For those looking to settle down and buy a home, the state of New Hampshire is a great place to start. Named the #5 best state to live in by US News and World Report, the Granite State also boasts the #1 ranking for opportunity, measured by looking at the quality of economic opportunity, equality and affordability.
If you are a veteran of our armed forces or are currently serving, there is one unique avenue you can pursue when looking to purchase a home – the VA loan.
Check out some of the most frequently asked questions about VA loans in New Hampshire to see if you qualify and if this option is right for you.
What is a VA Loan?
A VA loan is a mortgage option made available only to veterans and active members of the United States armed forces. A VA loan is offered through a private lender, but is fully backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. With the guarantee of the federal government, lenders tend to feel more secure in these loans.
What Can a VA Loan Be Used For?
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website, VA loans can be used for the following purchases:
- Buy a home or condominium unit in a VA-approved project
- Build a home
- Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
- Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy-efficient upgrades
- Buy a manufactured home and/or lot
- To refinance an existing VA-guaranteed or direct loan for the purpose of a lower interest rate
- To refinance an existing mortgage loan or other indebtedness secured by a lien of record on a residence owned and occupied by the veteran as a home
What Are the Benefits?
For those applying for a VA loan in New Hampshire, or any state for that matter, there are certain benefits and incentives you should be aware of. First, VA loans are available for 100% financing, meaning you don’t need a down payment. They also don’t require mortgage insurance, saving borrows an often significant expense.
Other VA loan benefits include:
- No cash reserves
- No application fees
- VA funding fee may be financed
- Seller can pay certain closing costs thus decreasing closing costs for the borrower
- Low interest rates compared to other loans
- Similar qualification standards to conventional loans
Are There Different Types of VA Loans?
VA loans are primarily reserved for home loans, however there are a few different variations of the loan program available.
- Purchase loan – The most common version of the VA loan, this is used to purchase one’s primary residence.
- Refinancing loan – VA loans are also available for those looking to refinance and access funds equal to the home’s equity up to 100%.
- Renovation loan – Veterans can obtain a VA loan that is based on the “after-improvement” value of a property. Borrowers may obtain a loan for up to 100% of the projected 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.
How Do I Qualify for a VA Loan?
To qualify for VA loan, you need to have good credit and verifiable income. You must also prove you are a verified veteran or active service member with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). To obtain a COE, you must have either served for 90 days during a time of war, served for 181 days during a time of peace, served for six years or more in the National Guard or Reserves, or are the spouse of a serviceman or servicewoman killed in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related incident.
Are There Any Upfront Costs?
Yes, but they are nothing compared to a down payment. For a VA loan in New Hampshire, you will have to pay appraisal costs. At a minimum, a single-family home is $450, a condominium is $450 and a multi-family home is $625.
Some counties in New Hampshire also require a termite inspection when getting a VA loan. Those counties are: Belknap, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan.
Can I Have Multiple VA Loans at Once?
Yes, but with certain limitations. The average maximum entitlement the government will lend to one person for a VA loan is approximately $424,000. If you haven’t used all of that sum, you may be allowed to take a second loan in a specific instance – military relocation.
Ordinarily, you cannot take out a second VA loan until the first is paid in full, but active military members forced to relocate can use the remaining funds from their VA entitlement to purchase a home if they are forced to move.
Are There Specific Requirements for a NH VA Loan?
No! As long as you meet the federal requirements, you are eligible for a VA loan in New Hampshire.
What Are the NH VA Loan Limits?
For VA loans in New Hampshire with a down payment, there are no maximum lending limitations. However, if you opt to go the $0 down payment route, these are the maximum VA loan limits per county in New Hampshire.
- Belknap County $484,350
- Carroll County $484,350
- Cheshire County $484,350
- Coos County $484,350
- Grafton County $484,350
- Hillsborough County $484,350
- Merrimack County $484,350
- Rockingham County $688,850
- Strafford County $688,850
- Sullivan County $484,350
How Can I Get a VA Loan?
Once you’ve done your homework – verified that you are eligible and that the financing limitations match your budget – reach out to a VA loan specialist. Our team at Blue Water Mortgage has years of experience helping qualified veterans and service members with their VA loan applications.