HOME SHOPPING TIPS FOR VETERANS

If you're like the majority of military veterans looking to buy or refinance a home, you will want to use your VA loan benefit.  Its main purpose is to purchase or refinance an existing home, but it can also be used to buy a condo or build a home, so long as they meet  the right criteria.

It is best to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with VA loan guidelines and who works with a mortgage company, like Patriot Home Mortgage-Pacific Group, who specializes in VA loans, refinances, and pre-approvals.  This will greatly reduce or eliminate any misunderstandings when it comes time to make an offer or apply for a loan.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when you start shopping for a home or consider making changes to your existing home:

*A VA loan can be used to refinance your current VA-guaranteed loan, or other form of direct loan (Conventional, FHA, etc),  in order to lower the current interest rate, with the possibility of also taking out cash with the refinance. 

*You may use a VA loan to repair, improve or alter a residence you currently own (for example, to make it accessible in the case of disability)

*As long as a home passes the VA appraisal (meaning it doesn't need significant improvements in order to be habitable), you may use a VA loan to simultaneously purchase and make improvements on a home.

*You may use a VA loan to make energy-efficient improvements, in accordance with specified conditions.

*A residence on a farm or acreage may be purchased so long as it is to be owned and occupied by the veteran; however, the property cannot be a working farm or a property that otherwise produces income 

*A VA loan can be used under certain circumstances to purchase a manufactured home, so long as it is attached to a permanent foundation and resides on a lot or land owned by the veteran (no rental spaces)

*A VA loan can be used to purchase a condo that will be a veteran's primary residence (and can, in fact, be used to purchase up to four single-family units within a condo development if approved by the VA)

A VA loan may NOT be used to purchase any type of vacation  home or income property, though you may obtain a direct loan for either of these and still carry the VA loan on your primary residence. 

I hope by keeping these tips in mind, you'll start your remodeling or home shopping in the right place, by choosing a property or improvement that will allow you to maximize your VA loan.