With Joint Base Lewis-McChord to the south, and Naval Base Kitsap to the west, there’s a fairly large military presence in and around the Seattle metro area. As a result, there are many people who could benefit from using a VA home loan to buy a house in Seattle.
This guide explains the benefits, eligibility requirements, and other aspects of using a Seattle VA home loan.
About the VA Loan Program
A VA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the federal government, via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This program was started in the 1940s, near the end of World War II. It’s primary purpose was (and still is) to make homeownership more affordable for eligible military service members, veterans, and surviving spouses.
Specifically, the VA loan program gives borrowers access to low-cost financing. When using this type of mortgage, borrowers are able to finance 100% of the purchase price. You won’t find this level of financing anywhere else, when buying a home in Seattle.
Benefits for Seattle Home Buyers
As mentioned, this program offers 100% financing for home buyers. That means eligible borrowers can buy a house with no down payment whatsoever. That’s the primary benefit of using a Seattle VA loan, but there other advantages as well.
Another benefit is that borrowers can often qualify for 100% financing without having to pay mortgage insurance. Government or private mortgage insurance is usually required for loans that account for more than 80% of the property value. But this is not the case with Seattle VA loans.
Who Is Eligible for the Program?
This program is open to most military service members and veterans, as well as surviving spouses in some cases.
In general, the following groups are eligible for VA financing:
- Active duty military members with at least 90 days of continuous service.
- Veterans who have served for at least 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.
- Selected Reserve and National Guard members with at least six years of service. (Those who served during the Gulf War might be eligible with at least 90 days of service.)
- Surviving spouses are generally eligible for Seattle VA loans. According to official guidelines, eligibility is extended to the “Unremarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or spouse of a Servicemember missing in action or a prisoner of war.”
In order to apply for a VA loan in Seattle, borrowers must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This document shows the mortgage lender that you are, in fact, eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan.
Loan Limits Versus Home Prices
There are limits to how much you can borrow with a VA loan in Seattle. These “loan limits,” as they are known, vary by county and are based on median home prices. Since they are set at the county level, Seattle borrowers will want to review the VA loan limits for King County, Washington.
In 2017, the loan limit for a single-family home in King County is $592,250. This is just slightly lower than the median home price in Seattle, as of February 2017. So borrowers who use this program should have plenty of properties to choose from while staying within the above-stated limit.
Technically speaking, the VA does not limit the amount of money you can borrow to buy a home. But they do limit the amount of liability they’re able to assume, which can affect the amount a mortgage lender will lend to you.
Please contact us if you want to know how much you can borrow using a Seattle VA loan.
Ready to Move Forward?
Would you like to use a VA loan to buy a home in Seattle? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been helping borrowers in the area for more than two decades. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington.
We can help you every step of the way, from application through closing. We can even pre-approve you for a mortgage loan, to give you a much-needed advantage in the real estate market.
Please contact us today with any questions you have, or to apply for the program.