Are you a United States military veteran or an active service member interested in purchasing your own home in Florida? The Department of Veterans Affairs, (or VA), assists people that have served our country by providing VA loans to buy a property. If you are a current or veteran service member looking to buy a home in Jacksonville, Florida and want to learn more about VA loans, North Star Mortgage Network, Inc. can help. Read on to learn more about using a VA loan to purchase a home in Florida.

How Does a VA Loan Work?

VA loans are insured through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but issued by private lenders. Because VA loans are backed by the federal government, lenders can offer borrowers less restrictive eligibility requirements because if a borrower defaults on the loan, the government will cover the cost for the lender. VA loans can be an excellent option for borrowers because they do not require a down payment, have lower interest rates, and have lenient qualifications. Veterans can borrow up to $647,200 when purchasing a home with a VA loan, and the loan limit could be even higher if the home is located in a higher priced area. When applying for a VA loan, you will need to provide a statement of service, W2s, pay stubs, and a photo ID. The length of time it takes for a VA loan to get approved will vary, however, you can typically get approved in 30 to 45 days.

Advantages of a VA Loan

VA loans offer several benefits for a borrower. They offer 0% down payment options for qualifying applicants and interest rates for these loans are typically lower than conventional loan rates. When using a VA loan to purchase a home, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required, saving the borrower a significant cost, and the amount paid for closing costs tends to be lower than traditional loans. If a borrower is having difficulty making mortgage payments, VA advisors are available to offer assistance, and there are no prepayment penalties, so it is possible to pay off the mortgage earlier than scheduled. There are also refinancing options available and it is possible to purchase another home using a VA loan. You also may be exempt from property taxes in Florida if you meet certain conditions, including if you are disabled as a result of service or if you meet specific age requirements.

How Do I Qualify for a VA Loan in Florida?

When purchasing a home with a VA loan, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met, including:

  • You must be a military veteran or be an active member who has served 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peace
  • Technically VA loans do not have a credit score requirement, however, many lenders require a minimum score of 580-620
  • You must have served 6 or more years in the National Guard or Reserves
  • You must be a spouse of a military service member who passed away in the line of duty or as a result of duty-related injuries

If you are a military service member interested in using a VA loan to purchase a home in Jacksonville, Florida, contact North Star Mortgage, Inc. today for a consultation.