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VA Loan Reader Questions: Ineligible Loan Purposes - 06/29/12 05:26 AM
We get a lot of reader questions asking the same type of question; “Can I do XY or Z with a VA guaranteed home loan?” In some cases, the borrower wants to know whether a certain type of property can be purchased with a VA guaranteed home loan–for example, a farmhouse or condo. In others, the buyer wants to know if he or she can purchase a second home, a vacation property, or a residential/business “mixed use” property. Fortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs does have a list of eligible and ineligible uses for a VA home loan. The VA forbids, for example, the purchase (1 comments)
VA Loan Entitlement Restoration: A Reader Question - 06/28/12 06:46 AM
A reader asks, “My husband is a veteran and our first home was purchased on a VA loan – we have paid off the loan and now own the home. We are interested in purchasing a second home nearby as our primary residence and will be renovating our first home prior to selling. Will we be eligible for a VA loan on a second home in this circumstance?” There are two basic issues which need to be addressed here. One is the question of VA loan eligibility, the other is the disposition of the first property bought and paid for with (0 comments)
VA Appraisal Issues and Concerns - 06/27/12 07:27 AM
Some of the most common questions about the VA appraisal process involve the things an appraiser might write up as needing corrections as a condition of VA loan approval. Some borrowers–and sellers–are confused by areas listed in the VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). For example, why is peeling paint considered a required connection as opposed to a cosmetic issue? The paint issue can be a serious sticking point in a VA appraisal for one important reason–VA MPRs are very strict on this subject. The Colorado VA Regional Loan Center rulebook for VA appraisers states, “Lead Based Paint – This constitutes an (0 comments)
VA Appraisal Timeliness and Required Corrections - 06/27/12 06:50 AM
A reader asks, “We had a VA appraisal performed on the home that we are purchasing with a VA loan. However, the VA appraiser is not providing anyone with some corrections that need to be performed. The bank tells us that they are not permitted to talk with him. So who is the appraiser permitted to provide these corrections to? It has been two weeks and he the VA appraiser is not being compliant. How do we find out what corrections need to be done in order to move forward on the purchase of our home?” VA appraisals don’t necessarily have (1 comments)
VA Loan Interest Rates - 06/26/12 06:41 AM
We get plenty of reader questions about VA loans, including queries about interest rates. One of the most frequently asked questions–“What is the interest rate on a VA home loan?” According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA “no longer prescribes interest rates for VA-guaranteed loans.” Instead, borrowers must negotiate the interest rate with their chosen lender. That’s one reason why loan experts encourage borrowers to shop competitively for a home loan whether it’s a VA, FHA, or conventional mortgage. Some borrowers examine interest rates, find a lender with an acceptable rate, and decide to commit to the purchase of (0 comments)
VA Loan Reader Question: How Do I Get A VA Home Loan? - 06/25/12 06:37 AM
A reader asks, “I’m trying to understand the process of buying a home with a VA loan. Do I go and find the house that I like first and then apply? Who specifically do I talk to for the loan? I am a Gulf War era veteran and want to buy a first time home. I need help with this process.” There are different ways a VA loan applicant can approach the VA home loan process. Some borrowers prefer to get pre-qualified for a VA loan amount before they commit to a home purchase, while others may choose to find a (1 comments)
VA Loans and Verifiable Income: Disability Payments - 06/22/12 07:46 AM
A reader asks, “Can VA disability payments be considered as income, also I’ve read somewhere that VA loans to disabled vets are different.” VA loans for veterans with VA-recognized disabilities are different because the Department of Veterans Affairs allows these vets to apply for a waiver of the VA loan funding fee. This waiver is not automatic and the veteran borrower must have evidence that the VA recognizes his or her condition. Basically a veteran receiving, or eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-related medical condition is eligible to apply for the waived funding fee. On disability payments as (2 comments)
VA Loan Eligibility With Less Than Two Years of Employment - 06/21/12 06:01 AM
VA Loans have specific requirements for credit, income, and employment. When it comes to the VA’s employment requirements, the rules state the lender must verify a VA loan applicant’s employment status according to what has been listed on the application. The lender does this by contacting or otherwise verifying that the borrower has indeed worked or is currently working for the employers named on the application. But some borrowers wonder if their employment history–or lack of one–could hurt them when it’s time to apply for the VA mortgage. The standard for employment, when used to approve or deny a VA home (0 comments)
VA Loan Reader Question: Renting Out the Home - 06/20/12 06:12 AM
A reader asks, “How long do you have to occupy the home for? (i.e. what if you move after 6 months?) Do you have to sell/refinance the home or can you rent it with the VA loan still on it?” One way for a borrower to properly understand the rules in this area is to study the language of the occupancy agreement the borrower signed as a condition of the VA loan–borrowers must certify in writing that they intend to use the property purchased with a VA mortgage as the primary residence. This agreement is legally binding–borrowers should familiarize themselves with (3 comments)
VA Refinancing Loans: Charges That Can Be Included in the Loan Amount - 06/20/12 05:42 AM
For VA guaranteed mortgage loans, there are lists of items which may be included in the loan amount. Many borrowers want to know which things are permitted to be financed as part of the VA loan and which must be paid up front. For example, what are the borrower’s options when it comes to the VA funding fee? According to the VA Lender’s Handbook Chapter Eight, Section Seven, “For all types of VA loans, the loan amount may include the VA funding fee.” But the rules often change depending on the type of VA home loan. Chapter Eight also states, “No (0 comments)
VA Mortgages, Missed Payments, Foreclosure - 06/19/12 06:34 AM
From the comments section: “My husband got one of those letters today…It says Reinvestment Initiative, IRRRL-1003 Benefit Allotment, Forman 21-0760 Eligibility Notification. It shows our original lender who sold our mortgage to another lender (without our knowledge) several years ago.” “We were making our payments on time with both lenders. The 2nd lender kept sending statements saying we didn’t pay our payment. Their explanation is that every persons payment goes in to a “pool”. It didn’t get credited to our account. Long story short, we just found out that our house has been foreclosed on and was sold TODAY to someone (2 comments)
VA Loan Applications: What You Should Know About Reporting Debts - 06/18/12 06:21 AM
When applying for a VA home loan–or any other type of credit–some borrowers are tempted to leave out certain debts or financial obligations when filling out the paperwork. It’s easy to mistakenly assume that simply not reporting these details will keep them from the lender, but is that really true? Borrowers should know that when filling out a credit application, they are authorizing the lender (or are required to sign such authorization) to pull credit reports and related data. Borrowers could delay the discovery of a certain type or amount of debt, but the credit report will likely show that debt. (1 comments)
VA Loan Occupancy Rules--What Buyers Should Know - 06/15/12 05:30 AM
Some of the most frequently asked questions about VA home loans involve the rules for occupancy. What do the VA loan rules say about taking possession of the home after closing, renting out your home purchased with a VA mortgage to someone else, and refinancing rules? To begin, let’s see what the VA Lender’s Handbook says about basic occupancy requirements. According to Chapter Three, Section Five: “The law requires a veteran obtaining a VA-guaranteed loan to certify that he or she intends to personally occupy the property as his or her home. As of the date of certification, the veteran must (1 comments)
VA Loan Down Payment Rules - 06/14/12 07:28 AM
One of the things many first-time home buyers like about the VA loan program is the zero down payment option. VA loans are available for “the full reasonable value” of a given property, so in general there is no down payment requirement unlike other government home loan programs such as FHA mortgages, which require 3.5% down at a minimum. But some borrowers do find themselves in situations where a VA loan could require a down payment. According to the VA Lender’s Handbook, Chapter Three, “no downpayment is required by VA except in the following circumstances: • If the purchase price exceeds (0 comments)
VA Loan Reader Question: Homes Near Oil Lines/Wells - 06/13/12 06:44 AM
A reader asks, “We are currently attempting sell our home which has a lease for potential drilling of an oil well. No well has been dug.” “The underwriter of the seller’s VA loan is requesting a letter from the oil company stating federal rules regarding high pressure oil lines will be complied with. The problem is that no one can provide the VA’s definition of a “high pressure” line, thus making the oil company president uneasy with signing such a statement. Can anyone provide a definition or guidance on how to deal with this? Our close has already been delayed two (0 comments)
Steps to Getting a VA Home Loan - 06/12/12 06:20 AM
On the official site of the Department of Veterans Affairs, there is a list of steps to a VA home loan. You’ll find the following advice listed at the VA’s Pre-Loan Frequently Asked Questions page: “Select a home and discuss the purchase with the seller or selling agent. Sign a purchase contract conditioned on approval of your VA home loan. Select a lender, present them with your Certificate of Eligibility if available, and complete a loan application. The lender can also obtain a Certificate of Eligibility on your behalf. The lender will develop all credit and income information. They will also (1 comments)
The VA Home Loan Entitlement - 06/12/12 05:58 AM
“How much is my VA loan entitlement?” That’s one of the most frequently asked questions about VA home loans. If you’re new to the program it’s good to know such amounts, what they mean, and understand exactly what you’re able to do with a VA guaranteed home mortgage. The basic entitlement–the amount of the loan the government is willing to issue a guaranty for–is $36,000. The VA official site says that basic entitlement isn’t the only amount a borrower may be qualified to apply for; “For loans in excess of $144,000 to purchase or construct a home, additional entitlement up to (1 comments)
VA Loan MPR Rules on Asbestos - 06/11/12 06:17 AM
After viewing a recent post about VA minimum property requirements and appraisals, one reader asks, “What about asbestos shingles on an older home?” Assuming the reader is asking whether asbestos shingles would disqualify a home from being approved for a VA guaranteed mortgage, or whether asbestos shingles would need to be replaced in order for the property to be approved, we responded to the reader saying local building codes or other applicable law would be enforced in this situation. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not specifically address asbestos singles in it’s minimum property requirements. That said, the VA does get (1 comments)
How To Get a VA Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Home Loan - 06/08/12 06:11 AM
Borrowers who are eligible to apply for a VA guaranteed home loan must first get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs before they can apply for the VA home loan. In order to get a VA COE, the borrower can apply in one of three ways. One option is to apply online. Veterans and those currently serving can go to the eBenefits portal to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. If you don’t have an existing account there, you’ll be required to set one up before you can apply for the COE. Borrowers who need assistance with the eBenefits portal should call the (1 comments)
VA Home Loans: Does The Borrower Get A Warranty? Answers Here - 06/07/12 06:46 AM
When purchasing a home with a VA guaranteed mortgage loan, borrowers are strongly encouraged to hire a home inspector to review the property before committing to purchase. An inspection is not the same as a VA appraisal–it is a much closer look at the property and the borrower should not expect an appraisal to reveal issues with a home such as a roof which needs repairs, faulty wiring, inefficient plumbing, etc. Some VA loan applicants mistakenly believe that the appraisal is some kind of guarantee against defects–it is not. Others mistakenly believe that any home purchased with a VA guaranteed loan (0 comments)
VA Minimum Property Requirements: Common Issues - 06/06/12 07:01 AM
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a rulebook for VA home loans which includes a list of minimum property requirements that are used to guide VA appraisals. One of the most frequently asked questions about VA home loans in general is, “What does the VA appraiser look for?” While the answer to that question is too long to include in its entirety here, we can provide some of the most common issues and areas VA appraisers are required to review. For example, every home appraised by a VA fee appraiser must have a heating system which is “adequate for healthful and (0 comments)
VA Loans and Rental Income - 06/05/12 08:26 AM
A reader asks, “Can the rental income from a multi unit property be used at least partially to qualify for the loan? I know in the past that it could as long as the veteran had six months of cash reserve on hand to cover rental vacancies.” This question comes up frequently; some borrowers want to know if a VA home loan can be used to purchase a multi-unit property (yes) and also want to know if rental income from said property can be used to qualify for the VA mortgage loan (it depends). Borrowers cannot automatically use projected rental income (0 comments)
Military Housing Allowances As Verifiable Income for a VA Home Loan - 06/05/12 08:20 AM
VA loan rules about verifiable income can be a bit confusing–especially if you’re new to the VA loan program. One reader asks, “I am a bit confused with your reply to (a previous reader question) about BAH from Post 911 counting as income for a VA loan with USAA. You stated that the BAH is not income that can be used to qualify for a VA loan. The confusion for me is that the article clearly states it can be counted. Are you referring to just the BAH that is from the Post 911 GI Bill, not the active duty BAH (0 comments)
VA Loans, Planned Unit Developments, and Condo Projects - 06/04/12 06:18 AM
Some of the most frequently asked questions about VA PUD/condo loan approval have to do with requirements to get a project included on the VA “approved” projects list. The Department of Veterans Affairs once maintained a list of VA-approved condos and Planned Unit Developments at the now-outdated http://condopudbuilder.vba.va.gov/2.2/frames.html But the VA official site is quick to point out that, “…no new Planned Unit Development entries have been added to the list since VA discontinued its review and approval of PUDs and the responsibility became the lender’s.” Borrowers looking for PUD updates will not find them, and the link above is no (2 comments)
VA Loans and Income Verification: Guard and Reserve Pay - 06/01/12 06:19 AM
VA home loans require income verification as part of the loan approval process. One reason for this is so the lender can calculate the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio using income that has been shown to be reliable and “likely to continue” as the VA loan rulebook puts it. Qualified VA loan applicants in the National Guard or the Reserves would naturally want to include their income from military service as part of their VA loan application, but does the VA recognize Guard or Reserve pay unconditionally? Here’s what the VA Lender’s Handbook says about Guard/Reserve pay in Chapter Four, Credit Underwriting: “Income (1 comments)
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