Home-Buying Tips for Veterans
Posted By Family First Funding on Mar 15, 2023

Home showings are an important part of the home selling process. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there are even more safety precautions to take before potential homebuyers come to look at your home. Here are some general safety tips to follows when you show your home and a few tips to keep you and buyers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homebuying Tips for Veterans

The homebuying process is an exciting and rewarding experience. This is especially true for veterans who have likely spent the most recent years of their lives between bases and are now looking to buy a home of their own.

If you have served in the military, there are many ways to make homebuying a simpler, less stressful experience. If you are a veteran or active military member, here are some important homebuying tips to make the homebuying process as easy possible.

Learn About VA Loans Before Applying

Before you start your application process, be sure to understand the ins and outs of a VA loan. Most veterans are eligible for a VA loan which is provided by private lenders but backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This type of mortgage requires a $0 down payment and is an affordable way for veterans to buy a home.

VA loans are perfect for veterans who are first-time homebuyers who do not have enough money saved for a down payment. Credit requirements are also more lenient compared to other loan types which is helpful for those who do not have a long credit history. VA loans also do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI), a typical kind of insurance for buyers who cannot afford to put 20 percent down on a home.

Before moving forward with your loan application, be sure to review the VA loan requirements set by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Understanding VA loans is important to the loan process and will help you learn how to properly use your military benefits. To fully understand the benefits you deserve, contact one of our skilled loan originators today to discuss the mortgage process.

Credit Check

VA loans have a looser credit requirement, but this does not mean you should ignore your current credit score. Check your credit score regularly to ensure that your current credit actions are building credit and not hurting your score. Factors included in a credit score:

  • Your total debt
  • Type of accounts
  • Number of late payments
  • New Credit

How to Improve Your Credit

For those with lower credit scores, it is possible to raise your score and improve your chances of getting approved for a home loan.

  • Check your credit report for error: order a copy of your report from the three main reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Check your reports for any errors and report the errors immediately to boost your credit.
  • Become an authorized user: to help boost your credit score, add yourself as an authorized user on a family member’s existing credit card account. As an authorized user, you will get your own card that is linked to the family member’s account. When they make a payment, your score will gradually improve.
  • Pay your bills on time: paying your bills on time is the best way to improve your score. Making payments on time will gradually raise your FICO score.
  • Pay down your credit card debt: this is another way to steadily improve your score and help you get approved for a mortgage.

Maintain Employment

Stable employment and income show lenders that you can afford any mortgage, including a VA loan. If possible, maintain consistent employment throughout the homebuying process to prove you are a trustworthy borrower.

Even if you sign paperwork, your loan is not guaranteed until the closing process is complete. If you change jobs or quit your job during the homebuying process, your loan eligibility may be withdrawn. Maintain your employment until after you have closed on your house to avoid any issues or problems securing your mortgage.

Closing Costs

Limited closing costs are one of the many benefits of being a veteran and applying for a VA loan. VA loans do have closing costs, but the government does not allow veterans to pay them. These costs include escrow or settlement fees, processing, underwriting, and document fees.

The fees that will need to be paid by the borrower include a credit report, appraisal, title insurance, recording fees, and a survey. Over the life of the loan, there may be other recurring charges that Veterans will be responsible for paying, such as hazard insurance. Your lender will provide you with a loan estimate, which will outline the exact fees you will need to pay at closing.

Your Real Estate Agent and Lender Are Your Biggest Resource

If you plan to use Veteran home buying programs, including VA loans, talk to your realtor and lender about your options. You will want to work with professionals who are experienced in Veteran programs and who fully understand the process.

Buying a home is a big decision, especially for veterans who have just come out of the service. AnnieMac Home Mortgage wants to make the homebuying journey as easy and exciting as possible for Veterans. We thank you for your service and are happy to help you buy the home of your dreams.

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