Approved lender.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  • Get pre-qualified for your loan amount (optional)
  • Go house hunting
  • Sign the purchase agreement
  • Wait for the lender to approve your application.
  • Lender orders for a VA appraisal
  • Close on your home loan and move in

Benefits of Obtaining a VA Home Loan

A VA home loan can significantly benefit military service members and their families looking to purchase a home in Hendry County, Florida, and the entire United States.

Here are the top five benefits of obtaining a VA home loan to help you achieve your homeownership dream.

No Down Payment Required

With typical conventional loans, you must put down at least 3% of the purchase price. The most significant benefit of a VA home loan is that no down payment is required. This can be a considerable advantage for veterans, service members, and surviving spouses who don't have the money saved up for a down payment.

Achievable Lending Requirements

The Veterans Administration doesn't have a minimum credit score requirement, which means that even if your credit is less than perfect, you may still be able to qualify for a loan. However, private lenders that offer VA loans may have their own minimum credit score requirements, usually between 580 and 660.

Additionally, while the ideal DTI ratio for a VA loan is 41%, the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't set a maximum limit on the DTI ratio, meaning you can still qualify for a VA loan even if your DTI exceeds 41%.

Competitive Rates for Qualified Buyers

Qualified buyers can obtain financing at very competitive rates. In fact, rates for VA home loans are often lower than those for conventional loans. This is because the Veterans Administration guarantees a portion of the loan, which protects lenders from loss if the borrower defaults. As a result, lenders are willing to offer lower rates to qualified buyers.

No Prepayment Penalties

The last benefit of a VA home loan is no prepayment penalty. This means you can pay off your loan anytime without paying an extra fee. This is an excellent option for those who may want to sell their home or refinance in the future. It also provides some peace of mind knowing that, if necessary, you could choose to pay off your mortgage and owe nothing else.

Top 5 Things to do in Hendry County, Florida

Hendry County has long been hailed as one of the top vacation destinations in Florida, and it's hard to argue with that assessment. With plenty of outdoor activities to choose from and an impressive number of excellent restaurants, there's plenty to do in Hendry County.

Whether you're in town on business, taking a well-deserved vacation, or looking to stay here, below are the top five best things to do in Hendry County, Florida.

Go to the Beach

There's nothing like a day at the beach to relax and rejuvenate. And when you're in Hendry County, you're spoiled for choice. With miles of coastline and plenty of public beaches, you can find the perfect spot to soak up the sun. Here are several famous beaches to try:

  • LaBelle Dog Park
  • Port Labelle Marina
  • Harlem Beach

Visit the Parks

A great way to spend a day in Hendry County is by visiting one of the many parks. These parks will provide you with fun activities, from fishing to picnicking and swimming. And don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful scenery.

The county has several parks with different amenities, so there's something for everyone. Below are some of the top five parks in Hendry County:

  • LaBelle Nature Park
  • Sugarland Park Pavilion
  • Hendry LaBelle Sports Park
  • Hendry LaBelle Civic Park
  • Kid Jones Park

Go for a Hike or Cycling

If you love spending time outdoors, then you'll want to check out some of the hiking and cycling trails in Hendry County. You can explore the natural beauty of the area and get some exercise at the same time. Plus, it's a great way to spend some time with family or friends.

There are trails for all experience levels, so you're sure to find one perfect for you and your group. If this is something that interests you, here are some ideal hiking and biking trails in Hendry County:

  • CREW Marsh Trails
  • Hickey Creek WEA
  • LaBelle Nature Park
  • Okaloacoochee Slough Tram Loop
  • Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest

Paddle boarding and Kayaking

Hendry County is home to some of the most beautiful and famous waterways in all of Florida, where paddle boarding and kayaking are two great ways to enjoy them. You can find plenty of places to rent equipment or even take a tour.

And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try stand-up paddle boarding! Whether you want to paddle on your own or with a guide, there's something for everyone. Below are several spots to try paddle boarding or kayaking in Hendry County, Florida:

  • Lake Okeechobee North Pier
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Pahokee Main Street
  • Sugden Regional Park
  • Turner River

Go for a Night Out

If you're looking for a night out on the town, look no further than Hendry County! From shopping, clubbing, getaways in luxurious restaurants, and more, you're sure to have a good time no matter what you choose to do. There are plenty of great options for shopping, clubbing, and dining out, including but not limited to:

  • Los Rosales Shopping Mall
  • Clewiston Town Center Shopping Mall
  • Club Gossip
  • Boom Boom Club
  • Forrey Grill Restaurants
  • The Quart House Restaurant
  • The Galley Grill at Roland Martin's Marina

Bottom Line

Most people think that you have to have at least 5 percent of the purchase price of your home upfront to make a real estate purchase, but thanks to the VA loan program, this isn't the case!

The VA loan program allows eligible veterans and surviving spouses to finance their new homes with no money down and low closing costs. This makes buying your first home in Hendry County, Florida, more manageable than ever!

Before shopping for your new home, contact a mortgage counselor or one of your loan officers to learn about VA loans in Hendry County, Florida, and what benefits they can offer you today!

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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