Veterans Home Buying Guide
This page is dedicated to giving as much information as we can about being a veteran and buying a home. As Veteran-owned company, we want to make sure you are completely educated on everything about a VA loan and the opportunities they provide. We try to keep this page as updated as possible with relevant information and resources you find useful for your home buying journey.
What is a VA Loan?
If you are not familiar with a VA loan, it is a mortgage loan program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families obtain home financing. VA loans offer up to 100% financing on the value of a home. They were established in 1944 and since helped over 20 million veterans and families get into an affordable home. To qualify for a VA loan, borrowers must present a certificate of eligibility, which establishes their record of military service, to the lender.
If you are a military home buyer, VA loans represent some of the most powerful lending opportunities on the market. They are flexible, and require no-down payment to be made. Offering a unique advantage that no other home buyers on the market can get. However, it’s important that veterans stay up to date on the latest benefits and fully take advantage of these opportunities, if it is right for you and your family.
Why Choose a VA Loan?
A VA loan has many advantages over traditional mortgage; here’s just a few of them…
- 0% Down – As one of the last 0% down options on the market today, the savings can be huge. A traditional mortgage can require 5,10, or even 20 percent down.
- No PMI – When PMI (private mortgage insurance) is required, they can add on monthly fees.
- Easy Qualification – Since the loan is back by the Government, banks will assume less risk from you.
- No Pre-Payment Penalty – Pay off your home loan at any time without a penalty.
Five Steps to Veteran Home Ownership
At EGA Homes, we not only provide loans to veterans, we ARE veterans. Being the only Veteran-owned real estate brokerage in Southern California, we know exactly how to guide you in this process through customer service and quality assurance!
Step 1: Prequalify
This step is important to getting the process started. All you need to do is get in contact with our VA Loan specialist and fill out a quick contact form. Once this process is complete we will reach out to you and find out how we can best serve you through information you tell us.
Step 2: Pre-Approved
At this stage we will work on getting you the necessary documents needed to get approved. Don’t worry, this process sounds like a lot of work, but we make sure it goes very smoothly.
Step 3: Get an Agent and Find a Home
You now will work with an Agent (click here if you’re wondering what the benefits of using an agent are) who knows the local community as well as the power of teamwork, integrity, and purpose. We are not just “Veteran friendly”, we are Veterans, just like you! The teamwork principles seen in the military carry over to our work on a daily basis.
Step 4: Make an Offer
Once you find the best home for your needs, its time to make an offer. Since you are using a VA loan, you will be paying no money down!
Step 5: Closing
Once you have picked your home, the VA requires the home to have an appraisal. The seller generally will be responsible to fix the home if it is not completely move in ready. Our Loan officer will order the appraisal of you. The loan gets approved, you set a closing date. Sign documents and finalize the VA loan to take ownership of your new home!
VA Loan Details
You’ve learned the basics about VA loans, but Chris Birk, author of “The Book on VA Loans”, offers 10 unique rules and quirks that we think you should know…
You can use your full VA entitlement over and over again as long as you pay off the loan each time. But you may be able to obtain another VA loan even if you’ve lost one to foreclosure or currently have one.
They’re Only for Certain Types of Homes
If you’re planning to buy a working farm, a downtown deli or a fixer-upper, the VA loan may not be for you. It’s mainly designed for properties in “move-in ready” condition, including single-family homes, condos, modular housing, some multi-unit properties and more.
They’re for Primary Residences Only
Don’t bother trying to use your VA loan benefits to buy an investment property or a vacation home in the Poconos. VA loans are for primary residences, with few exceptions.
They’re Not Issued by the VA
The VA isn’t in the business of issuing home loans. Instead, the agency provides a guaranty on each qualified mortgage loan.
But They’re Guaranteed by the Government
If you have a VA entitlement, the agency typically guarantees up to a quarter of the loan amount. The guaranty gives lenders confidence and helps service members secure great terms and rates.
They’re Available Despite Foreclosure or Bankruptcy
Service members with a history of bankruptcy or foreclosure can secure a VA loan. Even borrowers who have had a VA loan foreclosed on can still utilize their VA loan benefit.
They Don’t Have Mortgage Insurance
Mortgage insurance is a monthly fee you pay with other programs when you’re not putting at least 20 percent down. The VA’s guaranty eliminates the need for any mortgage insurance or mortgage insurance premium, helping borrowers save even more money each month.
They Come with a Mandatory Fee
There’s no mortgage insurance with VA loans, but there is the VA Funding Fee. This fee (usually about 2 percent of the loan amount) helps the VA keep the program going and is required on both purchase and refinance loans. It can be rolled into the loan amount and waived entirely for those with service-connected disabilities.
They Have Limits on Co-Borrowers
Some loan programs let you get a loan with just about anybody, but not the VA loan program. Having a co-borrower who isn’t your spouse or another Veteran with VA loan entitlement who will live in the home with you will require a down payment. Not every VA lender offers these types of joint loans (Veterans United does).
They Don’t Have a Pre-Payment Penalty
You can make extra payments any time you want, saving you a boatload in interest over the life of your loan. You can even structure your payments to automatically deduct a little extra every month. Just an extra $100 per month can shave years and tens of thousands of dollars from the balance.
Resources for Veterans
As a veteran-owned company, we are dedicated to sharing as much information as we can about being a veteran and buying a home.
What Veterans Need to Know About VA Loans
You might be wondering, “how do I know if I am eligible for a VA loan?”
Although full approval will be required, you’re likely to qualify if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
- Served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
- Served 181 days of active service during peacetime
- You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability
We’re here to help! If you have questions about your qualifications for eligibility, give us a call at 951-977-3421, or complete our contact form.
What Can I Afford?
If you would like a quick snapshot of what your monthly payments would look like under a VA loan, Veterans United Home Loans provides a Loan Payment Calculator on their webpage. It is a great easy tool to you can use.
You have no threshold required to get a VA loan, but you need to have stable and reliable income to get qualified. Having enough money to cover things outside of your mortgage is important. People that use VA loans are less likely to fall into foreclosure due to these standards of qualifications. This means you can feel safe about your home purchase through a VA loan if you qualify and are accepted.