Giving back to our community, especially our veterans, has always been a priority here at Wilkes Mortgage Group. Whether you are an active U.S. military or a veteran, we are here to ensure that you experience a positive home purchase process and are set up for success as a homeowner. Veterans get exclusive access to VA home loans that will help save you money, simplify the lending process, and help protect your investment. Stick around for a full breakdown of how you can benefit from a VA home loan, apply, and qualify for even more unique programs as a U.S. veteran!
What Is a VA Home Loan?
The VA loan program for military members is hard to beat. With benefits such as zero down payment, no mortgage insurance, and flexible underwriting criteria, you can't afford to not take advantage of it!
A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the US Department Of Veterans Affairs. First launched in the 1940s, it was created to help service members returning from World War II. Since then, this incredible program has helped millions of veterans become homeowners. These loans are exclusive for eligible members of the military and their spouses, perhaps one of the best benefits of military service. These loans can be used to build, refinance, improve and buy up to four family properties. As mortgage brokers in the state of California, we absolutely love working with veterans through this program and see first hand all the perks borrowers enjoy.
Benefits Of a VA Home Loan.
Let's break down all the reasons why as a veteran, you NEED to be taking advantage of this! Here are the five biggest benefits of using a California military home loan to buy your home:
1. No down payment required! This is definitely the biggest benefit of using a VA loan when purchasing a property. With the opportunity to not have to put down a massive down payment, you'll be able to purchase a property sooner and place your focus on your monthly mortgage payment. This is one of the few mortgage programs that offer 100% financing. In California where home prices are among the highest in the country, this is a very big deal.
2. No mortgage insurance is required. Normally, a borrower will be required to have mortgage insurance when a mortgage loan covers most or all of the purchase price. This ends up increasing the borrower's monthly home payment along with the total amount of money paid overtime. That is why this is another amazing benefit of the California VA military home loan program, saving millions of veterans thousands of dollars.
3. Lenders are limited on closing costs. The Department of Veterans Affairs limits the amount of fees lenders can charge borrowers using VA home loans, another key money-saving feature! As another way to give back, the Department allows sellers to contribute money toward the buyer's closing costs. As a borrower, this gives you more flexibility in negotiation further reducing your out-of-pocket expense.
4. Competitive mortgage rates. Because California military home loans are backed by the federal government, lenders are often willing to offer lower rates for VA loans, compared to conventional mortgage products. Your rate will still greatly depend on your credit score among other factors, but you will still receive a great rate based on the current market! Feel free to get a free quote here: https://wilkesmortgagegroup.com/buy/
5. Flexible credit standards. Because these home loans are backed by the federal government, as mentioned above, borrowers who use these loans will take advantage of some of the most flexible underwriting guidelines. This means you won't need perfect credit to qualify for financing!
How to Qualify and Apply for a VA Home Loan.
As we said above, the VA Home Loan program is an amazing opportunity to become a homeowner! To apply for this program, you first have to demonstrate a certificate of eligibility. This can be obtained if you fall into one of these categories:
- Have been and are currently on active duty for at least 90 continuous days.
- Have served 90 days to 24 months continuously.
- Were discharged for a service-related disability.
- Have served 6 creditable years in the National Guard or Selected Reserve.
- Be the surviving spouse of a veteran, POW, or MIA.
You may also qualify if:
- You were a member of a military academy.
- You have been a public health service officer.
- You were an officer at the NOAA.
Instances where you may not qualify are if you received bad conduct or dishonorable discharge. However, even in these situations, there may be exceptions and you may apply for a discharge review. The point is that eligibility for a VA Home Loan is 100% worth inquiring about given the incredible benefits and easy qualification.
After you have your certificate of eligibility, the application process is pretty straightforward. We've highlighted some key steps in the application process for you to take note of to be even more prepared as a veteran in this endeavor.
1. Create a basic budget that includes your house payments. This step is optional but highly recommended! Before you start the application process for a California VA loan, you should sit down and get a basic home-buying budget on paper. Keep it very simple and look at your recurring monthly debts along with your income to determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford. We can pre-approve you for a certain loan amount based on your income and debt situation as a VA-approved mortgage lender. However, it's extremely beneficial to start by doing some of this basic math for yourself!
2. Contact us with any and all questions! You could and should perform this step at any stage of the application process. You may even choose to start with this step first if you still have questions after reading this blog! It's important to get all of your questions answered, regarding the VA loan application process as soon as possible. We can walk you through the application process and answer any other financing-related questions you might have. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us here whenever you're ready! SCHEDULE
3. Submit your VA loan application. So, you've determined that you're eligible for the program and you've got a home purchase budget worked out! The next step is officially applying for a California VA loan by submitting a mortgage application. This is a standardized document used for both VA and conventional mortgage loans. Do a quick google search to see what a standard "uniform residential loan application" looks like so you know what kind of information is required. It's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with paperwork ahead of time.
4. Prepare your additional documents for review. When applying for a VA home loan in California, you'll be asked to also provide additional documentation relating to your financial situation. This includes bank statements, pay stubs, and tax-related documents. In today's day and age, most of this can be done electronically which adds, even more, ease to the application process! These standard documents are used to determine how much of a loan you afford to take on while protecting you from additional debt.
5. Get pre-approved! After reviewing all of this information, a mortgage lender can pre-approve you for a specific amount. A pre-approval is extremely helpful in your home search and home buying process. You will feel confident in your search for a home knowing how much mortgage you can afford and will ensure you look for houses within your budget. Once you find your dream home, a pre-approval will help put you on a fast track to closing! Additionally, pre-approval will establish your credibility as a homebuyer by demonstrating that you have your finances in check, that you're serious about buying a house, and that you won't be denied a mortgage if they decide to sell you their home.
How We Work With Homes for Heroes.
Aside from benefiting from a VA home loan as a veteran, you can also reap the benefits from the amazing Homes for Heroes organization. Over the last 7 years, Wilkes Mortgage Group has been committed to making our communities a better place. As a proud partner of Homes for Heroes Inc., a nonprofit that focuses on providing easy ways for the heroes of our nation to save on homes and everyday home-related purchases, we ensure that every member of our military is taken care of.
Our military protects our freedom with courage, strength, and perseverance, we believe they deserve our service as well in return for theirs. Homes for Heroes is one of the many ways we do that. To find out more about how you can reap the benefits of Homes for Heroes, check out our Homes for Heroes Blog: Celebrating Heroes Nation Homes Heroes Inc.
Ready to kick start your home buying process? We are ready to help you find a home for your family. If you are a veteran and think you may qualify for a California VA Home Loan, contact us to start working towards your eligibility and application process.
Here at Wilkes Mortgage Group we are proud to work with our amazing veterans and we want to say a big THANK YOU to those that sacrifice so much daily to make our communities a better place.