VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • 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…

  • Can VA Buyers Borrow More Than a Home Is Worth?

    Can VA Buyers Borrow More Than a Home Is Worth?

    It's tough to find a home in mint condition, unless you're buying sparkling, brand new construction. There's often a host of upgrades, fixes or improvements that prospective homebuyers envision making once that property is all theirs. Many first-time homebuyers expect to be able to build the cost of those improvements and upgrades into their new home loan. Unfortunately, making that work in practice is tough with …

  • 5 Things That Can Hamper Your VA Loan

    5 Things That Can Hamper Your VA Loan

    Despite the reams of documents and sophisticated computer programs, home lending is ultimately a business comprised of human beings. That means there’s always a chance for something to go wrong, even though the VA loan process isn’t more difficult than any other loan type. In fact, VA loans continue to be more likely to close than their conventional counterparts. Simple mistakes, oversights and paperwo…

  • Explaining the VA’s Standard for Debt-to-Income Ratio

    Explaining the VA’s Standard for Debt-to-Income Ratio

    When applying for a VA home loan, borrowers hear a lot about something called debt-to-income ratio. Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is an underwriting guideline that compares a borrower’s monthly debt payments to gross monthly income and helps lenders determine if you meet VA loan qualifications. VA lenders look for a DTI of 41 percent but evaluate it a bit differently than the other major lending avenues (FHA, U…

  • Using a VA Loan for Manufactured or Modular Housing

    Using a VA Loan for Manufactured or Modular Housing

    Out of the gate, it's incredibly important to make this distinction: Modular homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing, at least as far as the VA home loan program is concerned. The VA loan offers many advantages that make homebuying easier and less expensive for veterans. Regardless of the home you choose, now is the time to get started on your VA home loan application. Manufactured homes are mobile …