When I was deployed in Iraq in 2005, I had the unique opportunity to become a first time homeowner. My wife had a family friend who was ready to sell his home at a good price and asked if we were interested. It was the perfect starter home at a price that we couldn't resist. The only obstacle – I was in Baghdad.
Luckily, a local mortgage broker was able to assist us that was versed on VA loans which I obviously qualified for. After mailing forms to be signed literally across the world, we were homeowners.
The following guest post is from the VA Mortgage Center which outlines the basics of the VA loans.
Trying to buy a home isn't always an easy task – especially in this economic climate.
For military members, buying a home is especially difficult due to the restraints of service, which often make establishing a strong financial foundation hard.
However, being in the military doesn't mean that interested homebuyers have to postpone their dream. The VA Home Loan program is an excellent option for military members, and can help many achieve the dream of homeownership.
The VA Home Loan program was established by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide an affordable way to purchase a home for veterans and active duty service members. The program has helped over 19 million military members purchase a home to date by offering government-backed loans to eligible borrowers.
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Why Should I Choose a VA Home Loan?
With traditional lending, all responsibility for a home loan falls on the lender should the borrower default on their loan. This greatly deters lenders from giving those seeking home loans additional benefits for fear of losing extra money. Because the Department of Veterans Affairs backs each VA loan, VA-approved lenders are more willing to provide borrowers with money saving benefits. In addition to flexible loan terms and low interest rates, military members can also expect the following when they choose a VA home loan:
- High loan limits
- Zero down payment
- No mortgage insurance required
- Low funding fees
Am I Eligible?
If you served in any branch of the military, there is a good chance that you are eligible for a VA Home Loan. The program has incredibly lenient eligibility requirements, and to become eligible for a loan, military members must:
- Submit their Certificate of Eligibility AND
- Have served on active duty either 181 days during peacetime or 90 during conflict, OR
- Have served in the National Guard or Reserves for 6 years
The VA Home Loan is often the number one choice for military members as it is especially designed to meet the needs of veterans and active duty service members and their families. Although the VA Home Loan program has no specific credit or income limitations, approved lenders will often require a credit score of 620 or higher to approve funding. If a military member is interested in obtaining a loan, or needs to know how can I get a loan, but feels as though they may be ineligible, they are still encouraged to contact a VA Loan Specialist.
Matt Puettmann is an Account Manager at the VA Mortgage Center .com, the nation’s number one dedicated VA lender.