Sarah Tellefsen

Spring is here and it’s the time when we see life and movement again!  Trees and flowers begin to bud and bloom, more people are outside walking and playing, and it’s often a time when those who are thinking about making a move begin to search for homes as the listings start to increase from a sleepy winter.  As a service member, you have access to a benefit known as the VA Home Loan, but how much do you really know about it besides the chatter and side talk around it?  Eligibility now includes National Guard members with at least 90 days of active service including at least 30 consecutive days under Title 32, Sections 316, 502, 503, 504 or 505.  To learn more about eligibility and benefits, you have resources locally at your County VSO or directly online with the VA at VA Home Loans Home

Some main benefits include:- VA-backed purchase loans help you purchase a home at a competitive interest rate often without requiring a down payment or private mortgage insurance.- No penalty fee if you pay the loan off early- You may need to pay the VA funding fee, however, you won’t have to pay a VA funding fee f you receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability or some other situations described here: VA Funding Fee And Loan Closing Costs | Veterans Affairs

– A VA-approved appraiser will appraise the house to make sure it meets basic property condition requirements and will provide an opinion on the value of the house.  If the property doesn’t appraise at a value that’s high enough to get the loan – which in this market might happen – you have options!  Other loans don’t come with this protection -you can request a reconsideration of value or invoke Tidewater (a request to gather more details about the property that may change the appraiser’s assessment).  

Other VA Home products include:

– Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) which is also called a streamline refinance loan, can help you obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing your existing VA Loan.- Foreclosure Avoidance Assistance is VA provided financial counseling to help Veterans avoid foreclosure during periods of financial difficulty.

– State Resources: WI offers resources to Veterans, including property tax credits for certain disabled Veterans (see your CVSO for more information).

There is SO much to learn about this and other amazing benefits and the VA has a wealth of information at your fingertips!  Explore the entire home buying process at:  Buying A Home With A VA-Backed Loan | Veterans Affairs.  There are links within their website to educational videos, a podcast episode (Borne the Battle, episode #150) and links to other incredible resources.