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…

What Is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a home loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and issued by a qualified lender. It helps veterans, active duty military service members and their families overcome potential service-related financial hurdles to buy homes. Real talk: If you’re looking to buy a home, the VA loan is a…

Fringe Benefits: Why a VA Loan Is Your Best Bet

You, like many veterans and active duty service members, may not realize that you are eligible for a VA home loan let alone know anything about its unique benefits. Ready to take a tour? Let’s get it! It’s Guaranteed Like any other home loan, a VA loan is offered by a mortgage lender … but…

VA Loan: How Much Home Can I Buy?

The VA loan makes it possible for you to buy a quality, comfortable home at a price that’s appropriate for your area’s cost of living. That being said, if you want to live like a baller in a seaside crib, you will probably need to put down some of your own cash. VA does not…

What Is a Certificate of Eligibility?

Am I eligible for a VA loan, and how do I prove it? The very first thing you must determine before you apply for a VA loan is if you can even get one. Just because you are a veteran or active duty service member does not necessarily mean you are eligible for a VA…

What You Need to Know About a VA Funding Fee

The VA home loan offers an advantage to veterans, active-duty military and their spouses by waiving down payment requirements, offering low interest rates and providing other perks. The cost to cash in on these stellar benefits? The VA Funding Fee. The fee ranges from about 2 to 3 percent of the home purchase price, depending…

VA Loans: The Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval Process

Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved for a VA loan isn’t as simple as receiving a “pre-approved” credit card in the mail. But it’s also not rocket science. First, you need to find a lender who specializes in VA loans. The lender can guide you on getting all your ducks in a row and help you apply…

5 Reasons Why You May Not Qualify for a VA Loan

There comes a time when you have no choice but to be PO’d; that time is now. Let’s discuss why you might not get a VA loan. Service Requirements To qualify for a VA loan, you must meet the eligibility criteria: You contributed 90 consecutive days of active service during a war. You contributed 181…

The Perks of Working with Military Friendly Real Estate Professionals

Buying a home is not a one-person job; it requires a squad of people who understand the end goal and work diligently with you to reach that goal. Who should comprise your crew? Although VA guarantees your loan, it doesn’t actually lend you the money. That’s where a mortgage lender comes in, someone who specializes…

Closing Costs: Are There Benefits?

Closing costs are fees that come at the end of a real estate transaction. Think home and pest inspection, application fees and attorney fees — things that can add up hella quick. That’s why it’s important that your lender give you an estimate of these costs that you can factor into your budget. Closing costs…

The VA Appraisal

To protect a VA buyer’s investment as well as his or her health and safety, VA requires that a house meet certain standards or Minimum Property Requirements (MPR). It’s in your best interests to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the VA appraisal process so that he or she shows you…

When Is a VA Loan Not Your Best Option?

The VA loan is one of the best options out there. BUT you may be better off going with a conventional loan in certain circumstances. Assessing your own personal and financial situation, researching loan options and your eligibility and working with an experienced lender will help you make the best decision. When is it time…