There are various home loan options available for eager buyers looking for the perfect home. But if you're a spouse in a military family, a VA loan may be a great option. VA loans offer a variety of advantages, but many military families aren't aware of all of what these loans have to offer.
With that said, if you're a spouse in a military family and ready to purchase a home, read on to learn everything you need to know about VA loans to help you make the best decision.
What Are VA Loans?
A VA loan is one type of mortgage option issued by a private mortgage lender and partially guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. These loans are designed for service members, veterans, and surviving spouses. A VA loan is a common path for military families as it offers a great alternative to other home loan options and offers a lot of unique benefits when obtaining a home mortgage.
Each private lender will have its own requirements in regards to qualifying. But there are general requirements that you will need to meet to qualify. You and your spouse will need to meet at least one of the following:
- You or your spouse served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
- You or your spouse served 90 consecutive days of active duty during wartime.
- You or your spouse have served more than 6 years of service with either the National Guard or the Reserves or have served 90 days under Title 32 with at least 30 days being consecutive.
How to Obtain a VA Loan
It's important to keep in mind that VA loans work slightly differently from conventional loans. The VA does not originate loans but they back a certain amount of the loan against default. This is what allows lenders to offer $0 down financing and flexible rates and terms, which gives VA loans a great advantage over other loans.
With that said, the process of obtaining a VA loan is similar to the conventional process. The process includes:
- Get Pre-Qualified: Qualify with a VA lender to determine how much home you can afford.
- Get Pre-Approved: In the pre-approval process, the lender will verify your income and other financial information. This letter is an important step that shows the seller you're serious.
- Put in an Offer: Once you find the right home, it's time to put an offer on it.
- VA Appraisal and Underwriting: Once you're under contract, you will go through the appraisal and underwriting period. The appraisal ensures the home meets the fair market value and the underwriting period takes a closer look at your income and other financial information.
- Close: Sign all legal documents and paperwork.
Benefits of a VA Loan
Choosing a VA loan offers great advantages for military families. Let's take a look at a few benefits to consider.
No Down Payment
Most loan programs require some sort of down payment, which can be difficult if you don't have a lot of cash in reserves. But a VA loan allows you to put $0 down on your home purchase. This is an excellent advantage, especially if you want to spend money on other areas of the home, such as furniture.
No Mortgage Insurance
Another benefit of VA loans is that you won't have any mortgage insurance. Typically, homebuyers who don't put at least 20% down on their home will have mortgage insurance. But even with $0 down, you can avoid this additional cost.
VA Loans Offer Great Flexibility
If you're looking for a flexible home loan option, a VA loan is a great option. Homebuyers can choose a fixed or adjustable rate for their convenience. In addition to this, VA loans can be used for a variety of properties, such as condos, new construction, duplexes, and more.
Are you in a military family and want to purchase a home? Your dream home is just a few steps away. Reach out to First Savings Mortgage Corporation Loan Officers to discuss your options and determine which loan option will be right for your needs.