Florida VA Loan Requirements
VA loans in Florida are similar to VA loans in all states and so are the requirements. The GI Bill of Rights created VA loan benefits. The VA loan benefit is for active duty service members and Veterans who served at least 90 days continuously. Surviving spouses can also participate in a Florida VA Loan. In all cases, you will receive a COE which stands for Certificate of Eligibility, and it's issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees a portion of every VA home loan. By doing so this protects private lenders. Security America Mortgage is a Mortgage lender that specializes in VA loans, and they have access to the VA.Gov portal to pull an automated COE for you. Not to mention, they have experience with various types of VA Mortgages.
VA loans Florida Credit Score requirements
Veterans Affairs doesn't set minimum credit score criteria as part of the VA home loan requirements. They leave this up to the mortgage lender. Most VA home loans are originated with at least a 620 FICO middle score and 640 is the lowest credit score needed by most lenders.
VA loan in Florida Debt to income ratio requirements
Typically Veterans will need around a 41% DTI to get automated approval through the automated underwriting system. This is critical to getting a VA loan in Florida. It is possible to reach 43% if you have compensating factors such as assets and good credit.
VA Loan property requirements in Florida
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of minimum property requirements (MPRs) that all VA-backed loans must meet. These minimum property requirements are designed to ensure that the property is safe, sanitary, and habitable. A home must have structural soundness, be livable, and hazard free. A VA appraiser will verify that the property meets the minimum property requirements when you apply for a VA loan in Florida. If the home you are buying has issues with MPR's you can ask the seller to make the repairs or switch to a va renovation loan.
Some of the most common minimum property requirements for VA loans are:
The property must be a single-family home, condominium, or townhouse.
The property must be located in the United States.
The property must be free of major defects.
The property must have all necessary appurtenances, such as a roof, plumbing, and electrical systems.
The property must be livable and must meet all local building codes.
The property must be free of environmental hazards, such as lead-based paint and asbestos.
VA Loan benefits in Florida
No down payment aka 100% financing
No private mortgage insurance (PMI),
Flexible credit requirements compared to conventional loans
No prepayment penalties
Competitive interest rates
Opportunity to build equity
You can limit closing costs out of pocket with a seller contribution
Homeownership is a great way to build wealth and equity. It also provides stability.
Types of Florida VA Loans
VA purchase loan
VA Renovation loan
VA Mortgage Cash-out refinance
VA Home Loan Funding Fee
Service members applying for VA home loans will have a VA funding fee unless they qualify in one of the following ways:
Disabled Veterans with more than a 10% disability rating qualify for no VA funding fee.
Florida Veterans not receiving retirement or active-duty pay that do receive compensation for a service-related disability are also exempt on VA home loans.
Surviving spouses who are eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) are also exempt from paying the VA funding fee on a VA mortgage.
Purple Heart recipients won't pay a VA funding fee either on VA home loans.
VA funding fee chart 2023
- VA home loan process in Florida steps to buying a home
Obtain your COE
Make a contract to buy a home that's agreed to by all parties. Remember that sellers can pay 4% of your closing costs.
Go through the underwriting of your Florida VA home loan
Once you and the property are approved for a VA loan you can close
Get your keys and take possession after closing and funding
VA Construction loan process to build a home steps
Obtain COE and make sure you can qualify first
Decide on the type of Construction loan that's best for you
VA One-time close construction loan benefits
One closing reduces closing costs
a Single Closing means you only have to qualify one time
No payments during construction
Fixed interest rate
Possibly close on the land and construction at the same time
Find your land and your Builder
If you have land already it really expedites your VA construction loan and simplifies the process. If you don't own land yet then you need to make sure that you have time to close on the land and VA Construction Loan at the same time. Don't get into a contract to buy land and not have your builder lined up with approved plans, and always try to get a flexible land closing date so that you don't default on your land sales contract. Make sure your Builder is registered with the VA and approved by your Mortgage lender. Registered VA builders can be found on VA.gov and qualified lender Security America Mortgage maintains a map of their VA-approved builders.
Close on your VA one-time close construction loan when your plans are approved. If you haven't gotten your plans approved and you want to go ahead and close on your land first you can. VA loans don't cover just the land so you'll need to get a local land loan if it's not going to be wrapped up in your construction loan.
Florida VA Loan Limits
VA Loans in Florida don't have VA loan limits set by Veteran Affairs. Your VA mortgage lender decides their own max loan amount. Your Va loan entitlement can be reduced if you're a subsequent user. First-time VA Loan users have full entitlement and subsequent users in every country in Florida have a VA loan limit of $726,000 in all counties except Monroe County. Monroe County is considered a high-cost area by Fannie Mae so the VA loan limit there is $1,089,000 for subsequent users without full entitlement. These larger loan amounts can also be considered Jumbo VA loans. If you don't have full entitlement you can always consider making a down payment if your VA loan amount is more than your lender wants to make.
Veterans have many reasons to get a Florida VA Home Loan
The Florida economy has done well. Real estate values have increased steadily, and Florida's economy has done very well compared to other states in the US in 2022 and 2023. Florida also has Veteran Governor, Ron Desantis who is an obvious supporter and advocate for his fellow Florida Veterans.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Florida's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.8% in 2022, which was the third-fastest growth rate among all 50 states.
There are many factors that have contributed to Florida's strong economic performance including:
Tourism: Florida is a major tourist destination, and tourism has been a major driver of economic growth in the state. In 2022, Florida welcomed a record 118 million visitors, and tourism spending is expected to reach $127 billion in 2023.
Population Growth: Florida's population has been growing rapidly in recent years, and this has also contributed to economic growth. In 2022, Florida's population grew by 1.5%, which was the fastest growth rate among all 50 states.
Business-friendly environment: Florida is considered to be a business-friendly state, and this has attracted a number of new businesses to the state. In 2022, Florida created 2.3 million new jobs, which was the most of any state in the US.
Florida has been ranked as the 7th best state for business by Forbes and the 10th best state for jobs by U.S. News & World Report.
Florida's economy and real estate market has performed well in 2023 compared to the rest of the USA and the economy is outpacing the average US Market.
The median home value in Florida increased by 9.1% in the past year, which is slightly above the national average of 8.9%. This growth was driven by strong demand for housing, which has been fueled by a number of factors, including a growing population, a favorable tax environment, and a desirable climate.
VA Medical Centers: There are four VA Medical Centers in Florida, located in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Lake City.
VA Outpatient Clinics: There are over 50 VA Outpatient Clinics in Florida, located throughout the state.
VA Home Loan Program: The VA Home Loan Program provides veterans with low-interest mortgages.
VA Education Benefits: The VA Education Benefits program provides veterans with financial assistance for college or vocational training.
VA Disability Compensation: The VA Disability Compensation program provides veterans with monthly payments for service-connected disabilities.
Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program was designed to help people who provide valuable services to their communities. Teachers, healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and veterans can qualify for a maximum of $35,000 to help with the down payment and closing costs.
However, it is important to note that the Florida economy and real estate market are starting to cool off like the rest of the USA due to rising interest rates. Interest rates have been rising steadily in 2023, and this is starting to put a damper on housing demand. As a result, it is likely that the growth of the Florida economy and real estate market will slow down in the second half of 2023. This can be good news for buyers because there won't be so much demand and competition.
Benefits for Veterans who live in Florida or want to live in Florida
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 1,492,000 veterans living in Florida as of September 30, 2020. This makes Florida the third-largest state in terms of veteran population, behind California and Texas.
You can learn much more about your benefits at the Florida Department of veterans affairs. Disabled Veterans can get property tax exemptions and all Veterans can get into state parks for free. Learn even more about your benefits with this handy Florida Veteran benefit guide.
Veteran owned businesses
According to the Florida Association of Veteran-Owned Businesses (FAVOB), there are approximately 187,000 veteran-owned businesses in Florida. These businesses generate over $57 billion in annual revenue.
FAVOB is a non-profit organization that advocates for and supports veteran-owned businesses in Florida. The organization provides a variety of services to its members, including:
Certification: FAVOB provides certification to veteran-owned businesses. This certification can help businesses qualify for government contracts and other business opportunities.
Networking: FAVOB provides networking opportunities for veteran-owned businesses. This allows businesses to connect with each other and to learn from each other's experiences.
Education: FAVOB provides educational opportunities for veteran-owned businesses. This includes workshops on topics such as business planning, marketing, and financial management.
If you are an active duty service member, a Florida Veteran, or the surviving spouse of a Veteran who is interested in starting a business, FAVOB can provide you with valuable resources and assistance. You can learn more about FAVOB by visiting their website or by contacting their office.
Here are some of the industries that have the most veteran-owned businesses in Florida:
Construction: Florida has over 30,000 veteran-owned construction businesses.
Technology: Florida has over 20,000 veteran-owned technology businesses.
Healthcare: Florida has over 15,000 veteran-owned healthcare businesses.
Professional services: Florida has over 10,000 veteran-owned professional services businesses.
Veteran-owned businesses are an essential part of the Florida economy. They provide jobs, generate revenue, and contribute to the state's overall economic growth.
Home Loans in Florida that require a down payment
Loan programs like the conventional home loan might be a choice over a Florida VA Loan if you have 20% to put down because there won't be Mortgage insurance and with that amount of equity mortgage rates could be better than va loan rates. FHA loans are another option but there isn't any good reason to go FHA over a VA Mortgage Loan. ITIN home loans also called Tax ID home loans are good for Non-Veterans who have migrated to the US. Average rates this year according to BARD Google AI are in the chart below.