Uncategorized November 15, 2021

VA Loans, Are you Eligible & How Do You Apply

Active duty and retired military members have a great benefit when it comes to purchasing a home. They can do it with NO MONEY DOWN. Being a veteran isn’t the only requirement when it comes to getting a VA loan, though. The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up eligibility conditions that must be met. Here’s what you need to know.

The applicant must meet at least one of these conditions:
•    Actively served 90 days consecutively during wartime.
•    Actively service 180 days consecutively during peacetime.
•    Served at least 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves.
•    Your spouse was a service member who died in the line of duty or due to a service-related disability.

If you’re looking at these conditions and thinking you meet at least one, you most likely will be able to take advantage of a VA loan.

Income Requirements
Homebuyers need to have enough income to afford the monthly mortgage payment plus have additional money left over for other expenses. With that said, there is no set amount for eligibility. A good rule of thumb is you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your gross monthly income on your mortgage.

Applying for a VA Loan
To know for sure whether you will be able to use a VA loan to purchase a home, you will need to apply for it with a VA approved lender. This lender may have eligibility requirements independent from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  You can also apply online with the VA’s eBenefits portal, which can be accessed here.  The third way to apply for a VA loan is by mail with VA Form 26-1880.

What to Do First When Shopping for a Home

The first step in shopping for a home isn’t to start house hunting. It is to find out if you’re eligible for a VA loan. In addition to finding out if you’re eligible, a lender should be able to tell you how much you are qualified for to help you find a home in your budget. This amount is often the most you can spend, so it doesn’t always take into account other expenses you may have to pay for each month. You still have to factor in taxes and insurance which will increase your monthly loan payment if you escrow these items.  This is why it’s a good idea to come up with your own top purchase price considering the monthly mortgage amount plus additional expenses. This is one reason you should consider talking to a mortgage professional in person rather than simply filling out a form online. A lender can help you determine what you can really afford.

With the knowledge of being able to use a VA loan and the purchase price you can afford for a home, you can start looking at homes with a real estate agent or Realtor. Once you find a home you would like to buy, you can submit the contract with confidence that you will be able to get a mortgage for that purchase price as long as you remain within your budget.

Contact Me for More About VA Loans
If you believe you’re eligible for a VA loan, contact Katie Conway at Coldwell Banker Realty. I can help you find out for sure and help you come up with an affordable purchase price, so you can start looking for the home of your dreams.

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