Veterans of the U.S. Military or National Guard should have the greatest benefits. Their lives have been compromised protecting the country and its citizens. As a way of giving back to them, the government instituted the Veteran Home Loan Program entitling veterans to avail housing without cashing out a single cent from their own pockets for down payment. But, with these opportunities, many veterans might end up not making the right decision when buying a home.
You can avoid your tale of head-banging frustration by avoiding those mistakes before you start your home search. Here’s a checklist of the 5 basic things a veteran need to consider before buying a home:
1. Talk To a Mortgage Lender
One thing you should take care of before you call a real estate agent or look at houses is to talk with a lender. Your mortgage lender does not need to be the same company you bank with, find a company familiar with VA loans. Speaking to a lender will help you to determine your buying power and establish you with a pre-qualification letter or a pre-approval letter – so you can easily move to the next step when you find the perfect home.
2. Not Using A Realtor Who Knows VA Loans
The best option if you plan on using a VA loan to finance your home is to work with a realtor that understands the process and requirements of one. Also, you need to look for a house that meets up with the VA loan requirements; this is another reason why you need a good realtor. Working with a VA-experienced realtor from the start can save you the headache of wasting your time on a house that won’t get approved.
3. Forgetting About All The Home-buying Costs
Even, if you receive a VA loan, there are some costs that this loan won’t cover you for. Expenses like the home appraisal or home inspection are some of the things you should budget for personally. Having funds set aside for these types of expenses will keep your home buying plans on track.
4. Not Thinking Of Your Home As An Investment
You might be thinking that “well I might be relocating next few years, so why buy?”. But, this should not stop you from buying; in fact this might be the best opportunity for a life-long investment. When you buy a home in a high-demand area or choose a popular home style and size, you’ll give yourself a better chance at resale if you do need to move later – and possibly even at a higher value
5. Not Save Money
Even if you’re using a VA loan, start saving immediately. As we stated earlier, there are some closing costs to cover or your new home may need to some work. Consider looking for a lender that offers a lender credit to help offset these costs as well as other expenses like homeowner’s insurance, title insurance and taxes.