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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 8:27 PM
Scuba Steve33 Scuba Steve33 is offline
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Default VA Home Loan

Hey guys I'm hoping some of you have used this and can offer any insight into the pros and cons. I found some info online but nothing gets down to the cold hard facts and I'm a big fan of experience so if any of you have used it or looked into it I'd appreciate if you can offer your experience with it. I'm looking to buy (first time) and it's definitely overwhelming. Thanks guys.
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:43 PM
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you need to find a real estate agent you like and can trust thats your first step. they are the ones who will be able to explain the ins and outs. its a pretty simple process.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:57 PM
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First things first, contact the VA and get your certificate of eligibility. Then like BJ, said, hook up with a realtor. They will take care of the rest. Just know that the VHL doesn't require a down payment and the VA covers your closing costs.

PM me if you have any questions and congrats on taking the first step to becoming a homeowner.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:40 AM
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Hey Steve, I bought my house with the Va home loan 4 years ago. So I might be some help. Like Nasty Nate said, getting pre approved is an important first step. It makes sure that no one wastes anyone else's time. Second, not all real estate will want to deal with going through the additional steps and paperwork of a va home loan, so make sure to mention that right at the beginning of the first conversation with the prospective real estate agent. I think the biggest boon of the va home loan is that you don't need to put any money down and more importantly with the va home loan you don't have to pay PMI which is an additional 20% fee on top of everything else for people who don't put a minimum 20% down payment. It would be ok if PMI actually did anything for the buyer, but it doesn't. You can pm me if you have any questions about my experience.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:22 AM
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Like Sapper said. NO PMI on 200k that takes a couple hundred a month off of your payment.

Also check here and see if you are eligible for a waiver. http://valoan.military.com/330/va-lo...a-funding-fee/

A good realtor and finance officer will take care of most of the paperwork for you. Your job will be to get the paperwork they need. DD-214, proof of disability if you have any etc.

Did my first one back in like 92 really don't remember much from it. just bought another house about a year and a half ago with my VA loan.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2012, 3:03 AM
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Wife and I just bought our house with the VA loan a few months ago.
I would advise you to skip traditional sales/existing houses and just go buy a brand new house.
We kept getting out bid, and if we wanted to stay in the running on a lot of houses the VA wouldn't cover it because they will not pay more than the estimated value of the home. Lots of BS and a lot of people flat do not want your VA loan.
New house was too easy.
What do you want?
Ok here are our models, what options?
Ok will cost X dollars.
VA inspects and approves, move in within one month of deposite.
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Old 09-30-2012, 4:16 AM
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Find a good realtor, I never had any problems in my experience. The house if buying used must be free of any major problems. The VA inspects and must be up to their standards. Good luck
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Old 09-30-2012, 6:45 PM
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I am a mortgage loan officer, who lends VA loans. Depending on your current situation a VA loan may or may not be the right answer. Typically, VA has great rates with moderate credit scores, the loans are easier to qualify for and with no down payment required and no monthly mortgage insurance, they're a great loan for a lot of homebuyers.

VA does charge a funding fee, which they add to the loan amount (this is waived if you have a service connected disability). And VA does require the property to meet certain condition requirements; ie: no paint can be peeling, must have a stove, heat must be working, no exposed electrical wires, etc. What this means is that you can't purchase a fixer upper. And sometimes repairs to the property are required to be completed before the loan will close.

There are other loan options out there with 3.5% down, 5% down, 10% down and 20% down, with and without monthly mortgage insurance. However, you need to discuss your goals with a lender who can help you determine which route is best, based on your credit and financial picture.

Best Regards,

Steve
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Old 09-30-2012, 6:58 PM
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call USAA and they will guide you. 8005318111
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Old 09-30-2012, 8:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W.M.V. View Post
Wife and I just bought our house with the VA loan a few months ago.
I would advise you to skip traditional sales/existing houses and just go buy a brand new house.
We kept getting out bid, and if we wanted to stay in the running on a lot of houses the VA wouldn't cover it because they will not pay more than the estimated value of the home. Lots of BS and a lot of people flat do not want your VA loan.
New house was too easy.
What do you want?
Ok here are our models, what options?
Ok will cost X dollars.
VA inspects and approves, move in within one month of deposite.
That was my experience also. We were shopping short sales and foreclosures, looking for a deal. Every time we had a deal going an investor would come in and steal the deal by offering cash. We finally got fed up with that and just bought new. Builder love VA loans because it makes it easy for them.
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Old 09-30-2012, 9:45 PM
Scuba Steve33 Scuba Steve33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaJames83 View Post
you need to find a real estate agent you like and can trust thats your first step. they are the ones who will be able to explain the ins and outs. its a pretty simple process.
I have a family friend who I'm waiting to return from vacation to discuss with. I think I lucked out on that aspect of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NastyNate View Post
First things first, contact the VA and get your certificate of eligibility. Then like BJ, said, hook up with a realtor. They will take care of the rest. Just know that the VHL doesn't require a down payment and the VA covers your closing costs.

PM me if you have any questions and congrats on taking the first step to becoming a homeowner.
Thanks Nate I will definitely call to get the certificate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Sapper View Post
Hey Steve, I bought my house with the Va home loan 4 years ago. So I might be some help. Like Nasty Nate said, getting pre approved is an important first step. It makes sure that no one wastes anyone else's time. Second, not all real estate will want to deal with going through the additional steps and paperwork of a va home loan, so make sure to mention that right at the beginning of the first conversation with the prospective real estate agent. I think the biggest boon of the va home loan is that you don't need to put any money down and more importantly with the va home loan you don't have to pay PMI which is an additional 20% fee on top of everything else for people who don't put a minimum 20% down payment. It would be ok if PMI actually did anything for the buyer, but it doesn't. You can pm me if you have any questions about my experience.
Thanks for the advice I'll be sure to mention that at first. I have a decent saved up for a down payment but not 60k or 20% of 300k so it definitely helps that I don't need a down payment. With the VA loan do you just straight not put any down or is it an option that you do not have to but can to benefit you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arondos View Post
Like Sapper said. NO PMI on 200k that takes a couple hundred a month off of your payment.

Also check here and see if you are eligible for a waiver. http://valoan.military.com/330/va-lo...a-funding-fee/

A good realtor and finance officer will take care of most of the paperwork for you. Your job will be to get the paperwork they need. DD-214, proof of disability if you have any etc.

Did my first one back in like 92 really don't remember much from it. just bought another house about a year and a half ago with my VA loan.
I'm still waiting on my damn disability to go through. I'm almost at the 12 month mark so the majority of the waiting is over but not all. As soon as I start collecting that will also help with my income they will look at so that's a plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W.M.V. View Post
Wife and I just bought our house with the VA loan a few months ago.
I would advise you to skip traditional sales/existing houses and just go buy a brand new house.
We kept getting out bid, and if we wanted to stay in the running on a lot of houses the VA wouldn't cover it because they will not pay more than the estimated value of the home. Lots of BS and a lot of people flat do not want your VA loan.
New house was too easy.
What do you want?
Ok here are our models, what options?
Ok will cost X dollars.
VA inspects and approves, move in within one month of deposite.
I'm confused when you say buy brand new. With no down payment or PMI how can I be looking at higher priced houses than if I had a regular loan and needed that 20% (I know it's not required but I'd rather have it than get screwed by PMI)? I'm single and have had a few jobs since getting out while going to school full time so I don't have steady income history. I was setting my max (based on regular loans) at 300k which limited me a lot, especially in the San Jose area.

I know this seems like basic stuff but it's all new to me. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanksbeamen View Post
Find a good realtor, I never had any problems in my experience. The house if buying used must be free of any major problems. The VA inspects and must be up to their standards. Good luck
Thanks I will keep that in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Punisher View Post
I am a mortgage loan officer, who lends VA loans. Depending on your current situation a VA loan may or may not be the right answer. Typically, VA has great rates with moderate credit scores, the loans are easier to qualify for and with no down payment required and no monthly mortgage insurance, they're a great loan for a lot of homebuyers.

VA does charge a funding fee, which they add to the loan amount (this is waived if you have a service connected disability). And VA does require the property to meet certain condition requirements; ie: no paint can be peeling, must have a stove, heat must be working, no exposed electrical wires, etc. What this means is that you can't purchase a fixer upper. And sometimes repairs to the property are required to be completed before the loan will close.

There are other loan options out there with 3.5% down, 5% down, 10% down and 20% down, with and without monthly mortgage insurance. However, you need to discuss your goals with a lender who can help you determine which route is best, based on your credit and financial picture.

Best Regards,

Steve
Thanks Steve. I got your PM and sent you an e-mail.

I had a question about the VA funding fee and it being waived by a service connected disability. Is there a certain percentage you have to have to meet that or a specific type of claim? I'm pretty sure I'll meet that given what I claimed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportbiker929 View Post
call USAA and they will guide you. 8005318111
Thanks for the number Biker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NastyNate View Post
That was my experience also. We were shopping short sales and foreclosures, looking for a deal. Every time we had a deal going an investor would come in and steal the deal by offering cash. We finally got fed up with that and just bought new. Builder love VA loans because it makes it easy for them.
What was the difference in getting approved for a new house versus a short sale or foreclosure? I'm assuming unless you were looking at relatively new short sales the price of a new house would have been quite more.
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Old 10-01-2012, 7:43 AM
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Quote:
Thanks for the advice I'll be sure to mention that at first. I have a decent saved up for a down payment but not 60k or 20% of 300k so it definitely helps that I don't need a down payment. With the VA loan do you just straight not put any down or is it an option that you do not have to but can to benefit you?
I believe it's an option, you can either put down or not put down any money. We chose not to put down any money because we were planning (and did) on spending $60k on gutting and renovating the inside.
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Old 10-01-2012, 8:10 AM
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I got my first house on VA, they require an inspection that is strict and some sellers will not accept VA as a result. VA also says no closing costs so we offered 4 points more on the offer to get the house.
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Old 10-01-2012, 8:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Scuba Steve33 View Post
I'm still waiting on my damn disability to go through. I'm almost at the 12 month mark so the majority of the waiting is over but not all. As soon as I start collecting that will also help with my income they will look at so that's a plus.

I had a question about the VA funding fee and it being waived by a service connected disability. Is there a certain percentage you have to have to meet that or a specific type of claim? I'm pretty sure I'll meet that given what I claimed.

A 3% funding fee on $300k is $9k. I wish I had done my VA claims earlier, would have saved a lot of money... If you can wait until the VA claim is done, I would.
I believe any disability compensation (so starting at 10%) qualifies for a waiver.

All I had to do was supply my DD214, they (realtor and loan people) did the rest. We had no issues getting the short sale that I now own...

Goodluck
Matt
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Old 10-01-2012, 8:57 AM
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Lots of good information already posted. We just bought a house in July with a VA loan. Our intent was to not put any money down. We kept getting outbid on houses because VA will only approve what the house appraises at. We decided to throw some cash down as well, and ended up with a house that we love. The timeline is usually a bit longer for VA loans, and they have a very strict inspection criteria but it all worked out in the end. I don't know where you are located but if you are near the Sacramento area I have a great loan agent that you can talk to. Also, if you are with USAA and use their movers program they will give you money back after closing.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Sapper View Post
I believe it's an option, you can either put down or not put down any money. We chose not to put down any money because we were planning (and did) on spending $60k on gutting and renovating the inside.
Thanks for the info. Do you know what benefit (besides possibly getting a specific house if the VA will only cover the appraised cost) putting money down has?

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnre View Post
I got my first house on VA, they require an inspection that is strict and some sellers will not accept VA as a result. VA also says no closing costs so we offered 4 points more on the offer to get the house.
Did you experience your VA loan being turned down by any sellers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VetteRacer View Post
A 3% funding fee on $300k is $9k. I wish I had done my VA claims earlier, would have saved a lot of money... If you can wait until the VA claim is done, I would.
I believe any disability compensation (so starting at 10%) qualifies for a waiver.

All I had to do was supply my DD214, they (realtor and loan people) did the rest. We had no issues getting the short sale that I now own...

Goodluck
Matt
Awesome thanks for the info. I hope I will be getting my disability soon as I'm sure they won't waive it if it's still in the process. Sounds like it was pretty painless for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grt8plt View Post
Lots of good information already posted. We just bought a house in July with a VA loan. Our intent was to not put any money down. We kept getting outbid on houses because VA will only approve what the house appraises at. We decided to throw some cash down as well, and ended up with a house that we love. The timeline is usually a bit longer for VA loans, and they have a very strict inspection criteria but it all worked out in the end. I don't know where you are located but if you are near the Sacramento area I have a great loan agent that you can talk to. Also, if you are with USAA and use their movers program they will give you money back after closing.
Is that the only benefit of doing a down payment? I'm in the south bay area and looking to buy in San Jose. I am with USAA I'll have to check out the movers program that sounds interesting.
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Old 10-01-2012, 1:29 PM
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Yes, the first house I got the seller raised the price so the closing costs were covered. The house still appraised for the higher amount. On my 2nd house the seller refused to accept a VA loan and I had to go conventional.
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Old 10-01-2012, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba Steve33 View Post

Thanks Nate I will definitely call to get the certificate.

What was the difference in getting approved for a new house versus a short sale or foreclosure? I'm assuming unless you were looking at relatively new short sales the price of a new house would have been quite more.
VA number to get cert: 800 827 1000 then 010 to skip all voice prompts and talk to a rep.

There difference between the two scenarios is that there is no guesswork with a new house. You can pretty much count on it meeting the VA inspection criteria. The price was more but, we got to pick the lot, the direction the house was facing, all the options like tile, countertops, carpets, layout options, etc.

The short sales were always good deals. We kept getting beat out in deals and it felt like we were settling on things like sacrificing living on a cul de sac because it had a nice yard or not getting a loft because it was on a cul de sac, etc. Buying new, we pretty much got everything that we wanted. We paid more but I think it was worth it. I never have to move or sell if I don't want to. I got what I wanted the first time around.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:58 PM
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The VA funding fee for first time use by prior active duty is 2.15%. If you put 5% to 10% down, the Funding Fee drops to 1.5%. Generally with VA loans a down payment isn't required, and putting more down doesn't offer much incentive, since the VA insurance takes all of the lender's risk. Whereas on a conventional loans, there are large changes in interest rate depending on your credit score and down payment.

To be exempt from the funding fee you must be receiving VA compensation, so that would imply a minimum 10% rating.

In my experience, VA appraisers aren't any worse than FHA appraisers, however the VA gets a bad rap and uneducated agents may advise their sellers to accept a 'cleaner' offer than yours. Talk to a local realtor to find out what your market is like. In OC and Riverside, with prices and rates so low, there is a lot of competition for the few homes for sale. It may not be so competitive in your area; the seller may be grateful for your offer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 4:24 PM
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I get VA comp and have my unused VA Home Loan form, hmmm.
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Old 10-18-2012, 8:48 PM
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my wife an I just used the VA loan to purchase a home and it was pretty smooth sailing. Only thing i can complain about is there timelines. they have i believe what is 10 working days to do the appraisal so if your trying to close fast like i was ( son on the way) then it can get you into a bind. I will say the key is to deff get a veteran real estate agent with Va expierence. My realtor was prior army and has done alot of va loans and he was by far the key to limiting any headaches, plus its good to have a fellow vet covering your six.
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Old 10-18-2012, 9:33 PM
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One big plus which I just did is that with a VA loan you can refinance without having an appraisal. I went from 5.95% to 3.625% and may payment dropped by 500/month. Not bad for being just slightly upside down.

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:12 PM
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Used it last year, couldn't be happier. Bought a bank owned, south orange county fixer house and didn't experience a hick up. Used usaa and closed in 30 days. Good luck!
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