A lot of questions start swirling around your brain once you decide it’s time to pursue the dream of homeownership. That’s certainly normal, especially for first-time homebuyers, who are about to embark on an exciting-yet-unknown journey.
One of the biggest questions — and the first for many prospective VA homebuyers — is mixed with awe and uncertainty: How much house can I buy? It’s an important question, and one whose answer will vary from person to person. But it’s only natural to start by trying to gauge what kind of loan amount you might qualify for and what kind of homes are in your price range.
There are several ways to go about getting a sense of your purchasing power. Even a broad estimate before you really start the homebuying journey can help set realistic expectations and swiftly guide you to properties that make sense for your budget and your buying power. This is where a good VA mortgage calculator can come in handy. See More
One of the biggest benefits of the VA loan program is that veterans who’ve hit a rough financial patch can still qualify for a mortgage. But lenders may need to take a closer look to try and ensure you can handle the responsibility of a monthly mortgage payment.
In these cases, you may hear a loan specialist say that your loan will need a “manual underwrite” or to be “manually underwritten.” The first question in the minds of many prospective borrowers is: What exactly does that mean, and how does it differ from the standard underwriting process? See More
A recent headline at About.com caught my attention: “Why VA Home Buyers Have a Hard Time.”
The short piece from homebuying/selling guide Elizabeth Weintraub raises an important issue. It also presents an opportunity to address some myths and misconceptions about this increasingly important home loan program. (Full disclosure: I’ve written for Elizabeth at About.com, and she actually links to an article of mine in the post.)
Federal tax liens are a serious business. But they don’t necessarily have to derail your VA home purchasing plans.
The Internal Revenue Service can put a federal tax lien on your residential or business property, your assets and other important considerations if you’ve neglected or simply failed to pay a tax debt. The lien, which helps safeguard the government’s financial interest, can attach to your property, your vehicles and any other assets, including those you’ve yet to accrue.
These can also be a real obstacle to securing a VA home loan. Along with attaching to your assets, a tax lien can hamper your overall ability to get credit. These can even stick with you after a bankruptcy. The IRS can ultimately take your property to resolve the tax debt if you don’t repay it or at least make plans to, and that’s a scary proposition for mortgage lenders.
So does having a tax lien mean there’s no way you can obtain a VA loan?
Not exactly. Let’s take a look at the fine print. See More
We’ve long believed that educated homebuyers are stronger homebuyers. For many veterans and military members a home represents the biggest purchase of their lives. Understanding the homebuying process, the advantages of VA loans and the potential pitfalls out there can ensure military buyers save time and money and maximize their hard-earned benefits.
A recent survey from real estate website Zillow illustrates why continued education and awareness is so critical.
Homebuyers didn’t know the answer to a third of the basic mortgage and homebuying questions presented to them during a Zillow Mortgage Marketplace survey. Current and prospective homeowners were misinformed on a variety of topics, from down payments and interest rates to lender fees and refinance. See More