VA Loan Closing Costs: How Much Should I Pay

VA loans are an excellent option for eligible veterans and active-duty service members to achieve their dream of homeownership. These loans come with several benefits, including low interest rates and no down payment requirements. However, it’s essential to be aware of the associated VA loan closing costs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of VA loan closing costs, helping you make an informed decision when purchasing your new home.

What Are VA Loan Closing Costs?

When you’re in the process of purchasing a home using a VA loan, understanding what VA loan closing costs entail is of utmost importance. These costs include various expenses related to the homebuying process, and having a clear picture of them will enable you to budget effectively and make informed decisions.

VA loan closing costs typically encompass expenses such as the VA funding fee, loan origination fees, appraisal and inspection costs, title and escrow fees, and other miscellaneous charges. Each of these costs plays a distinct role in the homebuying process, and it’s essential to know what to expect.

How Are VA Loan Closing Costs Different?

VA loan closing costs differ from conventional mortgage closing costs in several ways. The primary distinction lies in the VA funding fee, which is unique to VA loans. This fee helps support the VA loan program and varies based on factors like your military service status, down payment amount, and whether it’s your first or subsequent VA loan.

Additionally, VA loans may offer more flexibility when it comes to some closing costs. For example, while certain fees, such as the appraisal and inspection costs, are generally consistent across all types of home loans, VA borrowers may have the opportunity to negotiate some fees, including loan origination fees, with the lender.

Understanding these differences will aid you in making the most of the benefits that VA loans provide and navigating the homebuying process with confidence.

How Are VA Loan Closing Costs Different?

VA loan closing costs differ from conventional mortgage closing costs in several key ways, providing distinct advantages to eligible veterans and active-duty service members. Understanding these differences is crucial for making informed financial decisions.

Non-Allowable Fees

One significant difference is the concept of non-allowable fees. With VA loans, certain closing costs that are typically shouldered by the buyer in traditional mortgages are not allowed. These non-allowable fees can include attorney fees, real estate broker commissions, and prepayment penalties. This feature of VA loans helps to reduce the financial burden on veterans and military personnel.

Limited Origination Fee

VA loans also cap the loan origination fee that lenders can charge. While other loan types may impose higher origination fees, VA loans restrict this cost to a reasonable percentage of the loan amount. This limitation provides borrowers with more transparency and ensures that they are not overcharged for the origination process.

VA Funding Fee

The VA funding fee is another distinctive feature of VA loans. This fee is a one-time payment required by most VA borrowers and is used to offset the cost of the VA loan program to taxpayers. The VA funding fee varies depending on your military service status, the size of your down payment, and whether it’s your first or subsequent VA loan. This fee is unique to VA loans and not present in conventional mortgages.

VA Appraisal Fee

VA loans also involve a specific appraisal process. The VA requires that a qualified appraiser assess the property’s value to ensure it meets the loan’s requirements. While conventional loans may also require appraisals, the VA appraisal process is designed to protect both the buyer and the VA. It helps ensure that the property’s value aligns with the loan amount and prevents overpayment for the home.

Discount Points

Discount points are another area where VA loans differ. VA borrowers have the option to purchase discount points, which can lower the interest rate on their loan. This unique feature allows veterans to save on long-term interest costs. While discount points are available with other mortgage types, VA loans often offer more competitive rates for purchasing these points.

How much are VA loan closing costs?

VA loan closing costs can vary, and the actual amounts you’ll pay depend on several factors. To give you a rough estimate, let’s break down the typical expenses associated with VA loan closing costs:

1. VA Funding Fee

The VA funding fee is one of the most significant costs associated with a VA loan. For regular military personnel, the funding fee can range from 1.40% to 3.60% of the loan amount, depending on factors like down payment and whether it’s your first or subsequent VA loan. For example, on a $250,000 home with no down payment, the funding fee could range from approximately $3,500 to $9,000.

2. Loan Origination Fees

Lenders charge loan origination fees, typically around 1% of the loan amount. For instance, on a $250,000 loan, you might expect to pay around $2,500 in origination fees.

3. Appraisal and Inspection Costs

Appraisal and inspection costs can vary based on location and property type. On average, an appraisal can cost around $300 to $500, while various inspections might add another $300 to $500 to your expenses.

4. Title and Escrow Fees

Title insurance and escrow services are vital for protecting your property rights and ensuring a smooth transaction. The title insurance can cost around 0.5% of the loan amount, which would be approximately $1,250 on a $250,000 loan. Escrow fees can range from $300 to $700.

5. Miscellaneous Charges

Other miscellaneous charges, such as recording fees, credit report fees, and prepaid taxes and insurance, can add a few hundred dollars to your closing costs.

In summary, the total VA loan closing costs on a $250,000 home purchase could range from approximately $6,000 to $12,000, depending on factors like your down payment and the specific fees charged by your lender and service providers.

Who pays closing costs on a VA loan?

VA loan closing costs are typically the responsibility of the buyer. However, there is flexibility when it comes to who pays for them:

  • The VA funding fee is usually paid by the borrower unless the borrower is exempt due to service-related disabilities.
  • Loan origination fees, appraisal, and inspection costs are generally paid by the buyer.
  • Seller concessions, where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs, can help reduce the financial burden on the buyer. These concessions are typically negotiable and can cover a portion of the closing costs.

Can I roll closing costs into my VA loan?

Yes, VA borrowers can roll some or all of their closing costs into the loan amount. This can be a helpful option if you don’t have the funds to cover the closing costs upfront. For example, if your closing costs are $7,000, you can add this amount to your loan balance. If you have a 30-year loan term at an interest rate of 3.5%, adding $7,000 to your loan would increase your monthly mortgage payment by approximately $31 and the total interest paid over the life of the loan by around $12,000.