If you are a veteran, an active service member, a reservist, an eligible surviving spouse, or a member of the Public Health Service, it is well worth your time to look into a home loan funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Here are six big reasons why a VA loan can work to your advantage as a homeowner:
- If you are a qualified buyer, a VA loan lets you purchase a home with no down payment. This is certainly one of the greatest financial advantages open to a new homeowner. Research shows that for most Americans, the single greatest obstacle to getting into their own home is saving up the down payment conventional banks and other lending institutions require.
- There are no monthly insurance premium payments on a VA loan. VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government, which is the “benefit” part of your VA loan. The average VA loan homeowner saves over a thousand dollars a year in insurance premiums.
- There are no lender fees or point required. With the U.S. federal government as the loan guarantor, the normal fees that a bank or other lending institution typically adds to the loan transaction do not apply. This simple waiver of fees can result in thousands of dollars of savings, depending on the circumstances and the value of your home.
- You can refinance to a lower interest rate with an Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL), requiring no appraisal or income verification in most cases. You can either finance the cost of the refinance into your loan amount or the lender may pay your closing costs. You are not required to have cash in the transaction to qualify for an IRRRL.
- You don’t have to be a first-time home buyer to qualify for a VA loan. While there are policies governing the qualification for VA loans, provisions have been made to accommodate the home buyer in a range of varying circumstances. Qualified buyers can reuse their VA home loan benefits, so long as they keep within the specified requirements. The bottom line here: it’s worth your time to look into getting a VA loan, even if this isn’t your first home.
- Current financial circumstances in the U.S. have created a window of opportunity for the qualified buyer looking to get a VA loan. The real estate market is loaded with properties at value prices. The recent real estate crash and devaluation of home prices means that you have the market full of attractive homes to choose from—and at bargain prices among the best in recent memory.The VA also has a large selection of foreclosed homes that you can choose from. The department markets its foreclosed homes through its Real Estate Owned (REO) property list, managed by BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP. These properties are listed by agents through your local Multiple Listing System (MLS).
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a wealth of information on their website: http://www.va.gov, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that you will find very informational. If you want information and a resource list that is a little closer to home, you can search online for your state government’s department of Veterans Affairs.