Orange County FHA, VA & First Time Buyer Loan Information: 2012 VA Loan Limits for Southern California

My goal is to provide valuable information for home buyers, both First Time Buyers and Move Up Buyers. This information will be about loan programs such as FHA ,VA, Conventional Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Reverse Mortgages, and even Portfolio Jumbo programs. I will also touch on tax advantages of homeownership, Rent vs. Own analysis, and any other aspect of loans and home ownership that will be of interest to Orange County home buyers and homeowners.

2012 VA Loan Limits for Southern California

2012 VA loan limits CaliforniaVA recently released the 2012 100% financing VA loan limits for southern California. Orange County, whose 2011 loan limit was $700,000, will drop down to $621,000. Based on a revised formula for calculating the loan limit, all "high cost" areas of the country experienced a drop in loan limits. Still, $621,000 will purchase a nice home in Orange County, especially considering this is the $0 down limit.

Jumbo VA Loan in Orange County

Just because the zero down loan limit for VA financing in Orange County is $621,000 does not mean that a Veteran cannot get a bigger loan on a more expensive home. A Jumbo VA loan occurs when an eligible VA borrower purchases a home for more than the 100% VA loan limit within the county. The VA borrower is required to have a down payment equal to at least 25% of the difference between the loan limit and the purchase price. For example, a Veteran buying a home in Irvine for $721,000 would need only a $25,000 down payment. The VA loan, not counting the VA Funding Fee,  would be $696,000.  ($721,000 purchase price - $621,000 loan limit = $100,000 difference. x 25% = $25,000 down payment. ) Not all lenders will fund a Jumbo VA loan. Many stay within the VA 100% limits, and some lenders outside of California are not comfortable with loans above $417,000. Consulting with a California VA Lender is important for those who are wanting to take advantage of their VA eligibility.  With the VA limits remaining so high, upper income Veterans are rediscovering the VA loan program.

Advantages of the VA loan Program for Orange County Veterans

  • No Down payment to $621,000 price
  • Minimal down payment for prices above $621,000
  • No Monthly Mortgage Insurance, as would be found on an FHA or Conventional loan with less than 20% down payment.
  • Flexible Debt to Income ratio qualifying. While Conventional financing won't allow debt to income ratios above 45% (with less than 20% down), VA approvals are common with debt to income ratios above 50%.
  • Flexible credit guidelines. Some California VA lenders will allow FICO scoring as low as 620.
  • Low Fixed Rates, especially taking when compared to "high balance" loans over $417,000.
  • Cashout refinances to 90%
  • Rate and Term refinance to 100% to $621,000 in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Find a Great VA Lender in Orange County, CA

The most important step in securing a VA loan is to find the right lender. The loan officer should be able to provide custom VA loan scenarios along with a side by side analysis, based on the Veterans goals and qualifications. The lender should be able to provide a VA loan Preapproval, which will allow the VA eligible home buyer to confidently search for the home of their dreams.

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County, CA VA Mortgage Loan Officer MLO 223456– Please contact my office at Home Point Financial for more information about an Orange County, CA Mortgage. 949-829-1846.

Contact us for your Orange County VA Mortgage:

949-829-1846 | tstorm (at)


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Comment balloon 1 commentTim Storm • December 11 2011 02:21PM


Tim ... Thanks for your post here about benefits of using VA loans for veterans, especially those here at Orange County, CA.  Keep up the good work and sharing of value information.

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) about 7 years ago