4 Tips for Veterans Buying a Home

4 Tips for Veterans Buying a Home

If you are a military veteran looking to purchase a home, you may be confused by the home buying process, and how this process will differ for you as a veteran. One of the primary benefits available to you as a veteran buying a home is that you may qualify for a VA home loan. While many veterans never take advantage of VA home loans, veterans considering buying a home should look into the amazing benefits these loans can provide, such as the fact that they have lower interest rates and do not require a down payment. However, if you have never purchased a home before, you may be uncertain as to how you should go about the process of securing a home loan.

Related Blog: 5 Reasons to Avoid Traditional Bank Loans When Purchasing a Home

Here are a few tips to get you started as you begin your house hunt:

Know How Much Home You Can Afford

The first thing that you need to do before you even begin looking at homes in your area, and before you make an appointment with a single lender, is to sit down and determine what you can realistically afford based on your income and your current expenses. In order to help you live a comfortable lifestyle, as well as to ensure that your mortgage payments do not exceed your means, it is usually recommended that you find a home whose monthly mortgage and insurance payments do not exceed 25% to 35% of your gross income. Ultimately, you will want to come up with a realistic number you can afford before you start looking at houses, as this will help to prevent you from getting upside down in a house.

Check Your Credit Score

Your next step after determining a budget will be to check your credit report to see where you are at, and to make sure that there are not any errors in your credit report. Lenders are going to look at your credit report in order to determine your loan eligibility, and the fact is that the better your credit score is, the better the loan you will be able to qualify for. It is important that you get a credit report that gives you information from all three major credit bureaus, and that you scan these reports thoroughly for any inaccuracies. If you discover any mistakes, you will want to contact the credit bureaus as soon as possible as even small mistakes can greatly impact your credit score as well as the interest rate lenders will offer you.

Consider Paying Down Your Debt

Even if you find no errors on your credit report, you may find that your credit score is a bit lower than you would like it to be when you go to apply for a loan. While there are no quick fixes to help improve your credit score, paying down any revolving debt you have, such as from credit cards, can go a long way in giving your credit an extra boost. Before taking it upon yourself to pay off these debts, it is important that you consult with an experienced mortgage loan officer who will help guide you through that process. Paying off credit card debts can have an adverse effect on an individual's credit report if they don’t understand the process. Taking some time to pay down your credit cards before you apply for a home loan can save you greatly in the long-run by giving you access to more favorable loan terms.

Get Pre-Approved

Once you have determined your budget and know that your credit is going to be OK, your next step will be to get pre-approved for your VA loan amount. It is important to find a lender and get approved before you even begin looking at homes as this will ensure everything is ready for you, should you find the home of your dreams. What many veterans are unaware of is that they do not have to go through any government agency to get a VA loan. Most lenders you are interested in will be able to help you see if you qualify for, and will be able to help you apply for, a VA loan.

VA loans come with a variety of benefits over traditional home loans, for veterans. Contact us to learn more about these loans, the benefits they provide, and the process of purchasing a home as a veteran.

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