VA Loans and Mortgages Future Military Homeowners

  • Bidding Wars: What Escalation Clauses Mean For VA Borrowers

    Bidding Wars: What Escalation Clauses Mean For VA Borrowers

    Across the country, real estate markets are booming. According to the National Association of Realtors existing home prices in April were up 11 percent when compared with a year ago. Rising home prices are good news in most households. Many borrowers who were once underwater now have equity simply because home prices have risen overall. Not only that, in some cases, those who want to sell can now find a welcoming …

  • Why are Fixed Rate Mortgages Beating ARMs?

    Why are Fixed Rate Mortgages Beating ARMs?

    Usually when we think of mortgage rates they have a certain order: the interest level for fixed rate loans is higher than the interest level for adjustable-rate mortgages. While this is a general rule there are exceptions, including the rates seen last week. According to Freddie Mac, home loan rates looked like this: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.8 points. …

  • New VA Mortgage Settlement Raises Big Foreclosure Questions

    New VA Mortgage Settlement Raises Big Foreclosure Questions

    The Justice Department has just announced a $39 million settlement to resolve allegations of wrongful foreclosures against vets and military families. The government says that "under its 2011 settlements with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and Saxon Mortgage Servicing Inc., a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, 316 service members whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon bet…

  • What You Need to Know About the Jumpstart GSE Act

    What You Need to Know About the Jumpstart GSE Act

    Not long ago Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011. Under this legislation payroll taxes were reduced by 2 percent for a short time but the mortgage guarantee fees (g-fees) charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lenders were increased by .1 percent. While the payroll tax provision has ended and paychecks are now smaller, that "little" .1 percent g-fee increase continues and -- …

  • Are VA Benefits Vulnerable In Washington?

    Are VA Benefits Vulnerable In Washington?

    When 2012 ended, everyone celebrated 2013 with some joy because a planned government shutdown on Jan. 2 was averted. Unlike a natural disaster, the looming threat of a sudden decline in government spending was not a surprise. It had actually been worked out by Congress in legislation passed last August to create a process called “sequestration.” Under this plan, there would be huge, automatic and instant spend…

  • VA Loan Terms Stop at 30 Years. Here's Why

    VA Loan Terms Stop at 30 Years. Here’s Why

    You can get a VA loan for 30 years, and you can get a VA mortgage for 15 years, but you can't get VA financing for 40 years. What's up with that? Until the past few days, you might have gotten a non-VA mortgage with a 40-year-term, but that's no longer possible under new rules just issued by the federal government. From this point forward, the longest new home mortgage is effectively limited to 30 years. It's n…

  • What Does the Fiscal Cliff Deal Mean fo VA Borrowers?

    What Does the Fiscal Cliff Deal Mean fo VA Borrowers?

    After months of debate and political jousting, the fiscal cliff debate has now ended, and the results look like this. First, from a real estate and mortgage perspective, VA and military families did well. Second, the debates aren't over. For the typical household with a VA loan, the debate results found in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) look like this: The Mortgage Interest Deduc…

  • Why 2012 Was A Great Year For VA Borrowers

    Why 2012 Was A Great Year For VA Borrowers

    For millions of people across the country, 2012 was a better year in terms of mortgages and real estate. In general home prices were up, mortgage rates were the lowest in years, and when the final numbers are in it may be that more than 5 million homes were sold. In terms of mortgages for VA borrowers, there were several highlights. In August, president Obama signed the “Honoring America's Veterans an…

  • Why Cash is King in VA Loans

    Why Cash is King in VA Loans

    One of the great curiosities of the VA loan program is that you can get a mortgage with little or no cash. The VA allows lenders to make loans with no money down, a huge cash savings for qualified borrowers. In the usual case VA borrowers only need cash for closing costs and points or any difference between the loan amount and the purchase price. VA loans without cash are a practical reality in situations where a …

  • Why Military Families Get More Mortgages

    Why Military Families Get More Mortgages

    The 2012 FHA annual report is out and it says there are a lot of VA loans. Actually, it doesn't "say" any such thing, but if you read between the lines, that's the plain message. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the FHA insured 2,575,653 loans; that's 27.2 percent of the market. The report also says that the VA guaranteed 7.4 of all new loans during the same period, or roughly 700,000 mortgages. …