Last week we talked about continuing to educate yourself about the military. This week is a fun one to educate yourself on: the VA Home Loan. It’s very easy to obtain and will save you tons of money! If you are military and don’t know about the VA Loan then you’ve come to the right place!
Requirements: If you are active duty or an honorably discharged veteran then you are eligible for the VA Home Loan (if you did not receive an honorable discharge then you are not eligible for this loan…sorry! ).
You also must live in the home you purchase for at least a year. They will be checking your orders to be sure of this, so don’t think you can just tell them you’ll be there for a year if you’re not and think you’ll get away with it.Benefits: You will not be required to put anything down on the purchase of your home with the VA Loan. The way it works is that the VA guarantees the bank its money in case you default on your payments. What happens is if you foreclose then the VA will buy back your house from the bank you used and then will turn around and sell it. You will get to just walk away (I don’t recommend you default because it will greatly screw up your credit and it will be very very hard to fix it).
My favorite feature of the VA loan is that you can buy up to 5 houses, after you have lived in each one a year and have moved for each house. For example, lets say that you used the VA Loan to purchase your current loan and have lived in it for at least a year, but then Uncle Same decided to tell you to move to another state. You don’t want to sell your house because the market has made you upside down so you’d rather hold on to it and rent it out for the time being. No problem! Just move to the next state and you will be allowed to purchase a new house with the VA Loan again!
You cannot, however, buy a second house in the same state you bought any other house that you used the VA Loan for. For example, if you purchased a home using the VA Loan in Honolulu, Hawaii and have lived in it for over a year, you cannot buy a second home in the state of Hawaii with another VA Loan. Make sense?
How To Get The VA Loan: It’s very simple, really, and I don’t think I have to reinvent the wheel here. EHow has plenty of how-to’s regarding the military and the VA Loan is one of them.
What we did with our duplex was set up our VA Loan with USAA (which I don’t recommend! Working with USAA’s mortgage department was a NIGHTMARE!!!). Since our real estate agent and USAA were both very schooled in the VA Loan we didn’t have to do any further research. They simply did everything for us. I recommend you just find a great real estate agent who already knows all things military. It really does help.
Seasoned military people, Did I miss anything?