Eligible VA Loan Purchases
Guide to VA Loans
You may use VA-guaranteed financing:
- To buy a home.
- To buy a townhouse or condominium unit in a project that has been approved by VA.
- To build a home.
- To repair, alter, or improve a home.
- To simultaneously purchase and improve a home.
- To improve a home through installment of a solar heating and/or cooling system or other energy efficient improvements.
- To refinance an existing home loan.
- To refinance an existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate and add energy efficiency improvements.
- To buy a manufactured (mobile) home and/or lot.
- To buy and improve a lot on which to place a manufactured home which you already own and occupy.
- To refinance a manufactured home loan in order to acquire a lot.
VA LOAN QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. 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 90 percent of 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.
2. Can a veteran get a VA business loan?
No. but business loans may be obtained through the SBA (Small Business Administration). The 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.
3. Can a veteran get a VA farm loan?
No, except for a farm on which there is a farm residence which 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 which 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, the address and telephone number of which can be found in your telephone directory.
4. 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, six units; three veterans, seven 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.
5. Can a veteran get a VA loan to purchase a cooperatively owned apartment?
Generally not. Statutory lien requirements, and the fact that all or almost all of the members of the cooperatively owned apartment must be veterans who are using their entitlement, have presented considerable difficulties in obtaining VA financing for these purchases.
6. 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 latter consist of Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.
7. 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.
8. 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.