One benefit of a full military life is that you could earn the right to get a home with assistance from the country's VA loan program. However, some people start planning for this eventuality without realizing some things about VA loans. If you are hoping to settle your family somewhere soon, it's important to know these VA loan details:
1. It's Possible You're Ineligible Right Now
If your first service date is less than about three months ago, you're not yet eligible to receive help from the VA for a property. However, even if you've served adequate time, depending on the military branch you've signed up for, there could be additional requirements and guidelines. That's why you shouldn't get information from just anyone regarding VA loans; contact the local number for Veteran Affairs yourself for accurate, relevant information that you can take as a guide.
2. You Need a COE
It's not sufficient that you're able to use a VA loan for a home or land. You'll also end up needing the official COE, or Certificate of Eligibility. This can take some time to generate and receive, depending on where you're deployed, so many lenders aren't going to ask for it upfront and the loan process will go forward. However, remembering this certificate is vital, as sales cannot be finalized without it. Don't lose out on a home because you were lazy about tracking down the COE and getting it to the right people.
3. You Should Inquire About Occupancy Rules
Purchasing property when you're still deployed elsewhere could lead to some problems with your VA loan. State requirements may stipulate that you've got to physically be present in the house for some time after the buy. If you're already married with a family, that will be fine. However, if you're not with anyone and plan to be there by yourself, it's possible that an extension must be granted before the loan and sale are approved.
4. You May Need Other Loan Sources
The home or other real estate you've chosen may be rather expensive. If so, the VA might not be able to take care of the entire price. In that case, you'll have to go on to local banks or lenders to get the balance of what you need. It's also worth bearing in mind that if your credit is horrible or your salary is deemed too low to be able to make payments, an uphill climb remains before you experience home ownership.
VA loans put military personnel and families into houses of their own. Talk about your housing plans with VA loan specialists for greater guidance. Click here for more information on talking with VA loan specialists.