Homeownership is the goal of many families, and achieving this milestone can be even more significant as a veteran or active-duty service member. If you’re ready to put down roots for your family, you may qualify for a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) home loan. These loans usually offer more favorable terms than conventional loans and can help make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Learn more about VA loans and how to navigate the home-buying process as a veteran.
Know the Basic Qualifications for a VA Loan
Make sure you know and meet the basic military service qualifications before applying for a VA home loan—you can check these eligibility requirements on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
While credit score requirements are more relaxed for VA loans than conventional loans, you should still maintain healthy credit. Typically, the minimum credit score to receive for a VA loan is about 580 to 620, but this can vary by lender. VA loans also don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI) if your down payment is less than 20%, unlike conventional loans. In fact, with a VA loan, you can purchase a home with no down payment.
Find a Lender That Offers Veterans Benefits
On top of a $0 down payment and lower credit score requirements, some lenders included additional benefits for veterans, such as waiving home appraisal fees and other costs. Make sure to ask what veteran perks are available when shopping around for a mortgage lender.
Work With a Real Estate Agent Familiar With the VA Loan Process
Find a qualified real estate agent to help you through the process before beginning any serious home hunting. Certain homes may not qualify for VA loans, so it’s crucial to work with an experienced agent who knows VA loan limits and help you avoid pre-approval for a loan for a home that doesn’t meet loan qualifications.
Factor in Closing Costs and Other Fees
While VA loans limit closing costs, you may still have to pay some costs during the closing process. You’ll also be charged funding fees that directly support the Department of Veterans Affairs when taking out a VA loan. As of 2020, the funding fee was 2.3% of the total loan; make sure to factor this expense into your budget. You can choose to pay funding fees upfront and in full or roll it into the loan.
If you’re a veteran or active-duty military member looking to settle down in the Nashville area, the experienced team at HND Realty LLC is here to help. With decades of experience in commercial and residential real estate services, our local agents can help you throughout the home-buying process. View our available properties to start looking for the perfect home for you and your family.