VA Loans Explained

All About Va Loans | Krista Hopkins Homes

Buying a home is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, but it can be especially daunting for veterans who are just getting back into civilian life. Fortunately, there are options available to veterans that can make the home buying process easier, like VA loans. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of myths surrounding VA loans that can make veterans hesitant to use them. In this interview, Heidi Mortensen, REALTOR® at Krista Hopkins Homes, sat down with Heather Lee, Mortgage Consultant NMLS ID #487484 at Community First Bank, to debunk some of these myths and provide valuable information for veterans who are considering using a VA loan.

They cover everything from the qualification process to the closing fees and offer advice for veterans who are just getting out of the service. So if you’re a veteran who’s considering buying a home, be sure to check out this informative interview.

What is a VA loan and who qualifies for it?

“Great question! A VA loan is actually a government-backed loan that’s guaranteed to our veterans or active duty service members that qualify due to the length of service or the type of discharge that they have. It also could be for any eligible spouses that qualify based on their spouse and how they got out of the military, if they passed away.”

How much of a down payment does a VA buyer need to bring to the purchase of a home? 

“The only requirement that they have is that it’s a zero down loan so they don’t have to have any down payment. That doesn’t mean necessarily that they come in with no cash, they still do have to have closing costs, and those can be negotiated if need be. Most of the time in this market right now, it’s a hundred percent. Even up to a million dollar loan, 5 million, 10 million… as long as the income and credit qualify, zero down.”

What makes VA appraisals more difficult than an appraisal on a conventional loan?

“Are you ready? Nothing, nothing! It’s a myth, a huge myth. They’re not harder. There’s actually two points of reviews on a VA appraisal, so if the appraiser is out looking at the house and he doesn’t think that he’s getting value once he goes back he has to, has to return it to the lender first before he completes his report 48 to 72 hours and it’s called Tidewater. So that’s a bill that was introduced back East. So, he or she will actually come back to the lender and say “Hey, we’ve got a problem here I’m not coming up with the value that we’re anticipating.” Then the lender will go back to talk about some more comps, and then go back to the appraiser within that 48 to 72 hours with the comparables. If they still can’t come up with the value they’ll return the appraisal as it is to us and then we will either accept it as is or we can actually take it to the Veteran Affairs office directly and have them review. Like I was telling you earlier, we get more values updated and corrected on VA loans than we do with conventional and FHA Loans so there’s more consideration in those.”

And what about underwriting, is that a more difficult process with VA loans?

“Well it is if you don’t have the right lender. Everything’s harder if you don’t have the right lender, right? So there’s nothing more difficult about a VA loan. Actually, there’s no credit requirement there’s no debt to income ratio requirement. I’ve got a couple that are like almost to 60 percent. What they care about is residual income so after you close the house we want to make sure that you have enough income to support your family.”

What about compared to other loans do VA loans take longer to close?

“No, nooooo. Nothing on them is longer. We just closed one in 12 days just the other day. Again, it just comes down to that the lender who you work with matters.”

I’ve heard in the past that the seller has to pay the veterans closing fee is that true?

“Nope, not true at all. That’s just another one of those old school myths that gets passed down from generation to generation. Absolutely not true.”

How many VA loans can a veteran have in their lifetime?

“Depends on how old they grow to be, but they can actually have as many as they keep their eligibility for. Meaning that if they have one and pay it off then their eligibility is completely restored. If they have on and pay it down they can get another one at the same time. They can have two at the same time. There’s an unlimited usage on there. That’s another one of those misconceptions.”

Do you have any advice to people getting out of the service right now?

“I think my one thing is is that talk about your service. When you go in and talk to a lender say that you’re a veteran. A lot of lenders out there don’t ask because one they don’t know or forget to ask. They don’t want to do it, they’ve got the big misconception that it’s harder too. So, if you are a veteran, if you love a veteran, if you know a veteran, tell them to talk about their VA loan and their service they earned it.”

For many veterans, the dream of owning a home can feel out of reach. They may be deterred by the belief that VA loans are too difficult to obtain or come with too many restrictions. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. VA loans are actually designed to help veterans achieve their homeownership goals and come with a range of benefits.

If you’re a veteran who’s considering buying a home, it’s important to understand that VA loans are a powerful tool that can make your dream a reality. You don’t have to navigate the process alone, either. Give us a call today and work with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent on the Krista Hopkins Homes team.