It’s an exciting time for veterans and their loved ones looking for new homes – the real estate market has plenty of homes to choose from, and nearly all of them are acceptable when using the VA loan. VA loans are a government program specifically designed to help veterans and surviving veteran spouses with loan conditions that make purchasing a new home to live in much more attainable.
If you’re a veteran, here are some of the benefits you’ll see:
1. No Down Payment
The down payment requirement is completely gone with VA loans. Approved active duty and retired veterans could get keys to a new home without waiting years to save enough for a down payment, and put the equivalent money to work in other investments.
There is an upfront fee that can be hefty, averaging around 2-3 percent, but it is a fraction of what a down payment would be, and you can roll that into the overall mortgage.
2. No Private Mortgage Insurance Needed
Unlike a conventional loan, no private mortgage insurance is required by the lender when you get a VA loan to purchase your primary residence. Not only do you save on premiums, you also save the interest you would have to pay if you rolled PMI into the loan. You can buy more house for your money.
3. Get Free Appraisals
Appraisals cost several hundred dollars or more, and that’s before you even make an offer on a home. You certainly do not want to make one without knowing what you’re getting, but the cost of appraisals is an unfair burden. Appraisals are free with VA loans.
4. Competitive Loan Rates
Lenders set the rates for VA loans, so shop around for best offers. Higher credit scores net better interest rates, but perfect credit is not a requirement to qualify for a VA loan.
5. Can Be Used Multiple Times
This is not a one-time only deal – you take it with you when you sell one home to buy another. When you sell a home financed with a VA loan, insist that buyers get new financing instead of assuming your VA mortgage loan so you can use it towards your next purchase.
All service members with an honorable discharge and their surviving spouses could benefit from the advantages of VA loans. It doesn’t put money in your pocket at closing, but you will save many thousands of dollars up front and over the life of the loan.