Getting a VA Loan VA Loans Insider

  • Fulfilling the Occupancy Requirement for VA Home Loans

    Fulfilling the Occupancy Requirement for VA Home Loans

    VA loans help veterans and service members achieve the dream of homeownership. This isn't a financing vehicle for purchasing investment properties, vacation homes or anything other than your primary residence, be it a single-family home, a condo, a multiunit property or other suitable structure. To help retain that focus, the VA has occupancy requirements in place that borrowers need to satisfy in order to close …

  • How to Refinance a Conventional Mortgage into a VA Loan

    How to Refinance a Conventional Mortgage into a VA Loan

    It comes as a surprise to some, but one of the myriad benefits of VA loans is that qualified veterans with non-VA home mortgages can refinance into a VA loan and reap the program's benefits. The VA Cash-Out refinance is the only way to make it happen. Conventional to Cash-Out The Cash-Out refinance is one of the VA's two refinance options. The other, the VA Streamline, is an interest rate reduction loan that…

  • What a $250,000 Mortgage Can Cost You

    What a $250,000 Mortgage Can Cost You

    There’s no automatic “best” when it comes to home loans. When you’re shopping for a mortgage, you’ll find that there are pros and cons to each mortgage type, as well as financial trade-offs that depend on your specific situation. Credit, income and assets certainly come into play when assessing mortgages, but the best product for you can depend on a number of variables. A family looking to purchase a vac…

  • Here's How Your Disability Rating Affects Your VA Home Loan Benefit

    Here’s How Your Disability Rating Affects Your VA Home Loan Benefit

    Every month or two, I'll come across this question or a slight variation of it: "Does a disabled veteran qualify for a VA home loan?" It's a trickier question than it might first appear. Military borrowers have multiple requirements to hit in order to fully qualify for a VA home loan, from meeting the service standards and a lender's credit score minimum to residual income and acceptable debt-to-income ratio. But …

  • Restoration of Entitlement: How to Reuse Your VA Loan Benefit in Full

    Restoration of Entitlement: How to Reuse Your VA Loan Benefit in Full

    A VA entitlement is a financial guaranty from the government, which pledges to repay a portion of your home mortgage in the event of default. Your entitlement is a specific dollar amount. Because first-time home buyers have yet to utilize their benefit, 100 percent of their entitlement remains on their Certificate of Eligibility, which stands to reason, seeing they have yet to utilize their benefit. But b…

  • Get a VA-Savvy Real Estate Agent in Your Corner

    Get a VA-Savvy Real Estate Agent in Your Corner

    All real estate agents aren’t created equal. It might not matter too much if you’re purchasing with a conventional, run-of-the-mill loan. But the VA loan is a unique tool that demands specialized knowledge. The VA requires a home to be in good repair. Condos and homes that are part of an association must meet department approval. Private wells, septic systems, termite inspections and shared maintenance …

  • Comparing VA Loans to Conventional, FHA and USDA Finance Options

    Comparing VA Loans to Conventional, FHA and USDA Finance Options

    For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans are the most powerful and cost-effective mortgage program on the market. These government-backed loans come with significant financial benefits that help veterans purchase with no money down and no out-of-pocket spending up front — and plenty more benefits for America's heroes. But there are certainly times when a VA loan isn't the best answer. For example…

  • Explaining VA Entitlement: What You've Earned and Why It's Important

    Explaining VA Entitlement: What You’ve Earned and Why It’s Important

    The concept of VA entitlement is often a confusing one. You can think of it as something you're entitled to given your service to our nation. This is certainly a hard-earned and well-deserved benefit. But that's not what it really means, at least in practical terms. Veterans who are eligible for a VA loan have an entitlement, which is basically a dollar amount the VA promises to repay back to a lender in the ev…

  • How to Rent Your Old House and Use the Income for a New VA Loan

    How to Rent Your Old House and Use the Income for a New VA Loan

    Military life is so often spent on the move. That can make homeownership tricky for some military buyers, if not downright treacherous. Having to PCS to Fort Riley three or four years after buying a home near Fort Campbell can put military families in a financial bind. Home values have plummeted in dozens of markets across the country. Military homeowners faced with relocation may owe far more on their house t…

  • Specially Adapted Housing Grants Help Disabled Vets Retrofit Properties

    Specially Adapted Housing Grants Help Disabled Vets Retrofit Properties

    Disabled veterans can face unique challenges. Acquiring accessible housing shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why the Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant to help disabled veterans offset the cost of specially adapted housing. To be eligible for this grant, the VA requires a veteran to be entitled to or currently …