VA Home Loans: Know Your Benefits

In 2008 over 3 million Americans saw their homes foreclosed upon. The foreclosure rate dramatically increased 81 percent from the previous year and 225 percent from 2006. A lot of people were hit hard and, military families were no exception. Some estimates put the 2008 foreclosure rates in military towns as high as four times the national average. Six years later, many perspective homeowners still feel trepidation when it comes to buying a home. A recent MacArthur Foundation survey found that 64 percent of respondents believe “they are less likely to build wealth buying a home today than they were 20 or 30 years ago.” With 43 percent saying that owning a home is a poor long-term investment. Confounding the issue for those surveyed was the attitude that we are still in a national foreclosure crisis with the worst yet to come. Interestingly, these results are counterintuitive to what many economists expect; current trends illustrate that the worst is in fact behind us.
At VA Home Loan Centers we still very much believe in the American Dream of Homeownership.
For Veterans, the challenges of becoming a homeowner can be drastically lessened by the advantages of a VA Home Loan. This is an appealing loan for veterans purchasing a home because it offers low interest rates, relaxed underwriting guidelines, 100 percent financing and 0 dollars down.
A VA Home Loan is also ideal for those still recovering from a harsh economy. Previous financial hardships do not preclude many vets from qualifying. As long as an applicant is up to date on their payments; foreclosures, short sales or bankruptcy filings may not prevent eligibility.
Given the unpredictable nature of military life, VA Home Loans are particularly beneficial to active duty service members facing a permanent change of station. Military members are allowed a permissive Temporary Duty of up to 10 days following their re-assignment orders. These 10 days provide an opportunity for those living off base to house hunt in conjunction with the PCS. Beyond that, those who are upside down on their equity and need to short sale prior to their PCS can do so at no cost. Those who short sale prior to the move may still qualify for a VA Home Loan as long as they are current on their payments, enabling them to buy in the area they have been relocated to.
The Department of Veteran Affairs reports that 200,000 service members leave service every year; many are young people aged 18-34, who are eager to settle down and build a family. It is of paramount importance that they know what benefits they are entitled to, and how to properly take advantage of them. The VA Home Loan is a great way for veterans (or active duty) to achieve the financial and emotional stability that accompanies homeownership.
Written by Noah Perkins, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Mr. Perkins currently is the CMS [Content Management Specialist] for VA Home Loans in San Diego.
Those interested in applying for a VA Home loan can find additional information at

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