Mortgage rates continue to sit at historic lows, and it's a good time to buy a home if you're in the market for one. One of the most difficult aspects of buying a home is dealing with the mortgage process. There are countless loan options and lenders, and finding the best deal can ultimately save you tens of thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, the government steps in to help make the process a little easier for military personnel and veterans by offering a VA home mortgage. Those who qualify are: Veterans, active duty personnel, certain reservists and National Guard members, surviving spouses of persons who die on active duty or die as a result of service-connected disabilities, certain spouses of active duty personnel who are (a) missing in action, (b) captured in line of duty by a hostile force, or (c) forcibly detained by a foreign government or power.
The VA loan program is relatively simple. You simply shop around through private lenders and once you provide eligibility, VA steps in to back the loan. What this means is if something happens and you find you are unable to make the payments, the lender can then turn to the VA for any losses that may occur. This type of insurance is what makes banks more willing to lend money since they know they are protected.
There are also a number of other benefits of a VA mortgage. You can often buy a home without a down payment as long as the appraised value doesn't come in below the sales price. This can be quite a help to those who might be returning home from deployment but may not have set aside the funds for a down payment yet. In addition, because these loans are "insured" by the VA you won't need to pay private mortgage insurance, which can be a costly addition to any mortgage. Finally, there are also limits as to how much you can be charged for closing costs, and in some cases closing costs may be paid entirely by the seller.
As you can see, there are a number of benefits available through a VA loan program. While the basics of buying a home still apply, there are certainly some added features and benefits that make buying a home with a VA mortgage a little more attractive.