Veterans have willingly sacrificed what most would not to serve their country. Accordingly, the VA has made it their mission to serve the needs of soldiers and their families by offering benefits to help service members achieve the American Dream, including access to low-interest, no down-payment VA home loans.
How can the US Department of Veteran Affairs offer military members better home financing terms than civilians are generally granted? While the VA doesn’t directly finance veteran homes, they guarantee loans made by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies.
When a company or organization guarantees a loan, they are making a promise to the lender to repay the remainder or a portion of the loan should the borrower default, meaning they’ve failed to make their payments. Essentially, the VA lowers the risk to lenders, who are then more willing to ease certain eligibility thresholds and borrowing terms.
Veterans and active military members should take advantage of VA loans, as they have many benefits over conventional mortgages, including:
• No down payment depending on borrower credentials.
• No requirement to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI).
• No penalties or added fees for paying the mortgage off early.
• Lower interest rates.
• VA instituted closing cost caps.
• Free assistance from VA Loan Technicians who help veterans at risk of or in default explore their options to avoid foreclosure.
• Favorable mortgage limits depending on county and state assessed home values – check out this PDF file to see what the maximum borrowing limits are per county nationwide.
In addition to the above listed benefits, those who qualify for a VA home loan may use the money to accomplish a variety of home-related tasks, including:
• The purchase of a house, condo, land-bound mobile home, or manufactured home.
• The purchase of land and the construction of a home or placement of a prefabricated home.
• Purchase with improvements.
• Refinancing an existing conventional loan.
• Refinancing a VA loan to reduce the interest rate.
• Energy efficient improvements, such as solar heating.
The majority of veterans, active military personnel, and reservists and National Guard members are entitled to VA loans – as well as spouses of military members who died while on active duty or from a service-related disability. While eligibility requirements vary depending on time and type of service, the core requirements mandate that military members must:
• Meet credit and income thresholds.
• Have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which can be obtained personally or with the help of a lender.
• Use the property for personal occupancy – in other words, the property cannot be rented out.
• Have not been dishonorably discharged, when applicable.
If you’re a veteran, active military member, reservist, or National Guard member and are interested in purchasing a home in Ventura County California or the surrounding areas, please call Mister VA at 805-389-0505 – we’re open 7 days a week!
My name is Davie Tapie and, as a Veteran myself, I understand the unique circumstances faced by others who are or have proudly served our country. Since 1978, I’ve been working hard to help retired and active military members get the most out of the benefits they’ve earned through sacrifice.