The U.S. has over 1.3 million active-duty personnel in addition to millions of veterans, reserve personnel, and National Guard members. Most of these servicemen believe in homeownership, so much so that the homeownership rate among veterans is higher than that of civilians.
Even if it’s tough for some service members to get a financial foothold in a challenging economic environment, they have access to a host of home-buying benefits and a powerful home loan program – VA Loan.
VA loans represent the most powerful lending program for the vast majority of service members looking to buy a home. Since its introduction in 1944, VA Loans have helped millions of military members become homeowners. VA loans made homebuying more accessible because it is easier to get financing by offering no down-payment, no mortgage insurance, more lenient credit requirements, and income requirements, lower average interest rates, and limits on closing costs.
If you think you may be eligible for a VA loan, here are some things to know about the program.
Who are eligible for VA loans?
Typically, most members of the military, veterans, reservists and National Guard are eligible for a VA home loan if they served in the following capacity:
- 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime
- 181 consecutive days on active duty during peacetime
- 6 or more years in the National Guard or Reserves
- Married to a service member who died in the line of duty or of a service-related disability
Before you can apply for a VA loan, you must prove you are eligible. Talk to VA lender about getting a Certificate of Eligibility and also find out more about how much house you can afford based on your income, credit, entitlement, and other financial factors.
Applying for a VA Loan
Once you receive your approved Certificate of Eligibility, you can start the VA home loan application process:
- Finding a VA approved lender – You can do your search online by visiting the VA website or research on your own. It is best to shop around as lender’s terms vary.
- Getting Pre-approved for a loan – Loan pre-approval is one of the best things you can do to help ensure your best possible shot at getting the home you want. Lenders will verify your income and financial information to get a clear sense of your purchasing power. Being pre-approved for a loan shows you’re a strong and serious buyer who has what it takes to get to closing.
- Finding the right home – Finding homes online is easy but if you rely solely on buying a home online, it is guaranteed that you won’t find every listing for sale. Hence, you need some professional help. Real estate agents can identify properties you might like as well as set up appointments for you to check out potential homes.
- Putting in an offer – When you and your agent find the right home, it’s time to make an offer and negotiation a contract with the seller. Remember why it’s best to have a professional real estate on your side? Your VA loan savvy agent can best negotiate on your behalf and you can trust your agent to know the ins and outs of VA loans.
- Getting the property appraised and underwriting- Once you’re under contract, the lender takes care of requesting the appraisal, as it’s in the lender’s best interest to ensure the VA approves your loan. An appraisal guarantees the value of the home. Underwriters will evaluate your income, financial and related documents along with the appraisal once it’s finalized. If everything checks out, you’ll be issued a clear to close and move on to your loan closing.
- Closing – At closing, you’ll sign all kinds of legal documents and paperwork. The closing cost is either covered by you or by seller and/or lender credits. After signing you will get the keys to your new home.
Save Money When You Buy or Sell a Home with Us
|Your Service Pays! As a way of saying “Thank You” for your extraordinary services to our country and communities, our team is awarding a rebate of 15% of the gross real estate commission at the time of closing when you use our services in buying or selling a home.
Heroes who are looking to buy a home or sell a home in the greater Greenville and the Upstate, South Carolina can apply for the rebate program.