VA Home Loans - Buying a Home Without a Down Payment
VA Home Loans provide an attractive option for Service Members and eligible Surviving Spouses looking to buy, build or refinance their homes. However, the process can seem daunting for those unfamiliar with it.
First, find a lender and mortgage officer that specialize in VA loans. Next, get preapproved. Finally, collaborate with a real estate agent familiar with VA loan processes to identify homes that fit both your needs and price range.
No down payment
VA loans provide veterans and service members with an alternative to conventional mortgages that allows them to buy a home without needing a down payment. They’re partially backed by the federal government but issued through private lenders, so qualified loan officers can help determine if you meet eligibility criteria, as well as obtain your Certificate of Eligibility document required for all VA-backed mortgages.
Comparatively to conventional mortgages, VA loan programs with no down payments can save you hundreds or even thousands each month in payments and interest costs due to not requiring private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is required on many conventional loans with down payments less than 20%.
The VA does charge a funding fee, which can either be included as part of your loan or paid upfront. This fee helps maintain self-sustainability within their program. Repeat buyers face higher funding fees; to reduce them further make down payments or negotiate for lower rates that include lender credits for closing costs.
Keep in mind that while VA loans do not require a down payment, you are still accountable for making monthly mortgage payments. Be prepared to cover costs such as property taxes and insurance; an ideal scenario would be having enough funds set aside for at least six months’ expenses in an account such as Western Alliance Bank High Yield Savings or UFB High Yield Savings.
The no-down-payment VA loan remains one of the few remaining options that enable military borrowers to secure new homes without making down payments. However, it is essential to remember that federal guarantees don’t protect borrowers in case they default on their loan and lose it to foreclosure if payments become arrears.
No private mortgage insurance
The VA loan program gives active-duty service members, military veterans and their surviving spouses an opportunity to purchase homes with no down payment required. Unlike conventional mortgage loans that require 20% down payments or more for approval, this loan does not include private mortgage insurance (PMI), saving homeowners thousands in monthly PMI payments over their loans’ lifespans.
Although VA loans provide significant advantages for new homeowners, they also come with some drawbacks. One such drawback is a funding fee calculated as a percentage of total loan amount; this fee may either be paid upfront as closing costs or added into mortgage loan payment plan – an especially helpful feature if there’s not enough cash on hand to pay upfront for funding fee upfront. Moreover, sellers may pay closing costs on behalf of buyers provided that seller concession doesn’t exceed 4% of loan total amount.
When applying for a VA home loan, it’s essential that you partner with an experienced real estate agent and mortgage lender who understand the requirements of this program. They can assist with finding an ideal property which fulfills minimum cleanliness and safety criteria as well as help submit all required paperwork including income verification documents, credit reports and bank statements to your mortgage lender.
Once your loan application is submitted, a mortgage loan officer will review your information to ascertain if you meet eligibility requirements of the program. If so, VA will issue a Certificate of Eligibility that your mortgage lender can use to verify your benefits.
Service members work tirelessly for both their nation and families. Now it is time to find your dream home and establish roots. A VA loan offers more flexibility and stability than conventional mortgages can, so speak to a mortgage loan officer today about VA home loan options available to you.
No limits on the amount you can borrow
The VA no longer sets loan limits; lenders now determine maximum loan amounts based on income and creditworthiness of applicants for mortgage loans. They’ll assess affordability by looking at debt-to-income ratio and reserves held as assets or reserves funds, among other criteria. Furthermore, as part of these criteria, they also ensure the home meets safety standards and building codes.
No matter if it’s your first home purchase or you’re expanding an existing house, a VA loan can help find you the ideal property and help save money by eliminating PMI costs which typically add $100+ monthly costs. In order to find one that meets your budget needs it is vital that you consult an experienced mortgage loan officer.
Start by verifying your eligibility by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from either the VA or private lenders, this will verify your military service and reveal how much entitlement is available for loans. Most lenders require at least 620 FICO scores while some may impose additional minimum criteria.
Once you have your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), the next step should be locating a VA approved lender either online or locally. Look for lenders offering flexible term lengths and competitive interest rates; compare multiple VA lenders before selecting the most suitable one for yourself.
Your lender and amount of entitlement available will ultimately dictate whether a down payment is necessary. This typically happens when a new loan would surpass conventional loan limits; alternatively, it could apply if all your entitlement was used on another VA loan application.
Another potential pitfall is making large purchases using your VA loan before your mortgage closing, to avoid accruing debt on your new home before being fully capable of paying it back. Furthermore, it would be prudent to place any money you plan to use for down payments in a high yield savings account such as Western Alliance Bank High Yield Savings for optimal returns.
No closing costs
Closing costs, also referred to as settlement expenses, are fees paid at closing to finalize a mortgage loan agreement. They typically include lender’s origination fees, appraisal and inspection fees, title search and insurance costs and any miscellaneous charges that might come up. Closing costs typically account for 2-5% of loan amount; they should not be reduced as part of home buying processes; however there are some ways of decreasing them.
Closing costs can be reduced by asking the seller to cover some or all of them. While this can be challenging, it is certainly worth trying! Additionally, some lenders may provide no-closing-cost loans at a higher interest rate that might provide relief for borrowers having trouble raising sufficient funds for these costs.
Before beginning to look for property, it is crucial that you are fully informed of what the actual closing costs will be. Your mortgage loan officer can give you an estimate based on property type and location as well as help find you competitive mortgage insurance and title insurance rates.
Certain closing costs are non-allowable and must be covered by the borrower, such as prepayment penalties and attorney’s fees. Other charges, like notary and courier costs may also be assessed by an escrow company in order to send original documents that can’t be carried in-hand or sent electronically.
Other costs related to closing include inspection of the property by an approved appraiser of the VA, home warranty and termite report. Inspection must meet minimum property requirements set by VA to ensure it is safe, sanitary and structurally sound; additionally a certificate of occupancy from your local county must also be presented as part of closing costs.
If the closing costs on your VA loan are beyond your means, there are still ways to lower them. One is asking a friend or relative for help in covering these expenses – however, gift funds from relatives must first go through an approval process and sign an acceptance letter verifying their financial ability to provide such gifts. Another approach could be getting a part-time job or taking in roommates in order to generate extra funds.