Top 3 Veteran Homebuying Tips
Sometimes, serving in the military involves moving to new states or countries quite often. For many veterans, therefore, having a place to call their own means more than just buying a home; it means bringing their most cherished dreams to life.
To help active duty and retired service members make their home ownership dreams come true, state and local government agencies and organizations have developed various housing-related programs. However, the process of finding and buying a home can still be slow, frustrating and full of pitfalls.
If you’re looking for help, here are three veteran homebuying tips that can make buying your dream home easier.
Use Your VA Loan Benefits
Compared to other types of mortgages, VA loans provide significant benefits to eligible U.S. active duty personnel, veterans, reservists and surviving spouses. First, a VA loan can be used to purchase a pre-owned or new construction home or refinance an existing mortgage.
Second, these loans are backed by the VA, which means that the VA will protect the lender against loss if a borrower defaults on his or her loan. This guarantee encourages lenders to offer loans with more favorable terms and conditions to borrowers.
It’s important to know, however, that the VA cannot save borrowers from foreclosure. Although a VA loan counselor can help financially distressed borrowers get back on track and keep their homes, a borrower can lose his or her home to foreclosure if he or she fails to make payments as agreed.
A few other benefits of VA loans include low-interest rates resulting in lower monthly payments compared to conventional mortgages, very low or no down payment, credit scores as low as 620 and no mortgage insurance, PMI.
Find a Realtor or Home Builder That Understands VA Requirements
If you qualify for a VA loan, a realtor or home builder who understands the VA appraisal process can help you find a home you like and also meets the minimum property requirements set forth by the VA. Working with a realtor or home builder that’s familiar with these requirements will save you the headache of making offers on different homes that might not be approved by the VA.
If you’re not eligible for VA loan benefits, there are some other programs that can be a huge help when buying a home, such as FHA loans, USDA loans, SAH or SHA Grants.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage before You Begin House Hunting
When it comes to buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make your home-buying journey less stressful. In addition to indicating the mortgage amount you might qualify for, being vetted by a lender can help you purchase your dream home sooner than expected and speed up the home-buying process.
But it’s essential to know that getting pre-approved doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the mortgage amount specified. If you do something that negatively affects your credit score and financial situation, such as taking out another loan, it may result in a smaller loan amount, a higher interest rate or a loan denial.
As part of our appreciation for active duty military and veterans, our staff at Whitworth Builders will use their skills and extensive experience to help you get your dream home, whether you decide to buy or build it. Additionally, we offer a special military program that makes buying a home in northwest Florida even more affordable. If you’re looking for military loan lenders, we recommend getting in touch with our preferred lenders that will be more than happy to help you find the right mortgage for you.