6 Unbeatable Benefits of VA Loans

I’m your go to Military Relocation Professional!

Created before the close of World War II, the VA home loan benefit has helped millions of veterans, service members and military families achieve the dream of home ownership. Today, in many ways, it’s more important than ever.

VA loan volume has soared in the wake of the Great Recession, driven in large part by historically low rates and increasingly tougher lending requirements. The VA program provides significant financial benefits that make homebuying possible for score of veterans who might not otherwise qualify.VA Loan Eligibility CheckContact a Loan Specialist at Veterans United Home Loans to see if you qualify for a $0 down VA Loan. No obligation required. Get a Quote!

Here’s a look at six of the biggest benefits of these long-cherished home loans:

No Down Payment

This is far and away the program’s signature benefit. Qualified VA Loan borrowers can purchase up to a county’s conforming loan limit without a down payment. Those limits can change every year and are higher in more expensive areas.

For conventional and FHA loans, buyers are typically looking at minimum down payment requirements of 5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. On a $200,000 mortgage, that’s a $10,000 down payment for conventional and a $7,000 down payment for FHA.

It can take service members and veterans years to save that kind of cash. The ability to purchase with no down payment means military homebuyers don’t have to scrape and stockpile for years and years to pursue a home of their own.

No Private Mortgage Insurance

Coming up with a down payment is tough enough for conventional and FHA buyers. But they’re also on the hook for mortgage insurance unless they can put down a sizable amount — typically 20 percent of the purchase price. On that same $200,000 mortgage, you’re talking a whopping $40,000 in cash.

FHA loans carry both an upfront mortgage insurance premium and annual mortgage insurance, the latter of which now lasts for the life of the loan. Conventional buyers will pay this monthly cost until they’ve built up suitable equity, which can take years.

There is no mortgage insurance with VA loans.

VA loans do come with a mandatory funding fee that goes directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Borrowers with a service-connected disability are exempt from paying this fee, which helps keep the program going for future generations.

Looser Credit Requirements

Credit score requirements have started to thaw, but that hasn’t made life significantly easier for many military buyers. The credit benchmarks set by both conventional and FHA lenders can still be tough to hit.

Most VA lenders are looking for a credit score of at least 620. Borrowers will often need to meet a higher threshold for conventional mortgages, especially if they’re hoping to get a great interest rate. Click here to learn more about VA Loan rates.

The 620 benchmark is in FICO’s “Fair” credit score range, which is a tier below “Good” and two below “Excellent.” Contrary to misconception, VA buyers don’t need anything near perfect credit to secure financing.

Forgiving DTI Ratios

VA lenders generally want to see you spend no more than 41 percent of your gross monthly income on major debts, such as a mortgage payment or student loans.

But it’s possible to have an even higher DTI ratio and still obtain a VA home loan. Some lenders may go up to 55 percent or more depending on your credit score and ability to hit additional income benchmarks.

That additional flexibility can make it easier for buyers to truly maximize their purchasing power.

Curbing Closing Costs

Closing costs are inescapable, regardless of the mortgage product. The VA actually limits what fees and costs veterans can pay at the time of closing.

Homebuyers can ask sellers to pay all of their loan-related closing costs and up to 4 percent of the purchase price for things like prepaid taxes and insurance, collections and judgments.

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

These financial setbacks don’t automatically put an end to your VA loan chances. It’s possible to secure a VA home loan just two years removed from a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. In some cases, veterans who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection can be eligible just a year removed from the filing date. Read more about getting a VA Loan after foreclosure.

Homebuyers seeking conventional or FHA financing can find the waiting periods significantly longer.

Even veterans who lose a VA-backed mortgage to foreclosure can still be eligible for another.

Purple Heart Recipients may save thousands!

Purple Heart recipients could save thousands in home loan fees after the passage of a law to benefit veterans exposed to Agent Orange. 

Tucked away in the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act passed by Congress and signed into law in June, is language that makes Purple Heart recipients exempt from paying the funding fee the Department of Veterans Affairs charges on its guaranteed home loans. 

The funding fee can reach as high as 2.4 percent of the total loan value for first-time buyers — thousands of dollars, depending on the cost of the home. 

Disabled veterans already have been exempt from the fee, though as Connecting Vets previously reported, VA has wrongly charged thousands of them fees and many have yet to see their refunds. 

But under the Blue Water Act, beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Purple Heart recipients are added to the list of exempt veterans. 

Most of that law deals with its namesake — expanding VA disability benefits to the veterans who served in ships off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange but have so far been denied the same benefits ground troops qualify for for the same exposure. 

The new law also includes a directive to VA to use the money collected by the funding fee from non-disabled or Purple Heart vets to pay for the Blue Water benefits. The fees were previously used to cover VA home loan administrative costs.

To qualify to have your home loan fee waived, you have to provide proof of your Purple Heart to both the VA and the lender before the closing date of the loan, according to the law. 

Where are the offers?

Since August 23rd 2019, and this is the 26th of August! There have been price reductions/changes on 23 properties in the Ponte Vedra area.

Once we get the listing, it takes a great deal of time, and money to market the property. We spend a great deal of time in due diligence prior to meeting with our sellers to provide an accurate and impartial value only to be faced with false promises we may have heard from the sellers previous realtor interviews. Do we accept the sellers demands in order to get the listing? It’s extremely important to share the consequences of pricing higher what substantiates the true value.

Who are we fooling, it’s not fair to our seller nor to us to list the home higher than what it’s worth, (UNLESS) we’re in a market where multiple offers are the norm. . Why deceive our sellers, by listing it for what the seller wants to sell it for. Disappointing all parties.

A seller must accept that the real value of their home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it in today’s real estate market. What the seller wants to receive at the closing table doesn’t affect the home’s market value! The market does not care what they need! If a seller cannot grasp this reality, then the listing we worked so hard to get will not be a marketable one, and our efforts to sell it will be fruitless.

The longer a property remains on the market, the lower the price must be for it to sell. Statistics have proven if the property is not correctly priced from the start, it nearly always and ultimately sells for less. No winners!

So many times, numerous sellers are interviewing several listing agents, and will they spoke to another agent who said the listing price should be “XYZ” What a realtor may say about what the price should be doesn’t affect it’s value.

Why do so many buyers and sellers have limited trust in us as realtors? Agents will tell them what they want to hear and not the honest truth. As difficult as it may be, honesty is always the best policy.

As I shared with you in the beginning. Twenty three (23) properties in our area have reduced the price of the home they listed in the past two days. So digest what this short article has to say and call me. I don’t sell homes in volume, I represent my buyers and sellers with ethics and integrity and with value that comes with experience.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
580 W. 8th Street Tower 1, Suite 3510 Jacksonville, FL 32209

The month of August flew by! More than 25 years ago, RE/MAX began its partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals – and they continuously aim to grow the support needed to improve the lives of so many kids. Collectively, RE/MAX agents and offices have raised millions in support of CMN Hospitals.

Thank you to all of our RE/MAX agents and offices near and far who have raised millions in support of CMN Hospitals.

Lets continue to make a in the life of a child RE/MAX agents and brokers!

If you would like any additional information about the Jacksonville office, need local resources at an event, or if you would like to come tour, please do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll assist you with this.

For the kids,

Foreclosure rates on the rise in Sarasota & Manatee Counties in Florida.

I’m hearing of many 55 an older buyers are considering or purchasing in this area. I personally believe they should do some additional research and reconsider.

More Southwest Florida homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages.

The number of residential properties with a foreclosure filing rose 23% as of mid-year in the Sarasota-Manatee region, according to a new report from real estate researcher ATTOM Data Solutions.

While foreclosures nationwide were down during the first half of 2019, the local increase was not that unusual. Foreclosure starts were higher in four out of 10 metros across the country.

A total of 1,277 residential properties, or one in every 327 homes in the Sarasota-Manatee area, were in some stage of distress. That represents 0.31% of the housing units in the region.

Why use an agent to purchase a new home!

The advantages of having an agent help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home…

• Knowledge of the market

• Help in finding the perfect home quickly

• Expertise in contract writing/negotiation

• Closing assistance.

The builder has a professional representative watching out for his/her needs, and you need the same expert representation.

Buying a new home is a little more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale. A real estate agent can professionally guide you through this process.

It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you are entering into a contract for a semi-custom or build-to-suit home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exact in order to protect you and to ensure you get exactly the home you want!

REMEMBER – the Builder requires that your Agent accompany you on your first visit to the Builder’s sales office, or they will NOT PAY your representative’s fee!