Owning your own home is a huge goal for most Americans. Veterans who have served our nation honorably can get a little assistance through the Veteran’s Administration (VA) home loan program. The program’s main purpose is to help those who have served finance affordable housing. The first step to buying a home through the VA loan program is to connect with a Realtor that is a certified Military Relocation Professional (MRP) and specializes in VA purchases, like myself. VA loans have several advantages for those eligible to use them. Probably the most notable advantage is VA buyers do not require a down payment to purchase a home, unlike conventional loans which require 5% down, or FHA loans which require 3.5% down. Secondly, there is no monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) required when using a VA loan. Conventional and FHA loans require PMI unless the buyer has 20% or more for a down payment. Another great perk is VA loans often have lower interest rates than conventional or FHA. Finally, VA loans are assumable by qualified buyers, which means a future buyer of your home may be able to take advantage of your great interest rate if interest rates climb. While there are lots of benefits, there are also some misconceptions about VA loans that you should know.
A common misconception I’ve seen with first-time home buyers using a VA loan is they believe “no money down” means “no money out-of-pocket”. There are still expenses you will need to have cash for. For instance, you will need money for a good faith deposit; usually about 1% of the purchase price. Additionally, closing costs and pre-paids are an often-forgotten costs associated with buying a home. You can expect closing costs and pre-paids to be between 3% and 4% of the purchase price, depending on which lender you choose and how much their origination and miscellaneous fees costs. Another expense you should plan for is an inspection. You should be prepared to spend between $300-$500 for the average home inspection, which should include a wind-mitigation certificate, and a wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection. WDO inspections are mandatory for VA loans. Don’t let closing costs scare you out of purchasing a home though, many of our veteran buyers have been able to purchase a home with very little out-of-pocket expenses and some have even received money back at closing by negotiating with the seller.
If you are ready to buy your home, do not try to navigate the process on your own, let the Diamond One Team help. After serving 24-years in the Air Force, I retired as a First Sergeant. First Sergeants are in a position of trust for which they are responsible for the morale, welfare, and conduct of their unit. First Sergeants wear a “diamond” insignia on their rank, which sets them apart from others. The “diamond” in the military has become symbolic for helping service members. Our team, the Diamond One Team, specializes in helping military families buy and sell homes on the Space Coast. Our team’s broker is Britton Group, Inc, in Satellite Beach. The Diamond One Team was Britton Group’s Top Producer for 2018 with nearly $14 Million in sales, through 43 transactions. In just four years, we have helped over 120 military families buy and sell homes throughout Brevard County. Our entire team, which consists of three full-time Realtors, and a transaction coordinator, specialize in VA home purchases. There are a lot of awesome realtors on the Space Coast, but there are none that understand both military families and VA loans better than the Diamond One Team.