VA Home Loans

Who Can Qualify for a VA Loan?

                        VA loans, or loans through the Veteran’s Administration, are special loan programs for veterans that require qualification. If you are looking at VA loans, you have probably heard of some of the great benefits: you can buy a home with no money down, you do not need monthly mortgage insurance (rather, there is just need a one-time funding fee built into the loan), and you get a competitive interest rate with low closing costs. It is probably one of the best loans out there and was designed for those who have served our country. Do You Qualify? If you have been in the Armed Forces, such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, or their reserves, you could be eligible. The VA loan program is inclusive of both active duty and qualified veterans. If…

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What Mortgage Programs Are Available to Veterans?

If you’re a veteran or a disabled veteran, what special programs for buying a home are available to you? If you served your country, you can take advantage of the Veterans Administration Loan Program that allows you to get 0% down on a home loan. In addition, there are other benefits with a VA loan, which will be described below. Funding Fee When setting up a Veterans Administration loan, a funding fee is attached to the mortgage. VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, as with typical mortgages when you put less than 20% down. However, there is a one-time funding fee that is added back into the mortgage. The amount of the funding fee depends on whether you were active duty, or served in the National Guard. However, if you are a considered a disabled veteran, this funding fee is waived and can save you money up front. Real…

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Are You Thinking About Buying a Chicago Area Home in 2017?

                    With 2016 behind us, and the beginning of 2017 underway, many folks take a step back and look at their New Year’s resolutions and what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. While reflecting on their aspirations for the year, many renters and first-time buyers have the goal of purchasing a new home in 2017. If buying a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to figure out and assess where you are now, and where you need to be in order to buy a home. Doing an assessment with a qualified mortgage loan officer will help you determine where you are at financially, and things you can to do to help you prepare to buy a home. Examining Your Savings, Debt and Credit An important aspect of your financial picture is your amount…

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How To Get A VA Loan for 0% Down?

                    We will discuss VA Loans, which are 0% down loans for qualified military veterans. If you are a qualified military veteran, or an active duty Servicemember of the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides home loans with special benefits to help you become a homeowner. Special Benefits One of the best perks of being an active member or veteran of the military is the VA Loan, which requires you put down as little as 0% down for a down payment, without the requirement of mortgage insurance. Conventional mortgages require minimum down payment, where buyers have to pay a percentage of the home purchase price up front when buying a home. Other programs such as FHA loans reduce the down payment required, often lowering the minimum down payment to a lower percentage than conventional mortgages. Most loans under…

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How Soon Can I Buy a House After a Foreclosure?

In my last article, we discussed how soon you can buy a home after a bankruptcy or short sale, and the standard time frames in which you must wait before re-applying for a home loan. Today we will go over deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and foreclosures, and your waiting periods in their wake. Buying After Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure A Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure may happen when a homeowner realizes they aren’t financially stable enough to keep their house, and subsequently offers to deed their property to the lender. If the lender accepts, they in return forgive the homeowner’s debt and waive the right to pursue them for further payments. This situation is rare, but not unheard of. If you find yourself in this way, and would like to apply for a conventional home loan, you will need to wait four to seven years depending on your specific case. You may find…

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How Soon Can I Buy a House After a Bankruptcy or Short sale?

Since the financial crisis of 2007, it seems like everyone knows at least one person who’s pocketbook was hit hard resulting in the loss of their house, or the need to file for bankruptcy. Maybe that person is you. You’ve been through some tough times lately; You’re not alone. Now that you are getting back on your feet, you may be asking yourself, “When can I buy a house again?” Let’s discuss your options for buying a new home after bankruptcy or short sale. Buying a New Home After a Bankruptcy The definition of filing for bankruptcy is the legal proceeding in which an individual is unable to pay their outstanding debts. There are two types of bankruptcy; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy occurs when an individual files a petition, their assets are evaluated and used to pay back some of his or her outstanding debt, and…

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Down Payments and Gifts: Part 2

In my last post, Down Payments and Gifts: Part 1, we discussed what a down payment is, how much you might need for a down payment, and how the type of loan determines how you can use a gift. In this post, we will explore the definition of a gift in the world of mortgages, what paperwork you’ll need to verify a gift, and the overall rules for gifts for all loan types. What is considered a “gift”? Let’s say Aunt Judy gives you $50, and Grandma and Grandpa Smith give you $1,000 for your college graduation. Can you use both as gifts towards a down payment on a house? Absolutely! It’s just that the $1,000 probably requires a little documentation. Look at it from a lender’s point of view. When they examine your accounts, they want to be sure that all of the money in there is yours. If…

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Down Payments and Gifts: Part 1

Whether it’s in a jar labeled “Future Home” or in a special account at the bank, you’ve been saving your pennies for a down payment. Go you! But how much do you have versus how much do you need? Are grandma and grandpa giving you a chunk of change for your graduation towards the down payment too? Before answering these questions, let’s take one small step back in order to define some terms. What is a down payment? The definition of a down payment is the initial payment made when something is bought on credit. For our purposes, that something is a house. The money you use for a down payment is the foundation for the equity you’ll build in your home over time as you make mortgage payments. Equity is the total amount of money you’ve paid towards owning your home. For example, if you made a $15,000 down…

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Pre-Approval for FHA and VA Home Loans

For many home buyers, one of the first steps towards owning a new home is pre-approval. But what does that even mean? Is it important to get pre-approved? What will you need to get pre-approved for a home loan? These common questions and others are what we will be exploring today. What is pre-qualification? Don’t confuse pre-approval and pre-qualification. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage is based on financial information you verbally provide a lender to determine a general mortgage amount for which you might be approved. Pre-qualification does not look at your credit report, does not verify any financial information, and therefore does not carry nearly the same weight as being pre-approved. However, it can be helpful to get pre-qualified as it costs nothing to do, can be done within minutes, and can help steer you towards the right type of mortgage (Conventional, FHA, or VA). What is pre-approval? Pre-approval happens…

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VA Home Loan – Am I Eligible?

The goal of a Veteran’s Administration (VA) home loan is to help Service members, Veterans and their spouses, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. It is our goal to help guide you through the VA home loan process to find your dream home. VA home loans offer many excellent benefits, including: Low interest rates. No down payment needed up to the loan limit of $417,000. No mortgage insurance required – there is a one time funding fee which is added into the loan Strict limits on closing costs Flexible credit standards for qualifying No prepayment penalty if you pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule VA loans are assumable, that is, a new buyer can take them on under the same terms. If rates go up when you decide to sell, this may make your home more valuable.   Do I qualify for a VA home loan? If you are…

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