Archive for the VA Mortgage Loans Category

VA Guaranteed Home Loans for veterans and active duty personnel

As a veteran, I feel that the VA home loan is, in most cases, the best way for a veteran or active duty military to purchase a home in today’s housing market.

Down Payment

Why? Well there are a number of reasons and at the top of the list would be down payment requirement. If the VA eligible buyer wants, they can purchase a home up to $417,000 with no down payment. In a few areas in Washington, this limit is slightly higher.

Additionally, if they want to buy at a higher purchase price, they can using a VA loan with a limited down payment. For instance, a $520,000 purchase using VA, only requires a $25,750 down payment.

Mortgage Insurance

VA Loans also do not have mortgage insurance associated with the loans. There is a “funding fee” for anyone using the program that doesn’t have a 10% or greater VA disability rating. This is a table showing that fee:





National Guard

First Time Use    
Down Payment    
Less than 5%



At least 5% but < 10%



10% or more    
Second and Subsequent Use    
Less than 5%



At least 5% but < 10%



10% or more



Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans



*Rate for Cash-out/Regular (Non-IRRRL) Refinance, regardless of LTV

One thing that many people fail to recognize is that sometimes it makes sense to put a down payment on a VA loan. For instance, on a second usage of the program, if you put 5% down, the funding fee is only 1.5% instead of 3.3%. Compared to a conventional loan with the same down payment, VA wins handily.

Active duty, veteran and reserve/national guard

VA loans are not just limited to active duty veterans. They are also available to active duty members and members and veterans of the reserves and nation guard. There are service requirements for each category.

Streamline refinance

Another benefit of a VA loan is the ability to refinance it using a streamline process with a much lower funding fee. This is especially helpful in low interest rate times. Of course, purchasing today, it will be doubtful rates will ever be low enough to do a streamline in the future. However, if you have a current VA loan, it makes sense to see if a streamline refinance will save you money.

Like I said, I am a Vietnam era veteran and have spent many years working with VA loans. I think they are an excellent benefit for our veterans and armed forces. Give me a call today at Guild Mortgage, 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 or send me an e-mail and let’s discuss your options.

Check out these posts about FHA, Conventional Fixed, Conventional Hybrid ARMs and USDA home loans.

About the author: Fred Chamberlin is a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He has been in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 and authors a number of mortgage related blogs.

Is now the right time to buy a home?

Indications and forecasts from around the real estate world are that housing prices are on the increase and that mortgage interest rates are also starting to rise.


This could be your new street, your home could be here waiting.

In a recent article in National Mortgage Professional magazine, Veros Real Estate Solutions forecast for 2013 that covers 975 counties, 335 metro areas and 13,586 zip codes, expects a 1.2%  average appreciation in the top 100 metro areas.

When added to the recent increase in mortgage interest rates, I am wondering if we have finally reached the bottom of the housing prices and the bottom of the mortgage interest rates. Unfortunately, the only way to be certain that you are at the bottom is when you can see it on the way up again.

Right now, there are a lot of affordable homes for sale on Whidbey Island with very affordable rates to purchase them with. If, for instance, you are paying $1,200 per month in rent, it is possible to purchase a three bedroom home with no money down on a VA loan, and pay less on your monthly payment than you are paying in rent.

Isn’t it time to find out if purchasing a home is the right thing for you to do? Give me a call today at Guild Mortgage, 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 cell or send me an e-mail. I am available to get you on the path to home ownership.

VA announces new Washington home loan limits for 2013

The Veterans Administration announced new home loan limits for 2013 that effect King, Pierce, San Juan and Snohomish Counties in Washington.

The remainder of Washington is limited to $417,000 (conventional loan limit) for no money down purchases. King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties have a $500,000 no money down limit while San Juan County is capped at $468,750.

Jumbo purchases with limited down

Home loans over the zero down limit can still be made with approximately 5% down payment. It is a bit of a complicated calculation that amounts to 25% of the amount over the county loan limit. It still works out to a great way to purchase a more expensive home with a limited down payment and no mortgage insurance.Guild OfficeTo assist with any VA home loan, give me a call at Guild Mortgage, 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 cell or send me an e-mail.

Whidbey Loan Guy explains VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan

What is a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or VA Streamline Refinance and how can it help Whidbey Island veterans and active duty?

First of all, what it isn’t: it isn’t a loan that can be used to refinance a conventional or other government loan and it isn’t a loan that can be used to take equity from your current home. It is a loan that can be used to lower your interest rate and monthly payment on an existing VA Guaranteed Home Loan.

Eligibility will vary, depending on who was on the original loan and who will be on the new loan. If the original loan had a co-obligator (spouse), they may be eligible even if the veteran has died, but not if divorced. This can get complicated, a video from VA is available here that covers some of those variations.FHAVAUSDAApproved1

If you have a non VA loan, it can be refinanced into a VA loan but is limited to 90% loan to value. So, for example, if you owe $180,000 on your home, it has to appraise for at least $200,000 to be useable.

Although VA does not require an appraisal for an IRRRL, most lenders do require an appraisal as part of the process. We require appraisals unless the refinance is a Guild to Guild IRRRL.

For more information about the VA Streamline Refinance or the VA purchase program, give me a call at Guild Mortgage Company, 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 cell or send me an e-mail.




Zillow shows Oak Harbor home pre-foreclosure listings

Zillow is not one of my favorite sites, because they use their search engine to capture clients who they in turn sell. However a new function on their site has caught my attention, pre-foreclosure listings.

There has been a lot of talk about the “shadow” inventory of foreclosures and delinquent mortgages for months now, so it is interesting that Zillow has taken charge and started showing some of those on their homes for sale listings. For instance, in the 98277 zip code area, there are 91 properties listed as pre-foreclosure and another 42 listed as foreclosures.

Unfortunately, a lot of the information on Zillow is outdated. For instance, I pulled up one “pre-foreclosure” that the sale date on the property was supposed to be June 8, 2012 with no dispossession of the sale. So, there is no telling if the home was sold, foreclosed or redeemed since then.Guild OfficeThat is why you should have a professional Realtor® in your corner when looking for homes. That person can help you find what you are looking for and has access to current information, unlike what you will be getting from Zillow.

If you are in the market for a home, my advice is to first get pre-approved for the purchase. Call me today and I will get you started on that process. It is a lot like getting your “cart before the horse” when you look at homes without know what you can buy. Once that is done, I would be happy to introduce you to a qualified real estate professional to get the job done.

Call me today at 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 to schedule an appointment to get you started on the home buying process. Now really is the right time to become a home owner.


Jumbo home loan purchase with 5 percent down using VA Home Loan

VA Guaranteed Home Loans for Oak Harbor veterans and active duty members can be used to purchase a home up to $417,000 with no down payment but what happens if the purchase price is more than $417,000.

As an example, let’s look at a $520,000 purchase. With VA, the borrower is required to put 25% down of any amount over the $417,000 in Island County, or $25,750, but if that is increased to $26,000, then it is 5% of the total price and the funding fee is less. So, what you have is a loan amount of $494,000, the only way I am aware of that you can buy a jumbo loan with less than 20% down.

At 4%/4.144% APR, the principal and interest payment is just over $2358 a month and the down payment is much easier to accomplish.*

Now, not everyone is in the market for a jumbo purchase, for those, the standard VA guaranteed loan is a great option and it doesn’t require a down payment, although there are cases where it may be in the best interest of the veteran to make either a 5% or 10% down payment to get the lower funding fee available, especially when the benefit has been used in the past.

Please give me a call today to discuss your options to buy a home with a VA guaranteed mortgage. I can be reached at 360-675-6106/541-221-3455 cell or through my e-mail. I am available to meet with you at a time that is convenient to you. Our office (Guild Mortgage) is located at 32785 State Route 20, Ste. 5, Oak Harbor.

*Rates subject to change without notice. Subject to qualification for quoted mortgage interest rate.

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