A significant step in making the transition from military to civilian life is finding satisfactory housing. For many former service members, temporary housing seems adequate. For others, owning their own home is a dream they can fulfill with help from the Veterans Administration.
VA Home Loans for Veterans
The VA helps veterans buy their own homes – either existing or new construction – by providing a home loan guarantee. With this guarantee, you can borrow approximately $450,000 as long as you meet the VA’s income guidelines.
Private lenders provide the mortgage loan, but the VA guarantees a percentage of it to ensure you get good loan terms. These terms include limits on the amount you are charged for closing costs, no monthly private mortgage insurance premium, and no down payment unless the lender requires it.
Other benefits of a VA home loans kick in after you’ve bought the home. For instance, the VA might be able help out if you’re having problems making your mortgage payments, and your loan can be assumed by another qualified buyer. In addition, if you pay your loan off early, the mortgage lender cannot charge you a penalty fee.
Steps to Owning Your Own Home
If you are a first-time home buyer, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the steps involved in buying and financing a home. Housing agencies affiliated with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offer workshops for first-time buyers that can help you understand home financing, and experienced real estate agents can help you find a home to fit your needs and your budget.
By all means check your eligibility for a VA home loan and let your real estate agent know that you are eligible for VA-guaranteed financing. You can apply online for a Certificate of Eligibility and then investigate various mortgage lenders to find out where you can get the best loan terms and get pre-approved for borrowing a certain amount.
Try to stay within your price range when looking at homes and don’t get frustrated if you don’t find exactly what you want right away. Keep looking until you find an affordable home in an acceptable location with the space you want. Then, work with your real estate agent to present an offer to the seller. Make sure your offer includes a clause that says the offer is void if you cannot get VA-guaranteed financing (because, for example, the purchase price is too high given the home’s appraised value).
After you and the seller have agreed on a purchase price and contingencies (e.g., that the home passes inspection and that you get a VA-guaranteed loan), you will sign a purchase agreement and will need to obtain financing. You can use the lender that pre-approved a loan amount, or you can go to other lenders to try to get a better deal. Whatever the case, your lender will need your VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility and can request one from the VA if you have not already obtained one.
You will then need a VA approved appraiser to determine the home’s value and guarantee that it is safe, sound and sanitary. Before closing on your home, you should also have an independent home inspection done by a qualified home inspector. A good home inspector will let you know if there are any defects in your home or maintenance issues you should be aware of before finalizing your purchase.
Closing and Moving
The final step in buying your own home is the closing, the meeting at which you finalize your home loan/close on it. You should receive a Closing Disclosure from your lender at least three days before the meeting so you will know all expenses associated with the mortgage before you finalize the loan.
Closings are typically lengthy meetings, requiring a lot of signing of documents. The good news for you is that with a VA-guaranteed home loan, you shouldn’t have to make a down payment unless the purchase price is more than the appraised value of the property or, for some reason, your lender requires a down payment even though you have a VA-guaranteed loan.
After the closing, you officially own the home, and it’s time to get moving. If you want to do some renovating, updating, and decorating, now is the time to get started. It’s a lot easier to patch, paint and put in new flooring without furniture and people in a home than it is when the house if full. It’s also time to contact trustworthy movers who can help you get settled in your new home.
Trusted New York Movers for Veterans
Maffucci Bekins Moving and Storage Company is a family business that has been helping families throughout the New York metro area move for over 40 years. Our long-term, professional movers and packers have many years of experience and are recognized for their friendliness and helpfulness.
U.S. veterans have come to rely on us as the best New York movers for veterans because we provide a wide range of moving services to meet your needs, the professionalism and security you want from movers handling your household items and valuable possessions, and experience you need to make your move as stress-free as possible.
Call us today at 1-888-804-6768 or submit the “Get a Free Quote” form on our website to get started moving safely and confidently into your new home.