VA Loan Program Will Be Popular in Orange County in 2011

VA loans will be even more popular in 2011 than in 2010 in Orange County. There are several reasons, besides the most obvious reason being that no down payment is required up to a $700,000 purchase price. Up until recently, Orange County Veterans did not realize the benefits that a VA loan program offered them.

Benefits of the VA Loan Program for Orange County Veterans

  • 2011 VA Loan Limits are higher. 100% Financing up to $700,000 in Orange and Los Angeles Counties in 2011. This is actually an increase from 2010, when the 100% financing limit was $593,750. Even that was great, but $700,000 is better.
  • VA allows “cash out” refinancing up to 90% of the property value. This is much better than Conventional financing, which would have severe pricing “hits” for doing a “cash out” refinance at even 80% of the properties value on a loan amount under $417,000. Most Conventional loan guidelines consider combining a 1st and 2nd to be a “cash out” refinance. With the drop in property values since 2007, many homeowners have not been able to combine their 1st and 2nd mortgages because of the tight Conventional loan guidelines. But Orange County Veterans have the ability to combine their 1st and 2nd up to 90% of the properties value.
  • VA guidelines are more flexible when it comes to credit as compared to Conventional guidelines. Even if a Veteran has 20% down payment, a VA loan may be the best option if they’ve had a Short Sale, bankruptcy, or other credit issues in the past few years.
  • VA allows for higher “debt to income” ratios than Conventional financing. While Fannie Mae does not allow debt to income ratios above 45% without an exception, and even then will not go over 50%, VA is more interested in “residual income” that the debt to income ratios. On higher loan amounts this allows for quite a bit of flexibility.

Closing a VA Loan in Orange County is Easy

Closing a VA loan is much easier than some think. While the large banks can take 60 days or more to close a Conventional loan, a good Orange County Direct VA lender can close a VA loan in 30 days, maybe less. The key is to work with a Orange County VA loan Expert who knows what items are needed to complete the file, before the VA underwriter  reviews the file. The VA loan expert should be able to provide accurate loan scenarios before the loan process starts, allowing the borrower to consider all options before paying for an appraisal.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County, CA  VA Loan Officer – Please contact my office at Home Point Financial for more information about an Orange County, CA home loan.  949-640-3102. MLO 223456

Contact us for your Orange County VA Mortgage:

Call our office today and see how we can help you and your family. Ask for your Free First Time Home Buyer Report.

tstorm (at)


VA Loan Cashout Refi for Orange County Borrowers

Orange County homeowners with a VA loan are finding there are big advantages to the VA Cashout refinance program. This program actually does not require the loan being refinanced to be a VA loan, as long as the borrower is eligible for a VA loan.  The biggest advantage of this program over most other cashout refinance programs is that the borrower can borrow money up to 90% of the properties value, while a Conventional loan allows cashout up to 80% loan to value, and FHA allows cashout up to 85% loan to value.

What is the Difference between a VA IRRRL and a VA Cashout Refi for Orange County Borrowers?

Orange County borrowers need to keep in mind a few of the differences between the popular IRRRL, or VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan,  and a VA Cashout refinance.  The IRRRL program is strictly a “Rate and Term” refinance, and the current loan needs to be a VA loan. Also, income is not verified, and in most situations, there is no appraisal. (Although there have been some changes to the appraisal requirements and some lenders are tightening up this program.) The VA considers any refinance that is not an IRRRL to be a cashout refinance. This means that if an Orange County VA eligible borrower wishes to refinance from a Conventional (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) loan, then even if they will not pull cash out, VA still considers it a cashout refinance and it must be underwritten as such.

VA Loans Are Flexible with FICO Scoring

Another big advantage for a VA cashout refinance versus a Conventional cashout refinance is the relative flexibility towards FICO scoring. For VA eligible borrowers with FICO scores under 700, if may make more sense to go with a VA loan even you only plan to pull cash out to 80% loan to value. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have instituted pricing “addons” which increase the fees and rate for cashout refinances when the FICO scores drop below 740. If your score FICO drops below 700, the pricing hits really start to add up. With VA, the pricing hits for low FICO’s are minimal.

VA Guidelines Regarding a Cashout Refinance

The actual VA guidelines allow for cashout to 100% loan to value, but finding a lender who will allow this will be difficult. Lenders tend to stay with the 90% rule, although there is some flexibility if the borrower is not actually getting cashout and the loan to value is over 90%. This is something that should be reviewed by an experienced Orange County VA loan officer prior to paying for an appraisal.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County, CA Loan Officer MLO 223456– Please contact my office at Emery Financial Group for more information about an Orange County, CA home loan.  877-786-4243 x 7.

Contact us for your Orange County VA Mortgage:

Call our office today and see how we can help you and your family. Ask for your Free First Time Home Buyer Report.

877.786.4243 x 7 | tstorm (at)