Welcome to the Hawaiihomeboys' Mililtary Real Estate and VA Loan Guide! We understand that have enough to deal with in transitioning to your new station and the question of "Buy vs. Rent" is surely top of mind. In this guide, we'll explain the ins and outs of your Hawaii VA loan eligibility and walk you through the Hawaii homeownership process from start to finish. The guide below is comprehensive and if you would rather cut to chase and find out IF and WHAT you qualify for, submit an on the form at the bottom of the page or call/text 808.777.0588 to connect with an Oahu Military Real Estate Specialist.
Also, check out the Quick Links below to navigate to one of our PCS Guides and/or BAH Charts:
If you are a U.S. military veteran or currently serving our country and have been on active duty for a minimum of 90 days, you could be eligible for a VA mortgage. The benefits of a VA loan make a hard argument for being the best form of home financing for veterans and besides providing a "leg up" in the competitive Hawaii Real Estate landscape, it also presents the most-cost effective loan product available in the marketplace.
It's important to understand that the Veterans Administration is not a mortgage company; they work with VA lenders to provide a "guarantee" to home mortgages given to Veterans. If a lender has to take a loss on a loan due non-payment and foreclosure, the VA will reimburse the affected lender all or a portion of the money lost. This "guarantee" is what allows lenders to give VA loans to borrowers that may not meet the qualifying restrictions of other mortgage programs.
NO DOWNPAYMENT: As mentioned above, the VA loan is almost always the best choice for veterans when considering their financing options. The most notable reason being the ZERO downpayment requirement that allows for 100% financing. While other homebuyers are saving years for a downpayment, VA eligible buyers are afforded the immediate opportunity of home ownership. Conventional mortgages typically require a minimum of 3-5% down payment and with the height of Hawaii home prices, that can amount to roughly $12,000-15,000 for even the most inexpensive home options.
COMPETITIVE INTEREST RATES: VA loans typically provide for the lowest interest rate in comparison to conventional mortgage products. This makes your monthly payment more affordable as well as provides you more buying/qualifying power. Hawaii will see the some of the highest loan amounts on average due to home prices so the month over month savings inevitably compound to a substantial financial advantage.
REDUCED CLOSING COSTS: Closing costs are standard for home purchases and these costs are in addition to down payment requirements for conventional loan programs. Fortunately for VA borrowers, a good chunk of these closing costs are waived. Buyers using a VA loan in Hawaii can save upwards of $2,000 in closing cost fees that conventional borrowers cannot.
NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE: The dreaded Private Mortgage Insurance(PMI). For conventional mortgage borrowers, Private Mortgage Insurance is required for any loan made with less than 20% down payment. For most Hawaii home buyers, this is the case. Private Mortgage insurance can amount to an additional $200-400/mo on top of the mortgage payment, taxes, and home insurance which puts a significant dent to affordability for prospective homebuyers, as well as chewing up a good portion of much needed buying power. With VA loan eligibility, you can kiss PMI goodbye. This, on top of some of the lowest interest rates available, should sing the sweet song of why the VA loan is so beneficial to our Veterans.
GREAT LOAN AMOUNTS: VA Loan amounts are determined by the average home prices in each country. In the upper 48 states, the highest VA loan limit is $453,100. The 2019 Hawaii VA Loan limit is $726,525 for all counties(the islands are the counties). You can even qualify for a VA loan in Hawaii up to $1,500,000 with a minimal down payment, relative to conventional loan down payment requirements. This, on top of all the aforementioned benefits should sing the sweet song of the Hawaii VA Loan advantage!
*STREAMLINE REFINANCING: Already have a VA mortgage and need to refinance? Well then you may qualify for an Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan(IRRRL) that's commonly referred to as the Streamline Refinance which provides for the most cost effective refinance program available.
Once you've earned VA loan entitlement, it's your use to use when and where you want! This is true whether you're on active duty, in the reserves, or have been out of the military for decades. In most cases, you can only have one VA loan at a time but should you have a small VA loan elsewhere, you may still qualify for a VA loan in Hawaii.
Once you pay off an existing VA loan you'll have access to entire your entitlement and full VA eligibility. However, if a VA buyer "assumes" your VA mortgage and takes over your payments, your entitlement is still tied up, and you're on the bench in terms of obtaining a NEW VA loan until the previous loan is paid in full.
Determining VA loan eligibility is the first step for veterans looking to explore their home financing options and this is determined by the type of service and time of service.
Despite not meeting active or reserve duty requirements, the following individuals may still be eligible:
Certificate of Eligibility:
Veterans can prove their entitlement by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility(COE). This process is simple, can be completed in 24 hours, and your Hawaii VA Loan officer can help you obtain it by completing and filing VA Form 26-1880. The following information is needed to successfully complete the form: