Finding an accurate VA Loan calculator is not an easy task for California Veterans. Researching and doing your due diligence is important when in the process of searching for a VA loan to purchase or refinance a home. Some mortgage websites provide a loan calculator to help give a preview as to what your potential monthly payment could look like. While helpful, some of these loan calculators don’t provide a clear picture of what the full payment will be, including property taxes and home owners insurance.
The majority of these calculators include only the most important values like purchase price, estimated down payment, and estimated loan term and interest rate. While these are the values that play a big role in the calculation of your monthly payment, there are other involved factors that these calculators either assume or don’t include.
The VA Loan is Different from other Types of Home Financing
Something that most online mortgage calculators don’t take into account is the VA Funding Fee. If you have previously had a VA loan then the funding fee will be greater than if this is your first VA loan. The percentage used for the VA Funding Fee is also affected by the down payment (if any) and whether the Veteran was in the Reserves/National Guard or was Active Duty. The Certificate of Eligibility will determine the Funding Fee. A disabled veteran will actually have the funding fee waived outright.
Also, most online mortgage calculators will not give accurate figures if the California Veterans enters a purchase price but no down payment. VA is one of the only loan programs that allows for $0 down payment. And even if the Veteran does enter a down payment, online mortgage calculators may add in an amount for monthly mortgage insurance, which is not required on a VA loan. Also, California VA loan limits vary from one county to the next and depending on the price range the California Veteran is looking at, may result in inaccurate numbers. Online mortgage calculators will also not give accurate figures for a Jumbo VA Loan.
PITI – What is it?
Other factors that play into shaping a monthly payment include the property tax rate as well as the Homeowner’s insurance, which are both paid on a monthly basis. These factors can vary by the area that you live in and will likely be different than the assumptions that the calculator is using. For example, many “newer” areas of California have a Mello Roos assessment added to the property taxes, which can nearly double the monthly property tax portion of the payment. And homeowners insurance will vary depending on the location of the property. For example, a property that sits in an area known for fires or floods will typically have a higher insurance rate than other properties without those characteristics.
Where to Get the Most Accurate VA Loan Breakdown
The best thing you can do at the beginning of your home search is find a California Loan Officer who specializes in the VA loan program. The VA Loan specialist should be able to prepare loan scenarios showing a full breakdown of all the factors that will shape a VA loan and monthly payment as well as being customized to your specific situation. The scenarios should not only show you several different payment breakdowns, but also show you options for getting the lowest interest rate possible or coming in with the least amount of money to close, depending on your needs.
Authored by Tim Storm, a California Loan Officer specializing in VA Loans. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at the Home Point Financial. My direct line is 949-640-3102. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios which will be matched up to your financial goals, both long and short-term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of the your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.