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

The VA Home Loan program helps essential members of society become new homeowners in their respective counties within the Sunshine State (Florida). Service Members, veterans, and surviving military services are prime beneficiaries of this program. This loan is a zero-down mortgage option guaranteed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Private lenders such as banks or mortgage companies are tasked with issuing VA Home Loans to qualified veterans, active service members, and the selected military spouses living in Suwannee County, Florida. So, if you fall in any one of these categories of critical workers, it is time to go for your VA loan.

The US government created the VA Home Loan in 1944. The sole purpose of this loan was to enable returning service members to acquire homes without having excellent credit or making down payments.

This historic VA Home Loan program has guaranteed no less than 25 million student loans across the country. Suwannee County in Florida is no exception. Scores of active duty members, veterans, and their families have used this program to buy or refinance their dream homes.

Today, the VA Home Loan option has increasingly become popular in many counties across Florida. This VA mortgage option has done away with obstacles that hindered essential community members from getting home financing. In particular, the VA loan program has provided a lifeline for eligible critical workers and their families since the Great Recession period.

In this article, you will learn more about VA loan types, their application process, eligibility, limit, and benefits, especially if you are in Suwannee County, Florida.

What are the Different Types of VA Loans in Suwannee County, Florida?

Qualified veterans, surviving spouses, and active military members benefit significantly from the VA Home Loan program. This is the reason why this powerful home financing option is divided into different types, such as:

VA Purchase Loan

If you are a veteran or one of the active service members, you can use the VA loan to buy an existing or new home with zero down payment. Also, you can take advantage of this powerful mortgage option to acquire a condominium, single-family home, multi-unit properties, manufactured homes, or new construction. The choice is yours, provided you have all the qualifications to apply for this loan.

However, remember that guidelines and policies can vary from one private lender to another. Quite a few lenders cannot provide these types of Veteran Affairs purchase loans. For that reason, consult your private lender for more clarification on your VA purchase loans before you submit your application.


The VA IRRRL is a short form for Veteran Affairs Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. Another name for this loan is VA Streamline. This simple but low-cost home refinance option might not require income verification, an appraisal, or credit underwriting.

It is one of the VA Home Loan programs that most Veteran and surviving spouses choose. Veterans currently under a VA loan can qualify for the VA IRRRL. Alternatively, this type of VA loan is for veterans who need a new rate smaller than the older rate.

VA Cash-Out Refinance

The Veteran Affairs Cash-Out Refinance helps eligible homeowners refinance their mortgages. It also allows qualified veterans to take out some cash from their home's equity. Apart from that, the VA Cash Out Refinance is open to veterans or surviving spouses with or without the current VA loans.

So, if you are a qualified homeowner, you may use this loan to refinance up to 90% of your home's value. As usual, loan-to-value and lending guidelines depend on individual lenders.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

You may use the VA Energy Efficient Mortgage to get more money for your energy efficiency improvements. This type of VA loan can take care of your home's efficiency improvements, given that this is part of your home refinance or purchase.

Veterans can receive an additional $6,000 in cash to cover qualified home improvements such as thermal windows, storm windows, solar heating systems, cooling systems, and heat pumps. Sadly, you may not use the VA Energy Efficient Mortgage to buy window air conditioning units, home appliances, or any other non-permanent addition.

Who is Eligible for VA Loans in Suwannee County, Florida?

You can be eligible for the VA Home Loan program if you are among the following essential members of society:

  • Veterans
  • Surviving spouses
  • Active service members

Also, you must possess a valid Certificate of Eligibility, commonly known as COE, to qualify for this program. On top of that, you need to meet the requirements of your private lenders in terms of income and credit score.

You may also become eligible for the VA Home Loan program by fulfilling these requirements:

  • You must have spent at least 90 days or three months providing active service during wartime

  • You must have served about 181 days (or three months) providing active service during peacetime

  • You must have been in the National Guard or Reserves for around six years

  • You must be a surviving spouse of a military service member who passed on in the line of duty or due to service-related disabilities

Even if you fail to provide the basic VA Home Loan service requirements, you stand a chance to qualify for this program. In this sense, your eligibility will depend on the type of discharge as mentioned below:

  • Hardship, government's, or a RIF (reduction in force) discharge

  • Medical condition and service-related disability discharge

  • Early-out discharge after serving for at least 21 months of your two-year enlistment

If you are unsure about your VA Home Loan program status, you can get in touch with a private VA lender for more explanation. Above all, you must submit your COE to the lender to further verify your VA loan eligibility status.

You can obtain your COE by approaching a VA Home Loan specialist in Suwannee County, Florida, or applying online via the VA's eBenefits portal, through the VA-approved private lender, or by mail using the VA Form 26-1880.

How do I Apply for VA Loans in Suwannee County, Florida?

To get your VA Home Loan program, you need to get pre-approved. This process can take a few minutes, especially when using your tablet, smartphone, or laptop. VA loan approval is the first thing to undergo before you can proceed to make an offer on the property you want to buy.

An approval letter is all that you need to have purchasing power. The letter will convince the property listing agents and home sellers that you are serious about buying the home.

Cash for VA loan from US Department of Veterans Affairs

What is My VA Loan Limit in Suwannee County, Florida?

Any qualified veteran, active military member, or surviving spouse can borrow as much as their private lender is willing to give, provided they have a full VA Home Loan entitlement. Regardless of this freedom to get more VA loans, there are also limits to be considered.

These VA limits come in handy for home buyers with less than the full VA entitlement. Such buyers have one or several active VA loans. Some are in that situation because they lost their VA loan to foreclosure at one time.

Your VA limit in Suwannee County is $510,400 for a small family rental (SFR) home. Ask your private lender about the VA loan limit on duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes multi-units.

Historically, the VA loan limits have always followed the Conventional conforming loan limits that include higher than the usual conforming loan limits across the high-cost counties. These are counties that enjoy the benefits that come from the standard conforming loan underwriting guidelines.

Veterans can qualify for 100% VA loan financing (with no maximum loan limits) after the January 2020 update. Regardless of this freedom, private lenders still exert some pressure on the VA loan amount that Veterans can borrow.

The excellent news to veterans looking to purchase owner-occupied units such as duplexes, triplex, or fourplex can opt for the expanded FHA loan limits. That is if their lenders do not consider the just expanded loan limits.

Can I Use a VA Loan More than Once?

The answer is yes. You can use a VA Home Loan program as much as possible. You should know that this loan is not a one-time mortgage option. Therefore, once you qualify, you can use it for the rest of your life. You can even get more than one VA Home Loan program at the same time to help pay for your dream home or acquire some property in Suwannee County, Florida.

What is the Veteran Affairs (VA) Funding Fee?

The VA Funding Fee was introduced to ensure that the VA Home Loan program runs smoothly. Its primary purpose is to benefit future generations of military and veteran home buyers. Also, the VA Funding Fee is there to take any additional burdens off the veterans', surviving spouses', or taxpayers' shoulders.

Your VA Funding Fee varies depending on your circumstances. If this is the first time you are applying for the VA Home Loan, your VA Funding Fee will be 2.3% of the property's total purchase price. On the other hand, subsequent users of the VA Home Loan program will be subjected to a 3.6%. If you choose the IRRRL, your VA Funding Fee will only be 0.5%, regardless of how frequently you use the program.

As a borrower, you can still roll your VA Funding Fee into your overall loan amount. The VA limits its closing costs for veterans by allowing sellers to handle those expenses. The Veteran Affairs Department also exempts Veterans or surviving spouses from the VA Funding Fee. For instance, Veterans benefiting from the service-connected disability compensation are exempt from paying the funding fee. The same case applies to surviving spouses with Veteran Affairs loan eligibility.

What are the Overall Benefits of a VA Loan in Suwannee County, Florida?

If you qualify for the VA Home Loan program, you will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • No down payment
  • Private Mortgage Insurance exemption
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Relaxed credit requirements
  • Closing cost limits
  • Lifetime VA loan benefits
  • No payment penalties
  • Foreclosure avoidance
  • The Veteran Affairs loan appraisal
  • Acceptable income
  • Subjected to different VA loan types
  • No loan limits
  • VA Funding Fee exemptions
  • Assumability

What are the 5 Things to Do In Suwannee County, Florida?

As a veteran in Suwannee County, Florida, you need to balance the county's wonderfully soothing social amenities and some excitement. As you enjoy your retirement years, moments of fun and outdoor activities can bring you closer to other like-minded veterans and your extended family members.

The good news is that Suwannee in Florida has everything to make your life enjoyable. From bowling alleys and golf courses to marveling at big cats at the wildlife sanctuary and watching birds of prey from your balcony, your life in this part of Florida will constantly subject you to new experiences. Check out these five things to do in Suwannee County:

A Visit to Mystic Jungle

Mystique Jungle in Suwannee County, Florida, is a well-known wildlife sanctuary featuring tigers, lions, leopards, bobcats, and many other animals. This facility hosts tours on weekends, especially Saturdays. You can choose public tours or private tours for a small fee. Often, private tours take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. If necessary, you can opt for deluxe tours to get close and personal with tigers.

Spend Your Afternoons at Heritage Park and Gardens

Once you acquire your home in Suwannee, you can spend quality time with your loved ones at Heritage Park and Gardens. This is an ideal venue for activities such as corporate events, weddings, and family reunions.

You can also have occasional picnics with your family and friends. Alternatively, you can keep yourself fit by taking a walk on the trails, visiting landscaped gardens, showcasing your golfing skills in one of the numerous courses, or taking your grandchildren to the playground and watching them as they play around.

Explore Royal Springs

Another place to enjoy a beautiful afternoon is the Royal Springs. This is a 5-acre county park featuring beautiful natural springs, several short waterfalls, and four overlook decks to give you incredible views of the surrounding areas.

Some activities you can engage in at Royal Springs include snorkeling, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and diving. Explore some famous springs, such as Little River Springs and Peacock Springs, for more fun and exciting activities.

Get to Busy Bee Travel Plaza

Besides clean and beautiful bathrooms, the Busy Bee provides you with a Tesla charging station, Burger King, and Dunkin Donuts. The last two amenities usher you into the world of exceptional gourmet lines featuring jams, sources, dressings, syrups, jellies, and beef jerky.

Frozen yogurt with color-changing spoons is a must-have once you arrive at the Busy Bee Travel Plaza. This is where you will find all types of handmade fudge, truffles, honey, and a candy wall. You can go there with your fellow veterans or take a few of your family members to have a memorable day in such a fascinating setup.

Tour the Suwannee River State Park

If hiking, trekking, and camping are your favorite activities, Suwannee River State Park is the place to be. While camping at this site, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the world-renowned Suwannee River and the scenic Withlacoochee River. Besides, you see features such as streams, limestone outcroppings, sinks, springs, and rivers.

An abundance of animal and plant species includes deer, songbirds, foxes, turtles, diverse native forests, and wildflowers. Aside from that, there are up to six nature trails that you can explore and discover their uniqueness.

Final Thought

The VA Home Loan has exceeded the expectations of many people. Eligible essential members of society can now use these loans to purchase property in Suwannee County. Veterans, surviving spouses, and active service members do not have to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) once they qualify for VA Loans. Plus, they are subjected to the market's lowest average fixed interest rates today.

The VA loan is a good option for you if you want to become a homeowner in Florida. Get help from an experienced home loan specialist in Suwannee County to make a wise financial decision for you and your entire family.

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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