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7 VA Loan Tips For Homebuyers in 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021   /   by Martin French

7 VA Loan Tips For Homebuyers in 2021

Serving in the armed forces is one of the most honorable experiences many men and
women can have. Being in the military comes with a lot of perks and benefits. One of
the most overlooked benefits by both Veterans and service members is buying a home
through a VA loan.

A VA loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
issued by private lenders and available only to veterans, active-duty service members
and their eligible spouses.

Some of the advantages of buying a house through a VA loan are: low interest rates
and closing costs, $0 down payment, and the option to forgo private mortgage
insurance (pmi).

Additionally, the VA did not set a minimum credit score. However, having stellar credit
can help to attain rock bottom variable or fixed rates. For peace of mind, be sure to get
a free copy of your credit report and check for errors before applying. If you notice
anything suspicious in your report, you can hire a credit repair company to help or you
can remove the inaccurate items yourself.

Even though VA loans are more popular now than before, it is still different than a
traditional loan.

[Infographic] 7-va-loan-tips.jpg

Here are 7 VA loan tips that you need to consider if you’re thinking of buying a home
through a VA loan.

1. You can get started without the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
-  A COE is issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is proof that you
are eligible for the VA home loan benefit
-  Mortgage lenders can get the COE for you

2. Your credit score still matters, but it’s not everything
-  The higher your score, the better the deal
-   Lenders tend to be more flexible with VA loans

3. Make sure you have enough saved
-  You are still responsible for certain closing costs (i.e. application fees, insurance,
inspection fees, real estate taxes, and more)
-  A VA funding fee needs to be paid; fees amounts vary depending on whether you
are a first-time homebuyer and down payment given

4. Shop for a VA lender and get pre-approved
-  Look for reputable lenders that exclusively cater to military members, veterans,
military spouses, and their families - compare all offers
-  Although a fee is charged, by using a mortgage broker, you may compare rates
from as many as 100 lenders with just one credit inquiry

5. Find a real estate agent that’s VA-savvy
-  Contact your VA regional loan center and ask if they can recommend a VA-savvy
agent in your area.
-  Make sure the real estate agent you hire knows the eligibility criteria certain
properties must meet.

6. Choose a property that’s VA-approved
-  Properties purchased through a VA loan can’t be used as vacation homes or
investment properties; condos must meet certain requirements
-  Appraisals are conducted by someone chosen by the VA

7. Close the deal only when you’re ready to move in
-  Interested homebuyers must complete the VA’s minimum occupancy
requirement
-  For active-duty service members, spouses or dependents may satisfy the
requirement by moving in first.
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All listings featuring the RPBGFL MLS logo are provided by the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc. and BeachesMLS, Inc. This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed. Copyright 2018 Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale Inc. and BeachesMLS, Inc.
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