VA loans are popular in San Diego County, due to the large population of service members who are stationed there. According to a 2018 recent report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, San Diego was the #2 county in the nation for VA loan volume during fiscal year 2018. Only Maricopa County in Arizona did more volume.
San Diego County Is #2 for VA Loan Usage
Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs publishes a report that shows the number of VA loans issued for every county within the United States. It breaks them up into three categories:
- Purchase loans used by home buyers
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL) used by homeowners
- Cash-out refinance (where homeowners convert some of their equity into cash)
The Department’s report also ranks counties in the U.S. by total VA loan volume. In their latest report, which covers fiscal year 2018 (to date), San Diego County was listed as the #2 county in the nation for total volume. The report covered the period from October 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.
Here were the numbers of VA loans generated in San Diego County during that time:
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- Purchase: 3,792
- IRRRL: 1,312
- Cash-out refinance: 2,669
- Total VA loans: 7,773
A Large Navy and Marine Corps Population
This isn’t surprising, when you consider the large military population with San Diego County. There are thousands of Navy and Marine Corps personnel stationed in the area, along with some representation from the other branches as well.
According to one recent study, there were more than 100,000 active-duty service members stationed within San Diego County, along with 240,500 veterans living in the area. Of those who transition out of the service each year, more than half want to stay within the county. And it’s easy to see why — San Diego is a pretty desirable place to live. It offers some of the country’s best weather, beaches and attractions.
Maricopa County, Arizona was #1 for VA loan volume during the period mentioned above. Maricopa County, Arizona is one of the top destinations for veterans leaving the service. San Diego was ranked #2. El Paso County in Colorado was ranked third, largely due to the number of Air Force personnel in the area.
What Makes This Program So Popular
San Diego VA loans are one of the most popular financing options for military members and veterans who reside within the county. This program offers a number of important advantages. Here are three of them:
- No down payment. The VA loan program is one of the only ways to buy a house or condo in San Diego with no down payment. Home buyers who need to borrow more than the loan limit for their county typically have to put some money down. But aside from those exceptions, it’s possible to finance 100% of the purchase price through this program.
- No mortgage insurance. Home buyers who opt for a low-down-payment mortgage loan often have to pay for mortgage insurance. This is an added cost that can increase the size of the monthly payments. But with a VA loan, eligible borrowers can often avoid this cost.
- Relaxed requirements. VA loans have some of the most relaxed guidelines among the major mortgage products. There are a couple of reasons for this. VA borrowers tend to have a relatively low default rate, which means there is less risk involved with these loans. And they are partially guaranteed by the federal government. As a result, the qualification criteria for borrowers tend to be a bit more relaxed.