The Veterans Administration is committed to the principal that homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. Nobody is more deserving to realize that dream than the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces.
The VA aims to maximize Veterans' and Service Members opportunity to obtain, retain and adapt homes by providing a viable and fiscally responsible benefit program in recognition of their service to the nation. In today's market of tight credit and tough lending, we have seen more and more service members taking advantage of VA loans and here's why:
It is easier to qualify for VA loans: VA home loan guidelines tend to be more flexible because of the VA loan guarantee, which protects mortgage lenders against loss and allows banks to offer reduced rates to borrowers. This allows the applicant to have a lower credit score, in some cases as low as 580, yet still obtain a loan.
VA closing costs are lower: The seller is allowed to pay for all of the Veteran's standard closing costs and it is not applied to the 4 percent limit. VA allows the seller to pay for anything on behalf of the buyer as long as it does not exceed 4 percent. Included in the 4 percent seller can be items such as VA funding fee, property taxes and insurance, gifts such as appliances, pay off credit balances, liens or judgements on behalf of the veteran.
No down payment on a VA loan: Most home loan programs require that you make at least a small down payment to purchase a home but the VA loan is an exception. With the VA loan you can finance up to 100 percent of the purchase price.
No mortgage insurance for VA loans: Typically, you are required to pay mortgage insurance if you make a down payment less than 20 percent. This protects the lender in the event that you default on your loan. With a VA loan you are not required to pay mortgage insurance.
VA loans are assumable: Most VA loans are assumable which means you can transfer your VA loan to a future homebuyer if they are eligible for a VA loan. When a buyer assumes the veterans loan they assume the veterans interest rate. What a great selling point for the veteran to be able to offer a buyer an interest rate based on our current low rate environment.
VA loans can be used to purchase a variety of homes: A VA loan can be used to buy a house, condo, new-built home, manufactured home, duplex and other types of properties. A VA loan can also be used to refinance your current mortgage. There are occasions where veterans with an existing VA loan can pull cash out up to 100% of the home’s appraised value. Veterans can also make repairs or improvements to your home, or make your home more energy efficient with the refinance option.
Flexible funding fee options: VA loans require an upfront cost based on your loan amount, your type of eligible service, the amount of your down payment and other items, which is called a “funding fee”. The VA allows it to be financed with the loan, so nothing is due at closing. If you are a veteran who receives VA disability compensation, an unmarried surviving spouse of veterans who died in service or as a result of a service connected disability then the funding fee is usually waived.
This is truly a great program for first time homebuyers and veterans who wish to purchase a home or refinance.