If you were awake and well in the U.S. in 2008, chances are, you remember the phrases “housing bubble” and “great recession” with something darker than the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. While people who live outside the world of finance may never grasp how many fronts came together to amass that perfect storm, many of us at least know this: a bunch of people, many of whom didn’t have solid credit rates, if any at all, were taking out loans to buy houses. Interest-only loans were a thing. The Adjustable Rate Mortgage (aka ARM, aka balloon) enticed people with rates that were seductively low in the beginning, but impossibly high once the honeymoon was over. People defaulted on loans and things got bad. Examples were made, lessons learned, resulting in, for better or for worse, tighter restrictions and higher bars for those seeking to secure a home loan nowadays.
Scraping together the finances and establishing the credit history to build or purchase your very own home is not a task for the faint of heart. It is also a worthwhile task you should put on your, “Let’s do this,” list. Owning a home, building your equity and your credit rate…it’s all a part of the American Dream, right?
For individuals who served and sacrificed to help secure the existence of that ever-evolving and, let’s face it, sometimes elusive Dream, there are ways you can reach that home ownership (and even custom home building) goal earlier. A Veterans Affairs, or VA Loan is there—and has been since 1944—to make home ownership cost effective instead of cost prohibitive, ensuring that soldiers and their families aren’t financially penalized for a lack of credit history. If you served or have a spouse who served and are considering a home purchase, first things first: find out if you’re eligible for the loan.
You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
● You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
● You have 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.
These are some of the most commonly met eligibility requirements, but if you haven’t met these, do not consider your options exhausted.
Conventional mortgage loans frequently require a 20% downpayment. If you qualify and apply for a VA Loan, your downpayment is significantly lower…somewhere in the ballpark of…oh…ZERO. Not even joking. Do the math; it’s tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds if you’re going big or if you live in an area with a higher cost of living. And the Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) that is added to the total cost of your conventional home loan? Your VA Loan is backed by the U.S. Government, so the extra cost of PMI isn’t even a factor. Combine that with lower interest rates, and the savings is truly a game-changer. Think college funds and cars—that kind of savings.
Not every mortgage lender in the market is able and approved to offer the VA Home Loan or VA Construction Loan, but we’re honored at Security America to be a lender with an established and continuing tradition of providing that very service. Our VA Mortgage and Construction Loans can provide an inroad to home ownership without leaving you “house poor,” but before you step into any type of loan process, know that it is indeed just that—a process.
Take a look at our VA Loan Guide to learn more about
● The history of the VA Loan
● Benefits of a VA Loan
● Conventional loan rates vs. VA loan rates
● Securing a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
● VA Loan Calculator
● VA Loan process
● All the other things
Acquiring a home is a milestone move. You should always be confident in your understanding of the bold AND fine print before signing any dotted lines. Sometimes talking with an actual, living person (yes, it can happen!) is the only way to feel secure in your knowledge. Give Security America a call, and remember to stay informed about any and all of your benefits as a veteran or the family of a veteran.“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~Maya Angelou