By Mike Miles
The month of May is National Military Appreciation Month. It’s meant to encourage U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity as it honors current and former members of our armed forces. There are a few specific days celebrated during the month to mark things like the day Germans unconditionally surrendered (May 8, 1945) and Memorial Day; a day that commemorates the men and women who died while in military service.
I thought the timing would be appropriate to discuss the benefits offered to men and women of the armed forces through our VA home loans. Fountain Mortgage has a special appreciation for our veterans as many of us have family that served our country. We often get asked if we do VA loans. Perhaps it’s because of our company size that people think we may not do them, but we do. In fact, we created a division specifically specialized in VA loans.
Not everyone is eligible for a VA home loan. You must be an active or separated military veteran, a member of the Reserves or National Guard, a spouse of a fallen or missing service member, someone serving in specific government sectors or a member of an allied armed forces that served in specific past wartimes. If you feel like you may be eligible… make sure you ask. The benefits of a VA home loan are tremendous.
- No down payment required
- No monthly mortgage insurance (PMI/MIP) for those with less than 20 percent equity
- Can refinance up to 100 percent of the homes value (includes cash out)
- Lower rates compared to conventional
- Limitations on closing costs
- Assumable loans (which can help in a buyer’s market)
- Lower credit restrictions and waiting times following adverse credit issues like bankruptcy and/or foreclosure
It’s possible that borrowers with VA loan approvals can be viewed as less qualified than those approved for conventional financing and in most cases, this is a mistake. Some sellers and real estate agents may interpret a VA borrower as inferior, but it’s not true. The benefits of the VA loan make the loan nearly impossible to ignore for those that are eligible.
It’s extremely important that you deal with a set of experts that can guide all parties involved through the loan process. Our company doesn’t pay to advertise that we have a unit that specializes in VA loans. We find the companies that do advertise arguably don’t have the veteran’s best interest in mind. Those companies spend a ton of money on ads and in turn charge borrower’s higher rates and fees on these loans, which can negate some of the benefits.
Be careful of using or referring out to these types of companies. The eligible borrowers won’t see as much benefit as they are designed to see. Find a smaller firm that instead quietly and efficiently executes VA loans with great precision and value.
Thank you to the men and women who have served our country! We would be honored to serve you in return.