Orange County VA Loan Limit for 2019 is $726,525

2019 Orange County VA loan limitsThe VA loan limit in Orange County for 2019 increased once again to $726,525. In 2018 the limit had been $679,650. This $46,875 increase gives Veterans more reason to seriously consider the VA loan program even if they have a down payment. Home prices in Orange County are higher than in most parts of the country, making it difficult for home buyers, both Veteran and non-Veteran buyers, to finance the purchase of a home. VA offers the only 100% financing program with a limit to $726,525 and is only available to eligible Veterans.

Jumbo VA Loan Program – What is it and How Does it Work?

$726,525 is the 100% financing loan limit for Orange County, but is not the actual limit for the highest a VA loan can go. Many lenders will fund VA loan amounts as high as $1,500,000. A Jumbo VA loan is when the loan amount is higher than the 100% financed limit.A down payment is required when the purchase price is higher than the 100% financed loan limit, but it is minimal compared to other loan programs. The down payment is equal to 25% of the difference between the 100% financing loan limit and the purchase price. For example, if a Veteran is purchasing a home for $850,000 in Irvine, CA, the minimum down payment required would be $30,868. ($850,000 – $726,525 = $123,475. And 25% of $123,475 = $30,868). This means that a Veteran can purchase an $850,000 home in Orange County with only 3.63% down payment. The base VA loan amount would be $819,132.

Other Advantages of the VA Loan Program

There are several advantages the VA loan program has over most other types of home financing. They include:

  • No monthly Mortgage Insurance or PMI, even when the down payment is less than 20% (or $0)
  • Flexibility with Debt to Income Ratios – Many “Jumbo” loan programs limit the debt to income ratio to 43%. Some will go as high as 50%. Standard VA guidelines do not have a maximum debt to income ratio. It is not uncommon for a VA loan to be approved with the debt to income ratio being above 55% or even 60% in some cases. What is more important on a VA loan is the Residual Income calculation. *Debt to Income ratio is equal to a homebuyers total mortgage payment, installment payments (car, student loans, etc), minimum credit card payments, alimony, child support, etc divided by their total gross income before taxes. If a home buyer making $7,000 per month has a proposed mortgage payment of $2,500 and a car payment of $500, then their Debt to Income ratio is 42.8%. $2,500+$500 = $3,000.  $3,000 / $7,000 = 42.8%
  • Short wait period after a bankruptcy or foreclosure. While Conventional loan programs typically require a minimum of 4 years wait period after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and 7 years after a foreclosure, VA only requires a 2 year wait prior after a bankruptcy or foreclosure. It is important to reestablish credit after a significant credit event, but it is not unusual to see credit completely restored only 2 years after a major credit event.
  • Competitive 30 year fixed interest rates – While VA does not have an “interest only” loan program, VA does have very solid 30 year fixed loan programs with interest rates that can quite often be lower than other comparable loan programs.
  • Flexibility with FICO scoring. With Conventional loan programs, to get competitive loan pricing, the borrowers FICO score needs to be 740 or higher. With VA, there is very little difference in loan pricing between a borrower with a 740 FICO and a borrower with a 680 FICO. Even with a FICO of 620 it is possible for a Veteran to receive a competitive 30 year fixed interest rate.

Cashout Refinance to $726,525

The new loan limits will also help Orange County Veterans who already own a home and are looking to pull cash out for debt consolidation, home improvements, or almost any other purpose. VA allows “cash out” up to 100% of the property value up to the 100% loan limit. The new loan amount, including the VA Funding Fee, can be 100% of the property value. Also, properties valued higher than the $726,525 loan limit are eligible for even higher loan amounts. The formula for calculating the maximum Jumbo VA loan amount on a cash out refinance is similar to the formula for determining the loan amount on a Jumbo VA purchase. A Veteran who owns a home in Mission Viejo valued at $850,000 could get a new VA loan of $819,132.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

You may be eligible for a VA loan if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, or…
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, or…
  • You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, or…
  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

It is important to understand that the VA loan program is not only for First Time Buyers. It can be used multiple times and in some cases, a Veteran can have more than one outstanding VA loan. Your eligibility does not “expire”. Your VA lender will help you to retrieve your Certificate of Eligibility. All that is needed is a copy of your DD214. And in some cases, the lender may not even need that.

Step 1 in the VA Loan Process

The first step in the VA loan process is contacting a local Orange County, CA  VA lender. Working with a Loan Officer who specializes in the VA loan program is important and will help to ensure that your VA loan has the best chance of closing with as little stress as possible. The lender should be able to answer your questions and prepare a custom VA Mortgage Analysis based on your goals and budget.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in VA Loan. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. 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 your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.

Benefits of the VA Home Loan for Orange County Veterans

The benefits of the VA Home Loan for Orange County Veterans are numerous. The VA loan program is an amazing mortgage program that has less restrictive guidelines and underwriting flexibility compared to any other loan program. Some of these benefits include no down payment, no monthly mortgage insurance and competitive fixed interest rates.

VA Loan Benefits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwzuRd7vdLQ

No Down Payment Required

One of the biggest and most noticeable benefits to the VA loan program is that there is no down payment up to county loan limit. For example, in Orange County the VA loan limit is $679,650, which means a veteran is able to get a VA loan with zero down payment up to a $679,650 purchase price (2018 loan limit). Veterans are able to get a VA loan above the limit, but they would then have a down payment as a result. A loan above the Zero Down limit is called a Jumbo VA Loan and is also fairly common in Orange County due the the high cost of homes.

Competitive Fixed Interest Rates on VA Loans

VA Loans tend to have lower fixed rates than other types of loan programs. VA interest rates are typically .25% or more lower than comparable rates for Conventional financing. These lower rates also make it easier for the lender to offer a lender credit to help cover closing costs. By adjusting the interest rate slightly higher, a lender credit can save the Orange County Veteran thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses when purchasing a home. Also, the VA loan does not have a prepayment penalty, making it easy to take advantage of the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (VA IRRRL) if rates drop.

The VA loan program is also one of the only programs that allows for loans to be assumable when purchasing a home. This means that when a home is purchased, the buyer can take over the sellers mortgage under the same terms. Besides FHA, no other loan program provides this benefit.

No Monthly Mortgage Insurance

No monthly mortgage insurance is one of the best benefits of a VA loan. For other types of financing, including FHA and Conventional loans, when the down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price there will be some form of mortgage insurance. With FHA, no matter what the down payment is there will be monthly mortgage insurance. for example, an Orange County home buyer purchasing a home for $600,000 would need a 3.5% down payment with FHA.  That is a $21,000 down payment. VA would have No Down payment. On the FHA loan the mortgage insurance would be calculated using a factor of .85% of the loan amount divided by 12. The monthly mortgage insurance would be approximately $417, paid every month. An Orange County Veteran purchasing the same home would have no monthly mortgage insurance, saving $417 per month versus the FHA loan.

Underwriting and Credit Flexibility

The VA loan program is also the most flexible home loan program when it comes to credit and debt to income ratios. Many lenders will close VA loans for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 580. Also, VA financing is allowed only 2 years after a bankruptcy or foreclosure. FHA requires 2 years after a bankruptcy and 3 years after a foreclosure.  Conventional loans require a 4 year wait after a bankruptcy and 7 years after a foreclosure.

Cash Out Refinance using the VA Loan

A great benefit of the VA loan is as a washout refinance. VA allows cash out up to 100% of the property value. For an Orange County Veteran looking to do home improvements, being able to pull cash out to 100% of the new appraised value means the home improvements can be completed much sooner than someone in another type of loan program. FHA allows cashout to 85% of the property value, and conventional financing only goes to 80%.

Understanding your loan options is important. A Veteran should always consider the VA loan as their first option. There are few scenarios where VA will not be better than another type of loan program. To see the numbers, have your Orange County VA loan officer prepare a Side by Side Analysis comparing the VA loan to other loan options, which will help the Veteran see the numbers and make the correct home financing decision.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in VA Loan. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at the Home Point Financial. My direct line is 949-640-3102. www.OrangeCountyVALoans.com. 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.

VA IRRRL Refinance is Popular in Orange County

VA IRRRL in orange countyThe VA IRRRL program, also known as the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or VA Streamline refinance, is very popular as we start 2015. With interest rates hitting two year lows at the beginning of the year Orange County VA borrowers are able to take advantage of the rate drop by utilizing the IRRRL program. The IRRRL is the easiest type of refinance a homeowner will ever go through, which is why many VA borrowers may refinance more than once if interest rates continue to drop.

FAQ’s for the VA IRRRL Program

Q: Who is Eligible for a VA IRRRL?  Anyone that currently has a VA loan is able to refinance using the IRRRL program if they are lowering their interest rate and payment. While there are a few rules and guidelines, generally whoever is currently on the VA loan must also be on the new VA loan.

Q: How difficult is the loan process? The loan process is extremely easy, especially when compared to the loan processing involved in initially getting a loan to buy a home. With the IRRRL program there is no income documentation and no appraisal. The lender will most likely need to verify that at least one of the borrowers has a job, but income is not verified. No tax returns, paystubs, etc. A credit report is run, but primarily just for the mortgage rating and FICO score. A borrower’s FICO score will have some bearing on the interest rate of the new loan, but some lenders will allow FICO scores as low as 580, while some may make an exception for FICO scores lower than 580.

Q: How much does it cost to do an IRRRL? It depends. Many lenders will offer “No Cost” options, where a lender credit is used to cover the closing costs. It is even possible to get enough lender credit to cover the new impound account. But it is also possible to choose a lower interest rate and have closing costs added into the new loan amount. It is important to carefully review each of these options and make sure you are choosing the best IRRRL loan scenario based on your long and short term financial goals. For example, if you think you may move from your home within the next few years, then it would probably make more sense to go with a No Cost scenario, where the breakeven is immediate, versus a scenario with closing costs where the breakeven could be several years out. A good VA IRRRL Lender should be able to prepare loan scenarios and a Side by Side Total Cost Analysis to make sure you see the pro’s and con’s of each option.

Q: How long does it take to close an IRRRL? This depends on the lender. It also depends on how quickly the borrower sends the initial signed paperwork back to the lender. The typical time period to close a VA IRRRL is less than three weeks.

Q What happens to the impound account/escrow account on my current VA loan? After the IRRRL refinance closes your old lender will refund the balance of your impound account back to you. Normally they will send a check that should be received within 30 days of the closing. It is important to realize that as part of the new loan a new impound account for taxes and insurance is set up. The borrower has the option of bringing in money for the new impound account or financing the new impound account into the loan. Either way, they will be receiving a refund of the old impound account after closing, which will act as a reimbursement of the impound account they just set up.

How Do I Know if Interest Rates are Low Enough to do an IRRRL?

You will probably know it’s worth some investigation into the IRRRL program if you are receiving an influx of advertisements in the mail. And of course if the media begins talking about a drop in interest rates then it may be worth a look. Many of the advertisements sent in the mail can be very deceptive, offering extremely low interest rates that may or may not be available, and at a huge cost. For the lenders advertising in this manner it can work if it just generates a phone call. But working with a lender that pulls in VA IRRRL phone calls in this manner is not where your rate shopping should end, because not all lenders are the same.  It is important to talk to a local Orange County VA loan specialist who can prepare a custom Side by Side Total Cost Analysis, which will give a thorough breakdown of several IRRRL scenarios compared to your current loan. Going through this type of Analysis can save you thousands of dollars by helping you to make sure you are choosing the right loan scenario.

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

Why VA Loan Refinancing in Orange County is Popular

VArefinanceAs we begin 2015 a wave of VA refinance activity in Orange County, CA that started in the last quarter of 2014 is continuing. There are several different types of VA refinances and different reason for each type of refinance.

Different Types of VA Refinance Loans

  • VA IRRRL – also known as the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or VA Streamline Refinance. This program is strictly for someone who already has a VA loan and is looking to lower their interest rate and payment. The VA loan program has been widely utilized in Orange County over the past few years as a great way to buy a home with no down payment. With a drop in interest rates many VA borrowers are finding that the VA IRRRL program is an easy way to lower their payment. Most lenders do not require an appraisal for this program. There is no income documentation, no termite inspection. It is a very “streamlined” program where most lenders can even use a lender credit to cover all closing costs and prepaid expenses. It doesn’t take much of a drop in interest rates for this program to be utilized.
  • VA Cash out Refinance – when a current VA borrower wishes to pull some equity out of their home then the IRRRL program is not an option. The loan is then a “cash out refinance”. A full appraisal is needed, along with a clear termite report. This is a fully qualifying loan. But for those who are planning to use the cash to consolidate other debts or improve their home a VA cash out refinance is a great option. VA allows the borrower to pull cash out up to 100% of the appraised value. VA is the only type of loan program that allows for 100% cash out financing, making this a very popular loan option.
  • Non VA to VA Refinance – You don’t have to have a VA loan to refinance into a VA loan. (you do for the IRRRL program, but not for a non-IRRRL). For someone with a Conventional or FHA loan who wants to either refinance to lower their rate and payment, or refinance to pull cash out for home improvements and debt consolidation, the VA program can be an excellent option. Conventional financing can get expensive when the loan to value is higher than 80%. For an Orange County homeowner with less than 20% equity who wants to avoid paying mortgage insurance, the VA program offers a great solution. VA does not have monthly mortgage insurance and tends to have very aggressive 30 year fixed interest rates. And of course, it is the only way to actually pull cash out up to 100% of the properties value. Plus, once in the VA loan you will be eligible for a VA IRRRL if rates go lower, which is the easiest way to lower your interest rate (for those who are eligible.)

Important Things to Know When Refinancing into a VA Loan

There are some things that are different about the VA program compared to other types of financing. For one, the borrower needs to be an eligible Veteran. The lender can help retrieve the Certificate of Eligibility from VA. Also, below are things to know about the VA program.

  • The VA loan limit in Orange County for 100% financing is $625,500 (2015 loan limit). This means it is possible to refinance a VA loan up to $625,500 at 100% loan to value. For those who already have a VA loan, they can take advantage of the VA IRRRL program even if their current VA loan is above that limit. The VA loan limit does vary from county to county, so its important to talk with an experienced VA loan specialist who can make sure you are calculating your loan amount correctly.
  • The VA Jumbo loan is a great option for loan amounts above the 100% loan limit of $625,500. Some lenders will fund VA loans as high as $1,500,000. Some equity is required when going above the 100% loan limit, but not much, especially when compared to other types of financing.
  • A clear termite report is required for non-IRRRL VA refinances. Section 1 items on the report will need to be signed off, and quite often Section 2 items will also need to be cleared.
  • The VA Funding Fee for IRRRL’s is .5% of the loan amount (unless the Veteran has a disability waiver). The VA Funding Fee for non-IRRRL refinances will range from 2.15% to 3.3%, depending on whether the VA borrower has used their VA eligibility for a VA loan previously. The Certificate of Eligibility from VA will determine what the Funding Fee percentage will be. In some cases the lender may be able to offer an option where a lender credit can offset the VA Funding Fee.
  • It can take less than 30 days to close a VA refinance, provided the VA borrower quickly forwards the requested loan documentation to the lender.

The first step in determining whether it makes sense to refinance into a VA loan or take advantage of the VA IRRRL program is to talk with a local Orange County VA loan specialist. The VA loan officer should be able to provide several custom VA loan scenarios, along with a Video explanation of the loan options. Working with a lender who makes sure you are making an educated decision based on your long and short term financial goals is extremely important, since your home will be one of the biggest financial purchases you will make.

Authored by Tim Storm, a California Mortgage Loan Officer MLO 223456 – Please contact my office at the Emery Financial. Direct line at 949-640-3102. www.OrangeCountyVALoans.com. I 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 your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.

100% Cashout Refinance VA Loan

va cashout refiThe VA home loan is one of the very few, if not only, loan programs that allows for 100% financing. But what many Orange County Veterans eligible for a VA loan don’t realize is that it also allows for refinancing to 100% loan to value. And even better, it is possible to get “cash out” up to 100% loan to value, up to the local county loan limit. This means that in Orange County, if a Veteran owns a home that is worth the VA county loan limit of $679,650 (in 2018) then he can refinance up to that loan amount. And the loan being paid off does not need to be a VA loan.

Why Would Someone Want to Refinance to 100% Loan to Value?

Refinancing is not for everyone. And pulling equity out can be dangerous, depending on the purpose of the refinance and the strength of borrowers qualifications. But there are plenty of reasons why this is a viable option for some.

  • Home Improvements – It’s not easy to get a construction loan these days. And even if you can get a construction loan it will typically come with restrictions on disbursements to contractors, high costs, etc. With VA, if there is any equity at all you can access it and without restrictions on its use.
  • Debt consolidation. For those home owners who have debts that are holding them back, being able to refinance and consolidate those debts into one loan can suddenly free up cash flow. For those looking to consolidate debt, a smart plan would be to look at using some of the monthly savings to accelerate the principal pay down on the new mortgage after building up a solid emergency reserve account.
  • College expenses. Kids grow up fast. And college is more expensive than ever. Using built up home equity is just another way to help pay tuition without dealing with student loans. Mortgage rates do tend to be lower than student loan rates.
  • Investments. For some, it may make sense to pull equity out for other investments. Hopefully, safe investments.

What to Consider when Refinancing

There are several important considerations when refinancing.

  • How long do you plan to remain in the home and/or loan? With any refinance you want to make sure you “break even” before you are out of the home or loan. Many times a VA refinance can be closed with the lender covering closing costs with a “lender credit”. However, unless you are a disabled Veteran qualifying for a Funding Fee waiver, then expect a full Funding Fee of 3.3% to be tacked onto the back end of the loan. If your plan is to sell the home soon, then a VA cashout refinance may not make sense.
  • What is your current interest rate and how much cash are you trying to pull out? Depending on current rates, it may or may not make sense to get a new 1st mortgage. For example, someone who has a 30 year fixed rate of 3.25% may not want to give that rate up, especially if they really don’t need much cash. Maybe an equity line 2nd is a better option.

Find out if a VA Refinance is Right for You

The best way to find out if a 100% VA cashout refinance is right for you is to talk to a VA loan officer who should be able to provide custom loan scenarios with details on the new loan amount, payment, closing costs (and any lender credit to offset closing costs), and amount of cash out. The loan officer should also be able to provide a Side by Side Analysis of your current loan to the new VA loan and other possible refinance solutions.

Authored by Tim Storm, a California VA Mortgage Loan Officer MLO 223456 – Please contact my office at the Home Point Financial NMLS #7706. Direct line at 949-640-3102. www.OrangeCountyVALoans.com