PCS Moving Stress and How to Manage
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Veterans Housing Network wants you to understand all the benefits of a VA Loan and then help you find a local lender. It is important to use local lenders when competing for a home. In a hot Real Estate Market local knowledge and nimble maneuvering are required to win the bid when multiple offers are present. It is imperative to have a VA Loan Officer that can be reached quickly and will be able to meet your needs immediately. Veterans Housing Network takes the guesswork out of which lender to reach out to and will pair you with a local VA Loan Expert.
This is perhaps the biggest advantage of a VA loan. You don’t need a down payment. You don’t have to spend years saving for a down payment. With a VA loan vs. a conventional or FHA loan on a $250000 house, you will afford a home worth $30,000 more with the same monthly payment, simply by eliminating PMI (private mortgage insurance). Using a VA loan saves you money upfront, and tremendously increases your buying power.
Your VA home loan benefit is not a one time shot. You can use it as many times as you want. As long as you pay off your VA Loan when you sell your home you have decided to sell, you can use it again….as many times as you like!
Eligibility for the VA home loan never goes away. Even if you served 20, 30, even 50 years ago you can still use your VA loan even if you never used your benefit.
Eligibility is based on the length of time served, and the period in which you served.
To check eligibility, first, obtain your DD Form 214. With that document, VHN will help you find a VA-approved lender that can request your VA Certificate of Eligibility(COE) for you, or you can request it directly from VA’s eBenefits website.
Unmarried husbands and wives of Service Persons who were killed in action can buy a home with zero down payments and no mortgage insurance. Plus, the VA funding fee is waived.
There’s no way to repay the spouse of a fallen hero, but this benefit surely helps them move forward after tragedy.
VA loan rates are typically about 0.25% lower than those of conventional loans. The VA backs the mortgages, making them a lower risk for lenders. Those savings are passed on to Veterans.
Additionally, VA loans come with some of the lowest foreclosure rates of any loan type, further reducing risk for lenders. No surprise here, but Veterans and Service Persons take homeownership seriously. These factors add up to lower rates and affordable payments for those who choose a VA loan.
Your VA home loan benefit is not just for the initial purchase of your home. You can also use it to refinance your existing mortgage, whether it’s a VA loan or not.
Homeowners with a VA loan can also use the Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, or IRRRL, to drop their rate and payment without an appraisal or even pay stubs, W2s, or bank statements. The VA streamline refinance, as it is commonly known, gives VA loan holders a faster, cheaper way to access lower refinance rates when rates fall.
Even homeowners without a VA loan can use a VA refinance. The VA cash-out loan is available to eligible Veterans who don’t have a VA loan currently. As its name suggests, a VA cash-out refinance can be used to turn your home’s equity into cash. You simply take out a bigger loan, up to 100% of your home's value difference between what you owe and the new loan is issued to you at closing.
But you don’t have to take out cash to use this VA loan refinance option. You can also use it to pay off a non-VA loan. Eligible homeowners who pay mortgage insurance or are dealing with other undesirable loan characteristics should look into refinancing with a VA loan. It can eliminate PMI, get you into a stable fixed-rate loan, pay off a second mortgage, or simply reduce your rate to make homeownership more affordable.
Unlike many loan programs, a lower credit score, bankruptcy or foreclosure does not disqualify you from a VA home loan. VA does not have a minimum credit score to use the VA Loan Benefit and unlike conventional loans, you only have to wait 2 years after a bankruptcy or foreclosure to use your VA Loan benefit. The one exception is if you foreclosed on a VA Loan, then the amount available to borrow may be adjusted or you may have to pay back the amount owed to reuse the benefit.
VA typically charges a funding fee to defray the cost of the program and make home buying sustainable for future Veterans. The fee is between 0.50 percent and 3.3 percent of the loan amount, depending on service history and the loan type.
However, not everyone pays the VA funding fee. Disability ratings, with a rating of 10% or higher who are receiving compensation for a service-connected disability are exempt. In addition, Veterans who are eligible for disability compensation, and who are receiving retirement or active duty pay instead, are also exempt from the fee.
You can buy many types of properties with a VA loan, including a single-family (free-standing) home, a home of up to four units, condos, farms, and even manufactured homes.
In 2020 Veterans Affairs lifted the loan limits on a VA Loan! Now you can buy any home you qualify for with zero down because you earned it!
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