You’re Looking To Build, Buy, Refi, Or Renovate, So Why Choose BuildBuyRefi Over other VA Home Lenders?
We Provide The Most VA Home Loan Programs Of Any 50 State Bank, More Programs Then The Largest VA Lender, And We Do So Working 7-Days A Week Around Your Schedule, Not Ours!
If you visited other websites looking for this type of loan, you would notice most start out with this one question: What is a VA home loan?
Short answer, like any other home loan, it is a mortgage backed by the Veterans Administration to cover your home, yet you already know the answer because you found us by searching for this specific loan type. We go steps further than other banks by focusing on the more important aspects you want to know, like, can and how will you get approved at a low attractive rate and term. As an FDIC Insured Bank, we provide VA loans for homes in all 50 states.
This VA Home Loan Guide is designed to provide the information you need to make the best possible decision on who you choose to process and close your VA loan. We aim to take the small town bank approach with the more significant 50 state bank risk, especially on Veteran Administration loan programs.
We’re probably not the first company you found when starting your online loan search if it is, we’re lucky to have found each other first. Many lenders that advertise for this property type who provide “not so great options” so let’s get right to it and first take a short quiz to see if you are in the right place.
Use These Links To Skip Ahead In The Guide:
Respond “YES” To Each Of The Top 4 VA Qualifiers, And You’re One-Step Closer To Getting The Best VA Home Loan BuildBuyRefi Has To Offer.
Respond “NO” To Any Of These Statements, And You May Still Qualify!
(1). You’re Active Military, Retired Veteran, Disabled Veteran, Or The Spouse Or Widow Of A Veteran.
As a qualifying Veteran, you were granted a set of home loan benefits that far exceed other loan programs and products. You may be eligible for the VA loan as long as you have met specific requirements that allow you to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). These conditions are having served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, serving a minimum of 181 days of active service during peacetime, having more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, or you’re the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
(2). You’re Looking For The Highest Loan To Value For Your Renovation Or Cash Out Refi, And Smallest Down-Payment On Construction Or Purchase.
Every program offered by the VA allows up to 100% financing except Jumbo loans. So if you are looking to build or buy with zero down, this is possible. If you are looking to pull out cash or consolidate debt, you’ll have no problem accessing 100% of your equity, and even if you’re near 100% already and are looking to renovate, we allow up to $50,000 toward rehab costs, allowing you to access the future value of your home's equity right now, before you start the renovation.
(3). If Requesting A VA Loan For Manufactured Property, Your Home Was Built AFTER June 15, 1976.
If you want to use a VA loan to purchase a pre-owned manufactured home, it must've been built after this date. We absolutely cannot lend on a property built prior for the simple fact that it is not insurable. Most don’t tell you why so here it is. Manufactured home standards before this date simply were not the same as they were after that date, and every year newer, the building standards get even better.
As a lender, we want to make sure you have the most durable and longest lasting manufactured home possible. No matter how much you may desire the property and location if you wish to obtain a loan for a property older than this date you need to be prepared to go to a local bank or credit union with a substantial down payment, or a higher risk lender who is willing to help finance this for you.
(4). Your loan request is greater than $80,000.
RARE occasions we loan down to 60k, but we have found that the higher rates below $80,000 cheat you out of getting a much more beautiful home. Sure you may have your reasons like buying a house from a friend, the property is cheap and exactly what you want, or you have a deal too good to be true. But does that loan make financial sense? To see if we will do loans under this amount, you will have to contact us directly or check your eligibility with us online.
Great, if you answered “YES” to each of these, you passed the first part of our pre-approval quiz. If you have a “NO” somewhere, then call us now, or take our eligibility checker to discuss your situation. Answering “NO” doesn’t mean you won’t qualify, it just means we need to find out which area is impacting your request.
Before we discuss the programs we offer, and we offer EVERY Veterans Administration home loan imaginable which meet’s the above requirements, let’s review the most important ways to make the process as smooth as possible.
First, There Are No Guarantees Because There Are Many Unknowns.
Anyone offering you a guaranteed VA loan is probably someone you want to avoid. No loan is guaranteed until you have met all conditions and closed your loan. But let’s discuss further how you can get the results you are seeking.
If you want the best, then there’s a need for wicked fast speed, and here’s why!
Applying and getting pre-approved for a VA loan is only the first step in the process, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the rate, terms, or program initially pre-approved on. Many factors go to achieving the low-interest rate and great program you desire, and that is “the speed in which YOU move.” Time plays against every borrower in a big way with any loan.
Learn the 4 most-important reasons to “light the fire” and Take Fast Action on Your VA Loan Pre-Approval!
Rate Locks Expire: Most loans are locked for 30 days because the shorter term allows you to get the lowest rate possible. If you lose your rate lock by letting it expire or needing to extend it because you took weeks getting the items back, it will cost you more money or a higher rate. With rates recently on the rise, a higher rate could even make you no longer eligible for the loan you wanted. A long delay could require you to re-qualify for the loan again.
Programs Could Disappear: It’s happened before, we’ve witnessed a whole host of loan programs get wiped out overnight. Investors can choose to change their risk portfolio and stop offering programs altogether, that is why moving fast on the approval you have in your hand means taking action.
Your Job or Income Status Could Change: What if you lost your job, your income was cut, or you wanted to take a new job, but it put your loan closing in jeopardy because you took too long? Any of these changes in your employment status could come back with more unfavorable terms, or worse, a complete loan denial.
Your Credit Score Could Dramatically Change: We’ve seen scores change many times suddenly before. Examples like a borrower running up their credit card limit for business, or they miss a payment because they weren’t paying attention, or a judgment/collection was filed for any host of other reasons. Not closing quickly under the same credit terms is another reason for underwriters to require you to re-qualify or cancel the loan.
Follow These 3 steps to Get the lowest VA Home Loan rates possible today.
Find a lender you feel confident in and apply to get pre-qualified from that lender. Make sure the lender has the program you want, and if they don’t sound confident they can close this program and have the reviews to prove it, then keep looking! You may want to check out our reviews to help give you this confidence.
Request a rate lock on your loan once you are pre-approved and get your lender every item needed as fast as necessary to close your loan, so your rate lock doesn’t expire. Your side of the process is only complete when the loan is closed, not when you think you sent enough to satisfy what is requested to convince the lender.
Take responsibility and move fast, as you know rates have been on the rise as of lately. Wait too long, and you could end up with a higher interest rate, therefore qualifying for a smaller loan amount than if you locked in faster on a lower rate. It’s your job to ensure you meet all requirements, not the loan officer or lenders position to hold the file open as long as possible paying for the rate lock extension out of their pocket. Locks cost money because your lender is reserving the funds and rate you wanted. It’s your responsibility to ensure you move fast as not to let that lock expire or it could end up costing you.
BuildBuyRefi Will Provide VA Loans On These 4 Styles Of Properties.
(1). Single Family & Modular Homes
Any site built or modular home that's shipped to the site. There are no age restrictions on these properties; however, they cannot be mixed-use, demolished, razed homes, co-op’s, investment, or on structures relocated to or from another site.
(2). Manufactured Homes
Any single-wide or multi-wide manufactured home larger than 400 sq. ft., and built after June 15, 1976. The property must not be on leased land or in a trailer park and must be on a permanent foundation.
(3). Multi-Unit Properties
Any 2, 3, or 4 unit property, for example, a side-by-side or top and bottom duplex are allowed as long as one of the units are owned and occupied by the primary borrower, meaning the primary borrower occupies 1 of the units full-time.
(4). PUDS, Townhouses & Condos
Any approved PUD, townhouse or condo must be Veterans Administration (VA) approved or accepted. Each property type in this classification has their specific guidelines that expand further.
*Modular homes are not considered manufactured homes, they fall under the same category as a Single-Family Home and do not have the same restrictions as Manufactured Homes. Every program available to a Single-Family Home extends to Modular.
Our Most Popular VA Loan Products & Details.
You most likely already have an idea of what loan program you need, want, or would like to have. But for those who are just learning about these program types, we want to explain them in more detail.
#1. VA Purchase Loans
A purchase loan is for buying a new primary residence, second home, or investment property. A standard purchase loan is most commonly used for a property that is already built; however they can be combined with a VA renovation or our VA one-time close construction programs. Read more about these programs below.
#2. VA Cash Out & Debt Consolidation Refinance
A cash-out refinance is used for either taking cash equity out of your home for your personal use, or consolidating other credit debt, thereby converting your equity and trading off for a lower monthly payment on all total debt. It should be noted that the VA renovation/rehab loans are not considered cash-out refinances by the Veterans Administration, and we share more about this specific program below.
#3. VA IRRRL Streamline Refinance Loans
A VA streamline is strictly for borrowers looking to lower their interest rate or modify their loan term only. No cash-out, debt consolidation, or renovation is allowed with this program. We offer the VA IRRL streamline refi on all property types including manufactured homes. No appraisal is required for any property type, and we move very fast, normally closing within weeks.
#4. VA Renovation Loans For Purchase or refinance
If you are an Active Military, Veteran, or Spouse of a Veteran, then the VA Renovation Loan is what you are seeking. The VA Rehab loan has a maximum allowable repair limit of $50,000; however, some of these costs must be maintained for overage allowance. Meaning if your repairs are of a non-structural and non-luxury upgrade nature and are limited to $45,000 in costs then this is the product you want to obtain. Having your repairs rolled into one loan is more natural than qualifying for a 2nd mortgage also known as a home equity loan, and comes with one low fixed rate mortgage.
This product allows for product terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year terms, comes with interest rate options that are lower than both the FHA and USDA programs and unlike FHA and USDA comes with no mortgage insurance (MI) requirement on loan. So if you are a Veteran, this is the product you want to choose over the other options available if you do not need to complete any structural repairs.
For Purchase loans, this product can be used on foreclosures and short sales, as well as minor updates to existing homes for purchase or refinancing. The repairs can be completed by only 1 General Contractor (GC) which may be able to use multiple subcontractors if required underneath the GC. The borrower cannot complete any of the repairs themselves or act as the general contractor, and ALL improvements must be achieved in a four-month term. The work must begin within 30 days of the closing of the loan, and must not cease for a period longer than 30 days. The GC must submit a qualifying bid outlining all work to be completed within the 120 day period. Draws and disbursements are determined based upon the percentage of work completed, and no mortgage payment reserve can be financed in the property. Additionally, the property cannot be vacant for more than 15 days. There is a required 15% contingency reserve required on the VA renovation loan for any overages or miscalculations in repairs.
Eligible improvement types are: Eliminating health and safety risks, connecting to public water & sewer systems, repairing or replacing plumbing, heating, AC, electrical systems, making changes for improved functionality and modernization, new roof as long as structural integrity is intact, siding, gutters and downspouts, energy conservation improvements, improving accessibility for persons with disabilities, repairing fencing, walkways and driveways, new refrigerator, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, built-in microwave, washer and dryer, repairing or removing an existing in-ground swimming pool, installing, repairing or replacing exterior decks, patios, or porches, covering lead-based paint issues.
Ineligible improvements that are structural or considered luxury are not allowed. These would be repairing foundation issues, oil tanks (repair, removal, remediation), any repair/installation for private water systems –(Wells), any repair/installation private waste management system (Septic Systems, Lagoon, Cesspools, Pits, etc.), mold remediation, moving another structure to the site or room additions to exterior of the property, landscaping site improvements, new swimming pools, outdoor saunas, whirlpools, or bathhouses, tennis or basketball courts, satellite dishes, barbeque pits, outdoor fireplaces or hearths. Additionally, tree-surgery is not allowed unless it endangers existing improvements to the property. Also, any repair completed by self-help, “do it yourself,” or that takes more than four months to finish is not eligible. If the scope of work requires more than three draws per specialized contractor or the proposed repairs/improvements need detailed plans, engineering, or architectural exhibits.
Eligible property types are a bit different for VA than its FHA counterpart. We allow renovations on all eligible singlewide, doublewide, triple-wide manufactured homes, modular homes, and single family homes only.
Ineligible property types are 2, 3, or 4 unit properties, condos, demolished or razed homes, relocated structures, mixed-use properties, commercial properties, co-op properties, investment property or mobile homes on leased land.
Restricted states based on permit requirements: For Both Purchase & Refinance: BuildBuyRefi restricts availability in the following states due to longer times to obtain permits and inspections. Except for Hawaii, if no licenses are required for the proposed work or the borrower can get a permit before closing, and inspectors availability is not an issue. BuildBuyRefi can make an exception on a case-by-case basis. (California, District of Columbia (DC), Hawaii*, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington.)
There are specific requirements of the General Contractor, Insurance and Liability Requirements, Appraisal Requirements, Bid Requirements, Inspection, and Disbursement Requirements, and certain fees can be included in the closing. You will want to discuss these additional requirements with your banker once you have decided you are ready to move forward. Additionally, since these loans are treated as New Purchase or Rate and Term Refinance loans, the maximum allowable cash back to the borrower cannot exceed $500.00 except in the state of Texas where the amount is $0.
#5. VA One-Time Close (OTC) & VA Construction Loans
Construction loans are for those ready to undertake the exciting process of choosing the exact plot of land to build and designing the custom facets of the home they wish. It’s also used if you already own land and want to combine everything into one low rate loan. We offer up to 100% VA One Time Close Construction Loans for land & the complete build-out, or in the case of a manufactured property, the construction and permanent location to your site.
Our most popular loan program ever requested is the BuildBuyRefi One-Time Close Construction Loan, also known as the Single Close Construction Loan. This product type allows borrowers that currently have a credit score less than 720 (standard construction requirements) but above a 620 credit score to now design and build their own home exactly how they want it, where they want it.
Instead of the three loans, it takes to complete a traditional construction loan; we do it in one closing. That’s right, just one single closing! Find the land you want, or if you already have it, build the home you want and roll it into one loan. No more separate loans, separate costs, different appraisals, and most importantly, no separate qualifying for each loan in the process.
Most importantly, you can lock in your final interest rate now before rates rise, which you can not do on construction to permanent financing before you started to break ground. The VA one-time close construction program offered truly makes homeownership a custom dream.
#6. VA Jumbo Loans
Jumbo loans are for loan amounts that exceed the limits set forth by the underwriting guidelines for conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loans. The rates are typically a tad bit higher, and the loan to value is often less than any of the programs requiring a more significant equity position for approval.
Jumbo Home loans are used only when a traditional home lending guidelines exceed the loan amount limit set in the county your property is located. You may find yourself needing a VA Jumbo loan if your property is in a high-cost area, or has a large tract of land.
Most commonly reserved for stick built properties, we have many programs that will allow borrowers to access capital to borrow against the manufactured and condo property types. The most popular being the VA Jumbo Loan which has no mortgage insurance and requires the smallest down payment when buying new. There are no 100% jumbo home loan programs, but we can get close.
#7. VA Jumbo Home Loans With Large Land / Acreage
Don’t let a property that is on large acreage pass you by, contact us if you have a jumbo home on more extensive tracts of land but your realtor is trying to steer you away, or you’re having a hard time finding a lender to refinance your jumbo large acreage property. They aren’t making any more land, so you want to get approved while this program is available.
#8. VA Manufactured Home Loans
Not every bank will allow VA loans on Manufactured Homes, yet if you have a single, double, triple, or quadruple wide manufactured or mobile home, it must be 400 sq. ft. or larger to qualify. The property must be on a fixed foundation and on land that you own, NOT in a mobile home or trailer park.
Have a tiny home larger than 400 sq. ft. and land that you love but don’t want to move it? Put your tiny house on a permanent foundation and on land you own, and we'll get you pre-qualified for a VA mortgage and rate.
Also, it is essential when the property is appraised that we can find comparable property, so be sure to talk with your realtor and loan officer regarding loaning on a property that has small square footage and similar in style and loan size.
Generally, We Want Your Minimum “Middle Of The 3” Credit Scores To Be 580 Or Higher.
My Middle Credit Score Is Above 580, What Rate Can I Get?
The rate you qualify for depends on many factors since rates change daily, sometimes multiple times a day, the quote you receive today most likely will be different tomorrow. That is of course if you have not locked in your loan.
Borrowers with a 580 credit score may see a little higher rate than those with a 620, 680, 720, and so on. This is because investors offer better rates the higher your score is. They do this because those with higher scores have proven to be of lower credit risk than those with higher scores.
Many people who buy a loan with a lower credit score that has a higher rate could raise their credit even if they took out a 100% loan six months to a year later. In cases where that happens, we are always working with our existing clients and reviewing market conditions to offer an internal streamline refinance.
The streamline refi happens to be the most effective VA loan used to lower a borrower’s interest rate, and in most instances will not require a new appraisal because you are only reducing your interest rate or term. It is also possible to have a lower score like the VA streamline refinance as this loan looks at your overall improvement to your financial situation and is not relying on your credit report.
Do you Provide bad credit VA Loans?
…What is the lowest Credit score you accept?
Can we lend lower than 580?
In some cases yes, we’ve closed loans as low as 530, but it’s incredibly difficult and let’s explain why.
Typically when a borrower has a score under 580 a few things happen.
#1. The interest rate we can offer becomes too high.
The pricing adjustments that come for lower scores and loan amounts become a high risk for the lender. And due to us offering the best programs government-backed lending has to offer, we stay away from dancing with any loan that targets what the government deems to be "high costs."
#2. The borrower has limited to no credit, or the credit trade-lines they have are not acceptable to our current underwriting guidelines.
It’s even true that some people can have a 640 credit score with limited trade lines that would not get approved, but it is essential to show our underwriters you can make payments on time and are at low risk for defaulting on your home loan.
#3. The borrower could be a few steps away from a much better credit score.
It's possible if your score falls under the 580 line, there are some areas credit repair could help you become more attractive to the approving lender. In many instances, you don’t have to go through a 3rd party credit repair company as today’s lenders have tools to help you determine what moves you can make on your own to improve your score. Do what is needed and not only would you get a lower interest rate, you could qualify for a more substantial loan amount with better home options than if you settled for borrowing with worse credit.
The 5 Acceptable Income Types When Applying For A VA Loan.
While we accept almost every income type when verifying and approving these types of loans, the two we won’t loan on are stated income loans or bank statement only loans.
W2 Full Time & Part Time Employees
Active Military Income
Retirement, Pension, 401k regular disbursement income
Social Security or Disability income
It’s important to note that any change during the process in employment status such as getting fired or switching jobs is grounds for denial or re-underwrite. You want to avoid any change in your job status while completing your loan, and if there is the slightest chance something might change you need to speak to your loan officer immediately about this.
Do not assume that because you are getting a better job offer that it will be approved. Changes like these scare underwriters and will increase the amount of documentation you’re required to provide. This could delay your closing, cost you a rate lock, or you could lose your purchase money escrow altogether.
You will save thousands in lost time and money by being as upfront as possible with your loan officer.
Aside From Working 7-Days A Week On Your Schedule, We’re Experts On The Most Popular VA Loan Programs To Hit Today’s Mortgage Market!
The Truly Determined Borrower Ultimately Wants The Best Rate & Loan Term Possible, And At BuildBuyRefi, We Offer Some Of The Best Customer Service On The Market Today.
We Won’t Leave You Guessing What Is Going On!
You may ask, why do other lenders and even my local bank offer high-interest rates, shorter terms, or require a higher down-payments?
Why do realtors try and talk us out of using our VA benefits or accepting a VA offer?
That’s a great question!
Short answer, because they aren’t the experts in these type of loans, or they don’t want what they perceive to be a hassle.
The Top 3 Reasons Why Other VA Lenders Find It Hard To Compete With BuildBuyRefi.
#1. We have Some Of The Most competitive VA Loan products, rates & loan terms:
Most other VA lenders, brokers and banks only have a few programs, indeed not offering anything near the vast array of VA loan products we have. Their rates are higher and loan term shorter because they can’t touch the monthly volume we produce. They don’t offer the high loan-to-values because they still view VA loans as more troublesome. These reasons are baseless, and we chalk it up to laziness or lack of desire to be motivated for the customer.
#2. We’re seasoned VA loan veterans, Ready To Offer A Multitude of Services:
Most are not seasoned veterans in the VA lending sphere, meaning the loan officer you worked with might not have closed one of these properties or loan types before, and that is a dangerous strategy to play. You need a banker that knows how to navigate these specific loan programs and guidelines, and most of our bankers have 15-30 years experience each lending on VA home loans.
#3. We Offer The Most Property Type Variations For VA Manufactured, VA Modular, VA Renovation & VA Construction Loans:
Your local bank or credit union may be acting like they are doing you a favor to keep you with them, but they don’t want a higher balance VA loan on their books. They may talk you into putting more money down or taking a higher rate saying they’re making an exception to the guidelines. In this case, their inability to be competitive or desire for your property type is costing you more just by staying loyal. And while we love loyalty, we feel you shouldn’t take a rate that is 2-5% higher requiring 20% or more down to sacrifice for that loyalty.
5-Star Lender Reviews That WOW!
Richie, OK... so you've officially done something I've never seen in 22+ years selling real estate. Closed a VA Loan on 224 Acres, with a Manufactured Home. CONGRATULATIONS! and THANK YOU!!! Admittedly, I was skeptical (more like pessimistic) when James told me you were going to get this VA Loan completed. And I had many doubts along the way, because I'd seen so many VA Lenders fall flat on their faces, just before the Closing. BUT... You got the Job DONE! Occasionally, I find someone out there who has done an Outstanding Job, helping my Clients... and You are one of these! I'm now officially a FAN of You and Your Work. I would be honored to promote you and your services to other Agents within our company, and I intend to do so. I will call you when I've caught up on my work a bit... and learn more about how I can do my job better on the next VA transaction.
~Tom K. Realtor