VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • 28 Must-Read VA Loan Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Home

    28 Must-Read VA Loan Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Home

    Buying a home using your VA loan benefits can be one of the most exciting transactions you'll ever make. But it can certainly come with moments of frustration and uncertainty. Maybe that's not entirely unsurprising when you're talking about a six-figure purchase. The highs and lows of the homebuying process are often amplified for first-time homebuyers. There's a whole new language littered with strange acronyms like…

  • Here's the Easiest Way to Have a Seller Pay Your Closing Costs

    Here’s the Easiest Way to Have a Seller Pay Your Closing Costs

    When the time comes to make an offer on your dream home, asking the seller to pay your closing costs can almost seem like you're tempting fate. Not only are you hoping to get a great deal on the purchase price, but you're also expecting the person to cover some or all of the up-front expenses that come with getting a mortgage. The fear is that you'll spook the seller and wind up losing out on a property you love. …

  • How Compensating Factors Can Boost Your Chances of Securing a VA Home Loan

    How Compensating Factors Can Boost Your Chances of Securing a VA Home Loan

    VA lenders take a long, hard look at a prospective borrower’s credit, debt and income when evaluating a loan application. There isn’t a credit score requirement to participate in the VA loan program. But many lenders want to see a score of at least 620 in the current climate before moving forward. On top of that, prospective borrowers have to meet VA standards regarding their debt-to-income ratio and th…

  • How to Start the VA Home Loan Process

    How to Start the VA Home Loan Process

    Deciding you're ready to start seriously considering a home purchase is a great feeling. But there's almost always an undercurrent of fear and uncertainty, which only feels natural, right? For most people this is the single largest purchase they'll ever make. The time to start your VA loan is now. But one of the first questions people have is: How and where do I start? I've written before about the chick…

  • A Closer Look at VA Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

    A Closer Look at VA Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

    You haven’t heard much about adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) the last few years, and what you did hear probably wasn’t flattering. But a  can actually make good financial sense for some military borrowers, especially those still serving in the Armed Forces. The key is finding the right loan at the right time. What is a VA Adjustable Rate Mortgage? A VA ARM is a VA loan with an interest rate that periodic…

  • Note to Home Sellers: Leaving Out VA Borrowers is Your Loss

    Note to Home Sellers: Leaving Out VA Borrowers is Your Loss

    Home sellers, weary of the VA appraisal process, can be steered away from VA borrowers in some parts of the country, making it difficult for qualified veterans to use their hard-earned home loan benefits. Some sellers and agents think they can find better-qualified borrowers than those with VA loans. Others are happy to help veterans but worry that the VA loan process will be filled with delays and red tape. U…

  • Closing Costs v. Concessions on a VA Home Loan

    Closing Costs v. Concessions on a VA Home Loan

    VA loans come with a host of big-time benefits. The biggest one is unquestionably the ability of qualified borrowers to purchase with no down payment — and there are plenty more advantages as well. But the way the VA approaches closing costs might be a close second. Every mortgage comes with closing costs (even those advertised as "no closing cost" loans). A home loan is a product, and like any kind of good or s…

  • Purchase Peace of Mind With a Home Inspection

    Purchase Peace of Mind With a Home Inspection

    The VA's appraisal process often gets a bad rap. Sellers, real estate agents and even some veterans bemoan what they see as a nit-picky process hung up on small details. The reality is the VA appraisal process is one of the big reasons VA home loans are the safest mortgage product on the market. Beyond establishing a property's value, the VA appraisal evaluates health and safety conditions that could impact ve…

  • VA Loan Pros and Cons

    VA Loan Pros and Cons

    VA loans are becoming increasingly attractive home financing options for military borrowers faced with tough credit and down payment requirements. These flexible loans, which come with some significant financial benefits, are at an all-time high in terms of average loan amount and guaranty amount. More than 740,000 military borrowers obtained a VA-backed loan in 2017, and the program's growth is likely to contin…

  • 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…