San Diego 0% Down VA Home Loan - Rates, Limits & Details (2024 Update)

(Please note - these numbers below have been updated for 2023 and are specifically for San Diego however we can do loans throughout California. We do our best to make sure everything is correct at the time you are reading it.)

In this post I break down the ins and outs of the $0 down VA mortgage loan in San Diego

This home loan is great for anyone that served in the military or does now, wants to take advantage of going $0 down, no monthly mortgage insurance, and the ability to have the seller pay for all your closing costs. 

In this post I go over:

Here's the main points and highlights of the program... 

(Please keep in mind we are approved with 40 +/- wholesale lenders in the state and the guidelines below are a great rule of thumb and not written in stone. Once you apply we will select which lender best suits your needs).

  • Buy with $0 money down for the loan

  • No monthly mortgage insurance (unlike the USDA, FHA, or Conventional)

  • No prepayment penalties

  • No max debt to income limits like a USDA (max 41%) conventional (max 50%) FHA (max 56.99%)

  • No max loan amounts like a conventional and FHA at $879,750

  • If you put down 0% your VA funding fee is 2.3% on first use and 3.6% on subsequent uses (this can also be paid by the seller, wrapped into the loan amount, paid by a lender rebate, or all the above)

  • You can buy a home, pud, townhome, condo, duplex, triplex, and fourplex (you can also do manufactured homes although I do not work with manufactured loans). 

  • This is good for a principal residence only (You need to live there - can't be for a second home, vacation home, or rental). 

→ The list of VA eligible borrowers include:

  • Active duty service members

  • members of National Guard

  • Reservists

  • surviving spouces of veterans

  • cadets at the US military, US airforce, coastguard academy, midshipmen at US naval academy, 

→ Minimum service required:

  • You’ve served 181 days of active duty during peacetime

  • You’ve served 90 days of active duty during wartime

  • You’ve served six years in the Reserves or National Guard

  • Your spouse was killed in the line of duty and you have not remarried

→ What else do you need:

  • You'll need your certificate of elgibility which you can get through the va benefits portal or we can at loan submission

  • If we are unable to get the COE either from the va benefits portal, or from the lender at submission, we will need your DD-214

Here's 3 of the most common questions I get (and how I answer them)... 

(Please keep in mind your personal situation might be different and these are used as examples only).

→ Question #1: If I have used a VA loan before can I use it again?

Short answer is yes. Your VA funding fee is 3.6% on subsequent use. But, there's no limit to the amount of VA loans you can have if you simply buy, live in it, sell, and buy another. 

→ Question #2: I have heard different things - what is the max loan amount I can get?

There is no max loan amount for the VA loan. Each lender I use, might have different max loan amounts they accept, but I can always use another lender if needed for higher loan amounts. 

→ Question #3: I have other debt currently - how is debt to income calculated and what is the max allowed?

There is no maximum debt to income ratio allowed for a VA loan - meaning, there's nothing written in stone. As long as you qualify, you are fine. We simply add up your total debts + future housing payment / your gross monthly income = dti ratio. 

Here's 3 secrets of this loan (or misconceptions) you might not be aware of... 

(Please keep in mind your personal situation might be different and these are used as examples only).

→ Secret #1: VA home loan rates

Va home loan rates are usually the lowest out of any loan product - whether thats USDA, conventional, FHA, Jumbo, or non QM. And, when you factor in you do not have monthly mortgage insurance (MI) like the USDA, Conventional, or FHA might - lower total monthly payments as well. 

→ Secret #2: VA home loans are assumable

Think of this. You buy a home, use a VA loan, and then want to see, lets say in 10 years, but rates are much much higher. With a VA loan, assuming they are VA elgible, they can simply assume your loan (and pay you the difference in cash). 

→ Secret #3: Do NOT be on the "CAIVRS" list

Make sure you are NOT on the credit alert verification reporting system as someone that has defaulted on a government obligations. 

Here's the (potential) cash out of pocket you can expect: 

(Please note this can vary from borrower to borrower so this is just some helpful guidelines: Your own deposit, home inspections, and home appraisal may vary).

Let me be very clear - I 100% understand if you buy with $0 down, we have the lender pay closing costs via a lender rebate (or maybe ask seller to pay some as well), that limits your cash out of pocket - maybe to $0. I 100% get that and so do 99.99% of all agents. But, you *will* have cash out of pocket. Below, are what I am experiencing with clients. 

→ Deposit - You should count on putting between 1% to 3% of your sales price - as your deposit into escrow - within 3 days of your offer being accepted. This is totally negotiable between the buyer (you) and the seller. I have helped clients with as little as $500 into escrow for VA loans. But, keep in mind with the low inventory in San Diego, and lots of offers on each property, that's not a likely scenario as I type this. 

Please keep in mind this is 100% refundable - if it's not used for the down payment, closing costs, or escrow impounds - and refunded back at the close of escrow. 

→ Home Inspections - You *should* use a licensed home inspector to check out the property to understand the kind of shape it's in. Do you HAVE to? No, just highly recommended. Depending on if it's a home or townhome/condo it will be somewhere around $250-$750 +/-. 

(Please keep in mind - you can choose to inspection anything you want. The roof, septic, plumbing, electrical, pool, spa, foundation, etc. There are no limits to the inspections you can make as the buyer.) 

→ Home Appraisal - You will need to get a home appraisal on the property since you are getting financing. The great news is we can have this paid through escrow so you do NOT pay this out of pocket (probably). This has nothing to do with the buyers agent (me), the listing agent, the seller, the lender, etc. This will be around $600 +/-. 

→ My offer to you: If you use my services for the real estate and loan I will credit towards your closing costs at the close of escrow whatever you spent on your home inspection and appraisal as my way of saying "thank you" for utilizing my services. 

Basic documentation needed from you (or you and co borrower) to begin... 

(Please keep in mind these are the basic documents we will probably need. Depending on your personal situation we may need more or less and will advise accordingly). 

  • Copy of your drivers license (screen shot is fine)

  • Copy of your social security card (screen shot is fine)

  • Last 30 days paychecks (you should get these from your employer via email and PDF each time you are paid). 

  • Last 2 months bank statements - all pages (You just log into wherever you have a bank acount online and save the last 2 months via PDF.)

  • Last 2 years taxes and W2's - If you do not have them you can get them from the IRS website here

  • Latest statements if you have anything like: 401(k), retirement, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc

  • If you are self employed we will need last 2 years taxes and W2's (if applicable) as well as year to date profit and loss sign and dated (you can do this - doesn't need to be a CPA). 

  • We can potentially need more depending on things like: pay or collect child support, have been divorced, have had a short sale or foreclosure, have filed bankrupcty, have rental properties, etc. 

Here's your steps to begin right now... 

  1. Fill out my online application at Scotts Loan If it's just you - then you fill it out just for yourself. If you are married - it's you and your spouse (regardless if they work or not, their income, their credit, etc.) If its you and a co borrower - then you both fill it out.

  2. Once complete I will be alerted, check everything over, send you out a list of needed supporting documents, and clarify anything if needed

  3. Once I get the needed supporting documents from you I will double check the application, your needed supporting documents, pull your credit report (it's currently $38 +/- and I pay for that), and get back to you with best scenarios.

  4. If a VA loan doesn't work for whatever reason we can always look at going with another loan program that's better suited for your needs. 

I would love to help assist you with your VA home loan - please feel free to give me a call, text, or use the form below. 

Your VA Loan Insider,


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