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    5 min read

    FIre your barracks lawyer - Here are the facts about a VA loan

    Oct 2, 2020 9:11:06 AM

    Barracks lawyers. E4 experts. They know everything about the VA loan you are looking to use.  Maybe you just google it and wind up with the big nationwide company that does not have your best interest in mind and they end up charging you an extra 10k in closing costs. Why so much confusion?  While VA loans do have changing regulations....big surprise....the actual guidelines really do not change, so here you go....unravel the myths and educate yourself!

    Military family running through field with flag

    Myth #1: Veterans only have one chance to use their VA home loan benefit.

    FACT: Veterans can use their benefit multiple times throughout their life....again and again and again.....while certain guidelines apply, no limit exists.

    Myth #2: You can only have one VA loan at a time.

    FACT: If you used your VA benefits to purchase a home that is now being rented and you did not use all of your eligibility, you can apply the remainder to a second VA home loan.

    Myth #3: VA loans can only be used to buy a house.

    FACT: VA loans can be used to refinance, too—up to 100% of the home’s value in some cases. You can buy a duplex, a multi unit home that you use part of for your own personal residence, manufactured homes that are permanent, or that mountain cabin you need for your sanity.

    Myth #4: VA loans are small and only ideal for starter homes.

    FACT: VA loans are available at traditional loan limits and above. Last year VA took the limit off of a VA Loan, so guess what?!  You can use the absolute best loan for any size home.  Since VA rates are traditionally better than conventional rates, you can use this for any home, even if you want to put a large sum down.

    Myth #5: VA loans take too long to process and close.

    FACT: Most VA loans don’t take any longer to close than a conventional or FHA loan. The key is working with a lender who knows the process, remember stay small and local and let your VHN agent identify the great VA Loan lenders you can work with.  Large companies that advertise ferociously on the interwebs often are bulky and take forever to close.  In a competitive real estate market where closing quickly often matters, a VA loan is a perfect, quick closing tool when time is of the essence.  My warning though, stay away from large "helping veterans" companies that simply do not have your best interest in mind.

    Myth #6: It’s too difficult to qualify for a government program.

    FACT: In some ways—it’s easier to qualify for a VA loan.  Seriously, much easier with less requirements 1-% or Typically, a slightly lower credit score and less stringent guidelines apply to VA financing. 

    Myth #7: VA loans are too expensive with the upfront Funding Fee.

    FACT: Actually, when you do the math, a VA loan may be less than other programs. The VA funding could be financed into the loan and is a one-time fee; there is not an additional fee. In addition, funding fees are waived if:

    • Veteran receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability, 10% or higher OR

    • Veteran who would be entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability if you did not receive retirement or active duty pay, OR

    • Veterans who are rated by VA as eligible to receive compensation as a result of pre-discharge review of existing medical evidence (including service medical and treatment records) that results in issuance of a memorandum rating, OR

    • Veterans entitled to receive compensation, but who are not presently in receipt because they are on active duty, OR

    • Surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability (whether or not such surviving spouses are veterans with their own entitlement and whether or not they are using their own entitlement on the loan)

    Myth #8: Vets have to be discharged or retired to use their VA loan benefit.

    FACT: Active service members get full access to the VA mortgage benefit, too! (After 181 days of continuous service or 90 days during Gulf War period for active duty personnel.) We have several friends stationed at Fort Carson that finally understood they can use this while in and they are not longer wasting money on rent and they are finally working on paying their own home off.

    Myth #9: Members of the Reserves or National Guard are not eligible.

    FACT: Members of the Reserves or National Guard are eligible after six years of honorable service.

    Myth #10: Vets who are serving away from home or overseas can’t get a loan until they can return to occupy the property.

    FACT: Military men and women who are away on active duty can obtain a VA loan if they intend to return home within a year or have a spouse who will occupy the property in the interim. VHN agents thoroughly understand how to navigate through this process.

    Myth #11: Widows or widowers of Vets are not eligible for the VA loan benefit.

    FACT: Surviving spouses of fallen veterans who died on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may be eligible for a VA loan.

    Myth #12: I have to have my VA Certificate of Eligibility in hand before I can look for a house or apply for a loan.

    FACT: Don’t let the lack of your certificate stand in the way of applying for a home loan or looking for a new home. Lenders can request your certificate through an automated system if you do not have your certificate yet.  As a matter of fact, don't even call the VSO trying to get it.  Your VHN recommended lender will be able to obtain it free of charge and super fast.

    Myth #13: VA home loan appraisals and inspections are tougher than those for conventional or FHA financing.

    FACT: VA does not appraise or inspect your home. Your lender contracts with a VA-approved appraiser who will review the property to determine a value for the home. This is not a home inspection. If you would like an inspection of the home, have your VHN agent help you identify and schedule an inspection through a licensed home inspector.

    So...what the heck are you waiting for?  I have heard of so many people speculating whether or not they may qualify for a VA loan.  Why wallow in wonder?  Give us a holler so we can connect you with a local expert.  We don't do VA Loans and that is why we have your best interest in mind.  We only work with local VA loan lenders that offer exceptional service and rates and are in line with our core values.  Face it...while this is one of the biggest purchases of your life, it is not rocket science...sorry Space Force.😉

    MICHELLE ROBERTS

    Written by MICHELLE ROBERTS

    Michelle Roberts, an Operation Desert Shield/Storm Veteran founded Veterans Housing Network in response to the overwhelming need to provide honest, non-predatory, local Real Estate expertise and service to her military family

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