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Ed Fuller: Veterans Home Loan Program Marks 70 Years

Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

This month in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the G.I. Bill of Rights providing home mortgage guarantees for returning veterans of World War II.

Over the years, as this program evolved to maintain relevance, it has allowed millions of our armed service members to achieve the dream of home ownership. In Santa Barbara, the program has had only intermittent viability as the loan limits much of the time were too low to be meaningful.

But today, with the inclusion of lower-priced condominiums and a typical loan limit of $643,750, eligible veterans can enjoy the many advantages of this type of financing.

The special attributes of these loans include a 0 percent downpayment on loans up to $643,750 in Santa Barbara County, slightly lower interest rates, lower credit score requirements — as low as 620, and lower income requirements to qualify. Almost every veteran, depending on his or her time and type of service, is eligible as well as National Guard and Reserve members.

Higher loans can be obtained if the veteran pays 25 percent of the difference between the purchase price and the maximum 0 percent down loan amount of $643,750.

To illustrate, a sale price of $1,143,750 would be $500,000 above the 0 percent down loan amount of $643,750. In this instance, a veteran would add $125,000 for the downpayment, 25 percent of the difference, but only about 11 percent of the total purchase price.

If you're a veteran who would like more information, be sure to ask a Realtor, who will provide guidance.

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.

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