VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • 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,…

  • How Much is the VA Funding Fee?

    How Much is the VA Funding Fee?

    Home ownership is a priority for many U.S. veterans and the incredible benefits of the VA Loan Program are helping thousands of service members achieve this goal. VA loans are one of just two no-down payment loan programs available today. Credit and income requirements are generally more lenient with VA loans than conventional mortgages, and the VA caps what veterans can pay in costs and fees. But there…

  • 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…

  • 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. …

  • 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…

  • When's the Best Time to Lock the Interest Rate on Your VA Loan?

    When’s the Best Time to Lock the Interest Rate on Your VA Loan?

    Cliche and salesy as it might often sound, mortgage interest rates really can change constantly. So many uncertain, uncontrollable things — chiefly socioeconomic and political factors — help shape the markets that determine rates. Tools like the Veterans United VA home loan calculator can help you work out finances. Invariably, though, there's one question that dominates this entire discussion, no matt…

  • 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 …