For most people, buying a home will be the largest investment they will ever make. Given the massive prices of real estate, it can often be intimidating and overwhelming, especially to those with a limited budget. It can even create doubt in the most diligent savers, unnecessarily delaying them from fulfilling their goal of owning their own home. Fortunately, if you’ve served in the Armed Forces, then you’re actually closer to achieving the American dream than you think.
If you’ve been shying away from buying your very own home because of the complicated process of finding the best mortgage rates in Salt Lake City or even looking for a lender, you’ll want to consider a VA loan. With its host of advantages, it’s a benefit that most people would love to have.
The Underutilization of the VA Loan
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been offering fantastic home loan benefits to service members, veterans, and eligible spouses since 1944. Surprisingly, however, it’s one of the most underutilized home loans in the real estate market today. Approximately less than 12 percent of the country’s estimated 24 million veterans have used VA loans, which is a shocking number when you account for its numerous benefits.
These loans are federally insured, over full financing, have no maximum loan limit, and can be used multiple times. Veterans can even arrange to structure these loans to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for buyers.
How to Qualify for a VA Loan
If you are interested in qualifying for the loan, you’ll have to fulfill the criteria. Here are the minimum service requirements:
- You have served at least 90 consecutive days during wartime or at least 181 consecutive days of service during peacetime, or
- You have served the National Guard or Reserves for at least six years, or
- You are married to a service member who has died in the line of duty or due to a service-related disability
If you meet any of these conditions, you must apply for a Certificate of Eligibility or COE. You can do this through the VA or DOD eBenefits online portal or our team at Frontline Financial. It requires different forms depending on your status, so it’s best to consult with a lender before proceeding. Our lenders will be more than happy to guide you through the application process and help you understand what you’ll have to do.
One perk of a VA loan that you can look forward to is that it prioritizes your residual income over your debt-to-income ratio. In other words, your lender will have to make sure that you make enough money to pay off the mortgage. VA loans don’t look at credit scores either, which is a desirable benefit a veteran can receive.
How Much Downpayment to Pay
Luckily, VA loans don’t require a downpayment, so you don’t need to put one down. However, if you do have some savings that you can afford to part with, it is highly recommended to use it for the downpayment. That way, you can reduce the amount you are borrowing. The VA loan was created to provide opportunities for veterans to own a home, which is why a downpayment isn’t necessary for the loan.
Veteran’s Affairs wants to make sure that veterans have the resources and opportunities to buy, build, or even repair a home for themselves. It’s also another way to thank them for their service to the country, so it’s only fitting for them to have an easier method of owning a home. Thanks to its incredible advantages of 100 percent financing, no minimum credit requirements, and no downpayment, the VA home loan offers everything to gain for veterans.
Frontline Financial offers the best mortgage rates in Salt Lake City for veterans that want a place to call their own. Whether you’re interested in purchasing or refinancing, our financial professionals are proud to serve you in the search for your dream home. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!