VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • What You Can (and Cannot) Do With Your VA Loan

    What You Can (and Cannot) Do With Your VA Loan

    America owes much to her veterans, who put their lives on the line for their country. It’s a debt that cannot possibly be repaid. But it can be appreciated in a tangible way, which is why we, as a nation, created the VA mortgage program. This is an amazing program that has allowed more than 22 million veterans and active military families to purchase a home since 1944. VA mortgages come with no …

  • Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

    Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

    VA borrowers are expected to live in the properties they purchase. Sounds like a novel concept, right? But the issue of occupancy is important, not to mention often confusing, especially for first-time home buyers. These flexible, government-backed homes can’t be used to purchase investment properties or vacation homes, but the VA loan advantages are staggering. VA loans are for primary residences,…

  • What VA Borrowers Need to Know About Foreclosure After Bankruptcy

    What VA Borrowers Need to Know About Foreclosure After Bankruptcy

    One of the most consistently confusing situations for prospective homebuyers and lenders alike involves the thorny issues surrounding bankruptcy, foreclosure and the status of your mortgage. Distressed homeowners may file for bankruptcy protection. Some want to keep their houses, others seek to have their mortgage debt discharged in the bankruptcy. Sometimes months or even years later the house is foreclosed upon.…

  • Getting Your Certificate of Eligibility: Let a Lender Do the Heavy Lifting

    Getting Your Certificate of Eligibility: Let a Lender Do the Heavy Lifting

    Even if you're positive you meet the VA loan eligibility requirements, there's only one way to be certain you have access to VA home loan benefits: Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility. This is where the VA separates belief from reality. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is an official document that basically attests to your right to participate in the VA Loan Guaranty program. There are multiple ways …

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Understanding Clear to Close for VA Buyers

    Understanding Clear to Close for VA Buyers

    You’ve worked with your loan officer and the day you’ve been working toward has arrived. He says the magical words, “Your loan is clear to close.” But now, you wonder, what’s next? From the moment your loan receives approval by an underwriter a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders, but you aren’t quite finished. This guide will outline each step of the process from the moment you receive the “cl…

  • 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 …

  • Buying During a Deployment: Power of Attorney and VA Loans

    Buying During a Deployment: Power of Attorney and VA Loans

    When it comes to achieving the dream of homeownership, active duty military members don’t have to miss out because they’re proudly serving our nation abroad. Service members who are deployed to other parts of the world can purchase a home without actually being in the country, let alone doing a walk-through. The key is Power of Attorney. Using POA Most military personnel and family members are at lea…

  • Debunking the Myth That VA Home Loans Cost More

    Debunking the Myth That VA Home Loans Cost More

    You could fill a book with all of the myths and misconceptions surrounding VA home loans. One of the most persistent is the belief that VA loans inherently cost more than other types of mortgages. Whether it's because of the $0 down benefit, or the fact that there's no mortgage insurance, or that it's a government-backed loan, there's a pervasive sense that veterans will either pay more to get a VA loan or pay mor…