VA-backed home loans grow dramatically in Nevada

With the number of veterans in Nevada growing and the tight housing market, the number of VA-backed home loans has skyrocketed in the state.

While the number of those loans is up 59 percent nationwide over the past five years, statistics from the Veterans Administration say the number of new home and refinance loans has jumped 90 percent in Nevada.

In fiscal year 2018, a report from Veterans United, one of the private lenders specializing in VA loans, says there were 12,035 loans issued in the Silver State.

And new home purchases accounted for more than half that total, 6,778 compared to 5,257 refinance loans.

At an average of $289,252, the total value of those loans is nearly $3.5 billion.

VA loans offer significant benefits for veterans seeking to buy their own home. First, they can do so with no down payment. Second, they don’t have to buy mortgage insurance since the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees the loans even though they’re issued by private lenders.

Chris Birk of Veterans United said because they’re backed by the government, VA loans offer more flexible and forgiving credit guidelines, making it easier for vets to qualify.

He said VA loans have grown dramatically over the past decade and now make up 10 percent of the mortgage market.

The program was created in 1944 to help returning vets, active duty members and their families buy or refinance homes.

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