More than 25.5 million veterans and service personnel are eligible for VA financing. Even though many veterans have already used their loan benefits, it may be possible for them to buy homes again with VA financing using remaining or restored loan entitlement.
Before arranging for a new mortgage to finance a home purchase, veterans should consider some of the advantages of VA home loans:
- Most important consideration, no downpayment is required in most cases.
- Loan maximum may be up to 100 percent of the VA-established reasonable value of the property. Due to secondary market requirements, however, Estate Loan generally may not exceed $417,000.
- Flexibility of negotiating interest rates with the lender.
- No monthly mortgage insurance premium to pay.
- Limitation on buyer's closing costs.
- An appraisal which informs the buyer of property value.
- Thirty year loans with a choice of repayment plans:
- Traditional fixed payment (constant principal and interest; increases or decreases may be expected in property taxes and homeowner's insurance coverage);
- Graduated Payment Mortgage--GPM (low initial payments which gradually rise to a level payment starting in the sixth year); and
- In some areas, Growing Equity Mortgages-GEMs (gradually increasing payments with all of the increase applied to principal, resulting in an early payoff of the loan)
- For most loans for new houses, construction is inspected at appropriate stages to ensure compliance with the approved plans, and a 1-year warranty is required from the builder that the house is built in conformity with the approved plans and specifications. In those cases where the builder provides an acceptable 10-year warranty plan, only a final inspection may be required.
- An assumable mortgage, subject to VA approval of the assumer's credit.
- Right to prepay loan without penalty.
- VA performs personal loan servicing and offers financial counseling to help veterans avoid losing their homes during temporary financial difficulties.