I was reading an article not too long ago that said that the use of VA loans was in decline. Not because eligible veterans aren’t buying homes, but because their lenders and real estate agents are steering them away from VA products.
The VA loan, while it may not be necessary for everyone, as great advantages and I encourage anyone who is eligible to at least consider it. One of the biggest and financially tangible advantage of the VA Loan is the elimination of PMI. I don’t advocate for anyone to buy a house with 0% down because if you have no money for a down payment, you are clearly not ready for the financial commitment of a house. However, PMI is only eliminated after 20% down or more. So a family that has worked diligently to save 10-15% of the purchase price of a house shouldn’t be stuck with PMI payments because they weren’t fortunate enough to have $60,000 and “only” have $30,000. Some other advantages (or disadvantages depending on which side of the transaction you’re on) include their stringent inspection and appraisal standards.
For example when we bought our house using a VA loan, they required a termite inspection, at the sellers’ expense, and the inspection report had to be accompanied by a receipt in the seller’s name to show that we did not pay for it. In addition to the inspection, the appraisal was strict and very conservative (in my opinion). While that has the ability to tank your mortgage application if it doesn’t work in your favor, it is a boost of confidence in your decision when it does work out well.
Some of the service members interviewed for the news piece said they didn’t even know about the VA loan, which to me is mind boggling because when you sacrifice so much to serve your country, you should be aware of every possible benefit that you are entitled to.
You risked life and limb to earn every benefit out there. While you don’t have to use it, you should at least know your options. Read about the VA loan here and see if it could be right for you.