According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces. They have served our country and contributed to our communities in countless ways. In an effort to thank them for their service, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs established what are known as VA home loans.
These loans make the home buying process easier and oftentimes more affordable for our veterans and are available throughout the country. Each state, however, has its own set of rules and standards for VA loan eligibility.
In Massachusetts, the average VA home loan is for $327,778. Without the protections of a VA loan, that mortgage could be prohibitive for many home buyers. But, for those looking to buy in New England, some of the benefits of the VA mortgage loan in Massachusetts include:
- No down payment
- No cash reserves
- No application fee
- No monthly mortgage insurance premiums
- VA funding fee may be financed
- Seller can pay certain closing costs thus decreasing the closing costs for borrower
- Low interest rates compared to other loans
- Similar qualification standards to conventional loans
Sound appealing? Here is everything you need to know about VA loans in the state of Massachusetts:
What is a VA Loan?
VA loans are home loans from private lenders that are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They require a $0 down payment, which can make the prospect of buying a home a little less daunting. Keep in mind – while there is no credit score requirement for the VA, most lenders have a base score requirement. Always check with your mortgage lender for their requirements
Because this loan program is backed by the federal government, VA mortgages require no private mortgage insurance, even when putting 0% down. Borrowers also find that they receive competitive interest rates, and qualify for financing more easily, because of the government guarantee.
Types of VA Loans
VA loans are for more than just purchasing a home. While a traditional mortgage is the most common type of VA loan, there are actually four different types of financing for veterans.
- Purchase loan – this is the standard home loan for veterans and active service members that can be used to purchase a home in Massachusetts.
- Refinancing loan – these loans allow you to refinance and access funds equal to your home’s equity up to 100%.
- Renovation loan – this financing option allows you to borrow funds to update or renovate a home you currently own or are planning to purchase. Even more beneficial, the financing amount is based on the “after-improvement” expected value of the property, and borrowers can finance 100% of the projected home equity.
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance loan – for borrowers with a current VA loan, this loan allows you to obtain a line of credit without a home appraisal or income documentation.
Qualifying for a Massachusetts VA Loan
The VA loan program was established for American veterans and active service members. However, eligibility may extend to spouses or citizens who served in other federal organizations.
When applying for a VA home loan, you will have to apply to confirm your eligibility, but you can do a quick check for yourself if you believe a VA loan in Massachusetts is right for you.
- VA loan eligibility requirements:
- Served for 90 days during a time of war.
- Served for 181 days during a time of peace.
- Served for 6 years or more in the National Guard or Reserves.
- You are the spouse of a serviceman or servicewoman killed in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related incident.
In Massachusetts, there are no VA loan maximum dollar amounts. However, there are limitations as prescribed by Ginnie Mae (GNMA) for loans purchased on the secondary market. Here is a county-by-county breakdown for Massachusetts:
|County Name||Single Family Home
($0 Down and up to)