Guest Post by Kevin Peria

Repeatedly listed as “One of the Best Places to Live” by CNN Money, Pasadena, California, with its mild weather and beautiful location, has become a hot spot for veterans seeking a place to call home. Southern California also has a fairly strong military history due to Coronado Island and the close proximity to Camp Pendleton, and the area has for several decades been a popular area of residence for both active and veteran military members.

For veterans and service members wanting to stay close to family and friends in the Pasadena area, there is the VA home loan program. The VA loan program is a government-backed program established by the Department of Veteran Affairs that caters to the needs of military members, making home ownership more affordable and accessible. In addition, with current VA loan rates at all-time lows, it is provides a great opportunity to save compared to other programs!

Why Choose VA Lending Over Conventional?

While conventional lending has long claimed to have the lowest mortgage interest rates around, they often have such strict lending requirements and require a large down payment that few are able to attain. However, the VA Home Loan program is partially backed by the US government, which means the program is able to offer eligible borrowers benefits that conventional lending programs generally can't offer, such as:

  • No required down payment
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • Flexible mortgage terms
  • Competitive interest rates

Not having to pay a down payment or private mortgage insurance is definitely a great way for a borrower to save a substantial amount of money on their mortgage; however, very few consider how a simple loan limit can also affect their pocket book.

Most lending programs have set loan limits, which limit how much a borrower can take out regardless of their credit or income, sometimes forcing them to seek additional financing in order to purchase a home. Essentially this leaves borrowers with two mortgage payments or having to pass on the home of their dreams.

Pasadena does have some expensive housing options, but the VA Home Loan program has high loan limits. For the Pasadena area, the average VA loan limit is $621,000, allowing eligible veterans and active duty service members the option to buy the home they desire without having to secure additional loans.

Who is Eligible?
To make obtaining a home loan easier, the VA Home Loan program has fairly lax eligibility requirements. To be initially eligible for the program, military must have:

  • Served on Active Duty for 90 days during a time of war or 181 days during peacetime
  • Or have served for 6 years as part of the National Guard or the Reserves

Military members interested in applying for a loan will also be required to submit their Certificate of Eligibility, in addition to proof of income. Although the credit limits needed to secure a home loan aren't high, military members can still expect to have to present a mid-range score of 620 or higher to obtain financing. If you need help in finding your dream home in Pasadena, give Irina a call at 626-629-8439 and for any questions regarding your Pasadena home purchase with a VA loan, contact a VA Home Loan Specialist.