Veterans First Mortgage Calls 2018 “The Year of Veteran Homebuyers”

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Citing increased VA loan limits, competitive interest rates, and a strong housing economy, Veterans First Mortgage is optimistic about 2018.

Veterans First Mortgage

With a robust housing market, low interest rates, and VA loan limits at $453,100, more Veterans will be able to take advantage of their no-down-payment home loan benefit.

Veterans First Mortgage, a leading mortgage lender specializing in government-backed mortgages, has named 2018 “The Year of Veteran Homebuyers,” citing increased VA loan limits, a strong housing economy, and competitive interest rates.

VA loan limits, or the maximum loan amounts that the VA is willing to back without a down payment, have increased for two straight years. On November 30, the VA announced the new 2018 VA loan limit for most counties is $453,100, up from $424,100 in 2017. The high-cost ceiling has also increased from $636,150 to $679,650.

The increase is attributed to steadily rising home prices in almost every market in the country.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about the VA housing outlook for 2018,” says Rich Warner, Veteran First’s director of marketing. “With a robust housing market, low interest rates, and VA loan limits at $453,100, more Veterans will be able to take advantage of their no-down-payment home loan benefit. We are thrilled to be getting our nation’s servicemembers and Veterans into the homes they deserve.”

Market Insights

VA Loan limits don’t reflect the highest amount a Veteran can borrow using their home loan benefits, as the name might imply. About 25% of a Veteran’s VA loan, up to the limit, is guaranteed by the government. Lenders will ask for a down payment for any amount above the limit. But with the new limit of $453,100, the average VA loan amount will likely rise.

“Increasing the VA loan limits is good news for Veterans who are interested in buying pricier homes with less money out of pocket,” says Michael Mossbarger, a Navy Veteran and Veterans First loan officer, NMLS #1548814. “Higher loan limits may mean an eligible and qualified borrower can get a larger loan with no down payment.”

Based on the 2016 VA Annual Benefits Report, the average VA loan amount was just over $253,000. That’s about $10,000 more than the average VA loan limit from 2015 and $26,000 more than 2014. According to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) data, home prices increased from third quarter (Q3) 2014 to Q3 2015 by 5.7%, then by 6.1% from 2015 to 2016, and by 6.5% from 2016 to 2017. The average VA loan amount increased 8.4% from 2014 to 2015 and by 4.14% from 2015 to 2016. The VA has not yet released its 2017 report.

VA loan limits generally follow home prices, which have increased progressively since the housing crash in 2008, according to the FHFA. But prices have been on a steeper climb lately, with an annual national increase of 6.5% from Q3 2016 to Q3 2017.

Here are some other significant findings from the FHFA’s Q3 2017 House Price Index:

  • Fifty states and all 100 major metro areas saw home prices rise from a year ago.
  • Five top growing areas were: 1) District of Columbia 11.6%; 2) Washington 11.5%; 3) Hawaii 10.0%; 4) Arizona 10.0%; and 5) Nevada 9.6%.
  • Strongest metro area was Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA, up 14.6%.
  • Weakest metro area was Camden, NJ, up just 0.5% (but still an increase)
  • Strongest region was the Pacific, up 8.9% from last year.
  • Weakest region was the Mid-Atlantic, up 4.8% since Q3 2016 (but still an increase).

To help Veterans understand how the new VA loan limits will affect them, Veterans First Mortgage has two online tools: a VA loan limit visual map of the current loan limits and an easy-to-use VA loan limit table. With the color-coded map, borrowers can easily spot their area and see where loan limits are higher. And the table tool gives borrowers real-time results based on where they want to buy a home.

Veterans First is offering VA loans with the new 2018 VA loan limits starting Jan. 1, 2018. To learn more about VA loans and loan limits, visit http://www.veteransfirst.com or call 800-217-1596.

About Veterans First Mortgage

Veterans First Mortgage is a mortgage lender that specializes in assisting eligible servicemembers and Veterans in taking advantage of the special benefits offered through the VA home loan program. The company provides step-by-step personalized guidance through each phase of the VA purchase and refinance process. Operating loan centers in California and Utah, the company funds mortgages in most U.S. states. To learn more, visit http://www.VeteransFirst.com.

Contact:

Allyson Markey
Head of Communications
Veterans First Mortgage
P: 1-619-541-4011
C: 1-858-442-2167
E: allyson(at)veteransfirst.com

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