The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers many great programs to help those who have served in the military purchase a home. After all, having a place to call your own is a vital part of the American dream. But the process isn’t foolproof. People can (and do) make mistakes buying their first home, second home, or 10th home. You can avoid headaches by steering clear of the following mistakes before you start your home search.
Blunder: 1 Not thinking of your home as an investment
A job that requires constant relocation really takes away from the idea that buying a home could be a good investment. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t; as a matter of fact, a home could end up being a smart investment.
Choosing a popular home size and style or picking from an area with a high demand will give your home a better chance to sell if you need to move or a better chance to be rented if you choose to do so.
Another great option for if and when you move is to have your VA loan assumed by another vet, also what’s great is that you can use your VA home loan benefits again and again. That means, you can own a rental property and a new home!
Blunder: 2 Dealing with all the costs of home-buying
If you didn’t think that your VA loan comes with extra costs and fees, well now you know better. While you’ll have a ton of financial advantages with your VA loan, you will have some costs to deal with.
When you’re buying a home, you’ll likely have to spend a bit for things like a home appraisal and inspection. It might not cost much in the large scheme of things, but it’ll help speed things along if you come prepared knowing what you’ll have to pay for.
Blunder: 3 Getting carried away on huge purchases before closing
Say you’ve found a great home and the seller has accepted your offer. Exciting, right? You’re probably thinking that it might be a good idea to purchase the things you’ve been eyeing to fill your new home.
Not too fast. One expert’s advice says to wait until after closing to make any financial moves. This is so you are on the safe side of things and to keep your loan on track.
Blunder: 4 Getting a realtor and appraiser who doesn’t understand the VA process
Having a realtor who understands the VA process will definitely make your home-buying experience a lot easier. When you’re buying through the VA, you’ll need to find a home that meets VA property requirements. A VA appraiser will have specific criteria; for instance, fixer-uppers (and even some newer homes) won’t qualify. Save yourself the headache of making an offer on a house that may not get approved, and work with a VA-experienced realtor from the start.
Ask another vet for a referral, or get help from Veterans United Realty to find the right pro.
Blunder: 5 Not communicating enough with your lender
Veterans have amazing benefits like the ability to buy a home with 0% down, low interest rates and not having mortgage insurance as a requirement, to name just a few. But about one in three home-buying veterans don’t know they have a home loan benefit, according to the VA. When you first meet with your lender, be sure to discuss your military status so you can be informed about all the potential advantages.
It’s extremely important to ask your lender if they offer any incentives for veterans. Pretty much everything will get easier as soon as your lender knows your military status, so speak up!