Does the VA do home loans in Mexico?


by Francisco Lozano

Most people don’t know this but the greatest percentage of U.S. Veterans living outside the U.S.A., live in Mexico. Most live in the Lake Chapala area in the State of Jalisco, near the major city of Guadalajara. In fact, they even have a American Legion and VFW posts there. Yeah, U.S. Veterans have been going to live there since World War II. 

The estimate of U.S. Citizens who live in the greater Lake Chapala / Guadalajara area is around 80,000 people and growing.  Of course, some Veterans do choose to live in other places in Mexico.  But Lake Chapala is the # 1 choice because of it’s long standing tradition of U.S. Veterans living there as expatriots.

But why do some many U.S. Veterans choose Mexico to retire and live?

Well, there are many reasons for this.  First, the cost of living is significantly lower than in the USA and so Veterans on a pension can really live well.  Medicial facilities are excellent, the airport is International, the services are very good, and one could get a housekeeper for about $ 5 a day.  Can’t do that in the USA right?  So all in all, the lifestyle is conducive to those seeking freedom, peace, tranquility, and a higher standard of living relative to their income. Also, it’s close to “home” meaning that one can be in Dallas within a 3 hour plane ride at any time or a 1.5 day drive.   Oh, the weather is perfect too!  The average temperature in Chapala is about 75 degrees.  Even when it rains, it’s warm.  Oh and finally, the people of Mexico also are hospitable, generous, and wam and that makes Mexico a great place to retire on a pension.

Add it all up and Mexico is the # 1 destination for U.S. Veterans who seek to “retire” in a place where they can live well.

Okay, back to the question.  Can a U.S. Veteran get a VA Home Loan in Mexico?

Well, unfortunately, the short answer is NO.  The VA will NOT guarantee loans outside the U.S.A., period! There is just no mechanism for VA to make guarantees to lender in other countries.

So what to do if you want to retire in Mexico on your VA pension like so many others do.

Well, many people take a 2nd Trust Deed on their homes in the USA and use the monies to buy a home in cash in Mexico. In many places in Mexico, a decent nice 2 bed 2 bath home could cost from $ 50,000 to $ 90,000 USD.  So they rent out their homes in the USA to pay off the mortgages and use the loans to buy cash in Mexico with no payments.  They control both properties yet have virtually no expenses.  That works for many.  I mean for people that face home prices in California or New York City that run an average of $ 300,000 or more, buying in sunny and low cost Mexico makes cents.

Nevertheless, one can’t use the VA Home Loan Benefit to buy in a foreign country and that’s the rules.  Viva Mexico but NO VA Home Loan!

Related Web Sites: 




·         Lake Chapala Society

·         American Legion Lake Chapala




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