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Eligibility for VA Loans

Before you can purchase a VA condominium, you must get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) saying you quality for a VA Home Loan.

Here are the requirements to be eligible for a VA home loan:

  • You must be either a current member of the US armed forces, a veteran, a National Guard member, a Reserve member, or if you are a spouse of a veteran.
  • If none of the above applies to you, you may be able to get the COE by:
    1. You are a US citizen who served in an allied government's Armed Forces during World War II.
    2. You were a Public Health Service officer.
    3. You were a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy.
    4. You were a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.
    5. You were an officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    6. You were a merchant seaman during World War II.

Contact your Local VA Office for details.

Types of VA Loans

There are two types of VA home loans. There are the VA direct home loan and VA-backed home loans.

The VA direct home loan involves the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program instead of a private lender. You will only be eligible for this loan if you are a Native American veteran or non-Native American veteran who is married to a Native American. Additional requirements to be eligible for the NADL are:

  • Your tribal government has an agreement to work with the US Department of Veteran Affairs that includes details on how the NADL program will work with its Trust Lands.
  • You have the Certificate of Eligibility for VA home loans.
  • You meet their credit standards.
  • You have proof that you can pay the mortgage and other costs for owning a home.
  • You will also live in the home that you are using your NADL for.

The VA-backed home loan is borrowing from a private lender. The government backs the loan so if for some reason, the borrower cannot pay back, the government will help the lender to recover all its losses. Since the lender does not face such risks, the lender is more wiling to give the borrower better terms such as not having to pay a large down-payment. Requirements to be eligible for a VA-backed home loan are:

  • You have the Certificate of Eligibility for VA home loans.
  • You must meet the government's and lender's standard requirements for credit, income, and any other requirements they may have.
  • You will also live in the home that you are using your VA home loan for.

VA Loan Limits

The VA home loan does not include down payment unless it is required by the lender. There is also no mortgage insurance requirement to get a VA loan. Veterans are entitled to a starting amount of $36,000, but lenders can lend you four times that amount.

Each county has a VA loan limit based on the single-unit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Maximum Loan Limits. You will also be required to pay a one-time VA funding fee but this fee can also be included in the loan. You can be excluded from the funding fee if you receive VA disability compensation.

VA Condo Approval

Before you can purchase a condo, the condo must approved by the VA. However, it is easier to check for already VA-approved condos. You can use our tool to search for VA-approved condos.

If you see a condominium that is not yet VA-approved, your lender will ask the VA to approve the condominium. However, this can take months to process, and it may or may not be approved.

HUD approved condos are usually VA-approved if it was approved before December 2009. Before December 2009, the FHA approved condos were also VA approved, but after December 2009, the VA condo approval process branched away from the FHA approval process. Thus, it is a good precaution to check with the regional VA office to make sure that the HUD approved condos are also VA approved.

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