Summary: The excitement of a new home purchase can sometimes override wisdom and prudence when…
According to a recent report published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Pierce County, Washington is one of the top-ten counties in the country for VA loans.
Pierce County appeared at #9 on the department’s list of top counties for VA loan volume, of which there are over 3,100. That’s not surprising, when you consider the relatively high percentage of military people who live in that part of Washington State.
Pierce County Ranks High in VA Loan Volume
Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs puts out a list of “loan volume” by counties. It shows how many VA-guaranteed home loans were issued in every county of the U.S. It also ranks them based on overall volume for that period.
Pierce County, Washington has made the top ten for the last few years. That’s noteworthy, when you consider that there are several thousand counties in the United States.
During fiscal year 2019 (to date), there were 6,020 VA loans originated in Pierce County, Washington. Of those, 2,945 were purchase loans for buyers. The remainder were Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL) used by homeowners.
There’s a relatively large military population living in Pierce County. This is partly due to the presence of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a combination Army and Air Force installation located in Tacoma. In addition to the active-duty and reserve military members stationed at the base, there are quite a few former military (including retirees) who settled within Pierce County after their service.
The top-three counties for VA loan volume for the last few years were:
- Maricopa, AZ
- San Diego, CA
- El Paso, CO
- (Pierce came in at #9)
Maricopa County is one of the top destination for veterans who have left the service. San Diego is home to one of the largest Navy bases in the U.S. And El Paso County in Colorado is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and a number of bases.
What Makes This Program So Popular
In Pierce County, VA loans are a popular form of mortgage financing among current and former members of the U.S. military. And there’s a good reason for this. Here are some of the features and benefits that make the VA loan program so popular among Pierce County’s military population.
- No down payment. Eligible borrowers can buy a home with no money down, up to a certain loan limit. There’s a lot to be said for buying a house without the burden of an upfront investment. This is arguably the biggest benefit for borrowers.
- No mortgage insurance. Borrowers who use this program to purchase a home can often avoid paying the extra insurance that’s typically required on a low-down-payment loan. This can reduce the monthly payments.
- Relaxed requirements. VA loans are partly guaranteed by the U.S. government. This gives lenders additional protection from potential default. As a result of this government backing, the basic qualification requirements for VA loans are generally more relaxed than those for conventional mortgage products.
These advantages, along with the large military population in the area, are why Pierce County ranks so high among U.S. counties for VA loan usage. It’s a beneficial program, and there are a lot of folks in the area who are qualified to use it.
Have Financing Questions?
At Sammamish Mortgage, we have been offering a variety of mortgage programs to borrowers across WA, OR, ID, and CO since 1992. VA loans are our specialty. If you are thinking of applying for this type of mortgage, we can help. Please contact us if you have questions about using a VA mortgage loan to buy a house.