What Costs Are There With a VA Loan

What Costs Are There With a VA Loan

Costs vary depending on where you are buying, the lender you are working with, and more. Typically, VA loan closing costs range from 3 to 5 percent of the loan amount.

Several factors influence closing costs, from the lender and loan type to the location and more. This program limits what buyers can spend on closing costs with VA loans, and there are specific fees and expenses that VA buyers aren’t required to pay.

It is always a negotiation as to who pays what in closing costs and concessions. The sellers are not obligated to pay your fees. If you are making a formal offer on a home, you can also ask the sellers to deliver closing costs.

What Costs Are There With a VA Loan

There are a few common closing costs:

Charge for origin

Origination, processing, and underwriting fees may be charged up to 1 percent of the loan amount. A lender can charge you a flat origination fee of 1 percent, or a variety of prices, up to a maximum of 1 percent. The VA buyer can pay fees that would otherwise be unallowable if the lender isn’t charging a flat 1 percent fee. 

Appraisal fee

An appraisal is required for VA buyers. The cost of the assessment depends on where you are buying. Lenders are not responsible for appraisal fees, and buyers must pay this upfront.

Title charges

Title insurance protects lenders and homebuyers against title-related issues discovered after closing. A lender will usually require that the property be covered by title insurance, which only protects the lender’s interest.

Discount points

An interest rate can be lowered by paying points, which are equal to one percent of the loan amount. In addition to this, you may hear it called a “permanent buydown” since you’re paying upfront for a lower interest rate. Many VA buyers don’t take advantage of this option, but it is available and is part of the loan.

Credit report

Some lenders may charge a fee for your credit information. However, the VA recommends that this fee does not exceed $50.

VA Funding Fee

If you take out a VA loan, you must pay a VA funding fee. The Department of Veterans Affairs will charge you a one-time fee for this service.

Depending on how much you put down on the house, the funding fee will vary. If you make a large down payment, the funding fee will represent a smaller percentage of your loan.

Let’s say you make a down payment on your first home using a VA loan of less than 5%. The funding fee for that is 2.3% of the total loan amount. You would only pay a funding fee of 1.4% if you paid a down payment of 10% or more:

The funding fee is not due in all cases, however. It is not expected if you are:

  • Disability compensation received from the VA, or eligible for the VA disability compensation
  • As a result of service, a spouse may die or become disabled
  • Those who received the Purple Heart

You should speak with your loan officer if you have questions about your eligibility.

Will You Have to Pay the VA Funding Fee

To receive a VA home loan, you must meet specific requirements, such as building, improving, repairing a home or refinancing a mortgage.

There is no VA funding fee if any of the following statements are true. Whether:

  • Being compensated by the VA for a disability resulting from military service
  • VA compensation is available for service-connected disabilities, but you receive retirement or active-duty pay instead.
  • Survivors of veterans who died in service suffered a disability caused by service or who were disabled and are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Before the loan closing date, a service member must file a proposed or memorandum rating indicating you are eligible for compensation for a pre-discharge claim, or
  • If the service member on active duty provides evidence of receiving the Purple Heart before or on the loan closing date

You may be refunded the VA funding fee if you receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability. In addition, if you receive VA compensation when your loan is closed, it will also be retroactive.

How You Pay the Funding Fee

There are two ways to pay VA funding fees:

  • Pay the funding fee as part of your loan over time (financing), or
  • Pay the full closing fee at once

How Much is the Funding Fee – this is complicated based on the down payment amount and type of loan so a chart might be good.

Your loan amount and other factors will determine how much you can borrow.

The VA funding fee for all loans will be determined based on:

  • How you get a loan, and
  • You owe the whole amount. We’ll calculate your funding fee as a percentage of the loan amount.

Fees may also be based on several factors based on the type of loan you obtain:

  • It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time using a VA-backed or VA direct loan or if you have previously used one
  • The amount of your down payment

VA funding fee rate charts

If your down payment is… Your VA funding fee will be…
First use Less than 5% 2.3%
5% or more 1.65%
10% or more 1.4%
After first use Less than 5% 3.6%
5% or more 1.65%
10% or more 1.4%

VA-backed cash-out refinancing loans

Veterans, active-duty service members, and members of the National Guard and Reserves are all eligible for lower rates

First use After first use
2.3% 3.6%

Refinancing VA loans doesn’t change the funding fee rates based on the amount of the down payment. To purchase a manufactured home using a VA-backed or VA direct home loan, you only need to pay the first-time use funding fee.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL)

Type of use VA funding fee
Purchase 1.25%
Refinance 0.5%

Note: You don’t have to pay a different VA funding fee if you’ve already used the VA home loan program in the past.

Other VA home loan types

Loan type VA funding fee
Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs) 0.5%
Manufactured home loans (not permanently affixed) 1%
Loan assumptions 0.5%
Vendee loan, for purchasing VA-acquired property 2.25%

The VA funding fees for these loans do not change based on your down payment amount or prior VA home loan experience.

VA Closings Costs

VA borrowers also have a distinct advantage about closing costs, in addition to the fact that there is no down payment required. Veterans are limited in the closing costs they can pay, which helps them save money at the closing table.

Costs associated with closing

ACTORS is a commonly used acronym to remember which costs veterans can pay. ACTORS means:

  • A Appraisal
  • C Credit Report
  • T Title Insurance
  • O Origination Fee
  • R Recording Fee
  • S Survey

There are standard VA mortgage fees, and while they may vary in amount, these are the fees that veterans are responsible for paying. Do these charges also apply to veterans?

  • Attorney
  • Underwriting
  • Escrow
  • Processing
  • Document
  • Tax Service

A veteran cannot pay these fees, as well as others.

Origination Costs

Lenders may charge up to 1 percent of the loan amount for origination, processing, and underwriting costs. You can either pay a flat 1 percent origination fee or pick and choose among various prices, as long as the total does not exceed 1 percent. There are some fees that VA buyers can pay that would otherwise not be allowed if the lender is not charging the flat 1 percent fee.

Appraisal Fee

A home appraisal fee is likely to be required in any home purchase. You must pay an appraisal fee when you apply for a VA loan.

In addition to the closing costs, you can expect to pay an appraisal fee of $425 – $875 for the VA.

Title Charges

Title insurance protects homebuyers and lenders against title-related issues identified after closing.

A lender will usually require that the property be covered by title insurance, which only protects the lender’s interest. To ensure that you are also covered, you should purchase the owner’s title insurance once.

Discount Points

In this case, you’ll also hear it called a “permanent buydown” because you’re paying upfront to lower your interest rate. Most VA buyers don’t do this, but it’s an option and a cost associated with the loan.

Additional Costs

Closing costs for VA loans are the responsibility of buyers, sellers, and lenders, and sellers cannot pay closing costs over 4% of the loan amount. Nevertheless, their closing costs include seller and buyer real estate agents’ commissions.

An interest rate can be lowered by paying points, which are equivalent to one percent of the loan amount.

In addition, some of the typical closing costs, such as attorneys’ fees, will be covered by the lender.

Homebuyers are limited in their costs by the VA. You may be able to keep your costs down if you pay a limited origination fee.

Prepayment of Property Taxes and Homeowner’s Insurance

Mortgage prepaid costs typically include insurance and taxes. Homeowners insurance is generally prepaid and collected at closing for six months to one year. A mortgage lender will also require you to pay property taxes as well as prepaid homeowners insurance.

Lenders decide how much will be collected, but this prepaid amount will be deposited into an escrow account that acts as a cushion for future payments.

Prepaid Interest

Interest on the mortgage is another prepaid cost. It is collected as a prepaid expense, but the lender can apply it toward the first mortgage payment, so your first statement will be issued at least 30 days after you close, regardless of which day you close.

You will need to pay interest if you close during a specific month. If you close at the end of the month, you will have less interest accrued in advance of your first monthly mortgage payment.

Daily Interest Charges

Simple-interest mortgages have daily interest calculations based on the home loan cost, and a conventional mortgage does not calculate interest every month.

For simple-interest mortgages, the daily interest charge is calculated by dividing the interest rate by 365 days and multiplying the result by the remaining mortgage balance. A monthly interest charge is calculated by multiplying the daily interest charge by the number of days in a month.

Recording Fees

The county where a real estate transaction occurs records the transaction. Consequently, recording fees will vary from one county to another.

Additionally, you should take into account the size of the documents you’re filing. There will likely be a higher recording fee if your new home sale document is more complicated and lengthy. Depending on the laws in your county, the cost could be a few dollars or hundreds.

According to the Home Buying Institute, homebuyers pay an average of $125 for recording fees at closing. It is suitable to budget for closing costs in advance since they can add up quickly.

Actual Estate Agent Commission Fees

Commissions are the most common way for real estate agents to make money. Real estate brokers receive direct payments for services rendered in selling or purchasing properties. There are also flat fees that can be used, but most commissions are based on a percentage of the sale price.

The listing agreement specifies the listing broker’s compensation, a contract between the seller and the listing broker, and is negotiable. To impose uniform commission rates on members of the profession, however subtly, is a violation of federal antitrust laws.

Depending on the market, commission rates can range between 4% and 6% in the United States. It is reasonable to argue that the buyer pays at least some of the commission due to the higher asking price in either case since most sellers factor the commission into the selling price.

The commission split between the agent and their broker is specified in the agreement. Brokers and agents may split the commission 50/50 or agree to something else.

Can You Add VA Closing Costs to Your Loan?

It is possible to lack the funds when faced with closing costs, and VA loans allow for some of your closing costs to be financed into the loan amount.

The funding fee can be rolled into the overall mortgage amount, a significant benefit. Despite paying more in interest, you’ll be able to buy a home sooner rather than later.

The other fees that make up your closing costs cannot be added to the loan, and the upfront cash cost may be reduced by seller or lender concessions.

You can get your dream home quickly by taking advantage of the VA loan as a veteran. You don’t have to save up for a sizable down payment. Instead, you can start putting down roots in a home right now.

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