Getting a VA Loan VA Loans Insider

  • A Simple Explanation of Second-Tier Entitlement on VA Mortgages

    A Simple Explanation of Second-Tier Entitlement on VA Mortgages

    There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about the VA loan program. Two of the most common are rooted in the concept of VA entitlement, which is basically the amount of money the VA pledges to guarantee in the event of borrower default. So let's get this out of the way at the outset: The VA allows veterans to have two VA loans at the same time in some situations. It's actually possible to have more t…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • Understanding the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements

    Understanding the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements

    When it comes to buying a home, you have your list of requirements: number of bedrooms, full basement, stainless steel appliances and probably scores of others. The VA also has a list of requirements for a home. But its list is centered on protecting the buyer against unexpected, and usually expensive, surprises. The Department of Veterans Affairs utilizes a series of Minimum Property Requirements, or MPRs, tha…

  • Pulling Back the Curtain on VA Home Loan Closing Costs

    Pulling Back the Curtain on VA Home Loan Closing Costs

    No matter which side of the homebuying equation you're on, nobody likes closing costs. These are costs and fees associated with procuring and finalizing a home purchase or refinance, and most of them must be paid before you get the keys to your dream home. But the VA mortgage program does an exceptional job of limiting what veterans can pay in closing costs. That cost consciousness is a benefit designed to help ma…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • 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 …