6 Real-Estate Perks That War Veterans Have in the US

A lot of US military veterans don’t understand the benefits that they have or simply don’t know about them. These benefits include many different things, from healthcare, education, job positions, to property or real-estate perks. In this post, we are going to talk about the perks and benefits veterans have in regards to real-estate. Most benefits are provided by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, and there are different organizations that work under their regulation, in an effort to provide these benefits legally and transparently. In this post, we will present you six property-related benefits that military veterans have the right to in the US. When it comes to property loans, most of them come in the form of loans, and they are called VA loans. Here are some of them you can consider and other benefits you might not know about.

#1. Veteran Home Admission

Veteran Home Admission
Aging veterans who need a place to stay can apply for Veteran’s Homes provided by IDVA. These homes offer a comfortable environment with professional care, where veterans can spend the rest of their twilight years with other seniors. Veterans who have been in wars have admission precedence for this type of accommodation. Additionally, even veterans who haven’t served in any wars can be accepted with benefits, veteran spouses, and surviving spouses. However, it’s also important that they meet other requirements.

#2. Mortgage Assistance

If a veteran has a mortgage on their name and they are unable to pay it, they have the right to ask for help from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It doesn’t matter if the person had the mortgage before they joined the service or they’ve taken the loan after, they still have the right to this help. There are several ways the Department of Veterans Affairs can help, including:
  • Various loan modification programs
  • Loan forbearance
  • Special repayment plans

#3. Homeless Veterans

VA loans
All homeless veterans in the United States have the right to many kinds of different benefits, ranging from free accommodations, property loans, and construction loans. Most of these benefits are state-based, meaning that all states offer different kinds of benefits and help. They also offer various programs like residential rehabilitation programs, homeless grant programs, per diem programs, and domiciliary residential rehabilitation programs. The only things required for these benefits is proof of service and that there was no dishonorable discharge condition. In some cases, even dishonorably discharged veterans have the right to benefits.

#4. VA Property Purchase Loans

Even though VA loans are given by private lenders, they are all backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is why these loans are some of the very few loan options that come with no required down payment. VA home loans also don’t have private mortgage insurance, meaning that they save the borrower hundreds of dollars each month. They also come at much better rates than conventional loans, further saving the borrower’s money. The lending policies are also more lenient, so even if you don’t qualify for conventional loans, you might be approved for VA loans. A VA loan application can be submitted online, via mail, or in person with an authorized lender.

#5. VA Construction Loans

VA Property Purchase Loans
If a military veteran needs a loan for building a property, they can get the funding that covers all the construction expenses. These loans also require no down payment and have better rates than regular construction loans that only civilians can get. They also cover the mortgage phase of the loan. It’s important to know that not all lenders will provide VA construction loans for all types of property types. This is different with each lender, and that’s why it’s important to ask them specifically.

#6. VA Renovation Loans

VA renovation loans are limited to smaller amounts, but this means that they also come with smaller interest rates. However, the applicant will only be allowed an essential renovation of their property. Simply put, if you want to furnish your home with expensive furniture, the loan might not be approved.

Wrap Up

These are some of the many benefits that military veterans across the US have. Bear in mind that many states have added unique benefits that they offer, so make sure that you learn what additional rights you have in your state.

5 Tips To Help You With The Purchase Of High-End Real Estate

Buying high-end real estate is nothing to be taken lightly. Whether you wish to find a dream house for you and your family or want to buy and then lease the home, you should consider everything carefully, do your research, and go slowly.

Finding the perfect luxury real estate is a bit more difficult than it might seem. Listings are often private, so you’re not very likely to stumble upon the right home online. You also need to consider your preferred location, whether you’ll need a jumbo loan, and you should always keep in mind the potential resale value.

So, let’s take a look at some tips that’ll make the whole process of purchasing high-end real estate a bit easier.

Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent

It’s crucial to find a real estate agent who has experience in the luxury real estate market. Primarily, this is because the luxury market is in a league of its own, and requires some insider knowledge.

You won’t be able to find listings for high-end real estate online or in the papers, as most of them are the so-called “pocket listings”. This means that the listings aren’t advertised to the general public, and the seller’s real estate agent shares that information only with trusted sources.

Your agent will know about properties outside online listings and will help point you in the right direction, showing you other similar properties in the same area, and telling you about any price adjustments, etc.

Get Your Financial Information in Order

Most sellers of high-end real estate will want to see proof that you can afford to buy the property. Some might not enter negotiations or even allow viewings without an indication of your financial situation. This way, they ensure they’re only dealing with serious buyers.

Although it might be uncomfortable sharing your financial situation with strangers, it will make buying luxury real estate easier.

It would be wise to have your current bank statement with you. You can black out your account number and address in the copy you provide to the seller, but make sure your name and the details of the financial institution are clearly visible.

In case you’re taking out a jumbo loan, make sure to get pre-approved. The process of taking out a loan for a luxury home is often longer, and since the sellers are interested only in qualified buyers, having a loan pre-approval can help you immensely.

Consider a Jumbo Loan

Not many people can pay for a luxury home in cash, so if you’ve set your sights on a home that’s over half a million, chances are you’ll need to get a jumbo loan.

Fortunately, jumbo loans have loosened up on the down payment requirements. When it comes to the jumbo VA loan, for example, veterans are required to make a down payment of 25% on any amount over $417,000.

Interest rates on jumbo VA loans are these days on par with conventional mortgages, and sometimes even lower. Just make sure to do your research on any tax breaks that apply on jumbo loans in your area.

Of course, to qualify for a jumbo loan, you’ll need to ensure your credit score is great, typically about 700 and above.

Take Your Time

While you do want to hurry up and get your financial information in order and get pre-approved for a jumbo VA loan, you should take your time to do your research and consider everything before closing the deal. Such huge purchases should never be snap decisions.

Make sure to look into any future building plans in the area, especially if one of the biggest perks of the home you’re interested in is the view. Look into the neighborhood, and consider the possible future resale value.

Luxury homes are exclusive, and there’s less competition, which means you have more time to research other similar properties and more time to negotiate the best deal.

Get Proper Home Inspection

If you’ve found a high-end real estate that you’re seriously considering to buy, make sure you get a proper home inspection.

It could prove to be a bit more costly, but if you avoid this, you’re risking buying a beautiful home with some serious problems that might end up costing you a lot more.

When selecting a home inspector, make sure they specialize in luxury homes, since they often have sophisticated electronic systems, and other amenities that might require great expertise.

Whether you have the cash to spare, or you need to rely on a jumbo VA loan to purchase high-end real estate, never take this decision lightly. Your new luxury home will probably serve you and your family for years to come, so take the time to research your options before you close the deal.

How to Get a Loan to Buy a House Without Putting Your Finance at Risk?

Buying a new house, especially for the first time, is as exciting as it is daunting. Finding the right home for you and your family is often just a small part of the whole process. However, most people have to think about their home loan as well.

Getting these loans takes a lot of careful consideration, calculation, and research, as it often carries some financial risks with it.

So, to ensure that your loan is as safe and as advantageous as possible, you should take a look at the following tips that’ll help you get your dream house in no time.

Get a Housing Loan or Home Loan Easily: Tips to Follow

1. Pay Attention to Your Credit Score

A credit score is one of the most important pieces of information that lenders require. While the number isn’t set in stone, and it’s known to change depending on many factors, a score of about 660 can help you qualify for a home loan.

With a bad credit score, the worst that could happen is that you won’t be approved for a loan. However, even if you do get approved, your interest rates would be higher.

So, it’s in your best interest to check your credit score before you apply for a loan, and take steps to improve the score if necessary.

2. Avoid Applying for New Credit

Now that you know how important good credit score is don’t ruin it in the middle of the process. Lenders will not only check your credit score when you apply for a home loan, but they will also often do so before closing the deal.

Cosigning someone else’s loan, getting credit for a new car, or purchasing home appliances with your credit card should be avoided at all costs. All of these will cause your score to initially drop, and this can be a red flag to most lenders.

As a rule, you should try to pay down debt before closing a deal. This way, your debt-to-income ratio will be lower, and you’ll be able to get a better mortgage rate.

3. Start Saving up

To get a home loan, you first need to be prepared to spend some money, since most lenders will ask for a down payment.

A down payment is a portion of the total price of the home that you give to the seller, and lenders often have varying criteria for it, and the amount depends on many factors, one of which is, of course, your credit score.

If possible, try to go for a higher down payment. The more money you spend out of your own pocket, the lower your loan rates will be.

You should also be ready to pay for the home inspection, closing costs, credit report fees, and others, so start saving up as soon as possible.

4. Decide on the Type of Loan Product

There are a few different loan products you can choose from, and you should decide which one works best for you. If you’ve served the military, for example, you could benefit from low VA loan rates, families in rural areas might opt for a USDA loan, etc.

Types of Loan Products:

So, let’s check out the most common types of loan product.

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1. Adjustable Vs Fixed Rate

Adjustable rates are typically lower in the first few years, but afterwards, they’re “adjusted” once a year to correspond to the current interest rates. If the interest rates are lower, your monthly payments will be lower, and if they go up, so will your monthly payments. Loans with adjustable rates could be right for those with lower credit scores.

The fixed rate is the more common type. The rate won’t be changed at all during the life of the loan, and this is a better option for those who plan to stay in their new home as long as possible.

If you’re thinking about pre-paying your home loan with a fixed rate, it’s better to do it during the early stages of the loan so that you can save on interest rates.

2. Government Vs. Conventional

There are a few different types of government-insured home loans; the most common ones are FHA and VA loans.

FHA loans require a bit lower down payment, about 3.5%. They’re good for buyers who can’t afford a higher down payment, but they do require you to get mortgage insurance, and they’re limited and with fixed rates.

If you’ve served the US military, a VA loan can get you a nice home without mortgage insurance requirements, and without a down payment. VA loan rates are very low, typically going from 0.25% to 1%, but it’s a requirement that the home you buy is your primary residence.

Getting a Loan: The Bottom Line

Getting a loan seems like a big deal, but as long as you’ve done your research and know what to expect, there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises down the road.

Quick Overview of Financing Home Construction: Paperwork, Loans, and Tips

If you’ve decided to build your own home, congratulations! It’s never too late to start thinking about your future and the future of your children. Having your own roof under your head is rewarding after years of hard work, so don’t wait a minute longer and start building right now.

But first, you’re here because you need financial advice.

Home construction is a huge investment. You need to be extremely careful with your money and your paperwork, especially if you’ve decided to get a construction loan. Though very helpful, these loans come with a multistep application process that requires patience and time.

Here’s a quick overview of everything you need to know:

Construction Loan Paperwork

There’s a long way ahead of you, so let’s get you approved for a home construction loan as quickly as possible. Without much ado, almost every bank will need you to submit your financial record, along with your savings from the last 6 months, your deposit size, and your tax return.

But that’s not all.

Complete construction loan paperwork includes:

-Building contracts

-Building permits

-Building plans

-Building specifications

The most important piece of information in this paperwork is the final price of the build, which you cannot calculate with precision unless you have all the information pertaining to the building stages, the building project scope and timeline, just as well as your drawdown schedule.

All contracts and plans must be signed and contract-approved.

And in order to release the first lot of funds to the builder, you need these as well:

Quantity surveyor report

-Evidence of builders insurance

How Do Construction Loans Work?

You should know right off the bat that home construction loans can be pricey. Not only are they more expensive than traditional mortgages but they also come with a short repayment term and a variable rate. That being said, you’ll have two options for repaying your construction loan.

The first, of course, is to pay off the loan by the end of your repayment term. The second option is to convert the unpaid amount of your construction loan into a traditional home mortgage. Needless to say, this depends on the specific type of a home construction loan you choose.

Types of Construction Loans

There are five main types of construction loans for you to choose from: 1. Construction-to-permanent loan 2. Construction-only loan 3. Renovation loan 4. Owner-builder construction loan 5. End loan Unless you’re a veteran applying for a Jumbo VA loan (if you are, you can follow the link to check VA loan rates today), you’ll be choosing a variant of these five types of home construction loans. Saying which one is the best is impossible – each is designed for a specific financial scenario. With a construction-to-permanent loan, your unpaid loan will be converted into the home mortgage, while construction-only loans offer an option to take out two loans – one for construction costs and another for the mortgage. End loan allows you to buy a completed home from the builder.

Home Construction Loan Tips

Financing Home Construction

There are a couple of important things that can help you save a lot of money in the process. Choosing the best builder and the most suitable type of loan for your financial situation are both crucial, so don’t rush with your final decision. If need be, consult with your financial advisor. In fact, applying for a construction loan without an advisor is not recommendable. With the amount of paperwork needed, it may be better to have a professional to help you read the fine print on every document provided by your loaner. That way, you’ll get to keep your peace of mind and make sure that you’ll be paying back exactly the amount you’ve agreed on. In addition to that, the following tips will help speed up the process: -Provide all paperwork upfront -Be careful of overcapitalizing -Get a First Home Owners Grant

If You Are in Need of a Loan…

If you need a home construction loan, don’t settle for the first loaner until you’ve done thorough research and compared different options available on the market. Home construction should not be rushed. Happy building and good luck!

6 Loans for Aspiring Homeowners to Maintain Their Financial Well-Being

If you have decided to build your home or some other construction project on your own, rather than buying it, you can’t count on mortgages. However, in this case, you can get yourself a construction loan that you can use to finance the whole process. The first thing you need to know is that there are several types of construction loans.

Getting a loan is not always easy, and it takes serious consideration on your part to make sure that it works for you. If not, you could get into serious financial trouble and, in this case, lose the property you’ve built. This is why it’s important to learn which types of construction loans are out there and find the option that suits you.

We will separate these loans into two categories, residential and commercial.

Residential

Construction loan with a mortgage

With this loan, you will get the money to build your home, and once completed, it will be mortgaged. It’s important to understand that the interest changes during construction and after the house has been completed. In some cases, the borrower has to pay a penalty in case the construction lasts more than a year. The borrower also bears closing costs.

Construction-only

This loan is given to borrowers for a maximal period of 1 year. While the construction is ongoing, the borrower pays an appropriate interest on the total loan amount. The whole loan is divided into installments, which are given periodically, while the interest rates keep getting bigger with each new installment.

When the construction period has finished, the borrower/owner gets a home mortgage and is obligated to pay off the loan. The construction-only loan is better because the borrower doesn’t have to get the mortgage from the same lender that gave the construction loan.

VA loans

A VA loan is a mortgage loan which is backed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and that’s where the VA loan name comes from. This loan is only available to people who are military veterans, reservist, or current members of the military.

Apart from using it to fund new constructions, a VA loan can also be used for buying homes, condominiums, and other residential properties.

VA loan rates move from about 3,5% and up to 4%, depending on the years of the fixed loan. All qualified lenders in the US can issue VA loans. The VA loans can go up to 100% of the costs required to construct a home.

Commercial

Joint venture loans

With these loans, the borrower and the lender enter a joint venture together. This means that they will both be owners of the property and the business when finished and share their profits or losses accordingly.

Take-out loans

Take-out loans are permanent and can be tricky to explain, so we will use an example. In a situation where a builder wants to construct a residential building and is given a loan by the lender, once the project is completed the buyer(s) of the building or the apartments get take-out loans provided by the same lender. The builder also becomes a loan seller and gives his buyers the take-out loan.

Development and acquisition loan

These kinds of loans are resewed for covering the costs of buying new land for construction, as well as all the necessary horizontal improvements that need to be done on that land. These improvements include things like paving the ground, building roads, leveling the land, adding a sewer system, installing electrical systems, and so on.

However, these loans don’t cover all these expenses, and it is required that the borrower invests some money as well. In most cases, the builder needs to cover at least 25% of all the costs of developing the land.

These are some of the most common construction loans, but there are more different options available. When trying to get a construction loan, the most important thing to remember is that you need to improve your credit score. Having a poor one means you will have a difficult time convincing lenders to give you the loan, and if they do, you will get terrible conditions.

5 Perks Army Veterans Have Access to as Payment for Service to their Country

It takes a lot of courage and dedication to go through rigorous training to become part of the armed forces, and even more so to engage in combat in the line of duty. The brave men and women serving this country deserve nothing but our deepest respect, but respect alone won’t help a veteran reintegrate into civilian life or cover medical expenses. Luckily, there are several perks that you get as a token of gratitude and appreciation for serving your country and putting your life on the line to keep others safe. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest perks that army vets can expect.

Education and Job Opportunities

Those going into service need to put the rest of their lives on hold, and this includes their education. This is why veterans are provided with several great programs, courtesy of the GI Bill.

The specifics of each program vary a bit, but you essentially get financial assistance to cover educational costs, e.g. college degrees and certifications, and even housing expenses during this period.

VA Loan Options for a New Home

Once you’ve put your fighting days behind you, it’s likely that you’ll want a place of your own that you can call home. The housing market can be a bit hectic, but as a veteran, you have access to a VA loan. This involves a number of benefits when compared to traditional loans – you’ll have lower interest rates and you won’t have a down payment or mortgage insurance to worry about.

There’s even something called the Jumbo VA loan which is far more flexible and allows you to get a loan for anything from $417,000 and up to $1 million. It usually requires a 25% down payment unless you are buying a house in what is considered a High-Cost County.

Help with Going Back to a Civilian Lifestyle

Combat takes its toll on both the body and the mind. Many veterans experience PTSD or are haunted by their conscience for years after their service and have trouble coping. Some simply find it difficult to lay their hard-earned combat skills to rest and dive back into a mundane and surprisingly low-stress lifestyle. Well, if you are finding it hard to cope or to tone down that warrior spirit and see yourself as a civilian, you can contact a support group. There are a lot of veterans who’ve been through the same thing and successfully made the shift, and they’re ready to help you. Vet readjustment counseling is an invaluable tool on your way back to civilian life, and there’s also trauma and bereavement counseling if you are battling more complicated demons.

Covered Medical Expenses and Rehabilitation

Finding a new path for yourself and readjusting after engaging in combat is difficult enough, but some vets bring back more than emotional baggage back with them from the war zone. Injuries, chronic issues and even lost limbs or paralysis are all too common among vets, and the medical system being what it is, you’d have to spend a fortune just to fix your body so that you can move on with your life. This is where VA Healthcare kicks in. Hospital and treatment bills for medical issues received during active service, and even preexisting conditions that were aggravated through service, will be offered at a fraction of the cost or taken care of in full. In special circumstances – if you have a severe disability, over 50% of your body, or have been a prisoner of war – you will receive all the VA Healthcare free of charge.

Financial Assistance for Surviving Family Members

If the worst should happen and you don’t make it back from your tour, there is a comprehensive life insurance plan and other forms of financial assistance for your spouse and children. It’s a grim thought, but at least you’ll have some peace of mind when going into combat, knowing that your closest ones will be taken care of.

As you can see, veterans have a number of perks available to them as payment for their service. From a VA loan to help them finance further education and free counseling, it’s good to see that our country is giving back to those that put everything on the line to protect our way of life and the freedoms we hold dear, but often take for granted.