Home buying tips for veterans
The home buying process can be overwhelming and stressful, especially for veterans. A veteran’s home purchase procedure is unique, mainly if they qualify for the various military benefits. This can help you save money and increase your loan qualification chances. This article outlines five home buying tips for veterans.
1. Understand the VA loans
VA loans help veterans purchase homes even when they might not qualify for conventional loans. These loans are given by private lenders like Military Home Spot Lending. However, they are supported by the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, letting veteran homebuyers secure reduced interest rates, buy homes without a down payment, and qualify for costlier homes.
As a veteran, you can qualify for a VA loan even with a lower credit score and income than needed for a conventional loan. Considering VA guarantees over 20% of the loan, acquiring a VA loan helps you avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) payments. To qualify for a VA loan, you should first get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). To be eligible for a VA loan, you must have:
- Completed 90 days of active duty service
- Served 181 active service days during peacetime
- Been an active Reserves or National Guard member for at least six years
- Been married to a service member who passed away in the line of duty or due to a service-related disability
- 90 days of cumulative service under Title 10 and 32, but at least 30 days of the Title 32 service must have been consecutive
You can get a COE form from your lender to apply for the loan. You’ll be expected to provide supporting documents.
2. Look for a VA-experienced real estate agent
Purchasing homes with VA loans require specific criteria to be met. Since you might not be able to keep track of the requirements to be met, hiring a VA-experienced real estate agent can help put your mind to rest because these professionals are well equipped to sift through every detail to help you get the home of your dreams.
3. Consider the buying season
Real estate prices are constantly fluctuating. However, the best purchase season is during the buyer’s market when the supply of homes is higher than the demand. Prices are lower due to increased supply. Homes are likely to remain unsold, and housing surplus may slow increasing prices and even result in reductions. Buyers also have more choices and negotiation leverage. If you buy a home during the seller’s market, there’ll be more buyers than available homes, resulting in increased prices.
4. Consider VA loan closing costs
While VA loans may reduce the home-buying costs while avoiding a down payment, don’t forget the closing costs. Including non-allowable fees, limited origination fees, VA funding fees, VA appraisal fees, and discount points. Your real estate agent can help you understand these costs better, so consult them.
5. Look for a suitable home
Creating a budget and being aware of the features you want in a home helps narrow down your options and makes it easy to find the right home within your price range.
A veteran may find it challenging to look for the right home. Using these tips, you can find your dream home.