CalVet Loan or VA Loan | Which is Better for Orange County Veterans?

calvet loan or va loan, which is betterWhich loan program is better for Orange County, CA Veterans – CalVet or VA? It depends on the Veteran and the situation. It also depends on what is happening with interest rates. But in most cases the standard VA loan program will be the best option for a Veteran in Orange County, CA.

Important Differences Between the CalVet and VA Loan Programs

  • Max Loan Limit for 100% Financing.  The 100% VA Loan financing limit in Orange County for a standard VA loan is $625,500 in 2015. And there is are income limitations for VA. Also, it is possible to go even higher than the $0 down limit with VA. This is called a Jumbo VA Loan. Many VA lenders will lend up to $1,500,000.  CalVet will currently lender to $611,901 in “non-target” areas, and the Veteran must have income that is less than $108,360 for a 2 person household, or $126,420 for a 3 + person household. The fact that VA has no limitations just makes it easier to work with.
  • Interest rates.  CalVet has a few different interest rate offerings, depending on the “Mortgage Bond” the loan is based on. The QVMB program interest rate is 3.75% with a 4.09% APR. The QVMB has a max loan of $521,250. The QMB has a rate of 4.25% with an APR of 4.6%. The QMB is the program with income restrictions but the loan limit of $611,901.  As of this writing, standard VA 30 year fixed rates for loans under $417,000 are 3.25% with a 3.291 APR. For VA loans over $417,001 up to $625,500, interest rates are 3.5% with a 3.651% APR.  *Rates effective January 28, 2015. Subject to change.
  • VA Loan fees are typically lower than fees charged on the CalVet loan program. Also, many VA lenders will be able to offer a rate/fee option that would include a lender credit for all closing closing costs.  CalVet charges a 1% Origination Fee on all loans. There will be much more flexibility with a VA loan in helping the Veteran purchase a home with no money out of pocket.
  • Refinancing if interest rates drop. The CalVet loan does not have a refinance program for situations where interest rates drop. On the other hand, the VA program has what is by far the easiest refinance program. It is called the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or IRRRL. With the IRRRL, there is no appraisal or income documentation required from the VA loan borrower to complete the refinance. A CalVet borrower would need to refinance completely out of the CalVet loan and into a VA loan in order to take advantage of lower interest rates. However, that is a tough way to go because since the CalVet borrower doesn’t currently have a VA loan, they would need to do a full refinance, with appraisal, termite inspection and clearance, income documentation, and VA Funding Fee. It would have been easier to just go VA in the first place.
  • Loan versus contract of sale. CalVet will actually hold legal title for the Veteran because CalVet us a Land Contract, or “Contract of Sale”. Basically, CalVet purchases the property and then sells it to the Veteran using a Land Contract. CalVet holds title, while the Veteran holds “equitable title”. With VA, the Veteran receives title immediately upon purchasing the home, which is like other standard types of financing.

How To Know Which Loan Type if Best for You

The best way to know which program is best for you is to contact an Orange County Military Lending Specialist, who can prepare custom loan scenarios based on your long and short term financial goals. Financing a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make, so making sure you’re research includes all your option can save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in VA Loan. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at the Emery Financial. My direct line is 949-640-3102. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios which will be matched up to your financial goals, both long and short term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of the your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.