The federal government offers many benefits to men and women who serve their country. One of those benefits is the VA home loan program. The VA home loan can be used to purchase a new home or refinance an existing one and is available to all honorably discharged veterans and active duty military. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not actually lend out money but they guarantee or insure the funds that are loaned to you by a VA approved financial institution. You can go to any bank or mortgage company that participates in the VA loan program to apply.
The VA home loan offers several advantages over a conventional home loan. One of
the most significant benefits is that VA loans do not require a down-payment. As of January 1st, 2006 you can buy a home for up to $417,000 with no down-payment. While there are some conventional no down-payment home loan programs on the market, you will have to pay a higher interest rate for the privilege. Not so with a VA loan. You pay the same market rate whether you are making a 10% down-payment or $0 down-payment. In addition, you will find that in most cases the VA interest rate is comparable with or even lower than conventional loan rates.
Another great benefit of the VA home loan program involves the loan closing cost. While VA does not require the veteran to make a down-payment, there are still loan closing cost as with any home loan program that the borrower incurs. Closing cost usually average 3-5% of the loan amount. VA, however allows the seller to pay all of your loan closing cost up to 6% of the loan amount. Compare this to a 3% maximum seller contribution for most conventional loans. So with a VA home loan it is possible for a veteran to buy a home for up to $417,000 with no down-payment and without having to pay any closing cost. Talk about using the power of other people's money to increase your net worth!
VA home loan participants also enjoy the luxury of not having to pay mortgage insurance. In contrast, with a standard conventional loan you will have to pay mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20% as a down-payment. Mortgage insurance can add a significant amount to your monthly payment so not having to pay this is really a plus to borrowers who use their VA loan benefit.
The Department of Veterans Affairs does charge a "VA funding fee" to all non-exempt users of the va home loan program. The VA funding fee is currently 2.15% of the loan amount for first time VA loan users and 3.3% for subsequent users who do not make a down-payment. This fee is added to the loan amount so the veteran borrower does not have to pay it out of pocket at closing. If you are a veteran with a VA rated disability and are receiving a monthly benefit then, in most cases, you will be exempt from having to pay the VA funding fee.
If you are eligible for a VA loan and are in the market for a new home that is within the VA lending limits then the VA loan should be your 1st choice when considering your financing options. It offers tremendous benefits over a conventional loan and can make you a homeowner with zero or little outlay of cash. If you would like more information on the VA home loan program or are an eligible veteran and want to get pre-approved for a VA loan visit 1st Metropolitan Mortgage at http://www.MilitaryVALoan.com
Levetta Rivera is a successful mortgage broker, author and webmaster of several financial websites specializing in mortgage financing solutions. For more information on mortgage or home equity loan programs visit: