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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of answers to common questions about different home loan types including One time close Construction Loans, VA loans, Conventional loans, FHA loans, ITIN loans, Rennovation loans and more. Please have these link to their corresponding page too.

Get a VA loan to build a home if you do not own land?

Yes you can buy the land and get a construction loan at the same time with a one time close.

How long to close a VA construction loan?

As little as 30 days. Average 60 days. Could take up to a year in some cases.

VA Loa or a conventional loan?

VA Loans have many benefits not offered by conventional loans, especially for first-time homebuyers with little or no money for a down payment. Unlike conventional loans, VA Home Loans do not have private mortgage insurance requirements. Additionally, VA Loans usually have lower rates than conventional loans and are not subject to the closing costs associated with conventional rehab loans. This is because there are certain fees that borrowers cannot be charged. VA Home Loans also gives you the ability to refinance to a lower rate without having to re-qualify for the loan, a process known as a VA Streamline Refinance, or IRRRL. Getting started on your VA Loan is easy; simply contact a VA Loan Specialist at 1-855-824-6727.

What does it mean when a VA Loan is guaranteed?

This means the VA guarantees the loan to the lender in case you default on the loan. It does not mean that you are guaranteed a loan; you still have to qualify for it based on credit and income.

Do VA Loan Lenders look at the last 12 credit months?

Yes, most of the time lenders only look at the last 12 months of credit history: however, bankruptcies, tax liens, and collections could have an adverse effect even if they are over 12 months old.

 Does the VA offer interest-only loans?

No, the VA does not offer any interest-only programs at this time. On all VA Loans, you pay back to the principal of the loan and gain equity with every payment.

VA Home Loan Program & stated or no-document loans?

No, the VA does not offer stated or no-document programs. All loans through the VA require full documentation.

Is mortgage insurance required with a VA Loan?

No, the VA guarantees the lender on the loan. There is no third-party mortgage insurance required with a VA loan.

Extra cash to improveme my home?

No, with a VA purchase you cannot get cash back at closing other than your earnest money or other money you put down beforehand. If energy-efficient improvements are being made to the home, the VA does allow the loan amount to go above the purchase price of the home.

 What does entitlement of $36,000 actually mean?

Your entitlement is the amount that the VA will guarantee for your loan with the lender. $36,000 is the maximum entitlement and will allow you to purchase 100% up to $729,000.

Full loan and a second one to cover any the amount?

This is allowed, but the guidelines are very strict. The second loan has to be equal to or better than what you would get with one large VA Loan. The rates on second loans are nearly always higher and, therefore, would not fit guidelines. Also, many lenders will not allow a second loan behind the VA Loan during a purchase.

Home equity lines of credit in VA?

No, at this time the VA does not guarantee HELOCs. The VA will allow you to cash out on your existing property up to 90%.

 What is equity?

Equity is the amount of value a homeowner has in their property. You can calculate your equity by subtracting any liens or debts against your home from what your home is worth

 What is a discount point?

A discount point is a percentage of the loan amount you will pay to buy your interest rate lower. You can buy a lower rate with discount points, which can sometimes save you money over the life of the loan.

 “What is a statement of service? “

A statement of service is a letter from your commanding officer stating how long you have been in the service and what your status is. It is required documentation to receive your Certificate of Eligibility.

 What is title insurance?

Title insurance is insurance you get in case a lien is found against the property after you buy it. The title company will do a thorough check to make sure that doesn’t happen. In the off chance a lien is found, you are covered.

 What is a child care letter?

A child care letter is a letter required on a VA Loan if the borrower has children under the age of 13. A VA Loan requires that childcare expenses are counted as liabilities for qualification purposes.

What is the letter I have to give to my realtor?

Most of the time, the realtor will want your pre-approval letter to show that you have been approved for a loan and for how much. This is a better bargaining chip with the seller because the seller will know you are approved for the loan and won’t have to wait while you find financing.

 Do I need to have a property picked out?

No, you can get pre-qualified before you even start looking for a property. This way you know what you can afford and what your payments will look like on the property that you end up choosing.

 How long is the process for getting a home loan?

Many factors go into the timing of the process. To be safe, you should allow at least 30 days for the entire VA loan process to take place. However, it is possible to close in as little as two weeks. With the help of our VA Loan Specialists, the process is quick and easy!

My bank doesn't want me to use a VA Loan?

Many local banks and credit unions are not approved to issue VA Loans. If your local bank is discouraging you from choosing a VA Loan, make sure it has the ability to issue VA Loans. For a majority of Veteran home buyers needing close to 100% of the purchase price, a VA Loan is often the best option.

 VA Loan Specialists:

If you have questions, or if you want to determine if a VA Home Loan is actually the best financial decision for you, you may get advice from a VA Loan Specialist at 1-855-824-6727

Current VA home loan rate in Florida

VA home loan rates may differ based on your credit score, loan type, loan duration, and the current state of the market. Treasury bond, Ginnie Mae bond and Fannie Mae bond rates and yields can affect market rates on VA home loans. There are other factors on market rates for VA home loans and Security America Mortgage uses tracking tools to help lock in the best market rates for our clients.

How do VA home loan credit requirements work?

Loan credit requirements for VA home loans are set by the lender, meaning they can differ from mortgage company to mortgage company. Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 640; however, some lenders accept credit scores as low as 600.

 What if I’ve used a VA home loan before?

If you’ve already used a VA home loan, paid it off in full, and wish to buy a second property without selling the original one, you can have your previously used VA loan entitlement restored – but only once. However, if you’ve paid off your previous VA loan in full and sold the property you used it to buy, you’re free to restore your entitlement as many times as you want.

 Do all lenders offer VA home loans?

Not necessarily – Florida VA loans are a specific niche in the market, and not every mortgage company provides them. Even if a general mortgage company does provide VA loans, you may be better off choosing a Florida VA loans specialist like Security America Mortgage – we have the specific expertise and experience to guide you through the process and make the most of your loan entitlement.

VA loans for a second home, or vacation home?

Generally, the law states that a VA home loan must be used for a home you intend to occupy within 60 days of closing. However, in some cases, this occupation requirement may be fulfilled by your spouse or dependent alone (as long as it is intended to be your own primary residence eventually as well). You cannot use a VA home loan to buy a property that is solely intended as an investment. However, they can be used to purchase properties with up to four units, meaning that as long as one of these units is your primary residence the other three may be used as income properties.

 What kind of materials can I use to build my home?

The builder should fill out Form 26-1852 with a description of all of the building materials, and submit it (along with a copy of the building plans) for approval.

 How does the draw process work?

This option requires a “project review”, Since the maximum number of draws will be based on the house type and the draw amount will be based on the inspections and percentage of completion.

 How does the draw schedule work?

The builder has 2 options for the OTC program. The builder will receive draws according to the budget establised by the builder and the AFR OTC team. An inspection will take place to ensure the work is complete prior to any disbursement. Or, your builder can agree to no intermim construction draws through out the process and will recieve all their moneies at the time time the home is complete. This can save time since there are no 3rd parties and the admin fee is lower for the builder. In any case, the builder is responsible for completing the project review packet and should upload it into the resource center. A description of materials, builders certification, constuction/permanent loan disclosure, OTC closing disbursement authorization and OTC Construction cost breakdown or OTC no draw closing disbursment authorization. Shortly after closing, the process will begin and the administrator will contact the builder with a welcome letter and draw process. Up to 5 draws can be allowed in the draw program. Draws are on demand and up to builder’s discretion. Your interim draws are use to pay for site improvements. The line item percentage of completion method is used to determine draw amounts for site improvements. builders will recieve a draw based upon work completed or percentage therof. However, funds will not be advanced for work not in place. A project inspection is required for draws for site improvements and that fee comes out of the AFR administration fee. AFR will fund up to 80% of the builder’s contract price prior to the final draw provided that the work is in place. The builder must advise the Administrator when the project is completed so that a final inspection can be requested.

Build a home myself without a builder?

VA Loan rules state that the source of the construction work must be a VA-approved builder registered in the VA system.

 Can I use equity in my land as a down payment?

Yes, land equity can be used as the borrower´s down payment.

 Can I get 100% financing with a VA LOAN?

For those meeting eligibility requirements it is possible to get 100% financing, as long as the required amount is within the standar VA Loan Limit, which is $548,250 for most counties in the country.

 Can I buy land and build at the same time?

Yes. Actually, buying land with a VA Loan must be done simultaneously with constructing a new home.

Builder have to be approved by the lender and the VA?

Yes, VA Loan rules state that the constructor has to be a VA-approved builder registered in the VA system.

Average time to build & why some projects go faster?

Building your home with a VA construction loan is a short-term process that takes approximately 5 to 12 months to finish construction and get a certification of occupancy.

 Can I get a jumbo va loan construction loan?

It is posible. It depends on if you’re a Veteran with a certificate of eligibility and if you can qualify. Your debt to income, Loan to Value, credit and other factors such as job stability can affect your qualification. If you do our online loan application, we can see if you qualify. We offer a one time close (OTC) Construction to permanent loan.

Building materials going up in cost?

Borrowers are can pay for upgrades out of pocket. Change orders must be approved, in advance, by the appraiser.

Buy an already built home or start from scratch?

Commonly, it’s more difficult to get a construction loan than an existing home loan, as lenders are more cautious funding a home that doesn’t exist yet. One of the main differences in building your own costume home instead of purchasing, is the process: a VA construction loan is usually short-term– around 12 months to get you through the building stage. The builder will draw money from the lender in increments, and you will make monthly loan payments, keeping in mind they’re only interest payments. When your house is finished, you stop paying the construction loan and roll over to monthly mortgage payments, which is whatever’s left on the construction loan balance. VA Construction loans are for firstime homebuyers looking for an affordable option from the lack of offers on the market. But to make sure which product is the right one for you and to learn how Security America Mortgage can make this process easy for you, contact your VA Loan expert to discuss their differences.

Buying a newly built home vs constructing?

Some advantages on buying a home are that the prices are usually more afordable, that the process is shorter when comparing to building a house, that there is room for negotiation, etc. But builing your own, also comes with its side of perks, for starters you will have it made to your especifications and particular needs, also there won´t be any buyers competition and it will have less maintenance issues. There are both pros and cons to each, but the decision at the end will come down to what is best for your unique situation.

 When do I get to occupy the home built?

As soon as possible: the VA requires that the borrower move into the home within 60 days after the VA loan closes

 Who does the Appraisal?

The loan broker must order the appraisal. However, the buyer is responsible to pay for VA appraisals and an approved VA appraiser must conduct an appraisal according to VA standards.

Plans and land equity effects on the appraisal?

The appraisal will list an estimated value and how this estimate was derived. the appraiser will add the cost of the land to the cost to built the house.

A storm ruined my home before it’s built?

Don’t worry! The lender, you and the builder are protected with insurance.

 Are rates better for purchase or construction loans?

Construction loan interest rates tend to be a bit higher than traditional loan rates, as these loans are more complex and risky for lenders.

 What are the fees for a va construction loan?

Interest payments, funding fee, inspection fees, commitment fees, title update fees, hazard insurance during the construction. (OR) A single construction fee which includes the construction interest, as well as: construction draw inspections, construction closing coordination, construction underwriting and title updates.

Certain size acreage for security?

VA does not set a limit on the number of acres which a property may have.

Want to build on an old dilapidated home on the land?

If a house is dilapidated the builder can add the cost of demolition to the contract price, something we have done many times.

 What is the va loan limit in each county?

The VA loan limit in 2021 is $647,200 in most counties in the Country., and up to $970,800 in higher-cost areas. You can find your county limits here: https://securityamericamortgage.com/va-loan/jumbo-va-loan

VA jumbo loan limit in each county?

Today, the VA doesn’t have jumbo loan limits. You can borrow as much as you can as long as you meet the requirements and qualification of the VA and the lender. However, for a VA construction loan with AFR, there is a 10% down payment requirement for a loan amount above the applicable county loan limit. Also, if the veteran has another home under a VA mortgage, their entitlement will come into play and a down

Mortgage payments - VA construction loan

The one time close provides interim construction financing, lot purchase if needed and a permanent loan wrapped into on. When you convert from the construction phase of the loan to permanent you don’t have to requalify. This saves money on closing costs such as a second appraisal.

Builders risk policy on a VA construction loan?

Builders Risk Policy is a unique type of property insurance which indemnifies against damage to buildings while they are under construction. Builder’s risk insurance is “coverage that protects a person’s or organization’s insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.

 What materials can be used for a Va construction loan?

Manufactured, modular, and stick built properties are options. There are many different types of materials such as drywall, plywood, 2 x4s, epoxies, roofing materials, nails, concrete, tile, flooring, fixtures, etc. Your plans will be approved by underwriting and the builder we be approved by SAM, AFR and the VA. You cannot build a kit home, log home, bamboo home, metal home, tiny home, storage container home or bardominium (Non traditional construction types aren’t eligible)

 Are there inegible construction types?

Yes, Single-Wide Manufactured Homes, Condominiums, Multi-Units, Duplex, Triplex, Quadplex, and unique/niche construction types such as Barndominimums, Kit Homes, Log Homes, Bambo Homes, etc.

Forbidden property types with a SAM Va construction loan?

2 Units, 3 Units, 4 Units, Co-Ops, Manufactured Housing Units built prior to June 15, 1976, Manufactured Housing in a Condominium Project, Manufactured, Housing that has been traded, Mixed- Use properties, properties Under Construction. Properties with commercial influence are subject to additional review. Any property where marijuana is grown or processed inside the home or on the property, regardless of the quantity or state law is unacceptable. SAM/AFR will not permit properties with more than 100 acres but perhaps you can subdivide.

 When do I lock my rate?

You lock your rate prior to closing and construction and for the life of the loan.

 Do I have payments during construction?

No, there are no payments for the borrower during construction and no construction payments for the builder to make during construction.

 How to get your builder VA approved?

Builders do not need to be approved by VA. They only need to register with VA to obtain a VA Builder ID number (In most cases, an ID number can be issued within a day or two).

 How to find a VA builder?

We have a list of approved builders that you can look at here: https://securityamericamortgage.com/builders-map. Also, there is a list of VA approved builders here va.gov . However, just because they are approved there, it doesn’t mean they are approved with us so let us help you get them approved with us. Contact us!

Start building my home prior to a loan?

No, you should not start any work prior to closing.

Does Security America Mortgage take Non Conforming Loans?

It depends. If the person has significant equity and has a good income then there’s a chance.

 How Long After Bankruptcy Can You Buy A House?

You’ll need to wait until a judge discharges your bankruptcy before you can get a loan, but exactly how long do you need to wait? The answer depends on the type of bankruptcy you have on your record and the type of loan you want. The most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. During a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a court wipes away your qualifying debts. Unfortunately, your credit will also take a major hit. If you’ve gone through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to wait at least 4 years after a court discharges or dismisses your bankruptcy to qualify for a conventional loan. Government-backed mortgage loans are a bit more lenient. You need to wait 3 years after your bankruptcy’s dismissal or discharge to get a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan. To qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, you only need to wait 2 years after your discharge or dismissal. Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve a reorganization of your debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you may need to make scheduled payments to your creditors. It doesn’t have as large of an effect on your credit score – and you can keep your assets. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is less serious than a Chapter 7, but most types of loans still include a waiting period. The amount of time you need to wait to apply for a conventional loan after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on how a court chooses to handle your bankruptcy. If the court dismisses your bankruptcy, you must wait at least 4 years from your dismissal date before you can apply. If a court discharges your bankruptcy, the waiting period is 4 years from the date you filed and 2 years from your dismissal date. Like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, standards are a bit more relaxed for government-backed loans. USDA loans require a 1-year waiting period after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The waiting period is the same whether you get a discharge or dismissal. FHA and VA loans simply require a court to dismiss or discharge your loan before you apply.

 Can you buy a home with a pool using a VA Loan?

Yes. However, you cannot use a VA Construction Loan tu build one.

Is there a limit for land acquisition?

Yes, currently, the land loan limit is $150,000. We may be able to get a small exception above the $150K but it’s not a guarantee.

What do I need to proceed with a VA Construction loan?

Aside from being approved like you would for a VA purchase loan, you need to have a builder contract with plans, builder must be approved by us and have a registered builder ID with the VA. Depending on your county, there may also be building permits and septic permits that need to be approved before closing. You must also have the land under contract or own the land that you would be building on.

Qualify for a loan after years of rental income?

2 years of rental income need to be shown in order for it to be used as qualification income

Can the land value be more than what is owed ?

No, the house needs to be valued more than the land

Can a family member build on my VA Construction loan?

Yes, as long as the build contract is market price, no exceptions

Grandmother units on the VA OTC loan?

Yes, these types of units are now allowed as of 1/25/2021

Does my builder need to be insured?

Yes, any builder that participates in the program must have general liability insurance of $1MM per occurence, have a valid state license, 3 years of building experience as well as 3 customer references, 3 trade references, 3 credit referances. The builder must also have workers comp if applicable and pass a business background check

Live in a trailer on the land during the construction?

Yes, you can.

Build a home vs buying one that was just constructed?

Military veterans are utilizing the one time close construction loan more often now because there is a limited supply and excess demand in many market areas.

Building a home VS buying a pre-existing one?

Building a home you can choose many of the amenities that you desire with focus on making the Home taylored fit for you

 Why is there an admin fee?

You will close on your loan before your home is built. During construction you will not have any payments. Building costs are being incurred during construction so they are rolled into and labeled as the admin fee.

Material prices go up and so does my home construction?

We have a 5% contingency fee to cover this. You will be refunded us money should there be no additional cost. It is for everyone’s protection.

Sell or rent your home with a VA entitlement ?

As a veteran you have the ability to utilize subsequent use. We will calculate your remaining eligibility for you so that you know how much buying and borrowing power you have. Often we see the situation.

What is the VA funding fee?

The veterans administration defines the VA funding fee as a one-time payment that the Veteran, service member, or survivor pays on a VA-backed or VA direct home loan. This fee helps to lower the cost of the loan for U.S. taxpayers since the VA home loan program doesn’t require down payments or monthly mortgage insurance.

 Will I have to pay the VA funding fee?

If you’re using a VA home loan to buy, build, improve, or repair a home or to refinance a mortgage, you’ll need to pay the VA funding fee unless you meet certain requirements. You won’t have to pay a VA funding fee if any of the below descriptions is true. You’re:

  • Receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability, or
  • Eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability, but you’re receiving retirement or active-duty pay instead, or
  • The surviving spouse of a Veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability, or who was totally disabled, and you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), or
  • A service member with a proposed or memorandum rating, before the loan closing date, saying you’re eligible to get compensation because of a pre-discharge claim, or
  • A service member on active duty who before or on the loan closing date provides evidence of having received the Purple Heart

You may be eligible for a refund of the VA funding fee if you’re later awarded VA compensation for a service-connected disability. The effective date of your VA compensation must be retroactive to before the date of your loan closing.

 How will I pay this fee?

You’ll pay this fee when you close your VA-backed or VA direct home loan. You can pay the VA funding fee in either of these ways:

  • Include the funding fee in your loan and pay it off over time (called financing), or
  • Pay the full fee all at once at closing
 How much will I pay?

This depends on the amount of your loan and other factors. For all loans, we’ll base your VA funding fee on:

  • The type of loan you get, and
  • The total amount of your loan. We’ll calculate your funding fee as a percentage of your total loan amount.

Depending on your loan type, we may also base your fee on:

  • Whether it’s your first time, or a subsequent time, using a VA-backed or VA direct home loan, and
  • Your down payment amount

Note: Your lender will also charge interest on the loan in addition to closing fees. Please be sure to talk to your lender about any loan costs that may be added to your loan amount.

 Who determines my loan details?

We don’t determine most details of your home loan. Your home loan lender will determine these details of your loan:

  • Interest rate
  • Discount points (fees you may pay to your lender at closing to get a lower interest rate on your loan)
  • Other closing costs

These rates may vary from lender to lender. You should know that adding the VA funding fee and other loan costs to your loan could lead to you owing more money than the fair market value of the home. This could reduce the benefit of refinancing since your payment wouldn’t be as low as you may want it to be. It could also make it harder for you to get enough money out of the future sale of the home to pay off your loan balance.

 Who pays for which closing costs?

The seller must pay these closing costs (sometimes called “seller’s concessions”):

  • Commission for real estate professionals
  • Brokerage fee
  • Buyer broker fee
  • Termite report (unless you’re using a refinancing loan)

You (the buyer) or the seller can negotiate who will pay other closing costs such as the:

  • VA funding fee
  • Loan origination fee
  • Loan discount points or funds for temporary “buydowns”
  • Credit report and payment of any credit balances or judgments
  • VA appraisal fee
  • Hazard insurance and real estate taxes
  • State and local taxes
  • Title insurance
  • Recording fee

Note: We require that a seller can’t pay more than 4% of the total home loan in seller’s concessions. But this rule only covers some closing costs, including the VA funding fee. The rule doesn’t cover loan discount points.

Should I Get a VA-Backed Loan in Texas?

Texas is well-known for being a pro-military state and as a veteran, you can enjoy the multiple benefits it provides to its military service members including property tax exemptions, state retirement benefits, Veterans Land Board Loan Program, Texas National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program as well as Veterans’ employment preference. In addition, home prices throughout Texas are quite affordable, for example the median sale price for a home in Dallas was $302,000 in May 2021.

 Should I Choose a Texas Jumbo Loan?

VA-Backed Loans require 0% down payment in most cases, whereas conventional loans generally require at least a 3% down payment and sometimes up to 20% required; FHA loans require a minimum of 3.5% down payment. Also, with a VA Housing Loan, veterans do not have to pay any monthly mortgage insurance, which cannot be said about conventional or FHA mortgages. Many veterans in Texas have already taken advantage of their VA benefits. With relaxed qualification standards and more flexibility, it is proven to be the right choice for many to purchase and refinance their homes. However, in most counties, the conforming loan limit with no money down is $548,250. When your home costs more than this, the solution is a VA Jumbo Loan. A VA Jumbo Loan is any VA-Backed Loan bigger than $548,250 and qualifying veterans can apply to purchase or refinance their home for up to a value of $1,000,000 through this type of loan, plus receiving all the benefits of the general Texas VA Loan.

Key benefits Security America offer for a Home Loan in Texas?
  • Office in Houston, Texas.
  • VA, FHA, and All Home Loan Types.
  • $0 Down Payment for VA Home Loans.
  • No Need for Private Mortgage Insurance.
  • Low Interest Rates.
  • Lower Payments.
  • Easier to Qualify.
  • Relaxed Credit Standards.
 What are the VA Loan Requirements?

Everyone who meets the following could be eligible for a VA-Backed Loan:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
  • You have 6 years of service in the National Guard of Reserves.
  • 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.
 Do all Lenders Offer VA Loans?

Not necessarily – Loans through the VA are a specific niche in the market, and not every mortgage company provides them. Even if a general mortgage company does provide them, you may be better off choosing a specialist like Security America Mortgage – we have the specific expertise and experience as VA lenders in Texas to guide you through the process and make the most of your loan entitlement.

 What if I Have Used a VA Loan Before?

If you’ve already used a VA Loan, paid it off in full, and wish to buy a second property without selling the original one, you can have your previously used entitlement restored – but only once. Although, if you’ve paid off your previous Loan in full and sold the property you used it to buy, you’re free to restore your entitlement as many times as you want.

Can a VA Loan be used as a Construction Loan in Texas?

Whether you’re a veteran or active military member looking to build a custom home, a VA Construction Loan could be the perfect solution for you! Because of your military background, you have access to VA home construction loans that offer nothing down and additional perks and benefits. Usually, it’s more difficult to get a construction loan than an existing home loan, as lenders are more cautious funding a home that doesn’t exist yet. However, here at Security America Mortgage we are VA Construction Loan lenders as well as experts, and we will be more than happy to help you get your own custom dream home whether you want to build it in Dallas, Austin or any other county in Texas.

 How do Texas VA Land Loans Work?

VA land loans are not a loan on its own, although you can enroll the cost of land purchase into a VA Construction Loan, simultaneously to the costs of building your house.

What is the Needed Credit Score for a VA Loan?

Loan credit requirements for VA Home Loans are set by the lender, meaning they can differ from mortgage company to mortgage company. Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 640; nonetheless, some lenders accept credit scores as low as 600.

Single Close Construction Loan and a Down Payment?

Whether you need a down payment for your loan depends on the specific loan program you decide to use. In a traditional construction loan, most buyers need a down payment around 20% to access the most favorable one-time close loan terms. Our one-time close programs offer down payments anywhere from 0% to 3.5%, to a maximum of 5%, a small fraction of what other lenders typically ask for.

Min. Credit Score for a Single Close Construction Loan?

Credit is just one factor used to decide how much you can finance with your one-time close construction loan. A credit score of 700 or above is considered low risk, while a score of 800 to 850 is exceptional – but even very affluent people do not always have a score this high. Our one-time close construction program requires a minimum credit score of 640. We will examine your entire financial outlook and work with you to find a loan solution that meets your needs. Current income and investments are weighted heavily.

 Do I Pay Anything During the Process?

On most of our construction products, your first payment does not take place until after construction is complete.

 How Much Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs may vary depending on your situation and your total loan amount.

 How Long Does It Take to Build a House?

Ideally, new home construction is completed within about 12 months. Every step is taken by our in-house construction management team to complete the process in a timely manner. However, ultimate performance is up to the builder and unforeseen circumstances can happen. The type of home, its size, and the builder’s schedule all influence project length.

 Can I Do Any Construction Work Myself?

No. Your builder must complete all the work.

Can I Use a Loan for an Investment Property?

No. Investment properties and “spec” homes are not eligible.

Get a Loan without a Land?

Yes. Your land purchase can be rolled into your one-time transaction – and covered in your single closing.

 Can My Land Be a Gift?

Yes. You must own the land for at least six months (in most cases) to use its appraised value.

Tear Down a Home and Replace It With a New One?

Teardowns and rebuilds are available for some loan types, but not others. To get accurate information for your specific loan type, talk to your loan officer about your needs.

Land equity on a VA construction loan?

Yes, if you’ve owned the land for 12 months or more by the closing date

 Can I use my land equity on a FHA construction loan?

Yes, if you have owned the land for six months prior to closing.

If you owned the land for six months prior to closing?

Yes, the fair market value of the proposed to be constructed subject property will be utilized to establish the maximum loan amount. Land value is based on the value as reported in the appraisal report without a seasoning requirement.

Current equity in a land if not owned it for a year?

If you have owned your land for less than 12 months and you want a VA construction loan, we will use the land cost for value.

Months I must have for full equity in the appraisal?

6 months.

Single construction administration fee?

It includes construction interest, construction draw and inspections, construction closing coordination, construction underwriting and title updates.

Requalifying for a FHA/VA or USDA 1 time construction?

No, only one qualification and closing.

FHA/VA or USDA one time construction loan?

No, you will only need one appraisal

FHA/VA or USDA types of homes for a construction loan?

Manufactured, modular and stick built properties

Close a one time loan before or after construction?

Before

 What is a VA renovation loan?

A veteran can get 100% financing with no money down on the current value of the property and the cost of remodeling and repairs.

Min or max renovation cost for a VA renovation loan?

No

VA renovation loan and home habitability?

Yes The veterans administration requires that her property meet minimum property standards in order to qualify for VA financing

Maximum renovation cost on a VA renovation loan?

$100,000

Use a VA renovation loan for a purchase or a refinance?

Yes

Financing with a VA renovation loan?

You can finance mine are remodeling and non-structural repairs

203K hood consultant on a VA renovation loan?

Yes if renovations are greater than $50,000

Use a VA renovation loan on a investment property?

No it is for primary residence only

Available loan terms on a VA renovation?

10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 25 year and 30 year

Eligible for a VA, construction and renovation loan?

Active duty member of do US military, veteran honorably discharged or surviving spouse can utilize this benefit.

VA renovation loan and time for construction?

Four month max prior to closing.

Work myself on a VA renovation loan?

No, the general contractor must be registered with the VA I must carry sufficient insurance three current general insurance liability policy

Credit score for a VA renovation loan?

620 minimum fico score. If the loan I’m out is exceeding the VA county loan limits than 640 is the minimum credit score needed

Why should a veteran utilize the VA renovation loan?

Military veterans or active military personnel can buy a fixer-upper and utilize 100% financing as a result of their service to the country.

 Why is the VA renovation loan an important product?

The VA renovation loan, the VA construction loan are very beneficial when there is a limited amount of options in the area that you desire. For example you might be searching for a home in a particular school district and find that there is nothing available except a fixer-upper. Properties in perfect order priced correctly sell very quickly in a sellers market.

Insuring VA loan to buy a home?

The plans agreed to with the general contractor including information on the general contractor and other documentation will we analyzed during underwriting

Final inspection on a VA renovation loan?

Yes there will be a certification by a VA inspector to ensure the hole meets the property standards and is ready for occupancy.

 Can I refinance with a VA renovation loan?

Yes and this can be a great alternative to a cash out refinance.

Work myself on my VA construction loan?

No

Can I work on my FHA construction loan?

No

Can I work on my USDA construction loan?

No

VA, FHA or USDA construction loans permit changes?

No

Permit changes on a VA, FHA or USDA loan?

No

VA, FHA or USDA and borrower interest payments?

No this is charged to the builder

 Can I build a pool as part of my VA construction loan?

Yes with conditions.

Conditions to build a pool for my VA construction loan?

The contractor must be a subcontractor of the general contractor or the general contractor must build the pool. States include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for SAM. The pool must be in ground. Utilities must be turned on for appraisal inspections

 What are the Conforming Loan Limits?

The highest loan amount for mortgages that can be acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mortgages above this limit are known as jumbo loans. The CLLs are set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on an annual basis and vary geographically, using guidelines specified in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and as modified in subsequent legislation. More information is provided on the FHFA CLLs webpage at https:/www.fhfa.gov/CLLs.

 How are CLLs calculated?

At the end of each November, FHFA updates the CLLs based on rules set forth in HERA. The CLLs take effect a month later on January 1st.

(current year Q3 FHFA HPI – prior year Q3 FHFA HPI) / (prior year Q3 FHFA HPI)which is converted to percentage terms. For example, the 2022 limits were computed as: Percentage Change = (2021Q3 HPI – 2020Q3 HPI) / 2020Q3 HPI = (328.13182917– 277.95477273) / 277.95477273 = 18.05223776 percent HERA requires that the baseline loan limit be adjusted each year to reflect changes in the national average home price. In October 2015, FHFA published a Final Notice in the Federal Register specifying that limits would be adjusted using the nominal, seasonally adjusted, expanded-data (EXP) version of the FHFA House Price Index® (FHFA HPI®). An important caveat is that the CLLs adjustment differs during or immediately following a housing market downturn. By statute, the baseline loan limit remains flat when the national average home price is not increasing. Further, after a period of declining home values, HERA requires that the prior declines be “made up” before the baseline limit can be increased. In such instances, any cumulative house price decline must be fully negated before a loan limit increase can take place. For this reason, the baseline loan limit did not change in 2007 and they remained at the same level until 2017.

 When do new CLLs become effective?

At the end of each November, FHFA updates the CLLs based on rules set forth in HERA. The CLLs take effect a month later on January 1st.

 Can the CLLs decrease?

No. By statute, because of HERA’s specific adjustment rules, conforming loan limits do not decrease. When home values have declined according to the formula, HERA does not provide for decreases in the baseline loan limit. Loan limits remain the same as the prior year until house price declines have been “made up” and the current index level exceeds the prior FHFA HPI level before the decline started. This happened when the baseline loan limit was $417,000 from 2006 until 2017 when it increased by the net positive increase of 1.7 percent since the prior peak. The calculated increase is based on the gain compared to that prior level (not the third quarter from the earlier year). Such a scenario took place from 2007Q3 until 2016Q3 and the 2017 limits became the first increase in several years. FHFA has implemented a “hold harmless” approach where county-level loan limits do not decrease. This applies to counties where the median home value decreased relative to the prior year’s value. FHFA takes the same approach if a county were to drop out of a high-cost area and would suffer from a lower median value as a stand-alone county.

 Why is the expanded-data FHFA HPI used?

The FHFA produces three main HPI flavors – a purchase-only index, an all-transactions index, and an expanded-data index. CLLs are adjusted using FHFA’s national, nominal, seasonally adjusted, expanded-data index. The expanded-data FHFA HPI is based on an underlying sample of transactions that reflects the universe of what could be conforming loans, however, not all the loans have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the “Enterprises”). Data are combined between purchase-money mortgages from the Enterprises, FHA loans, and public records of sales transactions (with prices below the annual loan limit ceiling). Prior to HERA, the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey had been used to adjust loan limits. After house prices fell in 2007, loan limits remained unchanged and FHFA began to consider alternative measures to the monthly survey. The expanded-data metric was created and input was gathered from the public. In 2015, FHFA addressed those comments and its plans to utilize the seasonally adjusted, expandeddata HPI for calculating changes to the CLLs. A “Notice of Establishment of Housing Price Index” is posted in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/10/22/2015- 26778/notice-of-establishment-of-housing-price-index. A major consideration had been the existing and well-known purchase-only index already published by FHFA but that index only utilizes Enterprise data. The expanded-data HPI employs the same basic methodology as the Enterprise specific purchase-only HPI but also incorporates additional historical transactions data. Specifically, the expanded-data indexes include transaction prices for homes with FHA-endorsed loans and homes whose transactions have been recorded at various county recorder offices through the country. The addition of these two supplemental data sources to the Enterprise data provides for a better estimate of the overall change in the U.S. average home price than is available from the other indexes. General price changes and trends should be similar between all of the FHFA HPIs, however, the expanded-data HPI is best suited to capture movements for the segment of the housing market that has 3 a price range such that sales transactions could be financed with conforming loans because they fall below annual loan limits.

 What is the baseline loan limit value?

The baseline loan limit is the highest loan amount for an acquisition in a particular year. This limit restricts the size of loan originations (but not the price of homes) across the nation except in a small amount of high-cost or statutory areas. The value varies across two dimensions, counties and the number of property units. Local loan limits are defined on a county-by county basis with most counties (around 95 percent) assigned the baseline loan limit. The baseline limits, however, can increase for properties that have more than one (but less than five) units HERA also defines “high-cost” area loan limits that can be as much as 150 percent of the baseline value. Loan limits are allowed to exceed the baseline value in areas with more expensive housing markets. Specifically, they are set at 115 percent of the highest county median home price in the local area as long as that amount does not exceed the ceiling. Local areas follow the definitions of corebased statistical area (CBSA), which means they can be both metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. As an example, loan limits for 2022 Enterprise acquisitions were established in 2021Q3 with the baseline loan limit being $647,200 for a one-unit property. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as of 2021Q3 the median home value in El Dorado County, California was $587,000. Multiplying this area median value by 115% yields a loan limit of $675,050, which is above the baseline limit but below the high-cost ceiling of $970,800. As a result, the loan limit for El Dorado County was set equal to $675,050. Loan limits are also higher in certain statutorily-designated areas like Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The limits in these statutorily-designated areas cannot exceed 150 percent of the high-cost ceiling value. Lookup tables are provided on the CLLs page at https:/www.fhfa.gov/CLLs.

Loan limits set in high-cost areas?

HERA provisions set loan limits as a function of local-area median home values. The CLL is required to be increased in areas where 115 percent of the median home value exceeds the baseline CLL, not to exceed an amount that is 150 percent of the baseline CLL. To perform calculations, counties are grouped by core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) as delineated by the Office of Management and Budget. FHFA coordinates with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to calculate CBSA-wide median home values equal to the median price for the highest-cost component county in each CBSA. Each county in the CBSA receives the same value and a high-cost loan limit is assigned as described above if the multiple exceeds the baseline CLL. For example, Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA is delineated by four counties. As of 2021Q3, the highest county median home value was $587,000 which when multiplied by 115 percent gave a loan 4 limit of $675,050 that was above the baseline loan limit. This value was applied similarly to all counties in that CBSA. Some areas are extremely expensive, but their loan limits are still capped. In 2021Q3, the nation’s capital (Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV) had a median home value of $975,000 which exceed the high-cost area ceiling of $970,800. In these instances, all counties within the CBSA receive the high-cost ceiling as their loan limit value. Finally, not all CBSAs qualify as being high-cost areas. The capital of Florida, Tallahassee, is a CBSA with four counties but their highest county median home value was only $214,000 which means the local area is not expensive enough to receive an adjustment. As a result, the baseline loan limit applies to all counties in that local area.

 How many counties are in high-cost areas?

The United States has over 3,000 counties or county-equivalent jurisdictions. In any given year, roughly 100 to 200 of them qualify for high-cost limits that exceed the baseline limit.

Loan limits not always equal to percentage changes?

Minor rounding happens for baseline and high-cost area loan limits. Baseline loan limits have been rounded down to the nearest $50 and the high-cost area loan limits have been rounded down to the nearest $25.

Loan limits in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam?

Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are granted loan limits that, at minimum, are 50 percent above the country’s baseline limit. That is—the baseline loan limit for these prespecified select areas is 150 percent of the national baseline.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on seasoned loans?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac occasionally acquire loans originated in previous years. The loan limit for those “seasoned” acquisitions depends on a loan’s year of origination, physical location, and number of units. Under a series of previously enacted laws (including the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-88, and Public Law 111-242), higher conforming loan limits apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac acquisitions of certain seasoned mortgages in 2019. Loans acquired in 2019 that were originated between July 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2011, will be subject to previously announced limits determined under those laws. The applicable loan limits for such seasoned loans are as high as $729,750 for one-unit properties in the contiguous United States (that was temporarily set to 175 percent of the baseline from 2008 until 2012).

Conforming loan limits?

The CLLs webpage, available at https:/www.fhfa.gov/CLLs, provides information about loan limits and links to helpful documents and tools.

Loan limits for prior years?

Annual loan limits for every county are provided online at https:/www.fhfa.gov/CLLs in spreadsheet (XLS) and document (PDF) formats. These files provide county limits based on the number of units (1 to 4) in a property and reflect HERA provisions. A table of historical loan limits is provided in an annual report to Congress and it can be found here.

Geographic level loan limits?

CLLs are based on the county where a property is located. Some properties, however, may benefit from belonging to a core-based statistical area (CBSA) where other counties have higher median home values. In such cases, the limits are set using the county with the highest median price and they are the same for every county in the CBSA.

 What is a Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)?

A CBSA refers to either a metropolitan statistical area or a micropolitan statistical area. CBSAs comprise the central county or counties containing a large population core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic integration with the core. This forms the statutory definition of “local areas”. For more information see 2010 Standards for Delineating Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2010-06-28/pdf/2010 15605.pdf.

Which version of CBSA delineations is used by FHFA?

FHFA uses the revised Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Divisions as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in March 2020 which can be viewed at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Bulletin-20-01.pdf. OMB is not expected to make another set of revisions until June 2023.

FHFA & previous versions of CBSA definitions?

FHFA uses the most current CBSA definitions and does not assign properties into prior delineations that might have been utilized during an earlier transaction year. As an example, a recent set of delineation changes is outlined in the 2018Q4 FHFA HPI report where a Technical Note explains the transition to new definitions which impacted multiple metropolitan statistical areas. The latest delineation bulletin only added a single micropolitan statistical area which is now incorporated into the CLLs process.

 Are VA loan limits the same as FHFA CLLs?

Not anymore. VA home loan limits were the same as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) limits until January 1, 2020. With the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, veteran borrowers are no longer limited to the FHFA CLLs.

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019?

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, Public Law 116-23, was signed into law on June 25, 2019. The law took effect January 1, 2020 and states that VA-guaranteed home loans will no longer be limited to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Conforming Loan Limits. Veterans will be able to obtain no-down payment VA-backed home loans in all areas, regardless of loan amount. For more information on the Act, see https://benefits.va.gov/homeloans/bwnact.asp.

 How do I get more information on VA home loans?

Contacting VA directly is the best course of action to get answers about guaranty questions, the lending process or other matters related to the VA. Their webpage has information at https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/home-loans/loan-limits/. To speak with a VA Loan Specialist or find the nearest VA Regional Loan Center call (877)-827-3702.

 Are FHA loans limited by the FHFA CLLs? 

FHA loans are not limited by the baseline FHFA CLLs but they are based on the values. FHA calculates forward mortgage limits based on the median house prices in accordance with the National Housing Act. These limits are set at or between the low-cost area and high-cost area limits based on the median house prices for the area. Low-cost area mortgage limits are set at 65 percent of the national conforming limit High-cost area mortgage limits are set at 150 percent of the national conforming limit

FHA loan limits for home equity conversion mortgages?

FHA publishes a separate Mortgagee Letter to cover claim amounts for home equity conversion mortgages (HECM).

 Where can I find FHA mortgage limits?

 For more information on current FHA loan limits, see https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm. For more information on FHA mortgage limits, see https://apps.hud.gov/pub/chums/file_layouts.html.

 Does the USDA have similar single family loan limits?

The USDA’s Rural Housing Services (RHS) has loan limits and requirements that differ from other government programs and depend on the program being utilized. For example, the Single Family Home Loan Guarantee Program requires a property be in a rural area. Additional eligibility requirements account for factors like household size and income (being below 115% of area median income), owner occupancy, borrower immigration status, and the inability to obtain certain other financing. The Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program limits the county-level area loan amount to not exceed 80% of the local HUD 203(b) loan limits. For more information on USDA’s Guarantee Loan program, the webpage, program fact sheet, and a map can be viewed at: • https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-guaranteed-loanprogram • https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fact-sheet/508_RD_FS_RHS_SFHGLP.pdf • https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RD-GRHLimitMap.pdf F0r more information on USDA’s Direct Loan program, see the webpage, fact sheet, and map at: • https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans • https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheet/508_RD_FS_RHS_SFH502Direct.pdf • https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RD-SFHAreaLoanLimitMap.pdf

 What is the VA Renovation Loan?

The VA Renovation Loan brings together some of the most innovative and attractive features of several popular mortgage programs. It provides no money down financing that covers not only the current value of the property, but the cost of remodeling and repairs as well. This program is intended for minor updates and work done on the home, with no minimum or maximum renovation cost requirement. Program overlays and eligibility during the pandemic include:

  • Conforming Loan Limits only
  • If Refinance transaction, limited to 100% LTV
  • Home must be habitable during renovation,

Because the Veteran Administration requires that a property meet minimum property standards in order to qualify for VA financing, it is not uncommon for deals to fall through during the inspection phase. The seller may not want to pay for all the repairs needed to ensure the home meets the VA’s high standards. With a VA Renovation Loan the buyers may be able to move forward with the purchase of a home they love, while borrowing the additional funds needed to fix the issues with the property, still with zero down payment. The Veterans Administration generally requires an annual fee of $100 per third party originator for each entity that sponsors their origination. AFR pays this fee on behalf of its brokers and correspondents on AFR-related VA loans!

VA Renovation Loan Basics

  • Purchase and Refinance Options
  • Maximum renovation cost of $100,000
  • Used to finance minor remodeling and non-structural repairs
  • Renovations greater than $50,000 require a 203(k) HUD Consultant
  • Fully Amortizing Fixed Rate
  • 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, and 30 year term options
  • One or Two Unit Homes
  • Primary Residence Only
 What are the benefits?
100% Financing

VA mortgages offer one of the only no money down home financing options available in the marketplace. This is a huge advantage to qualifying veterans, military personnel, and their families, who can become homeowners without waiting many years or depleting their savings.

Low Mortgage Rates

The VA Renovation Loan makes it possible to finance both the purchase or refinance of a home and the cost of repairs or updates in one low rate, first mortgage loan. This can offer considerable savings when compared to a higher rate second mortgage, using other types of credit such as credit cards, or a home equity line of credit with a variable interest rate that could increase over time.

 Who is eligible for a VA Renovation Loan?

As with any VA loan the borrower must be a qualifying active duty member of the US military, veteran, or surviving spouse. Other requirements of this program include:

  • Repairs must be minor remodeling or cosmetic in nature and not on the list of ineligible repairs
  • Construction must be completed within four months of closing
  • Only one General Contractor may be used
  • General Contractor must be registered with the VA
  • General Contractor must carry sufficient insurance through a current general insurance liability policy
  • 620 minimum FICO score (640 Minimum Qualifying Credit Score for all qualifying borrowers when the loan amount is exceeding the VA county loan limits.)

Borrowers will also need to meet the income, asset, and minimum property standard requirements of VA loans. There are geographic restrictions associated with this program, rendering the following states ineligible:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii

AFR does not operate in the states of Hawaii and Alaska and does not permit loans with a subject property in Hawaii or Alaska.

When is the VA Renovation Loan useful?

This can be an ideal program for veterans or military personnel who want to purchase a fixer upper while also taking advantage of the 100% financing option available to them as a result of their service to our country. Military families often move frequently as they take on new assignments throughout the career of the service member(s). When relocating to a new part of the country, especially on a short timeframe, it may be challenging to find a home that meets the needs of the buyers. Trying to purchase in a particular school district, close to base where there is the support of other military households, or within commuting distance of a spouse’s new employer can make things even more difficult. Opening the search to include properties in need of a few repairs or updates can make it much easier to find that ideal home. The VA Renovation Loan can also come into play on transactions where it was not part of the original plan. As touched on earlier it can be used to save the deal when issues are discovered through the inspection. Perhaps the potential buyers have found a home they love, in the perfect location, but the home inspection reveals that the roof is in need of repair. The would-be buyers may not be able to afford to pay for the work out of pocket, and the sellers might feel they could easily sell the home as-is in the current market and are not offering to cover the cost of fixing the roof. The home will not qualify for VA financing until the repairs are complete. A VA Renovation Loan might be a great fit in this scenario, allowing the buyers to borrow the additional funds needed to pay for the roofing work, and saving them from beginning again in their search for a new home.

Buying a Home with a VA Renovation Loan

When purchasing a property with a VA Renovation Loan the plans for the work, including information on the general contractor, are evaluated with the other documentation during the underwriting phase. An appraisal will show the value of the home both before and after the renovation is complete. Once the work is finished there will be a final certification by a VA Inspector to ensure the home meets the property standards and is ready to be enjoyed by its new owners.

VA Renovation Loan Refinancing

Consumers are often surprised to learn that renovation loans, including the VA Renovation Loan, can also be used to refinance an existing mortgage. This can be an excellent alternative to a second mortgage or cash-out refinance* when the funds will be used to repair or update the subject property.

Other Programs to Consider

If the VA Renovation Loan is not an ideal fit for a particular scenario here are a few other products to explore:

  • For larger structural updates: FHA Standard 203(k) Loan
  • To finance luxury projects such as installing a pool or outdoor kitchen: Fannie Mae HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage
  • Streamlined, simplified VA refinance option if repair costs are not needed: VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
 How does my county loan limit affect me?

You may need to make a down payment if you’re using remaining entitlement and your loan amount is over $144,000. This is because most lenders require that your entitlement, down payment, or a combination of both covers at least 25% of your total loan amount. So if you’re able and willing to make a down payment, you may be able to borrow more than the county loan limit with a VA-backed loan. Remember, your lender will still need to approve you for a loan. The lender will determine the size of loan you can afford based on your:

  • Credit history
  • Income
  • Assets (items of value such as savings, retirement, and investment accounts)

We don’t require a minimum credit score, but some lenders may have different credit score requirements. Be sure to contact more than one lender to compare. Note: You may have heard the terms additional entitlement, bonus entitlement, or tier 2 entitlement. We use these terms when we communicate with lenders about VA-backed loans over $144,000. You won’t need to use these terms when applying for a loan.

COE says, “This Veteran’s basic entitlement is $0”?

This line on your COE is information for your lender. It shows that you’ve used your home loan benefit before and don’t have remaining entitlement. If the basic entitlement listed on your COE is more than $0, you may have remaining entitlement and can use your benefit again. On your COE, in the table called Prior Loans charged to entitlement, we list the amount of your entitlement you’ve already used under the Entitlement Charged column. Your entitlement can be restored when you sell your property and pay your VA-backed loan in full, or repay in full any claim we’ve paid.

VA loan limits by year & county?

Find the VA home loan limit for the county your property (or future property) is in.

2022 VA home loan limits

VA home loan limits are the same as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) limits. These are called conforming loan limits. Check current loan limits

Max mount I can borrow or the amount VA guarantees?

The VA-backed home loan limit refers to the amount we’ll guarantee (the maximum amount we’ll pay to your lender if you default on your loan). We don’t limit how much you can borrow to finance a home.

Home loan limit & remaining entitlement?

With remaining entitlement, your VA home loan limit is based on the county loan limit where you live. This means that if you default on your loan, we’ll pay your lender up to 25% of the county loan limit minus the amount of your entitlement you’ve already used. Check your county loan limit You can use your remaining entitlement—either on its own or together with a down payment—to take out another VA home loan. You may have remaining entitlement if any of these are true:You may have remaining entitlement if any of these are true:

  • You have an active VA loan you’re still paying back, or
  • You paid a previous VA loan in full and still own the home, or
  • You refinanced your VA loan into a non-VA loan and still own the home, or
  • You had a compromise claim (or short sale) on a previous VA loan and didn’t repay us in full, or
  • You had a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a previous VA loan (this means you transferred your home’s title to the bank that holds your mortgage to avoid foreclosure), or
  • You had a foreclosure on a previous VA loan and didn’t repay us in full
Full entitlement and a home loan limit?

Eligible Veterans, service members, and survivors with full entitlement no longer have limits on loans over $144,000. This means you won’t have to pay a down payment, and we guarantee to your lender that if you default on a loan that’s over $144,000, we’ll pay them up to 25% of the loan amount. You have full entitlement if you meet any of these requirements. At least one of these must be true:

  • You’ve never used your home loan benefit, or
  • You’ve paid a previous VA loan in full and sold the property (in this case, you’d have your full entitlement restored), or
  • You’ve used your home loan benefit, but had a foreclosure or compromise claim (also called a short sale) and repaid us in full

Note: You may have heard the terms additional entitlement, bonus entitlement, or tier 2 entitlement. We use these terms when we communicate with lenders about VA-backed loans over $144,000. You won’t need to use these terms when applying for a loan.

Does this mean I can get any size loan I want?

It depends. If you apply and are eligible for a VA-backed home loan, you’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is the document that tells private lenders (such as banks, credit unions, or mortgage companies) that you have VA home loan eligibility and entitlement. But your lender will still need to approve you for a loan. The lender will determine the size of loan you can afford based on your:

  • Credit history
  • Income
  • Assets (items of value such as savings, retirement, and investment accounts)

We don’t require a minimum credit score, but some lenders may have different credit score requirements. Be sure to contact more than one lender to compare.

Why does my COE say, “This Veteran’s basic entitlement is $36,000”?

This line on your COE is information for your lender. It shows that you have full entitlement. The $36,000 isn’t the total amount you can borrow. Instead, it means that if you default on a loan that’s under $144,000, we guarantee to your lender that we’ll pay them up to $36,000. For loans over $144,000, we guarantee to your lender that we’ll pay up to 25% of the loan amount.

 What is VA-backed Veterans home loans?

VA direct and VA-backed Veterans home loans can help Veterans, service members, and their survivors to buy, build, improve, or refinance a home. You’ll still need to have the required credit and income for the loan amount you want to borrow. But a Veterans home loan may offer better terms than with a traditional loan from a private bank, mortgage company, or credit union. For example, nearly 90% of VA-backed loans are made with no down payment.

 What is ​conforming loan limits?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are restricted by law to purchasing single-family mortgages with origination balances below a specific amount, known as the “conforming loan limit.” Loans above this amount are known as jumbo loans. The national conforming loan limit for mortgages that finance single-family one-unit properties increased from $33,000 in the early 1970s to $417,000 for 2006-2008, with limits 50 percent higher for four statutorily-designated high cost areas: Alaska,  Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Since 2008, various legislative acts increased the conforming loan limits in certain high-cost areas in the United States.  While some of the legislative initiatives established temporary limits for loans originated in select time periods, a permanent formula was established under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).  The 2022 c​onforming loan limits have been set under the HERA formula.

Cash back from equity, or funds by another party?

No

Can I perform any of the work on the property?

No

VA construction loan on a single wide?

No

 Which property types are not permitted?

The following property types are not permitted: 2 Units 3 Units 4 Units Co-Ops Manufactured Housing Units built prior to June 15, 1976 Manufactured Housing in a Condominium Project Manufactured Housing that has been traded Mixed- Use Under Construction Off Grid Properties with commercial influence are subject to additional review. Any property where marijuana is grown or processed inside the home or on the property, regardless of the quantity or state law is unacceptable

 What’s the most acres I can build on?

100 Acres is the max

 What is the VA funding fee?

The VA funding fee is a one-time payment that the Veteran, service member, or survivor pays on a VA-backed or VA direct home loan. This fee helps to lower the cost of the loan for U.S. taxpayers since the VA home loan program doesn’t require down payments or monthly mortgage insurance.

 Will I have to pay the VA funding fee?

If you’re using a VA home loan to buy, build, improve, or repair a home or to refinance a mortgage, you’ll need to pay the VA funding fee unless you meet certain requirements

What Veterans don’t have to pay a funding fee?

Receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability, or Eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability, but you’re receiving retirement or active-duty pay instead, or The surviving spouse of a Veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability, or who was totally disabled, and you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), or A service member with a proposed or memorandum rating, before the loan closing date, saying you’re eligible to get compensation because of a pre-discharge claim, or A service member on active duty who before or on the loan closing date provides evidence of having received the Purple Heart You may be eligible for a refund of the VA funding fee if you’re later awarded VA compensation for a service-connected disability. The effective date of your VA compensation must be retroactive to before the date of your loan closing.

 How will I pay the VA funding fee?

 You’ll pay this fee when you close your VA-backed or VA direct home loan. You can pay the VA funding fee in either of these ways: Include the funding fee in your loan and pay it off over time (called financing), or Pay the full fee all at once at closing

 How much will I pay?

This depends on the amount of your loan and other factors. For all loans, we’ll base your VA funding fee on: The type of loan you get, and The total amount of your loan. We’ll calculate your funding fee as a percentage of your total loan amount. Depending on your loan type, we may also base your fee on: Whether it’s your first time, or a subsequent time, using a VA-backed or VA direct home loan, and Your down payment amount Note: Your lender will also charge interest on the loan in addition to closing fees. Please be sure to talk to your lender about any loan costs that may be added to your loan amount. VA funding fee rate charts Review the VA funding fee rate charts below to determine the amount you’ll have to pay. Down payment and VA funding fee amounts are expressed as a percentage of total loan amount. For example: Let’s say you’re using a VA-backed loan for the first time, and you’re buying a $200,000 home and paying a down payment of $10,000 (5% of the $200,000 loan). You’ll pay a VA funding fee of $3,135, or 1.65% of the $190,000 loan amount. The funding fee applies only to the loan amount, not the purchase price of the home. VA-backed purchase and construction loans Rates for Veterans, active-duty service members, and National Guard and Reserve members If your down payment is… Your VA funding fee will be… First use Less than 5% 2.3% 5% or more 1.65% 10% or more 1.4% After first use Less than 5% 3.6% 5% or more 1.65% 10% or more 1.4% Note: If you only used a VA-backed or VA direct home loan to purchase a manufactured home in the past, you’ll still pay the first-time funding fee. VA-backed cash-out refinancing loans Rates for Veterans, active-duty service members, and National Guard and Reserve members First use After first use 2.3% 3.6% Note: The VA funding fee rates for refinancing loans don’t change based on your down payment amount. If you used a VA-backed or VA direct home loan to purchase a manufactured home, you only need to pay the first-time use funding fee. Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Type of use VA funding fee Purchase 1.25% Refinance 0.5% Note: The VA funding fee rate for this loan doesn’t change based on your down payment amount or whether you’ve used the VA home loan program in the past. Other VA home loan types Loan type VA funding fee Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs) 0.5% Manufactured home loans (not permanently affixed) 1% Loan assumptions 0.5% Vendee loan, for purchasing VA-acquired property 2.25% Note: The VA funding fee rates for these loans don’t change based on your down payment amount or whether you’ve used the VA home loan program in the past. Other loan closing costs Who determines my loan details? We don’t determine most details of your home loan. Your home loan lender will determine these details of your loan: Interest rate Discount points (fees you may pay to your lender at closing to get a lower interest rate on your loan) Other closing costs These rates may vary from lender to lender. You should know that adding the VA funding fee and other loan costs to your loan could lead to you owing more money than the fair market value of the home. This could reduce the benefit of refinancing since your payment wouldn’t be as low as you may want it to be. It could also make it harder for you to get enough money out of the future sale of the home to pay off your loan balance.

 Who pays for which closing costs?

The seller must pay these closing costs (sometimes called “seller’s concessions”): Commission for real estate professionals Brokerage fee Buyer broker fee Termite report (unless you’re using a refinancing loan) You (the buyer) or the seller can negotiate who will pay other closing costs such as the: VA funding fee Loan origination fee Loan discount points or funds for temporary “buydowns” Credit report and payment of any credit balances or judgments VA appraisal fee Hazard insurance and real estate taxes State and local taxes Title insurance Recording fee Note: We require that a seller can’t pay more than 4% of the total home loan in seller’s concessions. But this rule only covers some closing costs, including the VA funding fee. The rule doesn’t cover loan discount points. More VA home loan resources VA home loan types Learn how VA-backed and VA direct home loans work—and find out which loan program might be right for you. Eligibility Find out if you can get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for a VA-backed or VA direct home loan based on your service history and duty status.

Get my Certificate of eligibility?

As a VA approved lender we have access to the VA portal to request your COE.

 Can surviving spouses get a VA loan?

Based on the COE it is possible when a surviving spouse of a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran who is missing in action or being held as a prisoner of war.

Builder credits and costs other than the funding fee?

Yes, as long as the appraisal covers the loan amount.

 Can closing costs be rolled into the loan?

The VA funding fee must be paid by the Vet unless he/she qualifies not to have one because of disability. Even though closing costs can’t be directly rolled in the loan; builder credits can accomplish the same objective.

 Can my closing costs be financed?

The VA funding fee must be paid by the Vet unless he/she qualifies not to have one because of disability. Even though closing costs can’t be directly rolled in the loan; builder credits can accomplish the same objective.

Max amount on a VA construction loan?

1.5 million

 What’s the max land value?

$250,000 and sometimes an exception is possible. Also subdividing is possible.

Max loan amount on a One time VA construction loan?

The maximum loan amount on all OTCs is $647,200 regardless of county.

Does credit score go down if I apply with one lender?

With mortgages specifically, you’ll likely be applying for a home loan from multiple lenders so you can compare your offers. In this case, your credit won’t be dinged multiple times. With mortgages, you can get your credit report pulled by additional lenders with no further impact to your credit score as long as you submit additional applications within 45 days of your first credit check

Best practices or missed items for builder approval?

• Form A: Contractor’s Questionnaire must be completed in its entirety, signed and dated
• If the contractor is not required to be licensed in their area, please include this information in the submission package
• Include Workman compensation insurance. The policy should not be expired or reflect “exempt.”
• Completed and fully executed W9 on the correct form (Oct. 2018 Revision Date)
• Provide the builder’s email address and phone number
• If possible, include the project type (construction/renovation), along with the loan amount

Best practices or missed items for construction loans?

• Advise Granite if project has started prior to closing. Include contact party information for a preclose site inspection (name, phone number, email address)
• A copy of the appraisal is required
• Advise Granite if a draw at close is needed and provide fully executed Form E
• Floor and elevation plans are required where the footprint of the property is changing
• If doing a staged draw process, it must be accompanied by the project specifications to verify the eight elements of construction are included
• The following is not required for project approval: Land purchase contract, loan specific documentation and permits.

Owner-builder projects on one time conventional loans?

All of the construction and renovation products require a true 3rd party builder contract. Both the project and the builder must meet Security America mortgage’s requirements.

Builder needs for construction loans?

Requirements for builder approval are: 660 personal credit score, 3 or more years in business with stable to increasing sales each year and 10 or more completed projects (which need to include new construction for new construction builds). A builder approval is good for 1 full year.

Granite's contact info to send the documentation?

• Please send the complete documentation to Projects@GraniteRiskManagement.com.
• Call customer service at (888)-456-4888 or email CustomerService@GraniteRiskManagement.com

Granite's time to review a builder package on a loan?

Contractor packages are reviewed for completeness and a Status Notification is sent within 3 business days. Additional documentation is reviewed within 24 hours of receipt.

Builder's review for a renovation in less than $40k?

No, a full contractor review is not required for a renovation project under $40,000. A valid contractor’s license along with current liability and workers compensation insurance are required.

T1, T2 or T3 in the project name on the Granite docs?

These are the three different tiers utilized for builder approval. Depending upon the strength of the builder and/or the builder’s credit profile, a T1 builder would have a streamlined draw process, a T2 builder is a partial streamlined draw process and a T3 builder would have to provide the full documentation including all required invoices and lien waivers. See Exhibit A – Tiered Builder Draw Requirements

Floor and elevation plans on construction loans?

Floor and elevation plans are required for all new construction projects, as well as renovation projects where the footprint of the home is changing and/or any additional square footage is being added (i.e. an addition). These are a requirement of the project review process.

Pre-close inspection required on construction loans?

If the project is a renovation project, exceeding $80,000, a pre-close inspection will be required. For any construction project, if work has begun prior to closing, a pre-close inspection is required.

Granite’s turn time for project approvals?

Project packages are reviewed for completeness and a Status Notification is sent within 3 business days. Additional documentation is reviewed within 48 hours of receipt.

Budget contingency on construction loans?

Yes, a 5% contingency is required for all construction projects and must be included in the builder’s budget.

Modular homes on one time construction loans?

We require that a general contractor handle the site work. The general contractor would be the one to go through the approval process with Granite. For deposit or prepayment on the modular, we will allow 30% draw at close to the modular manufacturer.

Borrower prepaid, will they receive credit the loan?

This would be referred to as an equity credit. During the project review, complete Form D1 for equity credit and provide invoices, paid receipts, cancelled checks to coincide with the form. The items paid for must be on the itemized budget. The borrower will receive equity credit only, as a borrower cannot receive both equity credit and reimbursement. Equity credit reduces the total amount owed to the builder/contractor. If the borrower wishes to receive reimbursement, see under “After Closing” Section.

Hazard insurance requirements on construction loans?

A builder’s risk policy is required. Coverage should be effective on or before closing. The coverage should be equal to or greater than the loan amount. The policy should include the builders name, the borrowers name and the property address. The mortgagee clause must read: Security America mortgage, Its Successor and/or assigns, P.O. Box 52198, Phoenix, AZ 85072-2198.

Take a draw at closing on one time construction loans?

Signed Form E by borrowers and builder is required for a draw at close. This needs to be provided to Granite during the project review phase and a copy should be provided to underwriting (wholesale loan) and to processing (retail loan).

How is the conventional construction loan considered?

The closing draw does not count as one of the predetermined draws. There also will not be a fee associated with a closing draw.

Request a draw on loans if thebuilder needs funds?

The builder should request an initial draw at closing. The max initial draw is the lessor of 10% of cost to build or $50,000 (Jumbo 10% or $100,000). No further draws can occur until we receive the closing package, the loan goes through the Post Close process, is on boarded with MSP and set up with Granite. This process can take up to 14 days.

Granite & request draws on one-time construction loan?

Once the loan is set up in Granite’s system, up to two weeks after closing, the builder will receive a welcome notification from Granite via email. The welcome email will outline the draw process, where and how to submit the request(s) and additional information on how to access their website plus future draw information.

Draw request docs on one time construction loans?

Please send the complete documentation to Draws@GraniteRiskManagement.com.
Call customer service at (888)-456-4888 or email CustomerService@GraniteRiskManagement.com

How long does a draw take on construction loans?

Granite will order the inspection as soon as they receive the draw request. Within 3 days of receipt of the draw request, Granite will issue a Notice of Draw Status (NOD) which will outline any outstanding or needed items. In an effort to avoid delays, you should be sending Granite any outstanding items, so that when the inspection is received and goes through the QA process, they will send Security America mortgage the draw approval recommendation. The Security America mortgage Administration team processes draw requests within 24 hours of receipt. (Please note that if the property is located in a flood zone, additional reviews are done for proper insurance coverage)

Use funds to close a conventional construction loan?

The borrower’s funds are held in an interest-bearing account. The monthly accumulated interest will be applied to principal. When a draw is received these funds will be utilized first, prior to drawing on the loan. Once the borrower funds are depleted the loan proceeds will be utilized.

Forms for a draw on one time construction loans?

• Form E – Completed and signed by both contractor and borrower. Line numbers must match the itemized budget. Payee information should be complete.
• Form F – Bank account authorization
• Form G – Indemnification if draws are payable to the contractor only
• W9 – Revision date October 2018
Also, see Exhibit A – Tiered Draw Process information

Permits required on construction loans?

Permits are required prior to completion of first draw, after closing. Closing draw is not considered First Draw. Do not send permits at the time of project approval.

Surveys required on one time construction loans?

Typically surveys are required if the footprint/foundation of the property changes, unless a survey endorsement is provided by the title company (state requirements may vary). For true survey determination, we will contact the title company to verify if a survey is needed to issue the final title policy. Note: If the property resides in a flood zone, a survey may be required at time of the foundation being completed (prior to 1st draw).

Property in a flood zone, is flood insurance required?

Once the vertical building has started, a satisfactory Flood Insurance Policy will be required. Any pending draws cannot be processed until Flood Insurance is in place and has received approval from the Flood Review team for proper coverage. The coverage must be verified at each draw if the property is in a flood zone, which may cause a small delay in processing the draw.

Funds for materials on one time construction loans?

Our construction products fund for work completed. Both the borrower and the contractor sign the Notice of Memorandum, which outlines this policy. However, we may allow for material draws up to 50% of the cost with an invoice.

Inspection ordered on one time construction loans?

As soon as the draw request is received by Granite, an inspection is requested. As a caution, do not send the draw request too early, in order to avoid an inspection happening prior to work being completed.

Inspections for close conventional construction loans?

The drawinspections are paid in the Granite fees collected at closing. This is why it is imperative the number of draws are determined prior to closing. Additional draws will be charged a per draw fee based upon the fee schedule.

Borrower's repay on a conventional construction loan?

If the items are part of the itemized budget, the borrower may seek reimbursement, after closing, during the draw process. The borrower must provide Granite, after closing, documentation of the items paid for (i.e. cancelled checks) along with receipts/paid invoices. Granite will review in accordance with the budget as part of the draw process. Do not provide the paid receipts, cancelled checks and so on during the project review process or this will be treated as an equity credit. A reminder, a borrower cannot receive both equity credit and reimbursement.

Additional funds used elsewhere?

If there are changes to the budget, a written change order request should be provided. It needs to include which line item to remove funds from and which line to allocate funds to. Either a formalized Fannie Mae Change Order Form may be used or a written request, signed by both borrower and builder can be utilized. The documentation must be sent to Granite who will review the request with Flagstar Management. Significant changes to the scope of the project may not be approved if they are determined to have a detrimental effect on value.

Budget change management for one-time closings?

The change requests need to go through Granite and include the change order request. Granite will review and send to Security America mortgage Construction Management for consideration. As long as there is no deferential effect on value, the change will be considered.

Start another project before this project is completed?

We do not allow for work outside of the original project scope. Our project needs to be completed first prior to any additional projects should be started. This would include but not limited to additional builds on the lot and/or further renovation type work.

Mortgage statements mailed during construction phase?

Ensure the correct mailing address is listed on the 1003 accurately at the time of loan submission. This is the address where the monthly statements are mailed to the borrower.

Mortgage payment when no conventional loans taken?

The borrower is required to make a monthly payment if they escrowed for taxes and insurance. Please note, if the borrower is behind in their mortgage payments, a draw cannot be released until the loan is considered current.

Borrowers making their payment on a one-time close?

The borrowers can make their payments by phone, by mail or set up the bill payment feature through their bank. MyLoans does not work due to the fluctuation in the unpaid principal balance during the construction process.

Can the borrower pay off their loan when constructing?

Borrowers have the ability make a principal balance payment at any time. When the loan is modified the reduced unpaid principal balance will be used for the modification amount and the loan will be reamortized on the lesser amount.

Final draw on construction loans?

The following documents are needed:
• Form E (fully executed)
• Certificate of Occupancy (or equivalent)
• Unconditional Lien Waivers outstanding from previous draws
• Final Inspection (ordered by Security America mortgage)
• Additional documentation may be required as a result of Granite’s final review.

Final appraisal inspection for construction loans?

The final appraisal inspection fee is collected at closing and held in an interest-bearing account along with the final title update fee and survey fees (if applicable). The interest is applied to the principal balance monthly. The inspection will be paid for upon completion from these funds.

Requalification on one time construction loans?

• Depending on the product, nearing the end of the construction phase (80% completion) the borrower’s loan is reviewed for requalification.
• Product description outlines when a requalification is required
• Updated credit/income/asset documentation may be required
• Security America mortgage will contact the borrower for any required documents

Loan modification for One Time Close products?

• Once the final draw is completed and the borrower has made their last interest only payment for their construction loan, the modification process may begin
• Security America mortgage Administration will contact the borrower and prepare the modification package

Veterans using rental income to pay off their mortgage?

We likely can not use the rental income on a VA loan but we may be able to use on another program but will likely require a down payment with higher rate. His VA disability income is not taxable but his rental income is, he should have claimed this rental income by filing on tax returns.

Land equity to make up 10% down payment on a mortgage?

Yes, your land equity can reduce the down payment based on the amount of land equity you have

Seasoning requirement for land equity on 1 time close?

No, an appraisal will determine your equity.

Best practices & missed items for builder approval?

• Form A: Contractor’s Questionnaire must be completed in its entirety, signed and dated
• If the contractor is not required to be licensed in their area, please include this information in the submission package
• Include Workman compensation insurance. The policy should not be expired or reflect “exempt.”
• Completed and fully executed W9 on the correct form (Oct. 2018 Revision Date)
• Provide the builder’s email address and phone number
• If possible, include the project type (construction/renovation), along with the loan amount

Best practices or missed items for project approval?

• Advise Granite if project has started prior to closing. Include contact party information for a preclose site inspection (name, phone number, email address)
• A copy of the appraisal is required
• Advise Granite if a draw at close is needed and provide fully executed Form E
• Floor and elevation plans are required where the footprint of the property is changing
• If doing a staged draw process, it must be accompanied by the project specifications to verify the eight elements of construction are included
• The following is not required for project approval: Land purchase contract, loan specific documentation and permits.

Does Security America mortgage allow owner-builder projects?

All of the construction and renovation products require a true 3rd party builder contract. Both the project and the builder must meet Security America mortgage’s requirements.

What are the builder requirements for approval?

Requirements for builder approval are: 660 personal credit score, 3 or more years in business with stable to increasing sales each year and 10 or more completed projects (which need to include new construction for new construction builds). A builder approval is good for 1 full year.

Granite’s info to send the builder/project docs?

• Please send the complete documentation to Projects@GraniteRiskManagement.com.
• Call customer service at (888)-456-4888 or email CustomerService@GraniteRiskManagement.com

Granite’s turn time for review of a builder package?

Contractor packages are reviewed for completeness and a Status Notification is sent within 3 business days. Additional documentation is reviewed within 24 hours of receipt.

Builder review for a renovation project under $40k?

No, a full contractor review is not required for a renovation project under $40,000. A valid contractor’s license along with current liability and workers compensation insurance are required.

T1, T2 or T3 in Granite documentation?

These are the three different tiers utilized for builder approval. Depending upon the strength of the builder and/or the builder’s credit profile, a T1 builder would have a streamlined draw process, a T2 builder is a partial streamlined draw process and a T3 builder would have to provide the full documentation including all required invoices and lien waivers. See Exhibit A – Tiered Builder Draw Requirements

Required floor and elevation plans?

Floor and elevation plans are required for all new construction projects, as well as renovation projects where the footprint of the home is changing and/or any additional square footage is being added (i.e. an addition). These are a requirement of the project review process.

 When is a pre-close inspection required?

If the project is a renovation project, exceeding $80,000, a pre-close inspection will be required. For any construction project, if work has begun prior to closing, a pre-close inspection is required.

 What is Granite’s turn time for project approvals?

Project packages are reviewed for completeness and a Status Notification is sent within 3 business days. Additional documentation is reviewed within 48 hours of receipt.

 Will the budget require a contingency?

Yes, a 5% contingency is required for all construction projects and must be included in the builder’s budget.

Modular homes handled when factory are involved?

We require that a general contractor handle the site work. The general contractor would be the one to go through the approval process with Granite. For deposit or prepayment on the modular, we will allow 30% draw at close to the modular manufacturer.

MY borrower prepaid for some items prior to close?

This would be referred to as an equity credit. During the project review, complete Form D1 for equity credit and provide invoices, paid receipts, cancelled checks to coincide with the form. The items paid for must be on the itemized budget. The borrower will receive equity credit only, as a borrower cannot receive both equity credit and reimbursement. Equity credit reduces the total amount owed to the builder/contractor. If the borrower wishes to receive reimbursement, see under “After Closing” Section.

Hazard insurance requirements on a construction loan?

A builder’s risk policy is required. Coverage should be effective on or before closing. The coverage should be equal to or greater than the loan amount. The policy should include the builders name, the borrowers name and the property address. The mortgagee clause must read: Security America mortgage, Its Successor and/or assigns, P.O. Box 52198, Phoenix, AZ 85072-2198.

 What is needed to take a draw at closing?

Signed Form E by borrowers and builder is required for a draw at close. This needs to be provided to Granite during the project review phase and a copy should be provided to underwriting (wholesale loan) and to processing (retail loan).

Is the borrower paying fee for the closing draw?

The closing draw does not count as one of the predetermined draws. There also will not be a fee associated with a closing draw.

Request a draw if my builder needs funds?

The builder should request an initial draw at closing. The max initial draw is the lessor of 10% of cost to build or $50,000 (Jumbo 10% or $100,000). No further draws can occur until we receive the closing package, the loan goes through the Post Close process, is on boarded with MSP and set up with Granite. This process can take up to 14 days.

Granite on how to request draws after loan closing?

Once the loan is set up in Granite’s system, up to two weeks after closing, the builder will receive a welcome notification from Granite via email. The welcome email will outline the draw process, where and how to submit the request(s) and additional information on how to access their website plus future draw information.

Where to send draw request documentation?

• Please send the complete documentation to Draws@GraniteRiskManagement.com.
• Call customer service at (888)-456-4888 or email CustomerService@GraniteRiskManagement.com

 How long does a draw take?

Granite will order the inspection as soon as they receive the draw request. Within 3 days of receipt of the draw request, Granite will issue a Notice of Draw Status (NOD) which will outline any outstanding or needed items. In an effort to avoid delays, you should be sending Granite any outstanding items, so that when the inspection is received and goes through the QA process, they will send Security America mortgage the draw approval recommendation. The Security America mortgage Administration team processes draw requests within 24 hours of receipt. (Please note that if the property is located in a flood zone, additional reviews are done for proper insurance coverage)

Borrowed funds used for the construction projects?

The borrower’s funds are held in an interest-bearing account. The monthly accumulated interest will be applied to principal. When a draw is received these funds will be utilized first, prior to drawing on the loan. Once the borrower funds are depleted the loan proceeds will be utilized.

 What are the forms required for a draw?

• Form E – Completed and signed by both contractor and borrower. Line numbers must match the itemized budget. Payee information should be complete.
• Form F – Bank account authorization
• Form G – Indemnification if draws are payable to the contractor only
• W9 – Revision date October 2018
Also, see Exhibit A – Tiered Draw Process information

 When are permits required?

Permits are required prior to completion of first draw, after closing. Closing draw is not considered First Draw. Do not send permits at the time of project approval.

 When are surveys required?

Typically surveys are required if the footprint/foundation of the property changes, unless a survey endorsement is provided by the title company (state requirements may vary). For true survey determination, we will contact the title company to verify if a survey is needed to issue the final title policy. Note: If the property resides in a flood zone, a survey may be required at time of the foundation being completed (prior to 1st draw).

Flood insurance when property is in a flood zone?

Once the vertical building has started, a satisfactory Flood Insurance Policy will be required. Any pending draws cannot be processed until Flood Insurance is in place and has received approval from the Flood Review team for proper coverage. The coverage must be verified at each draw if the property is in a flood zone, which may cause a small delay in processing the draw.

 What if we need funds for materials?

Our construction products fund for work completed. Both the borrower and the contractor sign the Notice of Memorandum, which outlines this policy. However, we may allow for material draws up to 50% of the cost with an invoice.

 When is an inspection ordered?

As soon as the draw request is received by Granite, an inspection is requested. As a caution, do not send the draw request too early, in order to avoid an inspection happening prior to work being completed.

 How are inspections paid for?

The drawinspections are paid in the Granite fees collected at closing. This is why it is imperative the number of draws are determined prior to closing. Additional draws will be charged a per draw fee based upon the fee schedule.

Seek repayments if my borrower prepaid foritems?

If the items are part of the itemized budget, the borrower may seek reimbursement, after closing, during the draw process. The borrower must provide Granite, after closing, documentation of the items paid for (i.e. cancelled checks) along with receipts/paid invoices. Granite will review in accordance with the budget as part of the draw process. Do not provide the paid receipts, cancelled checks and so on during the project review process or this will be treated as an equity credit. A reminder, a borrower cannot receive both equity credit and reimbursement.

Additional money used on a specific line item?

If there are changes to the budget, a written change order request should be provided. It needs to include which line item to remove funds from and which line to allocate funds to. Either a formalized Fannie Mae Change Order Form may be used or a written request, signed by both borrower and builder can be utilized. The documentation must be sent to Granite who will review the request with Security America mortgage Management. Significant changes to the scope of the project may not be approved if they are determined to have a detrimental effect on value.

Change orders or requests to changes in the budget?

The change requests need to go through Granite and include the change order request. Granite will review and send to Security America mortgage Construction Management for consideration. As long as there is no deferential effect on value, the change will be considered.

Start another project before this project is completed?

We do not allow for work outside of the original project scope. Our project needs to be completed first prior to any additional projects should be started. This would include but not limited to additional builds on the lot and/or further renovation type work.

Mortgage statements mailed during construction phase?

Ensure the correct mailing address is listed on the 1003 accurately at the time of loan submission. This is the address where the monthly statements are mailed to the borrower.

Mortgage payment if the loan has not been drawn on?

The borrower is required to make a monthly payment if they escrowed for taxes and insurance. Please note, if the borrower is behind in their mortgage payments, a draw cannot be released until the loan is considered current.

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Borrower making payments without using MyLoans?

The borrowers can make their payments by phone, by mail or set up the bill payment feature through their bank. MyLoans does not work due to the fluctuation in the unpaid principal balance during the construction process.

Borrower's payment during the construction process?

Borrowers have the ability make a principal balance payment at any time. When the loan is modified the reduced unpaid principal balance will be used for the modification amount and the loan will be reamortized on the lesser amount.

 What is needed for a final draw?

The following documents are needed:
• Form E (fully executed)
• Certificate of Occupancy (or equivalent)
• Unconditional Lien Waivers outstanding from previous draws
• Final Inspection (ordered by Security America mortgage)
• Additional documentation may be required as a result of Granite’s final review.

 How is the final appraisal inspection paid for?

The final appraisal inspection fee is collected at closing and held in an interest-bearing account along with the final title update fee and survey fees (if applicable). The interest is applied to the principal balance monthly. The inspection will be paid for upon completion from these funds.

 When will the requalification take place?

• Depending on the product, nearing the end of the construction phase (80% completion) the borrower’s loan is reviewed for requalification.
• Product description outlines when a requalification is required
• Updated credit/income/asset documentation may be required
• Security America mortgage will contact the borrower for any required documents

Loan modification and the One Time Close products?

• Once the final draw is completed and the borrower has made their last interest only payment for their construction loan, the modification process may begin
• Security America mortgage Administration will contact the borrower and prepare the modification package

What repairs can I do with a VA renovation loan?

Eligible Repairs
Example of eligible structural alternations:

  • Removing an interior load-bearing wall
  • Repairing some structural components of the roof:
    • Adding a second story or changing the elevation is not permitted
  • Attached additions:
    • Attached additions expanding the footprint of the home require second level project review prior to approval
  • Repair/installation of private water systems (Wells)
  • Minor repairs to Septic systems
  • Recreational/Luxury Improvements require second-level project review
What repairs aren’t allowed with a VA renovation loan?

Ineligible Repairs:
Major Repair or installation of the Septic system

Can a veteran bring the money for the appraisal?

Down payment assistance, in the general sense, is not available for VA loans. When facing an appraisal shortage if the Veteran chooses to pay the difference between the sales price/acquisition cost to meet appraisal value those funds must come from the Veteran. The funds can be gifted from a family member too.

Can ITIN borrowers utilize down payment assistance?

No,  ITIN borrowers. We do offer a 96.5% loan for true ITIN borrowers which is the best on the market and they can receive gift funds! That's huge, we are in a very select group of lenders that are allowed to offer this program.

Does Security America offer down payment and for what loans?

Security America Mortgage offers down payment assistance for FHA loans

How much can a borrower expect after down payment?

Well if they receiving DPA typically the goal is for the DPA to cover all of the down payment.

Military veterans and 100% financing with zero down?

no, a FHA borrower utilizing our down payment assistance program could end up with no down payment

Minimum credit score for a down payment program?

600 for most down payment assistance programs

First time home buyer to get down payment assistance?

Garrett Puckett Can I get down payment assistance on a manufactured home loan? Yes, you can get down payment assistance with a manufactured home alone.

Down payment assistance on a manufactured home loan?

Yes, you can get down payment assistance with a manufactured home alone.

Down payment assistance & debt to income ratio?

This will depend on aus but good rule of thumb is back end debt to income ratio of 43%

Do I have to pay back my down payment assistance?

here are two types of DPA, forgivable and repayable. Repayable is a 10yr second lien.

What is AUS automated underwriting system?

Automated Underwriting System (AUS) is a technology-driven underwriting process that makes an underwriting response regarding eligibility of the mortgage purchase in the secondary markets. Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter and Freddie Mac's Loan Prospector are the most commonly used automated underwriting systems.

Who can get down payment assistance?

• U.S. Citizens
• Non-Occupant Co-Borrowers
• Permanent Resident Aliens
• Non-Permanent Resident Aliens

Down payment assistance with a program?

3.5% or 5% with CHENOA DPA - FHA and 5% with NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS FUND – FHA

Down payment assistant programs?
Down payment assistance aviability?

30 year loans

Term and rate to repay my down payment assistance?

10 yr. Term
• Rate: 2% higher than the 1st Mortgage

Max loan amount when using down payment assistance?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it is raising the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to more than $647,200. In most of the U.S., the 2023 maximum conforming loan limit will be raised to $715,000, up from 2020's level of 510,400 and 2021’s $647,200

New high balance loan limit in California 2022?

$970,800

2022 conforming loan limits for California have been $647,200 and up to $970,800 for high-cost counties (aka. high balance mortgage loans) for one-unit properties.

Income limit to qualify for down payment assistance?
What’s a renovation/rehab loan?

When someone wants to renovate the home that they currently own they may do a refinance to do this but if someone does not on the home and they want to buy a home that needs work, they would use the renovation loan

Improvements or buying a home that needs repairs?

These are two different loan types. When you are doing a home improvement loan on your current home that you own, this is what we call a refinance home-equity but when you want to buy a home and get the work done on that home as part of the purchase transaction, it is called a renovation loan or rehab loan.

Disabled veteran exemption & disabled person exemption?

No. The qualifications for the disabled veteran exemption are different than those for the disabled person exemption.

Tax Code Section 11.22 applies to a veteran of the U.S. armed forces with a service-connected disability. The veteran must be classified as disabled by the U.S. Veterans' Administration or the branch of the armed services in which the veteran served and be a Texas resident.

Unlike the disabled person exemption, which only applies to residence homestead property, the disabled veteran exemption can be applied to any one property the disabled veteran owns. A disabled veteran may also qualify for the disabled person exemption.

The surviving spouse (if unmarried) or surviving children (if under age 18) of a disabled veteran may also qualify to receive a partial exemption.

What is the amount of the disabled veteran exemption?

The exemption amount depends on the veteran's disability rating from the U.S. Veterans' Administration or the branch of the armed services in which the veteran served.

Disability RatingExemption Amount Up To
10% to 29%$5,000 from the property's value
30% to 49%$7,500 from the property's value
50% to 69%$10,000 from the property's value
70% to 100%$12,000 from the property's value

A disabled veteran may also qualify for an exemption of $12,000 of the assessed value of the property if the veteran is age 65 or older with a disability rating of at least 10 percent; totally blind in one or both eyes; or has lost use of one or more limbs.

Is a donated house an exempt property?

A disabled veteran with a disability rating of less than 100 percent may qualify for an exemption on their residence homestead donated by a charitable organization. The percentage amount of the exemption is equal to the disabled veteran's disability rating. The same percentage exemption extends to the surviving spouse if:

  • the surviving spouse has not remarried;
  • the property was the surviving spouse's homestead when the disabled veteran died; and
  • the property remains his or her residence homestead.
Exemption if my spouse died serving in the US military?

Tax Code Section 11.133 allows the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services killed or fatally injured in the line of duty to qualify for a total property tax exemption on his or her residence homestead if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the armed services member.

A surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who dies while on active duty may also qualify for a $5,000 exemption under Tax Code Section 11.22. This exemption may be applied to any one property the surviving spouse owns.

Driver's license for proof of my disability rating?

No. While a driver's license or personal identification certificate is required to apply for some exemptions, these forms of identification are not satisfactory proof of disability rating for property tax exemption purposes.

100% disability rating & service connected disability?

Yes. A disabled veteran with a service-connected disability awarded 100 percent disability compensation and a disability rating of 100 percent (or determination of individual unemployability) is eligible for this exemption.

Unemployable and a service-connected disability?

No. A disabled veteran with a service-connected disability awarded 100 percent disability compensation is eligible for this exemption if he or she is either 100 percent disabled or is unemployable.

Deadline to file for an exemption?

The deadline for filing an exemption is April 30. However, the Tax Code allows applications for certain exemptions to be filed after the deadline has passed.

To receive the 100 percent disabled veteran exemption, you may file for the exemption up to five years after the delinquency date for the taxes on the property.

Veteran exemption at half tax year?

A person qualifying for the exemption after Jan. 1 of a tax year may receive the exemption immediately on qualification for the applicable portion of that tax year.

Disabled veteran changes residence at half a tax year?

If an exemption applied to a residence homestead on Jan. 1 ends during the year, tax is due on the homestead for the portion of the year after the date the exemption ends.

Disabled veteran exemption claim in half tax year ?

The exemption may start immediately when the 100 percent disabled veteran qualifies the new residence homestead. The tax due for that tax year is the amount due for the portion of the year before the exemption started. Residence Homestead Application must be filed with the appraisal district in which the new residence homestead is located.

100% disabled veterans exemption for surviving spouses?

A surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who qualified for this exemption or who would have qualified for this exemption if it had been in effect at the time of the veteran's death is eligible if:

  • the surviving spouse has not remarried;
  • the property was the surviving spouse's residence homestead at the time of the veteran's death; and
  • the property remains the surviving spouse's residence homestead.
Surviving spouses & exemption if they remarry?

No. A surviving spouse does not qualify if the surviving spouse has remarried since the death of the disabled veteran.

How much is the exemption?

The total appraised value of the disabled veteran's residence homestead.

Surviving spouse moves to a new residence homestead?

A surviving spouse can receive an exemption on a subsequent residence homestead if he or she has not remarried since the death of the disabled veteran. However, the amount of the exemption is the dollar amount of the exemption from taxation of the former residence homestead in the last year the surviving spouse received the exemption. The new residence homestead might not receive a total property tax exemption.

100% Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouses Exemption?

No. This exemption only applies to a disabled veteran's residence homestead.

Disabled veterans owning property other than a residence homestead may qualify for a different exemption under Tax Code Section 11.22, which can be applied to any property the disabled veteran owns.

Can ITIN borrowers utilize down payment assistance?

No, but we do offer a 96.5% loan for true ITIN borrowers which is the best on the market and they can receive gift funds! That's huge, we are in a very select group of lenders that are allowed to offer this program.

Does Security America Mortgage offers down payment assitance programs for FHA and Conventional loans.

Only FHA

What you get after getting an FHA loan?

Well if they receiving DPA typically the goal is for the DPA to cover all of the down payment.

Credit score to qualify for an assistance program?

600

Debt to income ratio for down payment assistance?

This will depend on the Automated Underwriting System but good rule of thumb is back end of 43%.

Do I have to pay back my down payment assistance?

There are two types of DPA, forgivable and repayable. Repayable is a 10yr second lien.

Down payment assistance program forgiven?

Must I go through a process to get my down payment assistance forgiven so I do not have to pay it back? If so, what's that process?

Yes, for any DPA you must go complete a home buyer education course and of course credit and income qualify.

Repayable program over the forgivable?

The terms are better, rate and costs. Also pricing for the forgivable is much better.

If a lender is unwilling to accept a Veteran's application for a loan, what should the Veteran do?

The Veteran should see another lender. The fact that one lender is not interested in making the loan the Veteran wants does not mean that other lenders will not make the loan.

How are VA loans processed?

There are two ways a lender may process VA home loans: “prior approval” or “automatic.”
When the loan is processed on a prior approval basis, the lender takes your application, requests VA to appraise the property, and verifies your income and credit record. All this information is put together in a loan package and sent to VA for review. If VA approves the loan, a commitment by
VA to guarantee the loan is sent to the lender. The lender then closes the loan and sends a report of the closing to VA. If the loan complies with VA requirements, VA issues the lender a certificate of guaranty.
In automatic processing, the lender still orders an appraisal from VA, but has the authority to make the credit decision on the loan without VA's approval. The biggest difference between prior approval and automatic processing is the time saved by avoiding the need to await VA's approval before loan closing.

All lenders do not have the authority to process loans on the automatic basis. Banks, savings and loan associations, and certain other lenders such as mortgage companies which are approved by VA, have the privilege of processing VA-guaranteed loans using the automatic procedure.
Lenders approved to participate in VA's Lender Appraisal Processing Program are generally able to expedite the processing of VA appraisals.

What should a Veteran do while waiting for loan approval?

Sometimes it may take longer than you might expect for the lender or VA to process your loan application. For instance, your current or former employer may be slow in returning an employment verification form or it may take some time to obtain a credit rating from out-of-state creditors.
Occasionally, the application VA receives from the lender is incomplete
in some important aspect and VA must ask the lender to furnish additional information before a final decision can be made. Ordinarily, you should plan on an average of 4 to 6 weeks to obtain a decision on your application.
In any case, information on the progress of your application should be obtained from the lender, who will be aware of developments as they occur.
It is most important that you not make any commitments based on an expected approval of your loan. You should not, for example, give notice to your landlord until the loan is actually approved by VA (or by your lender if the automatic processing procedure is used). Generally, it is not advisable to move into the home before the loan is approved. If for some reason the loan is not obtained, you could be faced with additional expense and inconvenience.

What is pre-purchase counseling and why would it be helpful?

Pre-purchase counseling is especially helpful to a first time homebuyer.
It gives a person useful information on (1) the process of buying a home, (2) the key players in the home buying process and (3) debt management. The goal is to create a more well-informed homebuyer. While VA does not require such counseling, we strongly recommend it. There is usually no charge for the housing counseling. To locate a housing counseling office, call (800) 569-4287. This toll-free number and referral service is maintained by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Loan Repayment Terms
The maximum VA home loan term is 30 years and 32 days; however, the term may never be for more than the remaining economic life of the property as determined by the appraisal.

May a Veteran pay off a VA loan before it becomes due?

Yes. A VA loan may be partially or fully paid at any time without penalty. Partial payments may not be less than 1 monthly installment or $100, whichever is less (consult your lender).

May the maturity on a VA loan be extended to reduce the monthly payments?

Yes, provided the Veteran and the lender want to extend it and the extension provides for complete repayment of the loan within the maximum period permitted for loans of its type.

If a Veteran dies before the loan is paid off, will the VA guaranty pay off the balance of the loan?

No. The surviving spouse or other co-borrower must continue to make the payments. If there is no co-borrower, the loan becomes the obligation of the Veteran's estate. Protection against this may be obtained through mortgage life insurance, which must be purchased from private insurance sources.

Does having a VA loan limit a Veteran's right or ability to sell the property?

No. A Veteran may sell the property to a Veteran or nonVeteran at any time. However, if the loan was approved on or after March 1, 1988, and it will be assumed, the qualifications of the assumer must be reviewed and approved by the lender or VA.

Will the Veteran's payments always be paid to the same company?

No. It is common practice in the mortgage lending industry to sell mortgages, often before the first payment is even due. If your loan is sold, you may find that you sent your first payment to the wrong place and the new holder of your loan may send you an overdue notice. Even though you know you made the payment, and it is up to the two lenders to get it straightened out, do not ignore the notice. (Most lenders will notify the Veteran if the loan is sold and help straighten out any problems.)

When a Veteran sells the property to someone who will assume the existing VA loan, is the Veteran released automatically from personal liability for repayment of the loan?

No. If the loan was approved on or after March 1, 1988, the lender or VA must be notified and requested to approve the assumer and grant the Veteran release from liability. If the loan was approved prior to March 1, 1988, the loan may be assumed without approval from VA or the lender. However, the Veteran is strongly urged to request a release of liability from VA.

If a loan closed prior to March 1, 1988 can be assumed without VA's approval, why should a Veteran be concerned about requesting and obtaining a release from personal liability?

If a Veteran does not obtain a release of liability, and VA suffers a loss on account of a default by the assumer or some future assumer, a debt may be established against the Veteran. Also, strenuous collection efforts will be made against the Veteran if a debt is established.

How may a Veteran obtain a release of liability from VA?

A Veteran may obtain a release of liability by having the buyer assume all
of the Veteran's liabilities on the VA loan, and by having VA or the loan
holder approve the buyer and the assumption agreement. If the VA loan was approved prior to March 1, 1988, the application forms for a release of liability must be requested from the VA Regional Loan Center of jurisdiction. In most cases, if the VA loan was approved on or after March 1, 1988, the application forms must be requested from the lender to whom the payments are made.

If a Veteran obtains a release of liability, is restoration of entitlement automatic?

No. Restoration requirements may be found on page 11

Does active duty for training in the Guard and Reserves qualify a person for home loan benefits?

No. Active duty for training in the Guard and Reserves does not qualify a person for home loan benefits, unless the person completes a total of 6 years in the Guard and/or Reserves and serves under title 10, U.S.C.

Does this kind of service provide entitlement to any other veterans'home loan benefit?

Yes. Active-duty-for-training service may qualify you for a HUD/FHA veterans' loan.
Under the National Housing Act loan program, the Federal Housing Administration of the Department of Housing and Urban Development administers a loan program for veterans. Financing under this program is available under slightly more favorable terms than those available to nonveterans. VA's only role in this program is to determine the eligibility of the veteran and, if qualified, issue a Certificate of Veteran Status as evidence of entitlement to HUD/FHA loan benefits for veterans.
You may get a Certificate of Veteran Status by completing VA Form 26-8261a, Request for Certificate of Veteran Status, and submitting it with the attachments listed in the instructions to VA for a determination of eligibility. This form may be obtained from VA or at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/.
All veterans discharged under other than dishonorable conditions from at least 90 days of service which began before September 8, 1980, are eligible. Veterans of enlisted service in a regular component of the Armed Forces, which began after September 7, 1980, or officers or reservists who entered on active duty after October 13, 1982, must have served at least 24 months of service or the full period for which called to active duty or Active Duty for Training before being discharged, unless the discharge was for hardship or disability.

What can a veteran do who has lost his or her original discharge papers and does not have alegible copy?

The veteran should obtain a Certificate in Lieu of Lost or Destroyed Discharge. Any VA office will assist the veteran in obtaining necessary proof of military service.

Does a veteran's home loan entitlement expire?

No. Home loan entitlement is generally good until used. However, the eligibility of service personnel is only available so long as they remain on active duty. If they are discharged or released from active duty before using their entitlement, a new determination of their eligibility must be made, based on the length of service and the type of discharge received.

How much entitlement does each veteran have?

Originally, the maximum entitlement available was $2,000; however, legislation enacted since that time has provided veterans with increases in entitlement up to the present maximum of $36,000 (or up to $ 89,912 for certain loans over $144,000). The $36,000 may, however, be reduced if entitlement has been used before to get a VA loan. The amount of remaining entitlement can be determined by subtracting the amount of entitlement used from the current maximum available entitlement of $36,000. (See question 8 for information on using remaining entitlement.)

Does VA home loan entitlement provide cash to the veteran?

No. The amount of entitlement relates only to the amount VA will guarantee the lender against loss.

Can a veteran get used entitlement back to use again?

If you have used all or part of your entitlement, you can get that entitlement back to purchase another home if the following conditions for "restoration" are met:
 The property has been sold and the loan has been paid in full, or
 A qualified veteran-transferee (buyer) must agree to assume the outstanding balance on the loan and agree to "substitute" his or her entitlement for the same amount of entitlement you originally used to get the loan. The buyer must also meet the occupancy and income and credit requirements of the law.
 ONE TIME ONLY if you have repaid the prior VA loan in full, but have not disposed of the property securing that loan, the entitlement you used in connection with that loan may be restored.
Any loss suffered by VA as a result of guaranty of the loan (for example a claim paid to a lender if a loan goes to foreclosure) must be repaid in full before the entitlement used on the loan can be restored.
Restoration of entitlement is not automatic. You must apply for it by completing and returning VA Form 26-1880, “Request for a Certificate of Eligibility” to the Eligibility Center. This form may be obtained from any VA office or at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/.

If the requirements for restoration cannot be met, is there any other way a veteran can obtain another VA loan?

Yes. Veterans who had a VA loan before may still have "remaining entitlement" to use for another VA loan. The current amount of entitlement available to each eligible veteran is $36,000 ($89,912 for certain loans over $144,000). This was much lower in years past and has been

increased over time by changes in the law. For example, a veteran who obtained a $25,000 loan in 1974 would have used $12,500 guaranty entitlement, the maximum then available. Even if that loan is not paid off, the veteran could use the $23,500 difference between the $12,500 entitlement originally used and the current maximum of $36,000 to buy another home with VA financing.
Most lenders require that a combination of the guaranty entitlement and any cash downpayment must equal at least 25 percent of the reasonable value or sales price of the property, whichever is less. Thus, in the example, the veteran's $23,500 remaining entitlement would probably meet a lender's minimum guaranty requirement for a no-downpayment loan to buy a property valued at, and selling for, $94,000. The veteran could also combine a downpayment with the remaining entitlement for a larger loan amount.

May several veterans use their entitlement to acquire property together?

Yes. The guaranty is based on each veteran's interest in the property, but the guaranty on the loan may not exceed the lesser of 40 percent of the loan amount or $36,000 ($89,912 for certain loans over $144,000).

If both a husband and wife are eligible, may they acquire property jointly and so increase the amount which may be guaranteed?

They may acquire property jointly, but the amount of guaranty on the loan may not exceed the lesser of 40 percent of the loan amount or $36,000 ($89,912 for certain loans over $144,000).

May a veteran join with a nonveteran in obtaining a VA loan?

Yes, but the guaranty is based only on the veteran's portion of the loan. The guaranty cannot cover the nonveteran's part of the loan. This does not apply to a loan to a veteran and spouse when the spouse is not a veteran. (Consult lenders to determine whether they would be willing to accept applications for joint loans of this type.)

Does the issuance of a certificate of eligibility guarantee approval of a VA loan?

No. The veteran must still be found to be qualified for the loan from an income and credit standpoint.

Can a veteran or active duty servicemember who is eligible for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant apply for a GI home loan from a private lender to cover the difference between the total cost of the house and the SAH grant?

Yes. A veteran or active duty servicemember who is eligible for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant can apply for a GI home loan from a private lender to cover the difference between the total cost of the house and the SAH grant. SAH program eligibility requirements and points of contact information are available at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/sah.asp.

If private financing is not available, can VA make the veteran or active duty servicemember a direct loan to cover the difference between the total cost of the house and a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant?

Yes, provided the veteran or active duty servicemember has GI home loan entitlement and qualifies from a credit standpoint. The maximum direct loan is currently $33,000.

How much is the guaranty?

The basic maximum guaranty (also called “entitlement”) for loan amounts of $144,000 and below is $36,000. For loans in excess of $144,000, the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 provides for a temporary increase in the maximum guaranty for loans closed January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2011. The maximum guaranty now varies depending on the location of the property. While VA does not have a maximum loan amount, there are effective “loan limits” for high-cost counties. The limits are derived by considering both the median home price for a county and the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. To aid lenders in determining the maximum guaranty in high-cost counties, a loan limit chart with examples is available online at www.homeloans.va.gov/loan_limits.htm. This website will be updated annually.

Is $36,000 the biggest loan a Veteran can get?

No. $36,000 is the maximum guaranty, or protection for the lender, for loans of $144,000 and below. Lenders will typically lend up to four times the available guaranty to qualified Veterans without requiring a down‑payment. For loans in excess of $144,000, the maximum guaranty may be higher (see previous question and answer.) You may generally borrow up to the reasonable value of the property or the purchase price, whichever is less, plus the funding fee, if required.

What is the maximum VA loan?

There is no maximum VA loan, except that the loan cannot exceed the lesser of the appraised value or purchase price, plus VA funding fee and energy efficient improvements, if applicable.

Must the loan be repaid?

Yes. A VA-guaranteed loan is not a gift. It must be repaid, just as you must repay any money you borrow. The VA guaranty, which protects the lender against loss, encourages the lender to make a loan with terms favorable to the Veteran. If you fail to make the payments you agreed to make, you may lose your home through foreclosure and you and your family would probably lose the time and money invested in the home. If the lender does take a loss, VA must pay the guaranty to the lender, and the amount paid by VA must be repaid by you. If your loan closed on or after January 1,1990, in the event of a default you will owe the Government only if there was fraud, misrepresentation, or bad faith on your part.

Does VA make any loan directly to eligible Veterans?

Yes, but only to Native American Veterans on trust land or to supplement a grant to get a specially adapted home for certain eligible Veterans who have permanent and total service-connected disabilities. For information concerning direct loans to Native American Veterans, see VA Pamphlet 26‑93‑1, which can be found at: http://www.homeloans.va.gov/VAP26‑93-1.htm. Information concerning specially adapted housing grants can be found at: http://www.homeloans.va.gov/sah.htm.

Can a Veteran get a VA loan to pay off the mortgage or other liens of record on his or her home?

Yes. The following refinancing loans are available under the VA‑guaranteed home loan program:

• To pay off the mortgage and/or other liens of record on the home. In most cases, the loan may not exceed the reasonable value of the property as determined by an appraisal, plus the funding fee, if required. The loan may include funds for any purpose which is acceptable to the lender, plus closing costs, including a reasonable number of discount points. A Veteran must have available home loan entitlement. An existing loan on a manufactured home (except as noted below) may not be refinanced with a VA-guaranteed loan.

• To refinance an existing VA loan to obtain a lower interest rate. Use of additional loan entitlement is not required. The loan amount is limited to the balance of the old loan plus the closing costs, discount points, funding fee, and up to $6,000 in energy efficient improvements. An existing VA loan on a manufactured home may be refinanced to obtain a lower interest rate.

Can a Veteran get a VA business loan?

No, but business loans may be obtained through the (SBA) Small Business Administration. SBA gives preference to Veterans wishing to obtain small business assistance. For more information on this financing, consult your telephone directory for the SBA office nearest you or visit www.vetbiz.gov for general information on Veterans in business.

Can a Veteran get a VA farm loan?

No, except for a farm on which there is a farm residence that will be personally occupied by the Veteran as a home. The Veteran may or may not conduct farming operations. If farming operations are to be the primary source of the borrower’s income, then it must be established that the venture has a reasonable likelihood for success. If the borrower plans to use the residence, but has a source of income other than the farm that will be the primary source of income, then the farming operations need not be considered. Other types of farm financing may be obtained through the Farmers Home Administration, which gives preference to Veteran applicants. Additional information can be obtained by contacting a local office of that agency; their address and telephone number can be found in your local telephone directory.

Can a Veteran get a VA loan to buy or construct a residential property containing more than one family unit?

Yes, but the total number of separate units cannot be more than four if one Veteran is buying. If more than one Veteran is buying, then one additional family unit may be added to the basic four for each Veteran participating; thus, one Veteran could buy four units; two Veterans, five units; three Veterans, six units, etc. In addition, if the Veteran must depend on rental income from the property to qualify for the loan, the Veteran must (a) show that he or she has the background or qualifications to be successful as a landlord, and (b) have enough cash reserves to make the loan payments for at least 6 months without help from the rental income.

Can a Veteran get a VA loan to purchase a
cooperatively-owned apartment?

VA is authorized to approve loans made to purchase a unit in a cooperative (co-op); however, only a limited number of lenders have shown an interest in this type of loan.

Can a Veteran obtain a VA loan for the purchase of property in a foreign country?

No. The property must be located in the United States, its territories, or possessions. The territories and possessions are Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.

Can a Veteran obtain a loan from a private lender in one State for the purchase of property in another State?

Yes. However, many lenders limit their lending operations to certain areas.

May a lender require security from the Veteran in addition to the property being purchased?

Yes. This is a matter between the Veteran and the lender. While VA does not require that additional security be taken, it does not object if the Veteran is willing.

Does this kind of service provide entitlement to any other veterans' home loan benefit?

Yes. Active-duty-for-training service may qualify you for a HUD/FHA veterans' loan.

Under the National Housing Act loan program, the Federal Housing Administration of the Department of Housing and Urban Development administers a loan program for veterans. Financing under this program is available under slightly more favorable terms than those available to nonveterans. VA's only role in this program is to determine the eligibility of the veteran and, if qualified, issue a Certificate of Veteran Status as evidence of entitlement to HUD/FHA loan benefits for veterans. You may get a Certificate of Veteran Status by completing VA Form 26-8261a, Request for Certificate of Veteran Status, and submitting it with the attachments listed in the instructions to VA for a determination of eligibility. This form may be obtained from VA or at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/. All veterans discharged under other than dishonorable conditions from at least 90 days of service which began before September 8, 1980, are eligible. Veterans of enlisted service in a regular component of the Armed Forces, which began after September 7, 1980, or officers or reservists who entered on active duty after October 13, 1982, must have served at least 24 months of service or the full period for which called to active duty or Active Duty for Training before being discharged, unless the discharge was for hardship or disability.

If I'm a Vet that needs the downpayment assistance..is that ok on deals where the Vet needs to bring money to closing b/c of appraisal….can this down payment assistance work for a Vet on a VA renovation loan, or VA construction loan?

Down payment assistance, in the general sense, is not available for VA loans. When facing an appraisal shortage if the Veteran chooses to pay the difference between the sales price/acquisition cost to meet appraisal value those funds must come from the Veteran. The funds can be gifted from a family memember too.

Can ITIN borrowers utilize down payment assistance?

No, but we do offer a 96.5% loan for true ITIN borrowers which is the best on the market and they can receive gift funds! That's huge, we are in a very select group of lenders that are allowed to offer this program.

Does Security America Mortgage offer down payment assistance programs for FHA and Conventional loans?

Only FHA

If approved for a down payment assistance program for a FHA loan, what is the normal amount that a borrower could expect to have to put down after getting the down payment assistance?

Well if they receiving DPA typically the goal is for the DPA to cover all of the down payment.

What’s the minimum credit score I need to qualify for a down payment assistance program on an FHA loan?

600

What debt to income ratio do I need to qualify for down payment assistance?

This will depend on the Automated Underwriting System but good rule of thumb is back end of 43%.

Do I have to pay back my down payment assistance?

There are two types of DPA, forgivable and repayable. Repayable is a 10yr second lien.

Must I go through a process to get my down payment assistance forgiven so I do not have to pay it back? If so, what's that process?

Yes, for any DPA you must go complete a home buyer education course and of course credit and income qualify.

Why would a borrower choose the repayable over the forgivable program?

The terms are better, rate and costs. Also, pricing for the forgivable is much better.

Hey Jason, as a Texas real estate broker I’ve noticed an increase in inquiries on down payment assistance from first-time home buyers. What’s the best way to navigate the different options out there and what options do you have and recommend?

It's a great question. There many mortgage products that help buyers reduced the required down payment. One of the most commonly used is an FHA loan. FHA loans allow for many different types of down payment assistance including lender funded. Lender funded down payment assistance programs allow for the most flexibility with the easiest qualifying guidelines. There are also community seconds which are from your local housing authority (county or city) which grant buyers down payment assistance. These are great too, however, they are more restrictive with qualifying guidelines and must be located in very specific areas where the homes have to meet specific criteria.

1 family doesn’t have credit established, $1000 in savings and has been paying 1500 a month in rent for about 5 years with no late payments. There debt ratio is .3 with their current rent payment. This family imigrated to the US and the husband and wife are both verifiable income earners with verifiable tax returns documenting their current income for over 2 years. They have identification numbers not social security numbers. Can you help this family?

This would be a great customer for our individual tax identification number buyers. While this particular scenario would not qualify for down payment assistance they would potentially qualify for a low down payment of 3.5%.

I have a similar family and for sake of ease let’s pretend they have the exact situation but have social security numbers, only bank statements support their income and their tax returns show half of what their bank statement income shows bc they have been self-employed with a family business for 5 years. For the last 2 years their bank statements showed income that would give them a .30 dti With their tax returns they have a .55. Do you have a program for them?

Yes, we do offer loans where we can use bank statements to document the qualifying income. Unfortunately this type of income does not qualify for down payment assistance.

If they file a return for 2022 and amend their 2021 so that their net income after taxes puts them at a .30 would you have a program for them?

As long as the income qualified them, yes. And also the amendment was done prior to applying for the loan.

It seems like many families can benefit from this program. Are you currently working with anyone that’s benefiting from down payment assistance with a different scenario than I mentioned? If so, tell me about it and how it might help other families in that same situation too.

Currently, the families we have using down payment assistance are mostly W2 wage earners who can use that income to qualify. I do have a few self employed families who are using their tax returns for income qualification.

What’s the least someone needs to put down if they are w2 wage earners and have a qualifying dti?

Well, if they qualify a borrower could have a $0 down payment if they qualify for down payment assistance.

This is very important because it means that not only military veterans can get 100% financing with zero down. What credit score is needed to qualify for the zero down?

Well that depends on a number of different factors typically non-vet borrowers with a 620 score qualify for down payment assistance. Of course there are other factors to consider but the minimum starts at 620.

How competitive is the interest rate on this program compared to other products? Such as a VA loan or standard FHA loan

I would say they are within the same range.

Can I wrap/add my VA funding fee into the loan?

As stipulated in Chapter Eight of the VA Lender’s Handbook, the funding fee can be paid from “loan proceeds.” Thus, the funding fee can be added to your VA loan. The only other closing cost that can be added to the loan amount is energy efficiency improvements.

Can I finance my va funding fee?

As stipulated in Chapter Eight of the VA Lender’s Handbook, the funding fee can be paid from “loan proceeds.” Thus, the funding fee can be added to your VA loan. The only other closing cost that can be added to the loan amount is energy efficiency improvements.

When can a VA loan interest rate be locked in?

A VA loan interest rate can be locked in when we have your application approved and a contract to purchase signed by both you the buyer and the seller.

Can I get down payment assistance on a va loan?

No