By Carla Olivo
Last year alone over 700,000 home loans were guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. Since this veteran benefit was created more than 70 years ago, some 22 million veterans have taken advantage of all the VA Home Loan has to offer.
Zero $$$$ Down!
There are many benefits to purchasing a home using the VA Home Loan program. One of the most popular and widely known is that you can get a home loan with no money down. It often takes people years of saving to get the required down payment when using a traditional home loan. This benefit alone can make the difference in whether someone can become a homeowner or is left waiting for that elusive “when the time is right.”
Not having to purchase mortgage insurance is another huge upside to using a VA home loan. Private mortgage insurance or PMI typically costs between .05% and .01% of the home’s purchase price each year. So someone who purchases a $300,000 home with less than 20% down and a 1% PMI would pay approximately $1,000 a year or just over $83 a month.
Competitive Interest Rate
The interest rate on a VA Loan is very competitive. Though the loan is made through a private lender, it is backed by the U.S. Government, so interest rates tend to be lower than a conventional mortgage.
There isn’t a mortgage out there that doesn’t have fees and closing costs. But the Veterans Administration places limits on how much military veterans can be charged when it comes to these expenses. Some of these fees must be covered by other parties in the home sale transaction.
Flexibility is one of the great advantages to the VA Home Loan. Homeowners can sell or refinance at any time without having to pay a prepayment penalty or early-exit fee. And it is one of the few loans out there that can be “assumed” by other VA Loan-eligible home buyers.
Have the VA Home Loan for Life!
The VA home loan is not a one-time benefit. It can be reused over and over again, and it is possible to have more than one active VA loan at the same time.
This extraordinary benefit is available to qualifying veterans and active duty members. But this article is just the tip of the iceberg! What questions do you have about VA Loans?
Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Coordinator, previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She and her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, have used the VA Home Loan on several home-buying occasions. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.