The VA loan option for our servicemen is equivalent to a small token of gratitude for the services of our brave American brethren who have dedicated their lives for the greater good of our beloved nation. From $0 downpayment, no mortgage insurance limits, to having no limits on what buyers can pay in closing costs, the VA loan is the key for many military members and veterans to secure a place they can truly call their own.
While there are millions of veterans and military members assisted by the program since World War II, not all may be qualified for a VA loan. If you are looking into getting a VA loan, then you have to make sure that you qualify with these 4 important factors:
- At least 90 consecutive days active duty during wartime
- At least 181 consecutive days active duty during peace time
- At least six years in the National Guard or Reserves
The surviving spouses of service membets and veterans may also be considered eligible for a home loan. The VA ultimately decides on the eligibility of each applicant, so the terms above may be considered as broad guidelines. Certain exceptions may be considered, so they best way to determine your eligibility is to push through with the application.
No Down Payment
What makes a VA loan attractive is its "$0 down" feature. Conventional loans require a 5% minimum downpayment from the buyer. FHA lenders, on the other hand, demand a minimum of 3.5%. VA loans allow veterans and military personnel to own a home without worrying about saving up for a 3.5% to 5% deposit (which could amount to as much as $13,000 for a $250,000 home). To top it off, VA loans also don't come with any kind of mortgage insurance (as compared to conventional and FHA buyers who have to pay MI if their down payment is below 20%)
It's a Primary Home
The primary purpose of the VA loan is to make sure that families of veterans and military personnel will get to own their very own property which they will occupy full time. VA loans cannot be used for vacation homes and investment properties. You have to do research about VA occupancy requirements to make sure that you're getting the right home for the VA loan you plan to apply for.
Satisfies Minimum Property Requirements
Fixer-uppers are not an option for VA loans because the DVA would want to have its veterans and military personnel live in a safe and structurally-sound home. This means that the house you have in mind should satisfy a set of conditions called VA minium property requirements
. VA buyers can generally shoulder expenses for certain home repairs in order to close the home. However, such a course is not advised since fixer-upper properties may affect the VA appraisal process. The best solution is to find a good home with minimal or no requirements for repairs.
To read more about VA loans, you may access the original article written by Chris Birk from which this post was based here