A VA home loan, also known as a Veterans Affairs guaranteed loan, is an excellent option for military veterans purchasing their first home. The VA Loan program offers lower down payment requirements than many other loan programs. This means more veterans can enter the housing market earlier in life with little money saved up. If you are plannint to buy a house but have not started saving for your home purchase, you must understand what can be purchased, given your budget constraints and level of savings.
Things you can buy with a VA Home Loan include:
Condos and Townhouses
Condominiums may also be purchased with VA loans as long as the local mortgage authority approves the complex. While this option will not let you take advantage of all the tax benefits of owning real estate, it can still be a cheaper way to enjoy living in a premium location close to work or other essential amenities. The same goes for considering townhouses as potential purchase options. These properties often have lower initial costs than single-family houses, allowing buyers greater access to high-quality homeownership.
VA loans may also be used to finance manufactured homes constructed in a factory and not on-site like other residences. Veterans purchasing these homes must provide the lender with proof of loan approval before the building begins. Additionally, manufactured homes can’t be placed in a mobile home park unless built to the same standards as a ground-up construction property.
Co-Ops are a viable option for purchasing a property rather than rent but have limited funds saved toward a down payment. Also referred to as Co-operative Housing, this is a structure where the buyer purchases share in the building instead of investing directly into the home itself. One benefit of choosing this type of ownership is that there isn’t an additional monthly fee associated with it – most members pay their share of taxes and maintenance costs based on how many shares they own.
Fixer-Uppers/Downs are a very common purchase option for VA loans. Down payments on a Fixer-Upper might be as low as 3%, with the chance to finance up to 100% of the home. These properties require renovation or significant work and can sometimes qualify for an increased property tax assessment if they increase in value after renovations are complete. Additionally, if you’re handy or have friends, you can save money by doing the work yourself.
Homes with In-Law Quarters or Basements
In most cases, a VA loan may be used to finance a home with an in-law suite or basement apartment. This allows more people to share the cost of the mortgage and enjoy the benefits of homeownership. Some lenders might require you to prove that your local government has approved your additional living accommodations. Homes with In-Law Quarters or Basements are preferred because they can be rented out to generate supplemental income.
While it’s not always advisable to purchase a new construction residence using a VA loan due to lender restrictions on these transactions, getting a VA loan can still allow you access to financing for homes built from the ground up. This can be done as long as they meet specific requirements, such as being located on land zoned for residential development. With the VA funding fee chart, interest rates are nearly equal to conventional mortgage rates, usually lower.
A duplex may be purchased using a VA loan, though the lender will require you to meet particular credit and eligibility requirements. The only way your application will be denied is if there are high-risk issues related to delinquencies on other obligations, bankruptcy, or tax liens that have not been successfully disputed or otherwise settled. Keep in mind that even for new construction, all homes used as collateral must meet code requirements at the time of purchase. This means meeting minimum livable square footage requirements, having access to necessary utilities, including proper insulation, and more.
Like duplexes, multi-family properties may also be by a VA Loan when they’re in good condition. However, there are some additional restrictions when using this type of property to secure a VA Loan. When purchasing these properties, lenders will require a detailed inspection and estimate for improvement costs, which must reflect a positive return on investment within a reasonable timeframe.
A VA home loan may be used to finance any residential property as long as it meets certain requirements. If you want to purchase a new or existing home that is either under construction or has been previously built, talk with your real estate agent about all of your options, including VA Loans.