VA Mortgage in Florida

Veterans can buy a home with no money down using their VA entitlement.

VA Financing in Florida

Lots of veterans, active duty, and retirees alike utilize the VA mortgage program in Florida not only because of our military bases but because its a great place to retire and work. The Veterans Administration has an excellent home buying benefit to those who have served in our armed forces. The $0 down VA mortgage is a great program with lots of flexibility in regards to credit and closing costs. This program is truly meant to keep the costs of the veteran to a minimum and look out for their interests in the long term. There is no monthly mortgage insurance with VA financing, only the up front funding fee. There is no other government loan program that can boast this benefit to the borrowers. We have lenders that will go to a 580 credit score for veterans as long as there are no late payments within the last 12 months.

I Served but do I Qualify?

In order to use the VA home mortgage program you need to obtain your certificate of eligibility. You should qualify for your certificate of eligibility if you served 24 months in active duty status from 1990 to the present. During prior combat theaters less time in service may actually qualify you. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of getting it yourself we can order your certificate of eligibility for you! For more information on obtaining your certificate of eligibility and detailed qualification requirements visit the VA purchase eligibility page.

I served and Qualify, What Now?

In order to get your certificate of eligibility you will need a clear copy of your DD form 214. If you don’t have your DD-214 you can order it here. We can not order this one for you. However we can order your certificate of eligibility if you have your DD-214. Or you can order it yourself on the VA site.

Next you should think about whether you want to buy an existing home or if you may want to build a new home using VA financing

Loan Limits/Geography

The VA actually doesn’t have a mortgage limit since January of 2020 with the new HR-299 bill, but going over the county loan limit can affect your rate because you would be in the VA Jumbo market. For first time users the up front funding fee is going to be 2.15% starting April 7, 2023. For second time users its 3.3%. So just increase your loan amount by that much unless the seller or you wants to pay the funding fee instead of financing it. For a detailed chart of the funding fee break down see below. There are no geographic limitations with this program like there is with the $0 down USDA program. You can also use the VA program to buy a mobile home, or manufactured home.

Seller Concessions for Closing Costs

The seller can contribute up to 4% of the sales price towards the veterans closing costs. However what is included in the term closing costs is important. Because items like pre-paids (home owners insurance and property taxes) are not included and can still be funded by the seller. Usually the seller can pay for all of the veterans costs associated with their home purchase if the deal is negotiated that way. On a VA mortgage in Florida the seller is typically paying for the owners title insurance and the Florida doc stamps.

Credit Score and Income

The VA still has credit score requirements and you must show income capable of substantiating your new mortgage payment. We go down to a 580 middle fico credit score for our VA borrowers. Residual income may play a factor in qualifying for your mortgage. VA financing technically does not have a cap on debt to income ratios, if there is enough residual income its actually possible to do a loan up to a 70% debt ratio. There are certain factors that can make this smart. Especially if you are a self employed veteran. Another benefit of the VA mortgage program however is the seller can contribute towards your credit collections.

Hometown Heroes Mortgage Program.

As a member of the military or veteran living in Florida you have the option to use the Hometown Heroes Mortgage Program whether you are a first time home buyer or not. This program allows for up to 5% of your loan amount to go towards closing costs or down payment. It has a max benefit of $35,000. Additionally the program has lower lender closing costs and interest rates. As long as you meet the income requirements this program is a great option for you! We would highly encourage you to use it if at all possible. This program has a 640 minimum credit score requirement but its great if you qualify!

Second Tier VA Financing

You may be able to qualify to use your VA entitlement for a new primary residence or after a VA foreclosure. The VA guarantees 25% of the maximum loan amount available, so if you bought a home for $300,000 you would have used $75,000 of your VA entitlement.  For second tier VA financing we would go off of your county limit to see what is available for your new purchase. So in Florida most county limits are $726,200, 25% of that is $181,550. You would then deduct the amount you have used already of $75,000 leaving $106,550 of entitlement available. We multiply that times 4 to figure your max loan amount of $426,200. This math applies for loans over $144,000.

Below $144,000 that math works a little different. You would need 50% of your entitlement for loans loans below $45,000, and $22,500 of entitlement is used for loans between $45,000 and $52,650. For loans between $52,650 and $144,000 its 25% but you are only eligible for bonus entitlement on loans over $144,000 so that’s when second tier financing is really available. So yes indeed, it is actually possible to have two VA home loans at the same time utilizing the Florida VA mortgage program. Please note that second tier financing is not for a second home or vacation home, its used for a new primary residence.

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Keith Meredith is an accomplished mortgage originator, author, and content creator. He is credentialed in multiple loan programs and is a consistent top producer. With a background in finance he takes his expertise and product knowledge and brings it down to earth so the general public can understand and have access to program guidelines that will help them find the mortgage they need and direct them on the path that meets their home ownership goals. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and IG.

Keith Meredith

Feel free to call or text message me directly at +1 (352) 615-1613 with any questions on any loan programs, credit score requirements or interest rates.
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