The threshold for a jumbo mortgage loan in the San Francisco Bay Area has been…
California has a significant military population and is home to dozens of military bases. So while the following statistic is noteworthy, it probably won’t come as a surprise.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showed that California has the third-highest volume of VA home loan usage. Only Florida and Texas, surpassed it.
Today, we’ll examine these statistics and talk about why the VA loan is such a popular financing tool among California military members and veterans.
Statistics: California #3 State for VA Loan Usage
Each quarter, the Department of Veterans Affairs publishes a report showing the number of VA loans generated in states across the U.S. While the volume figures change from quarter to quarter, the state rankings typically stay the same.
During the third quarter of 2022, California had the third-highest volume of VA home loans among U.S. states. This is a direct result of the large military population mentioned earlier.
Top five states for VA loan volume during Q3 2022:
- Florida: 15,818
- Texas: 13,158
- California: 10,611
- Virginia: 10,291
- North Carolina: 9,001
As a California mortgage company that specializes in VA loans, we’ve written about the subject many times in the past. Our blog offers articles on all aspects of this program. You can find them by using the search tool in our main menu, and through this compilation article.
Below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding California VA loans.
What is a VA home loan, exactly?
With a VA home loan, borrowers obtain funding from an approved bank or mortgage lender — the same as any other type of loan. The difference is that the Department of Veterans Affairs will partially guarantee the loan. This government backing lowers the risk for lenders that participate in the program.
So there are basically three “players” involved with VA loans in California: the borrower, the lender, and the government. The borrower receives financing from the lender, who in turn receives a guarantee from the government.
This relationship offers several important benefits to borrowers. So let’s talk about those next.
What are the benefits of using this program?
If you’ve been researching VA home loans lately, you probably already know the biggest benefit of this mortgage program.
VA loans allow home buyers in California to finance up to 100% of the purchase price. In other words, it makes it possible to buy a home with no down payment whatsoever. Aside from the USDA program, which is only available to certain borrowers in rural areas, VA loans are one of the only ways to finance 100% of the purchase price.
California home buyers who use VA loans enjoy other benefits as well. This program also allows you to avoid the cost of mortgage insurance, which is typically required when a borrower makes little or no down payment.
Additionally, VA loans are one of the easiest types of mortgage programs to qualify for. That’s because of the government backing we talked about earlier.
Who is eligible for a VA loan in California?
The VA loan program was created in the 1940s as a way to reward military service members and veterans. Today, the majority of military members and veterans in California are eligible for this program.
If you’re currently serving in the military, or you served in the past under honorable conditions, you might be eligible to use a VA loan in California.
Here’s an article with more information on the basic eligibility requirements.
How do I start the process?
If you’re thinking about using a VA loan in California, the first step is to check your eligibility status. This is something we can help you with, though you can do it on your own as well.
For starters, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website and review their eligibility requirements. If you fall into one of those eligible categories, you can request a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) through that website as well.
This certificate tells the mortgage lender that you are, in fact, eligible for a VA loan. Once you’ve obtained this document, the process moves forward similar to most other mortgage programs. Here are some of the key steps involved:
- Choose a VA-approved mortgage company to work with (like us).
- Get pre-approved for a certain amount, so you can narrow your home search.
- Find a home that meets your needs and submit a purchase offer.
- Next comes the home appraisal, underwriting, and the final closing process.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through all of this on your own. If you’re planning to buy a house anywhere in California, we can help you navigate the VA loan process. Please contact out staff with any questions you have, or to get a mortgage quote.