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2018 VA Loan Limits Rise

2018 VA Loan Limits Rise

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

The recovery in the housing market and higher property values means higher VA loan limits for 2018.  That makes two years in a row that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the government body that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to determine VA loan limits, increased loan limits.  This is only the second time in over a decade that the VA loan limits increased, demonstrating the general strength of the real estate sector and appreciating home prices.  Specifically, the basic standard 2018 VA loan limit for a single unit property increased by approximately 7%.

The 2018 VA loan limits are important because they are used to determine what size loans are permitted according to VA Home Loan Program guidelines.  In short, the VA guarantees 25% of the loan amount up to the loan limit.  The higher the VA loan limit, the higher the mortgage amount you may be able to qualify for and the more home you can afford.

2018 VA Loan Limits

2018 VA Loan Limits are increasing

Please note that it is possible to obtain a mortgage amount that is greater than the VA loan limit but lenders typically require borrowers to make a down payment equal to 25% of the amount by which the mortgage exceeds the loan limit.  So while technically there is no maximum VA mortgage amount according to program guidelines, in practice the VA loan limits effectively restrict what size mortgage most borrowers can obtain using the VA Home Loan Program.

Below, we outline the VA loan limit changes and summarize the FREEandCLEAR resources you can use to determine the 2018 VA loan limit for your county.  Please note that there is one set of VA loan limits for the contiguous United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and a higher set of loan limits for Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Additionally, within each region there is a basic standard VA loan limit and a high cost VA loan limit for properties located in counties with higher home prices.

2018 VA Loan Limits — United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

In the contiguous United States, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the general VA loan limit increases from $424,100 to $453,100 in 2018. The table below compares the general 2018 VA loan limit to the 2017 loan limit.

Contiguous United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
Basic Standard VA Loan Limits
Number of Units 2018 2017 Change (%)
1 $ 453,100 $ 424,100 6.8%

In the contiguous United States, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the high cost area VA loan limit increases from $636,150 to $679,650 in 2018.  The table below compares the high cost area 2018 VA loan limit to the 2017 loan limit.

Contiguous United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
High Cost Area VA Loan Limits
Number of Units 2018 2017 Change (%)
1 $ 679,650 $ 636,150 6.8%

2018 VA Loan Limits — Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands

The VA loan limits for Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands are higher than the loan limits for the contiguous United States.  In Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands the basic standard VA loan limit increases from $636,150 to $679,650 in 2018.  The table below compares the basic standard 2018 VA loan limit to the 2017 loan limit.

Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands                           
Basic Standard VA Loan Limits
Number of Units 2018 2017 Change (%)
1 $ 679,650 $ 636,150 6.8%

In Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the high cost area VA loan limit increases from $954,225 to $1,019,475 in 2018.  The tables below compares the high cost area 2018 VA loan limit to the 2017 loan limit.

Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands                              
High Cost Area VA Loan Limits
Number of Units 2018 2017 Change (%)
1 $ 1,019,475 $ 954,225 6.8%

FREEandCLEAR Resources

As always, all the FREEandCLEAR resources are free to use.  We encourage you to use our tools to understand how the 2018 VA loan limits apply to you.

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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