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

VA home loans are only available to persons who have served or are currently serving as well as their families. The Department of VA covers up to a quarter of the loans, making them less risky for lenders and allowing them to provide more desirable terms such as competitive rates, no down payment, no private mortgage insurance, and flexible qualification criteria.

Despite being a different mortgage product, VA loans are no more time-consuming or confusing than other mortgage programs. The mortgage program, features, eligibility requirements, and application details are all explained in great detail here.

How do VA-Backed Loans Work?

They are provided by private lenders and guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs or DVA. The DVA ensures a percentage of the loan you acquire from a lender. If you default on your VA-backed loan, the lender can recover a portion or all of their losses from the VA.

Because the loans represent reduced risks for lenders, they are more inclined to offer better terms. Indeed approximately 90 % of VA loans are issued with 0% down payment requirements.

Types of VA Loans Available in Holmes County, Florida

Individuals who qualify for the VA loan program can choose from a variety of excellent home financing options, including:

VA Purchase Loan

Veterans, active-duty military employees, and their families can use this zero-down VA loan to buy used or new homes, including condominiums, single-family homes, duplexes, or prefabricated homes. Borrowers can also use the program funds to renovate their homes.

To be eligible for this loan, you must present a certificate of eligibility, satisfy the lender's income, credit, and other standards, and reside in the home you are purchasing.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

The VA Energy Efficient Financing option is available for mortgage acquisition or refinancing to help borrowers install energy-efficient upgrades such as solar energy, thermal windows, and cooking systems in their houses.

Native American Direct Loan

Only vets who are Native American veterans or those whose spouses are Native American are eligible for this VA loan. Those who get the loan can use it to build or remodel homes on federal trust land.


The VA IRRRL stands for VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans. They are straightforward, and low-cost refinancing options sometimes referred to as VA Streamlines. They do not require an evaluation, evidence of income, or credit screening. Only veterans with active VA loans can use these refinancing options.

VA Cash-Out Refinance

The VA Cash-Out Refinance allows vet homeowners to refinance various home loans and take cash from their home equity share. Qualified homeowners can restructure up to 90% of the value of their homes. This refinancing option is open to all veterans, whether or not they have an active VA loan.

What Are the Requirements for a VA Loan in Holmes County?

Lenders follow the DVA requirements when making VA-backed home loans. They'll first require a certificate of eligibility (COE). The COE can be requested directly from the DVA. It shows that the applicant has served in active duty within the armed forces and therefore qualifies for the VA mortgage program.

Active-duty members, their spouses, and retired veterans may request a COE. However, you will not be eligible for this loan program if you were discharged due to bad conduct or dishonorable reasons.

Lenders might sometimes impose additional requirements before granting you a VA loan. These requirements may comprise having a satisfactory credit score or procuring an expert's assessment of your home's value.

The DVA does not stipulate a minimum FICO score, only that lenders offer loans to applicants that they deem manageable risks. However, most VA loan lenders still require applicants to have a credit score of 620 or above.

What If My Score Is Lower Than the Required Minimum?

A lower credit rating won't disqualify you from owning a home under the VA mortgage program. Lenders keep changing the figure. Furthermore, credit scores aren't the only thing lenders look at when assessing borrowers. They also analyze other indicators, like applicants' DTIs, and may lessen the FICO score threshold.

If your score is poor, you can work to raise it. Nonetheless, if you qualify with a lower FICO score, you may be required to follow rigorous lender rules to keep the mortgage. Or else, you risk having your property repossessed. As a result, maintaining a stellar credit score is always the smarter thing to do.

Do All VA Loans Have a 0% Down Payment Requirement?

The deposit requirement is sometimes the most challenging barrier to homeownership for Americans, particularly those looking to buy their first home. VA loan options can make homeownership considerably more affordable for vets by eliminating this requirement and mortgage insurance.

Indeed, the VA loan program is one of the few remaining no-money-down mortgage programs for vet homebuyers. The other zero-down loan program is from the USDA. But the one drawback to the VA zero-down mortgage is that VA funding fees apply. Still, both the VA and USDA loan programs are available to veterans. However, the former is easier to qualify for.

What is VA Funding Fee?

The VA financing fee is a one-time payment that adds to the price of the VA loan program. It's applied to borrowers and sent to the DVA department to ensure that the mortgage program continues to operate for subsequent generations of vets and their families. Furthermore, it saves taxpayers from shouldering additional costs.

The amount of the VA funding fee charged varies depending on the borrower's circumstances. First-time borrowers usually pay 2.3 % of their home's purchase price, while repeat borrowers pay 3.6 %. Meanwhile, those refinancing pay a 0.5 percent fee regardless of how often they've benefitted from the loan program. The funding fee may be included in the loan or paid separately.

Furthermore, selected vets and their families are exempt from paying the funding fees. For example, veterans who claim compensation for a handicap related to their service are exempted from paying the fee. The same exception applies to surviving spouses of military vets. Nevertheless, only the DVA can determine who should and should not pay the funding fee.

How can I apply for a VA loan?

Consult a reputable lender who is well-versed in VA loans. If you have served in the military, are currently serving, or are the spouse of someone who has served, an approved lender can help you take advantage of this mortgage program. Pre-approval is often the first step, and it can be completed quickly over the phone, online, or in person.

Before making an offer on a home, always have your VA loan application pre-approved. A pre-approval letter describes your purchasing power and demonstrates to sellers and their agents that you have the cash to complete the transaction.

What Are the VA Loan Interest Rates?

Lenders set interest rates on VA loans based on market factors. Nonetheless, to compete, most offer VA loan rates that are nearly identical. However, asking about and assessing various lenders' offers may help you secure a better rate. Your VA loan interest rate will be decided by several criteria, including:

  • Your credit rating.

  • Loan type - adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, jumbo loans, and refinance.

  • Debt repayment history - Those who have previously demonstrated the ability to repay loans quickly may be awarded lower interest rates.

  • Loan term - longer loan durations sometimes result in higher interest rates.

Although the above factors will lock the interest rate on your loan, there are still steps you can take to secure a favorable rate.

How to Negotiate VA Loan Rates

Many borrowers are unaware they can seek better interest rates on their loans. Many do not shop around and evaluate offers from various lenders; instead, they accept the first offer they receive.

However, research shows that shopping around for better interest rates can save up to $3000 in savings. You can negotiate for a better rate on your VA loan. Here's how it's done:

  • You don't have to accept the first offer you get. Shop around for a better rate. Be sure to consider the overall loan cost. Some lenders entice borrowers with cheaper upfront rates, closing costs, etc. but charge other hidden costs. Consider everything.

  • Once you've found a better deal, come back to your bank and ask them to match it.

  • Improve your creditworthiness. As much as the DVA doesn't stipulate income and credit score requirements, most lenders require a FICO score above 620 and DTI below 42%. That means your credit score and DTI will determine what rate lenders will charge you. Take steps to improve your credit scores for better VA loan rates.

  • Put down a larger down payment even if VA loans require zero down payment; save for one if you can. It will help reduce your future loan obligations.

  • Lock down the rate. Once you've negotiated a better rate, have it written in the contract to avoid experiencing volatility.

Can I Have More than One VA Loan?

VA loans are only available for purchasing a primary residence. They even have an occupancy requirement to guarantee that the purchased property will be used accordingly.

It is permissible to simultaneously have more than one VA loan for different principal residences. This can happen when an active military member is given a permanent change of station orders, i.e., PCS, which requires them to relocate to a new service station.

Suppose active-duty personnel has a VA mortgage on their current house but receives a PCS order requiring them to relocate. In that case, they can obtain a second VA loan to purchase a new home in the new area, provided they satisfy VA lenders' credit and income requirements. They can then sell the first house, rent it out, and use the rental income to offset the first mortgage cost.

However, depending on one's remaining entitlement to VA repeat loans, there may be restrictions on how much can be borrowed without putting down a deposit.

Father in military uniform with his little daughter outside their new house

VA Loan Entitlement and Limits

Your VA mortgage entitlement is the amount of your loan that the DVA will guarantee — which means how much your lender will have the right to claim in case you default.

A VA mortgage will only be guaranteed up to a particular amount by the DVA. This guarantee is your entitled amount.

Full Entitlement

Individuals with full entitlement have never taken a VA loan or have sold their previous home and ultimately settled their VA loan. People with full entitlement are not subject to a loan limit. The VA will guarantee a quarter of the loan amount.

Reduced Entitlement

If some of your entitlement is tied up in an ongoing VA loan, or you have defaulted on your past VA loan, your entitlement amount reduces. This puts a cap on the loan amount you can borrow without putting some money down.

Veterans without full entitlement are subject to VA loan limits. For example, if you are still repaying a previous VA loan and want to take out another one, the DVA will only guarantee 1/4 of your county's loan max loan cap, less the amount of entitlement you've already used.

That implies that if the price of the home you're negotiating exceeds what the VA would cover, 25 % off, you'll have to put down a deposit to cover the rest.

Consult with an authorized VA loan officer to learn more about how VA loan limits may affect your borrowing power.

Does Full Entitlement Mean I Can Get Any Loan Size I Want?

Vets with full entitlement can borrow over $144,000, and the DVA will cover 14 percent of the amount. Nevertheless, this does not imply that lenders will grant you any loan amount you desire.

If your VA loan request is approved, you will be issued a Certificate of Eligibility. This document informs private lenders that you are eligible and entitled to a VA home loan.

However, your lender must still qualify you for the VA loan. they will use the following to calculate how much loan you can afford:

  • Your credit history
  • Your income
  • Your assets, including money in your retirement and savings accounts

How To Restore Entitlement If I Have None?

The VA can write on your COE that your entitlement is $0. It implies that you've exhausted all your VA loan entitlement and have none left.

You can restore your entitlement by paying off your outstanding VA loans. That may mean selling the homes you purchased with the loans. However, if you can pay off the loans without selling the homes, you are welcome to do so. Your full entitlement will be restored if you pay off all your outstanding VA loans.

Can VA help avoid Foreclosure?

If you cannot make your VA loan repayments, your loan servicer may repossess your home to satisfy the debt. As a result, it's always a good idea to speak with your loan servicer before this happens. This is your opportunity to devise a plan that might suit your situation. There are various options to avoid foreclosure on VA loan homes.

But, be cautious of offers to assist you in making up missed payments. When in doubt, contact a VA technician at 877-827-3702. They can advise you on various foreclosure options so that you may make the best decision possible.

About Holmes County Florida

Holmes County, Florida, was founded in 1848 and is located in northwest Florida; the county is Florida's seventh smallest county. As per the 2020 census, it has a population of 19,927 people.

The county's name has been the source of occasional minor controversy, with the discussion concerning its origin. Some believe it was named after the adjacent Holmes Creek, while others claim it was named after pioneer Thomas J. Holmes. Still, others believe it was named after a local tribal chief who was gunned down by a raiding group commanded by Andrew Jackson during the Seminole Wars.

Despite the name misunderstanding, Holmes County is an excellent place to reside for veterans and their families. This rural village has a strong business network, excellent schools, community organizations, and a decent lifestyle within a multicultural setting.

Some of the top attractions and activities for veterans to do here include:

Vortex Spring

Vortex Spring is a top diving location in Florida. The 420-acre facility contains a dive shop, numerous cabins for extended stays, and several facilities that encircle the massive main spring, which shoots forth millions of gallons of water every day.

Diving here is available from dawn until 11 p.m. it's a perfect attraction for snorkelers and divers, whether cave divers or deep-sea divers.

Ponce De Leon Springs State Park

This 443-acre park features a tiny spring, two nature walks, picnic pavilions, and restrooms. You can read a book, enjoy a picnic, and then jump into the crystal-clear spring and stroll into the forest via the spring's shallow stream.

If you enjoy fishing, you can try your luck at panfish, catfish, and largemouth bass. Later sit on the pavilion and read a book.

Keith Cabin

The Keith Cabin Foundation routinely hosts activities such as family reunions, historical and cultural festivals, and educational field trips in collaboration with local schools. Food and entertainment are always available in plenty.

It's a terrific spot to take your kids and spouse for fun. Plus, kid-friendly activities as well as products from local vendors. Because this is a non-profit setup, all proceeds go directly to preserving a significant portion of history for future generations to enjoy.

Old Oaks Vineyard

A day excursion to the Florida countryside for wine sampling is a terrific idea. This winery is located in the hills of Bonifay. Call ahead of time if you intend to visit this winery. Red and white tangible wines are available, as well as peach, pumpkin, and watermelon wine. Bring your friends for a taste of the best of Florida vineyards.

Enterprise Farmers Market

This setup only offers local produce. It has on-site parking and restrooms. The majority of the merchants are pleasant and knowledgeable. Sample fresh produce such as blueberries, watermelons, pineapples, vegetables, and local farms. Prices are reasonable, but please bring your carry bags!


Is it a good idea to take a VA loan? The VA loan program is one of veterans' most efficient home loan financing options. VA loans feature low to no down payment requirements, relaxed credit requirements, fair interest rates, and no private mortgage insurance. Furthermore, vets can use the program more than once.

You can get support from a VA loan technician at 877-827-3702 any day of the week, except on weekends. However, remember that situations such as entitlement vary from borrower to borrower.

It is preferable if you discuss your circumstances with VA loan employee technicians so they can advise you on whether the loan program is a good fit and how to use it to your advantage.

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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