Let’s talk, don’t dos if you are a veteran or active duty military seeking a new home.
Below you will see three mistakes commonly made, which you can easily avoid with our recommendations.
First Mistake – Not using an experienced real estate agent!
Does your real estate agent have experience with VA Loans or special programs for the military? This is an important question to ask prospective agents before hiring them to represent you in your buying process.
Why does this matter?
The Veterans Affairs Department has specific property requirements for their VA home loan. A VA loan program appraiser will have specific criteria too. Having an experienced agent will help you navigate the complex VA loan limits, the debt-to-income ratio lenders will likely expect to pre-qualify, and more! Plus, don’t waste your time or sellers’ time by making an offer on a house that may not get approved. There are various reasons a home may not qualify, and you can rely on your agent to help with this.
Second Mistake – Not communicating with a lender.
Veterans have access to unique and worthwhile home mortgage options on the market. Still, about 33% of home-buying veterans don’t know they have home mortgage benefits through the VA. The first thing is to be transparent about your service. They can then inform you about programs and fiscal resources that align with your service and your current status.
For example, the VA loan allows you to buy with a 0% down payment. This benefit helps veterans buy a first home, often years sooner than if they had to save up for a down payment. Also, VA loans come with low-interest-rate mortgages, don’t require mortgage insurance, and have more forgiving credit eligibility requirements. We recommend consulting your lender on all of these and how they are helpful. You can visit with your lender about this next tip too, but once pre-qualified, make sure not to make any other large purchases. This can have a considerable impact on your borrowing capabilities even if you seek a VA Loan.
Third Mistake – Forgetting upfront home-buying costs.
The VA loan is a significant financial resource; however, borrower costs will still exist. You may have to put money toward the home appraisal or the inspection. So, don’t write off these initial costs just because you don’t have to make a down payment. These costs are essential to securing your home. Having a home instead of renting is vital for growing your wealth because you will no longer be simply paying rent, but growing your equity. So don’t consider these costs, but consider them investments.
Give us a call at RE/MAX to get connected with a reliable and experienced real estate agent who can also supply you referrals to their network of resources!