Getting a VA Loan VA Loans Insider

  • Your VA Loan Questions Answered

    Your VA Loan Questions Answered

    With its no-down payment option and flexible-yet-safe standards, the VA loan program is arguably the most powerful on the market. Last year alone, more than 357,000 people utilized this flexible loan and took advantage of the benefits earned by their service. VA loans are more critical than ever. But there's still a lot of confusion, uncertainty and mythology surrounding this nearly 70-year-old program. That's…

  • How to Adjust When Your DTI Ratio is Too High

    How to Adjust When Your DTI Ratio is Too High

    A healthy balance of debt and income represents one of the keys to securing a VA home loan. Debt-to-income ratio, or DTI ratio, is one of those crucial financial metrics for mortgage lenders. This is a ratio of your major monthly debts (student loan payments, car payments, mortgage payment) to your gross monthly income, and it's something that both the VA and lenders take seriously. The VA wants borrowers to h…

  • What to Look For When Buying a Home: The Kitchen Checklist

    What to Look For When Buying a Home: The Kitchen Checklist

    “A great kitchen will sell a home.” Real estate mantra As the emotional center of many homes, the kitchen can either be a deal-maker or deal-breaker. That goes for resale as well, so it’s an extremely important room to carefully evaluate. Whether you’re a novice house hunter or a repeat buyer, it’s essential to know how to assess a home’s kitchen. In our latest Q-and-A post, Veterans United Re…

  • Loan Preapproval is Not a Guarantee

    Loan Preapproval is Not a Guarantee

    Mortgages and homebuying are fields that can get confusing in a hurry. There's an array of acronyms, jargon and technical terms that can prove difficult to cut through in the search for simple understanding. If you're confused, let us help you through the process of getting your dream home. Off the bat, you might not think the concept of loan preapproval would fall into that category. It sounds clear enough…

  • Should You Talk to a Lender First or a Real Estate Agent?

    Should You Talk to a Lender First or a Real Estate Agent?

    First, I wanted to thank my friend Jessi Hall for our recent Q-and-A on how to make an offer on your dream home. She's a great resource, and we're planning to do some live video chats with the VA Loans Insider community soon. I'll keep you posted. I keep thinking about a question I should have asked Jessi but didn't: When you're ready to start the VA home loan process, should you first find a real agent and st…

  • Prospective VA Borrowers May Need to Meet Local Property Requirements

    Prospective VA Borrowers May Need to Meet Local Property Requirements

    We've talked about the VA's Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) multiple times at VA Loans Insider. These health, safety and structure standards represent the second piece of the VA appraisal process. The minimum property requirements cover everything from termites and roofs to heating systems and water quality and much more. Homes must meet the MPRs in order to secure a financial guaranty from the Departme…

  • 5 Reasons to Buy a Home This Spring

    5 Reasons to Buy a Home This Spring

    Spring warmth is back, and so is the green that comes with it. Grass, flowers and trees will soon bloom and shake off the winter's grip. Pleasant spring weather also brings new energy to the housing market. The spring selling season is a busy time for home sales, as potential buyers emerge from hibernation and more homes go on the market. Ready to spring into homeownership? Consider these five great reasons to …

  • What Happens When Your Spouse Has Bad Credit

    What Happens When Your Spouse Has Bad Credit

    This could really be just a five-word post: You don't get the loan. But let's provide a little more background and help before calling it a night. Most married couples pursue a VA home loan together, with each obliged on the mortgage note. There are a host of reasons why, but one of the simplest is that a husband or wife may not have enough income to purchase the home of their dreams on his or her own. Adding…

  • How Lenders Can Approach Appraisals and VA Refinance Loans

    How Lenders Can Approach Appraisals and VA Refinance Loans

    We've seen some questions and confusion recently about appraisals and VA refinance loans. The uncertainty is usually because of that gray area between what the VA requires (or doesn't) and what lenders want to see. The VA has two major refinance options. There's the Streamline, or the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), and the Cash-Out Refinance. The first one allows qualified homeowners with an e…

  • Let’s Make a Deal: Seller Concessions on a VA Loan

    Let’s Make a Deal: Seller Concessions on a VA Loan

    When it comes to the current housing market, the buyers are in charge. Sellers often make concessions to sweeten the deal, which is allowed when you’re buying property with a VA loan. Think of a seller concession as a gift of sorts—something of value that the seller offers to bring a buyer to a final offer.  The Department of Veterans Affairs define them as “anything of value added to the transaction…