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VA Home Loans in Florida

Are you unnerved by the mortgage lending process? Don’t be. At Dash Home Loans, we work hand-in-hand with Florida homebuyers to identify a financing option that suits their needs. For most of our military families, that financing option is a VA home loan*.

As an approved VA home lender in Florida, Dash provides a mortgage lending process unlike any other. Rather than wade through unnecessary paperwork, we match each borrower with a Mortgage Coach who can provide guidance and answer questions as they arise. This expert team member will ensure your home financing process is simple, straightforward, and, more importantly, fast.

If you’re a veteran in Florida and need help closing on an American Foursquare, Dash Home Loans can help you play ball.

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What Is a VA Home Loan?

VA loans are a no-money-down home financing option available to eligible service members, veterans, and their spouses. Because VA home loans in Florida are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, lenders are willing to take a risk on a borrower who may not otherwise qualify for financing.

Another upside is that VA loans offer competitively—sometimes ridiculously—low interest* rates. Why? Since these financing instruments are backed by the federal government, lenders know they will be paid even if the borrower defaults. This lowers the risk and, in return, your APR.

If you’re ready to get preapproved for a VA loan in Florida, contact Dash today.


Who Is Eligible for a VA Loan in Florida?

Just because you have served in the U.S. Armed Forces doesn’t mean you can secure a VA loan. Whether you qualify depends on the duration of your service and if you served during wartime.  

More specifically, to obtain a VA home loan in Florida, you must meet one of these criteria:

  • You are an active duty service member or you have been honorably discharged.
  • You have at least 90 days of consecutive service during a time of war period (as defined by the VA) or you have at least 181 days of service during a time of peace.
  • You have at least six years of service in the National Guard or Selected Reserve.
  • You are a spouse of someone who died in the line of duty in a recognized Armed Service.

If you meet the requirements, you’ll need to request a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility from your local Department of Veterans Affairs. Some mortgage lenders will handle this process for you.

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Not sure if you qualify? Contact us today to talk with one of our friendly Mortgage Coaches.

Other VA Home Loan Requirements

Do you meet the service requirements for a VA loan? Sweet! Let’s talk about the other requirements, which are largely based on income and creditworthiness. Though some of these standards are set by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, most are established by specific lenders. 

  • Property Type: A VA loan can only be used to purchase a primary residence; you can’t finance a vacation or investment property. 
  • Loan Limit: In 2022, the standard VA loan limit is $1,500,000  for a single-family home. 
  • Credit Score: Though the VA doesn’t require a specific minimum credit score, your lender likely will. At Dash, we work with homebuyers with a credit score of 580 or higher.  
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Your DTI is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. The VA doesn’t set limits on DTI. However, most lenders prefer to see a DTI of less than 40%.
  • Down Payment: VA loans are great for homebuyers who lack the cash needed for a down payment. Just keep in mind that your lender may require a higher credit score if you’re putting down less than 10%.

Not sure if your finances are up to par? Don’t fret. A Dash Mortgage Coach can help you determine if a Florida VA loan is a good fit for you. Just give us a shout to learn more. 


Benefits & Disadvantages of a VA Home Loan

VA home loans in Florida are perfect for homebuyers who may be deemed “too risky” by other lenders. That’s because these loans, like USDA and FHA loans, are backed by the federal government. So if you default, the government will pay a claim to the lender for the unpaid balance. 

Other benefits of VA home loans include:

  • No down payment*
  • Lower credit score requirements
  • Higher debt-to-income ratio requirements
  • No private mortgage insurance 
  • Competitive interest rates 

The downside? Not all veterans meet the specific service requirements for a VA loan. These financing instruments also require borrowers to pay a one-time VA funding fee. This fee, which ranges from 1.25-3% of the loan amount, can either be paid at closing or rolled into your mortgage. 

Ready to jump in? Right on! Click ‘Apply now’ below to start your application. 

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VA Home Loan Rates in Florida

Since VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government, they are one of the lowest risk mortgage types on the market. Because of this, banks and other financial institutions can offer very competitive interest rates. 

Typically, VA rates are more than 25 basis points (0.25%) lower than conventional rates. That means you can expect to pay more on your mortgage principal each month and less in pesky interest. 

If you’re ready to get preapproved for a VA loan in Florida, contact Dash today.


VA Home Loan Process for Florida Home Buyers

The first step in applying for a VA home loan in Florida is to secure a Certificate of Eligibility, also called a COE. Your VA-approved mortgage lender can obtain this document for you or you can work with your local Department of Veterans Affairs. The COE, which is required at closing, shows that you meet the service requirements.  

From there, your mortgage lender will request additional information—tax forms, bank and debt statements, proof of income, and other documents that prove your creditworthiness. Though VA loans are designed for individuals with less-than-perfect credit, your FICO score will still impact preapproval. Most lenders only work with borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher. At Dash, we work with homebuyers with a 580 or higher. 

Once preapproved, you’ll have a better idea of how much house you can afford. But, even more importantly, a preapproval letter communicates to sellers that you’re serious about buying their quaint Craftsman. 

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Work with a trained Mortgage Coach like Crystal

Timeline

Like conventional loans, most VA loans close in one to three months. However, expect delays if the home appraises for less than the purchase price or if there’s a lien on the home. 

Documents & Paperwork to Submit

At Dash, we try our best to keep paperwork to a minimum. However, some of it is unavoidable. To receive a VA loan in Florida, you’ll need to submit:

  • A government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
  • Past two years of W-2 statements and tax returns
  • Recent paycheck stubs
  • Recent bank statements from checking, savings, and retirement accounts
  • Proof of expenses to verify your debt-to-income ratio (which should be about 36%)
  • Certificate of Eligibility from the VA

Dash will use this documentation to confirm your eligibility for a VA loan in Florida.


How to Get a VA Home Loan in Florida

You submitted an offer on your dream house: a two-bedroom cabin down a dusty dirt road. Now what? After placing an offer, the mortgage lender will submit your information to mortgage underwriters. They’ll take a look at your finances and assess the risk associated with issuing a loan to you. 

Before the underwriters say yay or nay, you’ll need to secure an appraisal. An appraisal ensures that the property meets VA and lender guidelines. 

A homeowner using their computer
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Apply for a VA Loan in Florida With Dash

Do you think a VA home loan in Florida is right for you? Are you interested in learning more about what makes Dash different? Contact us to chat with one of our friendly Mortgage Coaches today. 

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Florida VA Loan FAQs

How many times can you use a VA loan?

There’s no limit to how many VA loans you can take out over the course of your life. 

How much house can I afford with a VA loan?

Just how much house you can afford depends on a variety of factors like your annual income and credit score. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs also sets lending limits. In 2022, the standard VA loan limit is $1,500,000  for a single-family home.

Who can get a VA loan in Florida?

Not everyone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces qualifies for a VA loan in Florida. To receive a VA loan, you must meet specific service requirements. More specifically, active duty personnel must have served at least 90 days of consecutive active duty during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. National Guard or Selected Reserve members need at least six years of service. If you’re a surviving spouse, you may qualify as well.   

Who pays closing costs on a VA loan?

As with other types of home loans, the buyer, seller, and lender each pay different parts of the closing costs. However, with a VA loan, there are some non-allowable fees (e.g. prepayment penalties, settlement charges, attorney fees) that the lender can’t require you to pay.