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The VA Jumbo Mortgage

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For years, the Veterans Administration has allowed ‘Jumbo’ VA loans; it’s just that hardly anyone knew about them. The current VA loan limit with zero down, is $417,000, matching the conforming loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But the VA does make allowances for VA loans above that amount… way above. Say around $700,000.

Current Jumbo fixed rates are anywhere from 1.00 percent to 1.50 percent higher than conforming rates. That’s a lot, and has many Jumbo buyers in a quandary. A 30 year fixed conforming rate might be 6.00 percent while a similar Jumbo rate could be 7.50 percent. That spread used to not be so vast. Prior to the current mortgage mess, Jumbo rates were typically about .25 to .5 percent higher than a conforming loan. But not so with a VA Jumbo loan.

VA Jumbo rates are near conforming rates, about .25 percent higher. And loans can be as high as $700,000. So how does this work?

First, if you’re a qualified Veteran or Reservist, there simply is no better home loan out there with no money down. Period. Even when every lender on the planet was shouting ‘No Money Down!’ for their home loans it couldn’t hold a candle to a VA loan when comparing rates and closing costs. As long as the VA loan didn’t exceed $417,000 ($625,000 for Alaska and Hawaii).

But a little ‘quirk’ in VA lending allows for VA loans above that $417,000 as long as the veteran comes up with some down payment — as with any Jumbo mortgage.

To figure out how much down payment a veteran will need, simply multiply the amount of the sales price over $417,000 and take 25 percent of that. For instance, a home sells for $650,000. Now subtract the maximum ‘zero down’ VA loan amount of $417,000 and you get $233,000. 25 percent of $233,000 is $58,250. That’s the down payment needed from the veteran.

That works out to about 9 percent down payment on a $650,000 home! As on all VA loans, there is a Funding Fee of about 2.2 percent of the loan amount but that can be rolled into the loan and not paid out-of-pocket. In this example, the final loan amount would be about $604,750.

With a conventional Jumbo loan, you’d need 20 percent down and pay a higher rate, say 7.50 percent compared to 6.25 percent.

Not all lenders will offer this program, so you’ll need to do a little homework and even those that do may have their own VA Jumbo limits. But if you’re in the Jumbo market and are VA eligible-give this program a hard look.

Written by David Reed for www.RealtyTimescom. Copyright