At a glance: 2018 VA loan limits vary by county and range from $453,100 to $679,650. They are based on median home prices and are consistent for the entire year. Use the links provided below to view VA limits for all counties.
In November 2017, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the 2018 VA loan limits would be the same as the ones set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for conventional conforming loans. These amounts can range from $453,100 to $679,650, depending on the county where the home that’s being purchased is located.
Note: The spreadsheet and PDF documents above show loan limits for properties ranging from one-unit to four-unit. That’s because the documents are also used for non-VA loans. For the purposes of determining the VA guaranty, lenders and borrowers should refer to the “One-Unit” column and ignore the other three columns.
The documents above were obtained from FHFA.gov. They apply to conventional as well as VA home loans in 2018. You can download these documents to your computer and refer to them as needed.
VA Loan Limits in 2018: Additional Commentary
For most of the country, the 2018 VA loan limit was raised to $453,100 for 2018. This change was made in response to significant home-price increases that occurred during 2017. In certain higher-cost areas, such as San Francisco and New York City, VA loan limits can be as high as $679,650. Those are the “floor” and “ceiling” amounts for VA-guaranteed mortgage loans in 2018.
It’s important to realize that these caps vary by county, since the value of a house depends in part on its location. As a result, home buyers who are considering this program must determine the maximum loan amount for their specific counties. For your convenience, these county limits can be found in the two documents provided at the top of this page.
Borrowing Above These Amounts With a “Jumbo” Loan
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the “VA does not set a cap on how much you can borrow to finance your home. However, there are limits on the amount of liability VA can assume, which usually affects the amount of money an institution will lend you.”
It’s possible to borrow more than the 2018 loan limit for your county, if the lender determines that your income is sufficient. But you’ll probably have to make a down payment in that scenario.
As a general rule:
- VA borrowers who stay within the loan limits can qualify for 100% financing, which eliminates the need for a down payment.
- Borrowers who want to borrow above the limit usually have to make a down payment for 25% of the difference.
That’s usually how it works. But there may be exceptions to these general rules.
Not All Borrowers Will Qualify for the Maximum Amount
It’s also important to realize that the maximum VA mortgage amount is largely up to the lender that originates the loan. The VA does not lend money directly to borrowers. They simply guarantee a portion of the loan, so that the lender has some level of reimbursement if the borrower defaults (stops paying) down the road. So there is no guarantee that a borrower will qualify for the amounts shown above. It’s income-dependent.
Example: The 2018 VA loan limit for Los Angeles County is $679,650, which is higher than most other counties across the U.S. But there is no guarantee that a veteran or servicemember will qualify for this amount. For instance, if the borrower happens to be on the lower end of the military pay scale, he or she probably wouldn’t meet the income requirements needed for a home loan in the $600,000 price range.
Mortgage lenders use debt-to-income ratios and other measurement tools to determine how much they are willing to lend to a particular borrower. The numbers shown in the two documents above are merely the maximum amounts that can be guaranteed under the VA’s home loan program.
Disclaimer: The information above was adapted from official sources including, but not limited to, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. We make every effort to ensure accuracy when transcribing such information. But there is always a chance for human error. For the most accurate information available, refer to official sources. To verify the 2018 VA loan limits for your county, visit VA.gov and navigate to the “Home Loans” section.