Pennsylvania Home Buyer

Frequently Asked Questions About VA Home Loans

Vet holding a stack of paperwork.jpgHow do I get a VA loan certificate of eligibility?
A Pennsylvania veteran can obtain a COE by completing VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility, and mailing it, along with proof of military service, to an eligibility center, veterans can obtain the certificate online, or approved lenders may request the certificate of eligibility. Read more

What Is A VA Guaranteed Loan? (click here)
These loans are made by a lender, such as a mortgage company, savings and loan or bank. VA's guaranty on the loan protects the lender against loss if the payments are not made, and is intended to en courage lenders to offer veterans loans with more favorable terms. The amount of guaranty on the loan depends on the loan amount and whether the veteran used some entitlement previously. With the current maximum guaranty, a veteran who hasn't previously used the benefit may be able to obtain a VA loan up to $359,650 depending on the borrower's income level and the appraised value of the property. The local VA office can provide more details on guaranty and entitlement amounts.

Do I have to be a first time home buyer to get a VA mortgage? -No

What Can A VA Loan Be Used For?? (click here)
To buy a home, a condominium unit in a VA-approved project. To build a home. To simultaneously purchase and improve a home. To improve a home by installing energy-related features such as solar or heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, weather-stripping/caulking, storm windows/doors or other energy efficient improvements approved by the lender and VA. These features may be added with the purchase of an existing dwelling or by refinancing a home owned and occupied by the veteran. A loan can be increased up to $3,000 based on documented costs or up to $6,000 if the increase in the mortgage payment is offset by the expected reduction in utility costs. A refinancing loan may not exceed 90 percent of the appraised value plus the costs of the improvements. Check with a lender or VA for details. To refinance an existing home loan up to 90 percent of the VA-established reasonable value or to refinance an existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate. To buy a manufactured home and/or lot. SOURCE - VA web site

What is the maximum VA home loan?

The Veteran's Administration does not limit the size of the veteran’s loan. The Veteran's Administration will guaranty up to 25% of the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit, which is currently $417,000. Therefore, a PA veteran can obtain a loan of up to $417,000 without any down payment! (some US counties and Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands loan amounts are higher). Use the VA loan calculator for PA to estimate the VA mortgage amount and monthly payment.

Limitations on “VA jumbo loans", have been eliminated, meaning that veterans can take advantage of higher value loans.

Veterans loan eligibility -Read more

VA loans eligibility requirements:
To obtain a VA loan, the law requires that:

The income of the veteran and spouse, if any, must be shown to be stable and sufficient to meet the mortgage payments, cover the costs of owning a home, take care of other obligations and expenses, and have enough left over for family support.The veteran must be a satisfactory credit risk.

The veteran must occupy or intend to occupy the property as a home within a reasonable period of time after closing the loan.

The loan must be for an eligible purpose.

The applicant must be an eligible veteran who has available mortgage entitlement. SOURCE - VA Loan Origination Reference Guide

What is the upfront funding fee for a VA loan? Read more

VA funding fee exemption for disabled veterans:

  1. Surviving spouses of Veterans
  2. Veterans who would be entitled to receive compensation for service-connected disabilities if they did not receive retirement pay.
  3. Veterans receiving VA compensation for service-connected disabilities

Maximum seller paid closing costs on a VA loan

The following information regarding the VA seller assist was obtained from VA Home Loans Training Guide.pdf Presented by Cleveland Regional Loan Center:

A seller concession is anything of value added to the transaction by the builder or seller for which the buyer pays nothing additional and which the seller is not customarily expected or required to pay for or provide.
Seller concessions include but are not limited to the following:

• payoff of credit balances or judgments on behalf of the buyer.
• provision for escrowed funds to provide temporary interest rate buydowns, and
• payment of extra points to provide permanent interest rate buydowns
• gifts such as a television set or microwave oven
• prepayment of the buyer’s property taxes and insurance
• payment of the buyer’s VA funding fee

Seller paid concessions do not include:

• payment of points as appropriate to the market, or
• payment of the buyer’s closing costs

Maximum Sales Concession
Any seller concession or combination of concessions which exceeds 4% of the established reasonable value of the property is considered excessive for VA loan purposes.

Do not include normal discount points and payment of the buyer’s closing costs in total concessions for determining whether concessions exceed the 4% limit. SOURCE - VA Underwriting Manual