VA Loans Explained

Southern California VA Loans is the leader in providing knowledge and resources regarding home financing options for San Diego County first time home buyers. This is one of many installments in our series describing all the special financing available to home buyers throughout San Diego County. So we welcome you to read on and learn about these fantastic and generous programs available to you right now!

You hear a lot of talk in the media these days about how difficult it is to get home financing to buy a home. One home loan program that has NOT changed at all is 100% financing available to active U.S. military and veterans. There has been no change in the availability of funds or guidelines for active military and veterans. The U.S. Government has the VA home loan program in place to support active military and veterans that has served the United States, and it’s not going anywhere!

Using VA home loans, a veteran or active military member can buy a home in San Diego County with very little or even no money out of their pocket. In addition to 100% financing, sellers are allowed to contribute up to 4% to pay for the VA buyers closing costs. So it is very possible to buy a home in San Diego with almost no money of pocket.

VA home loans are also very flexible with qualifications. You do not have to have perfect credit. VA will work with VA approve buyers who have had credit issues in the past and have below average credit. Additionally, VA loans are flexible with debt-to-income ratios. In this regard, VA home loans are not as restrictive as many other home loans available.

Here are some other key points regarding VA home loans:

  • The house you are purchasing using a VA home loan must be your primary residence
  • Only spouses are allowed as co-borrowers
  • You can buy everything from manufactured homes, condos, houses and 2-4 unit properties all with zero down!
  • Even if you have used your VA eligibility in the past, you can use it again as long as you have sold you previous house and paid off that VA loan

Veterans and active military members who are paying high rents should really look at using their VA eligibility to purchase a home. There are many benefits to purchasing a home vs. renting:

Tax benefits: When you buy a home, you are allowed to deduct your mortgage interest, and property taxes. This is by far the largest tax write-off most people will ever have. You can take these deductions up front with your HR Dept and it can mean $300-$800 more per month going to you and NOT going to pay taxes!

Equity build up: When you pay rent that money is getting thrown away and you will never see a return on it. When you buy a home, every month when you make the mortgage payment you are paying a little bit towards the principle to eventually own the home free and clear. We encourage home buyers pay a little bit more per month above their mortgage payment; this will allow you to pay the house off in a much faster time frame.

Appreciation: Over time your house will gain in value with inflation. This can allow you to have a substantial amount of equity you can use for retirement or to move up to a better house.

Personal satisfaction: A substantial non-monetary advantage to owing a house is the personal satisfaction of being a home owner and putting down roots in a neighborhood. Being able to make improvements to the house and make it how you want it. Also, having the peace of mind and security that one day it will be paid off and you will have a very low cost home to live in.

So as you can the VA home loan program is really a fantastic benefit to those that qualify. If you are eligible and you are renting, it is really something you should look into. With 100% financing you do not need to have a down payment and many renters can immediately begin to search.

If you are interested in learning more about qualifying for a VA home loan, please contact one of our VA loan specialists. We are a fully approved VA home loan specialist.

VA Loan Requirements


 Information on Loan Requirements


The basic loan requirement is having no late payments in the last 12 months on any debt. This included no collections or judgments or delinquencies of any kind. Even a bounced, “NSF” (Non- sufficient fund) check is important to avoid especially in the 12 months prior to getting a VA loan. Have a stable job with verifiable income.  “Under the table” cash is not verifiable.  Any tips received should be reported to create a record of that cash as income. Remember, a minimum of 2 years must pass from the date of a short sale, foreclosure, or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Each loan is subject to other underwriting requirements.

Certificate of Eligibility



Before you can get a VA loan, the lender will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veteran Affairs.  This basically proves you are a Veteran or Active Duty. In order to obtain a certificate, a VA loan specialist can assist you to obtain one. If Active Duty, current LES (pay) records and a Statement of Service must be provided. If prior service, a copy of the DD214 (Honorable discharge) form must be provided.