There Is No Time Like the Present

I had a great neighbor, an older gentleman, who always seemed to get things done in record time. While I was still trying to decide what to do, he was already doing. We often talked over the fence and one of his favorite sayings was, “there is no time like the present.

In the spirit of taking wise action now, here are five good reasons why you should take advantage of your VA home mortgage loan entitlement:

  • Reason #1: Veterans, active duty and certain surviving spouses are eligible for VA home loan benefits. Qualified surviving spouses may borrow up to $417,000 (more in high-cost counties) with no money down.  Surviving spouses are exempt from paying the VA funding fee.
  • Reason # 2: VA home loans can be used to purchase foreclosed and short-sale properties, often with little or no money down. VA-eligible borrowers possess an advantage over those who need up to 20% cash down to qualify for conventional loans. Work through a VA appraiser who is trained to certify value and safety. He will be able to steer you away from problem properties that are not a good investment.
  • Reason # 3: If you are currently deployed overseas, you can sign a power of attorney or (POA) designating your spouse or someone else to act in your behalf for a VA home loan. The POA grants permission for the attorney in fact to sign on behalf of the VA-eligible borrower.  The service member must give intent to obtain a VA loan through an email, letter, or other written notification. Only a spouse can satisfy the occupancy rule (move in within 60 days of closing) in a deployed serviceperson’s stead. Otherwise, the borrower serving away from home is granted an extension of up to 12 months to occupy the home.
  • Reason # 4: There are knowledgeable specialists who can help you get the facts. You should not trust a real estate as a reliable source for VA loan information.  A VA specialty lender, one whose majority product is VA-backed loans, can provide reliable VA mortgage lending facts.
  • Reason # 5: If a lender is specialized in VA home loans, then closing can often happen within 30 days. The VA-approved lender is given flexibility to decide on its own whether a borrower is a satisfactory credit risk.  Oftentimes a borrower with extenuating circumstances can close quickly.

Where do I Start?

Your quest for a VA home loan starts with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You are required to obtain a COE to pursue a VA mortgage loan. If you do not have this certificate, you will need to apply using VA Form 26-1880 (which requires a copy of DD-214—your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty showing character of service). Along with the COE, you will need to document your credit, savings, and employment information to apply for a VA home loan.

Why get a Military Home Loan?

Simply put, there are distinct financial advantages to do so. A  VA Home Loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment. There are also no monthly mortgage insurance premiums to pay, limitations on buyer’s closing costs, and an appraisal that informs the buyer of the property value. For most loans on new houses, construction is inspected at appropriate stages and a 1-year warranty is required from the builder. VA also performs personal loan servicing and offers financial counseling to help veterans having temporary financial difficulties.

I’ve Already Used My VA Loan Eligibility

You can have previously-used entitlement “restored” one time only to purchase another home with a VA loan if the borrower has paid off the prior loan but still owns the property, and wants to use his entitlement. This often occurs with active duty borrowers who transfer to a new station but want to keep their existing home for retirement. However if the prior loan has been paid off, AND the property is no longer owned, they can have their entitlement restored as many times as they want.  They can re-use their VA eligibility for every home purchase from the first to the last.

A veteran’s maximum entitlement is $89,912, and lenders will generally loan up to four times your available entitlement without a down payment, provided your income and credit qualifications are fine, and the property appraises for the asking price.

Remember, there is no time like the present!

Get Started With Your VA Loan Today

Top 5 military nonprofits

Top 5 military nonprofits and why

 

A way for many Americans to show their support for the troops and those that are out there risking their lives for our country is to donate to the different charities.

Here are the top five charities for Military.

 

1. The Fisher House Foundation

The Fisher House Foundation program is a private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. They provide a program that recognizes the sacrifices of those in military service by meeting a humanitarian need that is beyond what is normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center. They help families in need, making sure that they provided with comfortable homes and a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 10,000 families, and they have made nearly 2.5 million days of lodging available to family members since they started the program in 1990.

2.  Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, founded in 1904, operates nearly 250 offices at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world. Their mission is to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services, as well as, eligible family members, and survivors. They are committed, ensuring that all available resources are used to assist personnel of the Naval Services, whether they are active or retired, to achieve the financial self-sufficiency that they need.

3.  Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, founded in 1980, provides support and assistance to the U. S. military’s special operations community. Their mission includes two major aspects in support of special operations personnel: providing a full college education to the surviving children of those who lose their lives while serving in the U.S. military special operations community, and also providing immediate financial assistance and support to ensure that severely wounded personnel are able to have their loved ones at their bedside during recovery.

4.  National Military Family Association

The National Military Family Association was organized in 1969 as the National Military Wives Association by a group of wives and widows seeking financial security for survivors of uniformed service personnel and retirees. They developed the Survivor Benefit Plan and been in the vanguard of advocacy for improvements in the quality of military family life. The name of the organization was changed, replacing the word “wives” with “family,” in 1984 to reflect the broad scope of their involvement.

5.  Protect Our Troops

ProtectOurTroops.org was started in 2009 and is a brand new charity.  Protect our Troops is currently working on establishing its 501c3 status and looks forward to assisting as many military families as possible.  P.O.T was started for soldiers by soldiers when its founder realized during his time in the army national guard that there was a major need for home security and protection for the loved ones of military families nationwide.  It is the goal of P.O.T to bring free security protection to every deployed troop and his or her family.

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*Annual savings calculator based on 2015 monthly average savings extrapolated year-to-date.