VA Loans Insider Page 13

  • Bill Would Expand Foreclosure, SCRA Protections for Active Military

    Bill Would Expand Foreclosure, SCRA Protections for Active Military

    A group of four U.S. lawmakers want to expand the protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to help military homeowners better cope with the financial challenges of deployment. The legislation, known as the Servicemember Housing Protection Act, would amend the longstanding SCRA to provide more widespread protections against foreclosure and other civil obligations for active military and their f…

  • 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…

  • Real Estate Expert Jessi Hall: How to Make an Offer on Your Dream Home

    Real Estate Expert Jessi Hall: How to Make an Offer on Your Dream Home

    We've talked a lot about VA home loan eligibility, the importance of good credit and how to get prequalified for a mortgage. But that's only half the battle when it comes to getting your dream home. There's also that little matter of negotiating a contract with the seller. But how exactly do you do that? We talked with Veterans United Realty blogger Jessi Hall about the ins and outs of how to make an off…

  • More Evidence This is a Housing Market for the Record Books

    More Evidence This is a Housing Market for the Record Books

    A major housing index predicts home prices will fall nearly 1 percent more before the end of 2012, with a gradual climb to follow. Right now, though, it's a housing market perhaps unlike any other in modern memory. The Fiserv Case-Shiller index released Tuesday shows that a conventional monthly mortgage payment accounts for just 12 percent of median family income. That's the lowest percentage on record, which …

  • 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 …

  • HAP Program Helps Some Homeowners Hurt By Falling Home Values

    HAP Program Helps Some Homeowners Hurt By Falling Home Values

    For more than 40 years, the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) has compensated eligible military and civilian federal employees who saw their home values drop because of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision to close a nearby military installation. The program was temporarily expanded in 2009 to provide financial assistance to a wider audience in the wake of the financial crisis and housing market…

  • 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…

  • SCRA Protects Active Personnel From Foreclosure, Other Obligations

    SCRA Protects Active Personnel From Foreclosure, Other Obligations

    There seems to be no end to the sacrifices we expect from our military service members. They face hardship and danger, financial insecurity and separation from family, all in the name of duty and country.  When they return from serving all of us, they shouldn't also have to face sacrificing their homes. And yet more than 20,000 veterans, active duty service members and reservists lost their homes to for…