The VA Loan: Am I a Great Candidate?

A VA LoanVA or Veterans Affairs loans offer plenty of benefits to eligible borrowers, from no mortgage insurance and no down payment to reduce closing costs. However, it is also a very special mortgage program that might not be ideal, in some cases, for borrowers from the military.

Read on to see if you are an ideal candidate for a VA loan.

You are 100% Eligible

Active military personnel and veterans are required to satisfy specific service conditions to qualify for VA loans.

In general, they must have served in the Reserves or National Guard for six years or more, or actively served for 181 days consecutively during times of peace, or actively served for 90 days successively during wartime.

Depending on the VA lender, some surviving spouses of military personnel could likewise qualify for VA loans.

You Plan to Purchase a Primary Residence

You cannot use the proceeds of VA loans to buy investment properties or vacation homes since they are not considered primary residences. However, you could purchase multifamily properties or condominium units, provided that you live in them.

You Can’t Afford or Don’t Want to Pay for a Down Payment

The prime benefit of getting a VA loan is being able to buy a home without shelling out any down payment at all. FHA lenders usually require a down payment of 3.5% of the home’s purchase price, while conventional loans typically require 5% down payment minimum.

You are Not Planning to Buy a Fixer-Upper Home

VA lenders require that borrowers purchase homes that are structurally safe and sound, so you need to meet specific property requirements for your loan to get approved.

You could, however, spend some money for repairing a property before closing, but then you would have to dip into your funds, and some fixer-uppers might unearth issues that would delay the appraisal process.

VA loans have helped over 21 million servicemen, veterans, as well as surviving spouses realize the American dream, owning a home. Speak to a VA loan lender to determine if you could be one of the fortunate to qualify for a VA loan.