VA loans have benefited more than 20 million people in 7 decades
By Academy Mortgage Corp.
Finding the perfect home isn't always easy. Paying for one can be even harder. Luckily, there are financial resources out there to help consumers of all types achieve homeownership, a goal commonly associated with success and the American Dream.
Veterans, as well as active-duty military servicemen and women, are eligible for a program of their own. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers loans to help these brave citizens finance a home for themselves and their families. According to Veterans United Network, more than 20 million veterans have secured financing for a home using VA loans since 1944, when they were first made available through the GI Bill.
Benefits of a VA loan
There are many benefits veterans and military families can receive from a VA loan. One of the biggest perks is the $0 down payment. Bankrate also explained that VA loans don't require private mortgage insurance, as is typically the case for a conventional mortgage with a down payment of less than 20%. Together, these advantages can save a veteran and his or her family quite a bit of money.
Additionally, homeowners with a VA loan who begin to fall behind on payments can seek help from the VA.
"We have dedicated staff nationwide committed to helping veterans who are experiencing financial difficulty," explained John Bell, the VA's assistant director of loan policy, according to Bankrate.
Getting to know the veteran homebuyer
This year, the National Association of Realtors ® compiled data on veteran and active-duty military homebuyers and sellers for the first time. This information allows real estate agents, mortgage lenders and anyone else involved in the homebuying or selling process to get to know their military clients a little bit better.
"Military homebuyers can take advantage of a number of perks."
One important fact to note was that 38% of active-duty military homebuyers were also first-time homebuyers. Nearly eight in 10 veteran and active-duty military buyers were married couples, and the median age for homebuyers was 61 for veterans and 34 for active-duty personnel. One-third of active-duty military buyers were in the market because of a job relocation, while many veterans wanted to buy a new home closer to family or for an easier retirement.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for NAR, explained that military homebuyers can take advantage of a number of perks beyond the pure availability of VA loans.
"Despite having a lower median income ($76,800), more stable job security and no down payment financing options give aspiring homeowners in the military a deserving advantage over their civilian peers," Yun explained. "Furthermore, their tendencies to marry and raise a family at an earlier age and carry less student debt make buying a home a more desirable and achievable option."
The survey also found that many eligible homebuyers were taking advantage of VA loans, though there is still room for growth. Nearly three-fourths of active-duty military said they used a VA loan to help finance their purchase, as did 54% of veteran buyers. Only 5% of veterans and 3% of active-duty military said saving for a down payment was the hardest part of buying a home, compared to the 11% of buyers overall.
Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Contact me to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.