Maximizing the Use of Your VA Home Loan
Whether you’re arriving from another duty station or have called Hawaii home for some time, buying a home here can be overwhelming due to high home prices and the cost of living, categorizing our great state as one of the most expensive places in the country to live.
The benefits of the VA loan are abundant to say the least. It offers VA-eligible buyers mortgage financing with NO money down up to $721,050 (Honolulu County loan limit) with NO mortgage insurance. What happens if you find a home you qualify for over the county loan limit? You can still use your VA entitlement to help you purchase in these higher price ranges. The required down payment is minimal compared to other programs.
A common misconception of the VA Loan is that veterans cannot use their entitlement if they have used it previously. Another common misconception is a veteran cannot simultaneously own a home with a VA loan in another place (i.e., on the Mainland) and purchase a home in Hawaii with the remaining eligibility. Neither of these are true!
If you have used your VA entitlement on a previous residence and sold it, you can certainly use your benefit again. If you currently own a home that you used your VA benefit to purchase, you can still use any remaining entitlement to purchase another home. A skilled VA mortgage loan specialist will be able to pull your Certificate of Eligibility and calculate your remaining entitlement quickly.
So what is the best way to take advantage of the benefits of a VA loan?
Find an experienced local loan officer who specializes in VA home loans and get pre-approved. In this initial step, a qualified loan officer should obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, order your credit report, and review your financial profile. This process allows you to shop for a home with confidence – and this the fun part.
Once you are pre-approved, you can begin submitting offers on properties knowing that you have your financing options secured.
It’s important to ask your loan officer questions about the mortgage process. The more information you have the better. Understanding the pieces of the process will make the largest purchase of your life a little less scary. You should feel comfortable with your loan officer and trust he or she is making time to explain the process to you.
You’ll want to work with a lender who has local processing and underwriting so you are not held hostage by time zone differences during the escrow process – time is of the essence once you’re in contract.
Hawaii’s real estate market is unique. And it’s a small big city. Selling agents will often feel more comfortable working with a reputable local lender and might give more consideration to your offer. Honolulu HomeLoans is Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated mortgage banker. We offer competitive products to suit every borrower’s needs.
Please contact us at (808) 681-7500 or visit our website,www.honhl.com. One of our knowledgeable loan officers can guide you through your mortgage and home buying process. We look forward to serving you as you have served our country.