VA Loan Limits – How Much House Can You Buy with a VA Loan?

The VA does not set a limit on how much you can borrow for a house purchased through a VA Loan. However, the VA does have limits for the amount of liability they can assume for any given loan. This can affect the amount of money lenders will allow veterans to borrow when buying a home. (This is why some lenders state there is a VA Loan limit – the reality is the lender limits the amount they will lend to match the amount the VA will guaranty).

The maximum amount the VA will guaranty for 2014 is $417,000, for most locations. However, there are some high-cost counties where the VA will guaranty a home loan for larger amounts. Read through this article to get a full understanding of VA Loan limits, the maximum amount you can borrow without a down payment, and other information you may need to know to secure a VA Loan.

VA Loan Limits & What Lenders Will Actually Lend

Veterans are eligible for a basic VA Loan entitlement, which amounts to $36,000. Lenders will normally allow veterans to borrow up to 4 times the basic entitlement ($144,000) without a down payment, provided they have the income and credit to qualify for the loan, and provided the property appraises for at least the purchase price.

This means that provided you qualify for the loan, and the house appraises for at least the purchase price, lenders will often lend you up to $144,000 without a down payment. You still may need to come up with the VA loan funding fee, which the VA charges for guaranteeing your loan. However, some disabled veterans are eligible to have the funding fee waived. Alternatively, you can often roll the funding fee into your loan.

A note about homes costing more than $144,000: According to the VA: “The maximum guaranty amount for loans over $144,000 is 25 percent of the 2014 VA county loan limit shown below. Veterans with full entitlement available may borrow up to this limit and VA will guarantee 25 percent of the loan amount.” This means that if your home costs more than $144,000, the VA will only guaranty 25% of the loan, up to the $417,000 limit, or the limit for high-cost counties. This affects the lender more than the borrower, but it is important to note.





How to Buy a House that Costs More than the Max VA Loan Guaranty

If you want to use the VA Loan to buy a house that costs more than $144,000, you will need to put make a down payment on the loan. The amount of the down payment will depend on your lender and the cost of your home. But generally, you will be required to put down anywhere from 10-20% of the purchase price on the home (your down payment will depend on your lender’s policies, your income, credit profile, debt to income ratio, and other factors).

You can always make a larger down payment if you have the available funds, and there are some benefits to doing so. For example, a larger down payment reduces your outstanding balance on your home, reduces your monthly payments, and reduces the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

Why Use a VA Loan if Your Home Costs More than The VA Will Guaranty?

This is a great question. The answer comes down to interest rates. Because VA loans are guaranteed by the VA, they often have slightly lower interest rates than conventional loans (all things being equal, including credit score, income, assets, debt to income ratio, etc.). That said, it pays to shop around. A mortgage is often the largest purchase you will ever make, and even a few decimal points on your interest rate can save you, or cost you thousands over the life of your loan.

If you are interested in finding the best interest rates, you can view our list of VA Loan providers to shop and compare interest rates.

VA Loan Limits for High-Cost Counties

Below is the table for VA Loan limits for 2014. The VA bases these amounts on the county median home values reported by the Federal Housing Administration.

NOTE: For all counties not listed below, the limit is $417,000.

STATE COUNTY 2014 VA LIMIT
AK ALEUTIANS EAST $625,500
AK ALEUTIANS WEST $625,500
AK ANCHORAGE $625,500
AK BETHEL $625,500
AK BRISTOL BAY $625,500
AK DENALI $625,500
AK DILLINGHAM $625,500
AK FAIRBANKS NORTH $625,500
AK HAINES $625,500
AK HOONAH-ANGOON $625,500
AK JUNEAU $625,500
AK KENAI PENINSULA $625,500
AK KETCHIKAN GATEWAY $625,500
AK KODIAK ISLAND $625,500
AK LAKE AND PENINSULA $625,500
AK MATANUSKA-SUSITNA $625,500
AK NOME $625,500
AK NORTHWEST ARCTIC $625,500
AK NORTH SLOPE $625,500
AK ST. PETERSBURG $625,500
AK PRINCE OF WALES-HYDER $625,500
AK SITKA $625,500
AK SKAGWAY MUNICIPALITY $625,500
AK SOUTHEAST FAIRBANKS $625,500
AK VALDEZ-CORDOVA $625,500
AK WADE HAMPTON $625,500
AK WRANGELL CITY/BOROUGH $625,500
AK YAKUTAT CITY $625,500
AK YUKON-KOYUKUK $625,500
CA ALAMEDA $1,050,000
CA CONTRA COSTA $1,050,000
CA EL DORADO $437,500
CA LOS ANGELES $687,500
CA MARIN $1,050,000
CA MONTEREY $500,000
CA NAPA $575,000
CA ORANGE $687,500
CA PLACER $437,500
CA SAN BENITO $827,500
CA SAN DIEGO $527,500
CA SAN FRANCISCO $1,050,000
CA SAN LUIS OBISPO $518,750
CA SAN MATEO $1,050,000
CA SANTA BARBARA $643,750
CA SANTA CLARA $827,500
CA SANTA CRUZ $681,250
CA SONOMA $500,000
CA VENTURA $556,250
CA YOLO $437,500
CO ADAMS $425,000
CO ARAPAHOE $425,000
CO BOULDER $422,500
CO BROOMFIELD $425,000
CO CLEAR CREEK $425,000
CO DENVER $425,000
CO DOUGLAS $425,000
CO EAGLE $587,500
CO ELBERT $425,000
CO GARFIELD $781,250
CO GILPIN $425,000
CO JEFFERSON $425,000
CO PARK $425,000
CO PITKIN $781,250
CO ROUTT $423,750
CO SUMMIT $462,500
CT FAIRFIELD $556,250
DC DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA $692,500
FL MONROE COUNTY $437,500
GU GUAM $625,500
HI HAWAII $625,500
HI HONOLULU $750,000
HI KALAWAO $625,500
HI KAUAI $625,500
HI MAUI $625,500
ID TETON $630,000
MA DUKES $715,000
MA ESSEX $511,250
MA MIDDLESEX $511,250
MA NANTUCKET $1,094,625
MA NORFOLK $511,250
MA PLYMOUTH $511,250
MA SUFFOLK $511,250
MD ANNE ARUNDEL $500,000
MD BALTIMORE $500,000
MD CALVERT $692,500
MD CARROLL $500,000
MD CHARLES $692,500
MD FREDERICK $692,500
MD HARFORD $500,000
MD HOWARD $500,000
MD MONTGOMERY $692,500
MD PRINCE GEORGE’S $692,500
MD QUEEN ANNE’S $500,000
MP ANA ISLANDS $418,750
NH ROCKINGHAM $511,250
NH STRAFFORD $511,250
NJ BERGEN $978,750
NJ ESSEX $978,750
NJ HUDSON $978,750
NJ HUNTERDON $978,750
NJ MIDDLESEX $978,750
NJ MONMOUTH $978,750
NJ MORRIS $978,750
NJ OCEAN $978,750
NJ PASSAIC $978,750
NJ SOMERSET $978,750
NJ SUSSEX $978,750
NJ UNION $978,750
NY BRONX $978,750
NY KINGS $978,750
NY NASSAU $978,750
NY NEW YORK $978,750
NY ORANGE $978,750
NY PUTNAM $978,750
NY QUEENS $978,750
NY RICHMOND $978,750
NY ROCKLAND $978,750
NY SUFFOLK $978,750
NY WESTCHESTER $978,750
PA PIKE $978,750
RI BRISTOL $431,250
RI KENT $431,250
RI NEWPORT $431,250
RI PROVIDENCE $431,250
RI WASHINGTON $431,250
TN CANNON $417,500
TN CHEATHAM $417,500
TN DAVIDSON $417,500
TN DICKSON $417,500
TN HICKMAN $417,500
TN MACON $417,500
TN MAURY $417,500
TN ROBERTSON $417,500
TN RUTHERFORD $417,500
TN SMITH $417,500
TN SUMNER $417,500
TN WILLIAMSON $417,500
TN WILSON $417,500
UT SUMMIT $606,250
VA ALEXANDRIA $692,500
VA ARLINGTON $692,500
VA CLARKE $692,500
VA CULPEPPER $692,500
VA FAIRFAX COUNTY $692,500
VA FAIRFAX CITY $692,500
VA FALLS CHURCH $692,500
VA FAUQUIER $692,500
VA FREDERICKSBURG $692,500
VA LANCASTER $475,000
VA LOUDUON $692,500
VA MANASSAS CITY $692,500
VA MANASSAS PARK $692,500
VA PRINCE WILLIAM $692,500
VA RAPPAHANNOCK $692,500
VA SPOTSYLVANIA $692,500
VA STAFFORD $692,500
VA WARREN $692,500
VI ST. CROIX $625,500
VI ST. JOHN $625,500
VI ST. THOMAS $625,500
WA KING $500,000
WA PIERCE $500,000
WA SAN JUAN $425,000
WA SNOHOMISH $505,000
WV JEFFERSON $692,500
WY TETON $630,000

Shop around to save thousands: As mentioned above, shaving a couple percentage points off your VA loan can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your loan. You can interest rates, you can view our list of VA Loan providers to shop and compare interest rates.




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Date published: January 22, 2014.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years in the USAF and also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google

Comments

  1. I would like to know if I’m qualified for a VA refinancing. I just enlisted in the National Guard.

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