Benefits of VA Loans for Surviving Spouses

Benefits of VA Loans for Surviving SpousesLosing someone that you love is never easy. This is especially true for surviving spouses of service members who chose to live an honorable life by serving our country.

While the loss is difficult for families, the U.S. government does provide benefits, such as VA loans for surviving spouses, that can help you to move forward with your life.

You may be eligible for this type of loan if you survive a spouse that died during active service, or later from a service-related injury. You may also be eligible if you survived a spouse that is classified as being MIA or a POW.

Being eligible to buy a home with this type of loan offers several benefits that make it worth using this opportunity.

VA Loans for Surviving Spouses: Buy a Home With No Down Payment

Whether you are newly widowed, or have been a surviving spouse for several years, you may still have trouble coming up with a down payment. Trying to live on a single income tends to make it hard to save for a home purchase.

Lenders require down payments on homes, to prove that you have the ability to manage your finances, and can handle the mortgage payments in the future.

With a VA home loan, lenders accept your military survivorship status as proof of responsibility, which means that you can get the house that you want even if you have not saved up a large down payment.

Avoid Having to Pay Private Mortgage Insurance

In most cases, you must pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you do not put a 20% down payment on a home. With a VA guaranteed loan, you do not have to make a down payment or pay PMI. Since PMI can potentially cost hundreds of dollars a month,  the savings from this benefit make your mortgage payment more affordable.

Take an Exemption From the VA Funding Fee

Most people must pay a funding fee when they take out a government-backed home loan for service members. This funding fee is meant to offset the cost to taxpayers for providing the backing for loans, and the amount varies, depending upon the type of loan a person takes out, and the branch of military in which they serve.

As a surviving spouse, you get an exemption from having to pay this funding fee. Since the funding fee rates average around 2%, this can save you a substantial amount of money.

Pre-Pay Your VA Mortgage Loan Without Penalties

Certain types of loans require you to pay a penalty fee to the lender if you pay the house off early. Depending upon the arrangement, this can be extremely costly during a time when you want to sell you home to buy a new one.

When you use this benefit, you don’t have to worry about prepayment penalties. This gives you greater flexibility over how you handle your finances and handle events such as selling the home.

As the surviving spouse of a service member, you are afforded certain benefits from the government that can help you buy a house for yourself or to provide shelter for your children.

Obtaining a VA loan is a relatively simple process, but it does require that you complete certain steps to prove your eligibility. The Highly Motivated Truly Dedicated Vercellino Team can help you navigate this process, so you can begin to enjoy the benefits such as being able to get a home with no down payment.


Tips to Getting Your VA Loan Accepted

Tips to Getting Your VA Loan AcceptedThe home buying process is fraught with frustrations, and nothing feels worse than having your offer on your dream home get rejected.

While you may have heard that VA loan is less desirable to sellers than other types of loans, the truth is that there really isn’t a difference to most people, who simply want to sell their property to the most eligible buyer.

However, there are some easy things that you can do to make yourself stand out in a competitive buying market.

As you continue to the next phase of your home purchase, you can use these tips to help get your VA loan accepted.

Choose to Work With a VA Home Loan Specialist

When you think about it, you likely prefer to use a specialist for services that require specialized techniques such as medical treatments, and you need to treat your home purchase with the same level of care.

A VA home loan specialist understands all of the nuances that go with using this type of loan to buy a home.

You will experience less stress and quicken the buying process when you work with someone who knows what they are doing and how to explain important information to the seller.

Your Loan Specialist Will Reach Out to the Listing Agent

Communication is key through each phase of the home buying process, and your loan specialist will forge a relationship with the listing agent.

Reaching out to the person selling the home allows your loan specialist the opportunity to open up a discussion about VA loans; that can clear up any questions the listing agent may have about the process.

Often, this is the game changer when it comes to getting a VA loan accepted, since it clears up misconceptions, and makes you stand out as a trustworthy veteran who has worked hard to be able to buy a home.

The VA Loan Officer Will Provide a Copy of Your Approval

During the process of acquiring your loan, the mortgage banker develops paperwork that demonstrates your ability to secure a loan and make regular mortgage payments.

Your VA loan officer will send a copy of the DU/LP findings, along with your pre-qualification certification form, to the real estate agent in charge of selling the house.

When there are multiple offers on the table, if yours is the one that already has the details in place, it is more likely be chosen.

Make a Personal Connection

Up until this point in the home buying process, everything has felt fairly impersonal. Now, you have the chance to reach out and truly demonstrate that a real live person is behind the officer.

Write a letter to the seller that lets them know that you are a veteran who has served their country and deserves to have their dream of owning this home come true.

As you do, let them know what you love about the house and a little bit about your plans for the future. When the seller sees you as a special person who has served their country, it makes it easier for them to envision selling their house to you.

Highly Motivated – Truly Dedicated

Your VA loan is an asset for buying your house, and you worked hard to earn the benefits that accompany getting approved for your loan. Our loan specialists are highly motivated, truly dedicated experts in VA loans, and are ready to help you make sure that your offer is the most attractive one on the table.


Home Loans for Veterans – Take Advantage of Your Benefits

Home Loans for Veterans - Take Advantage of Your BenefitsMilitary families often face challenges when it comes to the home buying process, such as struggling with poor credit or trying to come up with a down payment.

Fortunately, home loans for veterans help to alleviate this burden by providing financial accommodations that pave the way to buying a new house.

While you may be modest about your veteran status, being willing to accept recognition for your sacrifices allows you to take advantage of these benefits as you search for the perfect new home.

Stop Worrying About a Perfect Credit Score

The Department of Veterans Affairs only backs the loans instead of issuing them, which means that they are not concerned about checking credit scores.

For this reason, VA loan lenders tend to be more relaxed about the credit scores that they require from people using this benefit.

You will also find that they are more forgiving of blemishes on your credit report from the past, such as foreclosures, provided that you can explain how you have improved your financial responsibility.

Home Loans for Veterans: Get Into a Home Faster With No Down Payment

The rising costs of houses today has made it extremely difficult for many military families to come up with tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment. Home loans for veterans are available with zero down payments required for qualified buyers.

While you can still put down payment if you’d like, being able to skip saving up money for years allows you to ditch the rent cycle and get into a new home right now.

Enjoy Cost Savings That Help You Afford a Better House

A huge part of your home buying budget involves planning to pay for the interest on your mortgage, closing costs for your new home and the monthly mortgage insurance.

Home loans for veterans help you get lower interest rates than you would get with a conventional loan, and you will have the opportunity to negotiate your closing costs.

In many cases, you will not have to pay the closing costs and the associated fees at all.

When you take these savings into account, along with the ability to opt out of mortgage insurance, you can have a considerably larger amount of money to put toward paying the mortgage on a better house.

Pay Off Your House Early with No Penalties

For non-military families, paying off a home loan early can still be costly, since prepayment penalties are often in place to protect lenders from losing years of interest at once. If you plan to pay off your house early, having a VA loan protects you from prepayment penalties, so that your dedication to paying down your debt is worth it.

Take Advantage of This Benefit for a Lifetime

Many people think that this is just a onetime benefit. However, you can continue to reapply for this type of loan as needed for the rest of your life.

Whether you are ready to upgrade to a larger home for your growing family or need to downsize, you can take advantage of a VA home loan at any time.

As a veteran or active member of the military, you have worked hard to serve our country and protect the freedom of every U.S. citizen. Now, you have the opportunity to take advantage of benefits that you have earned through your time in service.

Other than proving your eligibility, the application process for a VA loan is much like the other types of loans, so go ahead and get started planning to save money on your new home today.


Can I Get a VA Loan If I’m Self Employed?

Do you own a business and want to buy your own house? Wondering if you can get a VA loan if you’re self-employed?

Self-employment can pose unique challenges when purchasing a house. The income of self-employed individuals can be less consistent compared to those receiving fixed monthly salaries.

Because of the inconsistency, lenders often scrutinize the application of self-employed home buyers. Applicants are required to submit a least 2 years of income tax returns and business documents to get a VA loan.

You are considered a self-employed when you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You are the sole owner of the business
  • You own at least 25% of the business
  • You are working freelance
  • You are a contract worker

Lending policies and guidelines of VA loans for self-employed veterans are different for each lender.

Can I Get a VA Loan if I’m Self Employed?
Self Employed in the Family Business

If you are working for a family-owned business, you will not be considered as self-employed unless you own 25% of the company. This ownership should be confirmed by a third-party figure. In addition, you are required to submit tax returns for 2 years and the business should have been active for at least a year.

Self-employed individuals should also understand that lenders only consider the income which you pay in tax. Any amounts that are not documented are not counted.

Freelance Workers and VA Loans

It is possible for freelance workers to get a VA loan. With modified paperwork requirements, lenders can give you a positive feedback. Individual tax returns and all applicable income documents for 2 years should be submitted.

In self-employment, stability is only considered if the business has been operating for at least 2 years. In addition, a profit and loss statement for the current year is required if the taxes have not been filed.

Documents Required for Self-Employed Individuals

The challenge is being able to show the lender that your business is on a solid financial ground. For self-employed qualified military borrowers, heavy paperwork is required to process your VA loan.

To gauge your income trajectory, lenders will look to at the two-year income documents. This will determine if you have the ability to repay the loan. A major red flag in your application is when your income decreases each year. In most cases, the lender will require you a written explanation of the drop. If the descent is huge, your application will be declined.

Lenders need a healthy amount of information to decide to give you the loan in addition to the usual requirements listed on the VA loan application. To apply as a self-employed veteran, you need to dig up these required documents:

  • Current financial statement – this should include a year-to-date profit and loss profit
  • Two consecutive years of individual income tax returns
  • Two consecutive years of business tax returns – this is required for corporation or partnership
  • List of your partners or stockholders

Conclusion

Yes, you can get a VA loan if you’re self employed. Collecting the required documents may sound exhausting, but it is reasonable for lenders to get as much information as possible to show that your business is reliable and sustainable.

Jimmy Vercellino and his team can help you get the paperwork needed to get your loan approved, guiding you through the process. Call today and let’s get started!


2018 VA Loan Limits in Arizona

Big news for 2018 VA Loan Limits in Arizona. They have gone up, yet again! 2018 Arizona VA Loan Limits for Maricopa County have increased from $424,100 (2017) up to $453,100 with no money down. This mean Veterans and Active Duty Military can finance more with no additional money out of pocket. Our VA Home Loan Benefit is the only 100% financing with no money down and no private mortgage insurance home loan available on the marketplace. This increase makes the VA loan one of the most competitive loans available for Veterans today.

Did you know that the VA does not actually have a maximum VA Loan limit? They just have a maximum loan amount with no money down. The VA will allow us as Veterans to finance more than $453,100 by putting down 25% of the difference between the purchase price and the 2018 Arizona VA Loan Limits of $453,100. This is an incredible opportunity for Veterans seeking financing above the $453,100 threshold with no money down.

2018 VA Loan Limits do not just apply to purchasing a home. The good news is that if a Veteran would like to use the VA Loan for the purpose of a refinance, they too are eligible for the increased loan limits as well.


VA Loans in Tucson AZ

VA Loans in Tucson AZ are becoming increasingly more popular. According to the US Census Bureau there are over 40,000 Veterans living in the city. Also keep in mind that Tucson is home to one of the largest Air Force Bases in our country (Davis Monthan Air Force Base) providing the city with a rich military feel on top of it’s already great history.

One of the things that I am seeing more of is Veterans and Active Duty Service-Members using and seeking information on how their VA Home Loan Benefits work. For Pima county and VA Loans in Tucson AZ the maximum loan amount for a VA Loan is $417,000 with now down payment. Veterans looking to purchase a home above $417,000 may do so by fulfilling the remaining guarantee on the loan (contact us for more details).

To qualify for a VA Loan the Veteran must have at least a 600 credit score (keep in mind this score may change from lender to lender). The Veteran must also provide income and asset documentation allowing the lender to calculate a debt-to-income ratio. The max debt-to-income ratio will vary dependent upon the overall VA Loan package.

VA Loans also come in all different shapes and sizes. A Veteran may obtain a 30,25,20,15 Year Fixed Rate VA Mortgage. The Veteran may also look at obtaining a 5 Year Adjustable Rate Mortgage with their VA Loan- commonly referred to as a VA Hybrid. Keep in mind that when Veterans are looking to obtain VA Loans in Tucson AZ they will want to pick the right Mortgage Lender. Most Lenders do not specialize in VA Loans and are unfamiliar with the details possibly making the loan experience more difficult than it needs to be.

Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members seeking to apply for a VA Loan in Tucson AZ can simply click on the APPLY button and either myself or a member of my team will contact you the same business day, or if it’s after hours, the next.

Jimmy Vercellino is a Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans. Jimmy’s mortgage practice serves Veterans with VA Loans in Tucson AZ as well as Phoenix. His Mission is simple: To provide and assist all Veterans and Active Duty Service Members with all of their VA Home Loan financing needs.


Why VA Home Loans Matter in Arizona

Here in Arizona there are over 500,000 Veterans living among us right now. Kind of a big deal right? The reason why I say this is because I know how many Veterans that are out there that don’t know the full description of their VA Home Loan benefit and how it works. I am also reminded of how many of our nations finest men and women that are still serving and deployed overseas that will eventually exit from their branch of service and join the ranks of the civilian sector. Keep in mind that this is a number that I believe will continue to increase due to the ending of military operations in places like Afghanistan. Which leads me to my next question…Are Veterans prepared to purchase a home and use their VA Home Loan Benefits when returning from the military or at any other point in their lives?

VA Home Loans are so unique. In reality there is really no other type of home loan out there that exist that allows a Veteran to purchase a home up to $417,000 with no down payment (and in some cases higher). Furthermore, Veterans must also understand that in order to use your VA Home Loan Benefit you do not need to have a 800 Fico score as much of the media may lead you to believe. With VA Home Loans, most lenders require a 620 credit score allowing Veterans with less than perfect credit to purchase homes. Lastly, the VA Home Loan allows Veterans to purchase a home with limited closing cost, saving the Veteran in some cases as much as $1,500 in closing cost.

So why do VA Home Loans matter? Simple, because they are the bridge between Veterans and home ownership! In closing, I am often times asked the question… “Jimmy is there ever a time when a Veteran should not consider a VA Home Loan?” No. I say this because in most circumstances that I see on a daily basis the VA Home Loan is just as competitive as a Conventional home loan and certainly more competitive than a FHA Home Loan.

Thank you and may God bless you for your service to our great country.

With gratitude,
Jimmy Vercellino