VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • VA Loan Live Hangout, Sept. 26, 2013

    VA Loan Live Hangout, Sept. 26, 2013

    Here's a transcript of the VA Loan Live Hangout from Sept. 26, 2013. Chris: Hello. It's Chris Birk here from Veteran United Home Loans. Welcome to the latest edition of VA Loan Live, our weekly VA Loan chat. As always, I'm joined by our senior home buying and mortgage writer Sam Reeves (NMLS #: 957799). Sam, thanks for joining us. Sam: Yes. Thank you. Chris: And back in the Loan Officer hot seat is…

  • Don’t Let Your Commute Drive Down Your Purchasing Power

    Don’t Let Your Commute Drive Down Your Purchasing Power

    When it comes to hunting for your dream home, here's one more reason to keep location in mind: Your new drive to the office could wind up costing you. Close to 600,000 full-time workers have a commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles, according to U.S. Census data. VA mortgage lenders will want to consider commuting expenses if you're driving more than a certain number of miles to work each day. Fuel and mai…

  • Do I Qualify for a VA Home Loan?

    "Do I qualify for the VA home loan program?" If it isn't the Question of All Questions when it comes to VA mortgages, it's close. Seems like such a simple one, right? The reality is this isn't a "Yes or No" question, at least if you're looking for a thoughtful answer. In fact, you may not know it, but you're actually asking two questions here, and that's at the root of why this isn't black-and-white. What w…

  • VA Homebuyers and Income-Producing Properties

    Update: Our policy guidelines recently changed regarding properties with income-producing attributes. Generally, Veterans United will now loan on properties with income-producing attributes as long as the appraisal doesn't indicate the "highest and best" use of the property is commercial/business in nature. There can't be any marketability concerns with the property, either. Talk with a Veterans United loan offic…

  • Getting a VA Mortgage When You’re Within 12 Months of ETS

    Contrary to some lingering misconceptions, the VA home loan program isn't just open to veterans who've rejoined the civilian world. The reality is thousands of active military members use their VA mortgage benefits every year. In fact, about 30 percent of all VA borrowers are currently serving in the military. Purchasing while still wearing the uniform isn't typically a complicated process. But one circumstanc…

  • Explaining Escrow: What VA Homebuyers Need to Know

    Explaining Escrow: What VA Homebuyers Need to Know

    First-time VA homebuyers run into a lot of new words and phrases as they begin the purchase process. One of the most unfamiliar is "escrow," a concept that many people don't encounter outside the mortgage industry. But it's an important part of the closing process that veterans should understand from the outset. So what is escrow? Escrow is basically depositing money with one entity who will deliver it to anot…

  • The Coolest VA Loan Process Graphic You'll Ever See

    The Coolest VA Loan Process Graphic You’ll Ever See

    The VA loan process can be confusing for first-time homebuyers. The VA loan specialists at Veterans United do a great job of breaking down each step and detailing what prospective VA borrowers should expect. Sometimes it helps to step back and get a holistic view of the lending landscape, from the first steps to the day you close on the loan and pick up the keys to your dream home. One of our talented graphic desi…

  • 4 Steps and a Helpful Calculator for Estimating Your VA Loan Purchasing Power

    4 Steps and a Helpful Calculator for Estimating Your VA Loan Purchasing Power

    A lot of questions start swirling around your brain once you decide it's time to pursue the dream of homeownership. That's certainly normal, especially for first-time homebuyers, who are about to embark on an exciting-yet-unknown journey. One of the biggest questions -- and the first for many prospective VA homebuyers -- is mixed with awe and uncertainty: How much house can I buy? It's an important question, a…

  • My Loan Requires Manual Underwriting -- What Does That Mean?

    My Loan Requires Manual Underwriting — What Does That Mean?

    One of the biggest benefits of the VA loan program is that veterans who've hit a rough financial patch can still qualify for a mortgage. But lenders may need to take a closer look to try and ensure you can handle the responsibility of a monthly mortgage payment. In these cases, you may hear a loan specialist say that your loan will need a "manual underwrite" or to be "manually underwritten." The first question…

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

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

    A recent headline at About.com caught my attention: "Why VA Home Buyers Have a Hard Time." The short piece from homebuying/selling guide Elizabeth Weintraub raises an important issue. It also presents an opportunity to address some myths and misconceptions about this increasingly important home loan program. (Full disclosure: I've written for Elizabeth at About.com, and she actually links to an article of mine…