How much house can I afford with a VA loan?
Interested in buying a home? Our VA loan affordability calculator looks at over 15 factors across 50,000+ data points to help you understand what you can afford to buy with a VA loan. If you’re interested in seeing how your VA loan affordability compares to a conventional loan, check out our conventional mortgage affordability calculator. You can also compare the result to our FHA loan affordability calculator as well to understand which loan is best for you. Enter your information below and we’ll help estimate your home affordability based on your income, down payment amount, and zip code.
VA loan affordability calculator
How our VA loan affordability calculator works
We have done a lot of work to make our calculator as simple as possible to use, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful! We’ve collected data for over 50,000+ zip codes and consider more than 15 data points to give you as accurate an estimate of home loan affordability as we can. Below we describe in more detail how we determine your affordability. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us, we love hearing from our readers!
VA loan interest rate
A small adjustment in interest rates can lead to a major change in your monthly payment, which is why mortgage interest rates are a major factor in determining your home loan affordability. One note our VA loan calculator – when a user inputs a down payment near zero, we assume there is no cash to cover theVA funding fee. To account for that, we add an interest rate adjustment of .500% and roll the cost of the fee into the price of the loan. This is one of a few ways a loan officer could structure the loan, but it is not the only way. To better understand your options, we encourage you to find a loan officer near you using the rate table below.
You can learn more about mortgage interest rates here. We recommend you see what interest rate you qualify for with LendingTree and then use that rate with our calculator.
Monthly housing payment
To understand your home affordability with a VA loan, we estimate what your total monthly payment. We take a look at the PITI payment – the total principal and interest payment for the mortgage, the monthly cost of taxes and insurance for the home, any homeowners association dues for the property, and any mortgage insurance that is required for the loan. From there, we compare the PITI payment to your monthly income to determine your debt-to-income ratio. This is similar to what a mortgage underwriter will do when considering whether or not you can afford your new loan.
There is no hard and fast debt-to-income ratio limit when qualifying a VA loan, generally it comes down to the specific lender’s policies. However, a VA loan borrower with a debt-to-income ratio greater than 41% will have to undergo a manual underwriting process. The underwriter may approve you for a higher amount for specific reasons, like making adjustments for tax-free income or having a significant amount of residual income. To understand what you can qualify for we recommend getting pre-qualified for a loan.
Avoiding mortgage insurance
One of the major benefits of a VA loan is that you can buy a house with very little or even no money down, but are not required to pay for mortgage insurance. Because of this, we do not include mortgage insurance as part of the monthly payment when estimating your affordability with a VA loan.
Paying property taxes and homeowners insurance
To get an accurate estimate of your total monthly payment, we estimate the cost of property taxes and homeowners insurance and assume they will be paid monthly. Using the average cost of property tax by state based on the work done by WalletHub we estimate what your monthly property tax payment will be. It’s important the property taxes you will owe on your new home will likely be different and this is only a rough estimate. This estimate also does not include local taxes or special assessments like Mello Roos taxes.
For homeowners insurance, we use the average cost of homeowners insurance by state based on the great work done by ValuePenguin to estimate the monthly cost.we provide this estimate as a guide and give you the ability to update it to get a more accurate estimation. The actual cost of homeowners insurance could change dramatically if your home has unique circumstances. If it is exposed to natural hazards (like flooding or earthquakes) or was built with older construction methods (like a brick foundation for example) the cost of insurance can be signficantly higher than our estimate.
Our calculator does not currently take credit scores as a direct input. However, you can check your score and use that to check your interest rate with LendingTree. Providing an accurate estimate of interest rate will help us more accurately estimate your mortgage affordability.
Loan product and term
To estimate your maximum mortgage affordability we assume you will choose a 30-year loan. If you would prefer a shorter loan term, your PITI payment will increase, and your home affordability will be much lower. If you’re interested in learning what you could afford with a 15-year VA loan we recommend contacting a mortgage loan officer.
VA loan lending limits
We use the 2019 VA lending limits to calculate your estimated home affordability. For 2019, the VA lending limit is the same as the FHFA lending limit for single unit properties. We pull the VA lending limit for each zip code based on the FHFA database to get the most accurate estimate possible.
Property type and occupancy
Duplexes and other multi-unit properties are not eligible for VA loans. We assume that you will buy a single unit property as your primary residence when estimating your affordability.