There are so many things you should learn about buying a home before jumping in head first. If you are searching for a home and are former or current military, there are a few tricks and tips you can use to make sure you are taking full advantage of the VA home buying process. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes and their remedies to help you make the most of your VA Benefits.
1. Your first, and possibly worst mistake is when you do not search for a VA-saavy real estate agent.
The more your real estate agent knows about finding a home using the VA home loan process; the safer you will be; whether you jump in head first, or not. This is usually a fairly easy fix. If you visit your local VA office, or even speak to another veteran or active serviceman, they should be able to help direct you to someone who can offer you the most help. You can also visit the Veterans United Realty service to find realtors in your area.
2. The second mistake can come when you do not communicate with your lender.
According to surveys generated by the VA, nearly 33% of Veterans do not know their benefits extend to mortgages. When you first speak to a lender, be sure you mention your current service member status. They will be able to inform you of any benefits related to home-owning that come with your military status. These benefits are often quite impressive. One includes being able to purchase a home with 0% down payment. This often means that you will qualify and be able to purchase a home much more quickly than if you try to qualify through another loan program.
3. Forgetting that while most costs will be covered with a VA Loan, there are some costs the buyer (you) will be responsible for.
Forgetting this important fact could end up costing you precious time and money if you are not prepared for it at all. A $0 down payment is wonderful, but you should expect to help out with the closing costs, appraisal fees, etc. in order to complete your purchase.
4. Not thinking of your home as an investment is another mistake military buyers often make.
Because they are often transferred around, many military home buyers don’t see the point of buying in the first place, much less purchasing a home that meets all of their needs. Realtors familiar with the VA market recommend purchasing in a high-demand area, or purchasing a popular home style or size. These things will help insure your home is easier to sell or rent – depending on your preference.
If being a landlord isn’t in the stars for you, purchasing a home through the VA program also assures your loan is assumable – meaning, it can be transferred to another veteran in need. This makes moving around even easier, as military stations change out personnel frequently, and you may be able to”hand off” your loan with relative ease.
5. Making Other Big Purchases before Closing
While this mistake is not unique to veteran home buyers – be sure that you don’t make any big ticket purchases between your offer being accepted and the closing of your loan. While getting a VA loan is easier than obtaining a FHA or Conventional loan, there are still requirements you must meet in order to close on the loan. The credit score is one of these requirements, and if your credit drops, due to credit inquiries or another credit line being opened, this could cause you to lose the home.