How to Compare VA Loan Rates

You may have heard that the VA home loan comes with a pretty exceptional interest rate, one of the most competitive on the market. But where does that number come from? Who sets it — the Department of Veteran Affairs or some mystery entity? Does it fluctuate? Or does everyone get the same rate, no…

Can You Buy a Rental Property with a VA Home Loan?

Like other government-backed mortgages (USDA and FHA), the VA home loan includes an occupancy requirement. The loan can only be used to finance an owner-occupied property. The loan cannot be used to finance a vacation or beach home or an investment property. Uh-oh, wait. Investment property. Does that include rental properties? Don’t give up just…

Adapting a Veteran’s Home with SAH Grant Money

There are several home-related benefits available to veterans. The VA home loan, which is used to finance an owner-occupied dwelling, is probably the one we know best. Ever heard of the Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH)? It’s available to veterans and active duty personnel who are receiving or will receive disability payments as a result…

Fixing up a Home or Building New with a VA Loan

You’ve got your eye on a fixer upper. Or perhaps you’re toying with the idea of building a custom home that meets all your needs. Can a VA home loan be used to pay for home improvements or new construction? The good news is yes, renovation and construction are covered. The challenge is finding a…

The VA Option Clause and Your Ability to ‘Back Out’

Wording and requirements may vary from state to state, but a real estate sales contract essentially protects both parties in the transaction. The contract is padded with contingencies (out clauses, FYI) that allow parties to back out of the sale if certain conditions are not met. Buyer doesn’t get financing within X amount of days….

VA Rules About Move-in Date and Living Arrangements

You’re closing on your home next week. Your loan is approved, and documents await your signature. You’ve completed almost every task (aside from a little last-minute packing) and arranged for the movers to arrive shortly after closing to move all your stuff into your new home. But what if the sellers aren’t as ready as…

No Credit History: Is the VA Home Loan Still an Option?

VA home loans are approved in much the same manner as other government-backed and conventional loans. You know the drill: A lender assesses your ability to repay, makes sure you have enough cash available to take care of closing costs and takes a close look at your credit report. Just a Tad About Credit Before…

The VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a special VA loan program that helps borrowers buy and make eco-friendly improvements to existing homes. Totally dope idea, right? As long as the final loan amount is at or below the maximum VA loan limit for the area, cost of improvements can be slurped into the regular monthly…

When Your Co-Buyer Is Not VA Eligible

You’re eligible for a VA loan and you’d like to buy a home with your SO, a friend or a family member. Is it possible? Yes! VA allows a VA-eligible buyer to buy a home with a person who is not VA-eligible or not using his or her VA entitlement. VA refers to this as…

Why the VA-Approved Condos List Is a Buyer’s Best Friend

VA loans aren’t used solely to buy single-family homes. They can also be used to finance the purchase of condos. But unlike single-family homes, condos must be approved by VA. Not the individual unit but the entire building has to be legit. What is needed to get a condo building added to the VA-approved condos…