The Benefit That Keeps Getting Better
In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that over 22 million veterans, ranging from World War II to the most recent conflicts, were alive and eligible for VA Benefits. The discrepancy between the number of veterans eligible for VA mortgage loans and those who actually claimed this benefit is staggering.
The VA Loan is one of the most advantageous home loan programs available today…it is one of the last true zero-down payment programs. It has emerged as a “life vest” for veterans and service members experiencing the fall-out from a down economy.
The most recent Fiscal Year 2012 numbers from the VA have shown a national increase of nearly 51 percent in VA lending from 2011, and an 89 percent increase in Hawaii alone. This dramatic increase in VA borrowers in Hawaii can be attributed in part to the efforts of Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii. Company Branch Manager Tony Dias, who is himself a veteran, launched a free educational seminar program seven years ago and to date has provided VA loans to more than a thousand Hawaii veterans and their families. His seminar program continues monthly (see schedule below).
“Together with our record low interest rates and median housing prices in Honolulu still lower than the peak in 2007, the no down payment VA Loan is clearly the best mortgage loan available today,” Dias said. “The tremendous response we’ve had from Hawaii veterans has resulted in the growth of our company from a staff of six and a total of $50 million in VA Loan closings in 2010 to our present total of 29 employees and loan closings projected at $185 million before the end of the year.”
The advantages of the VA Loan extend to both purchase and refinancing programs and offer many features that significantly benefit the borrower, including:
* No Private Mortgage Insurance requirement
* Lenient credit and income requirements
* Large loan limits (exceeding $756,000 for some Hawaiian housing)
* No pre-payment penalties
* Zero money out-of-pocket for qualified borrowers – the program’s featured benefit.
You sometimes hear that the absence of a down payment can lead to default and foreclosure.
However, statistics have shown year over year that the exact opposite is the case. 2011 figures showed the VA Loan program with a national foreclosure rate of 2.46 percent, the lowest on the market.
Eligible borrowers include veterans and active service members who have served a minimum of 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime or 181 days during peacetime, Reservists or National Guardsman who have served a minimum of six years, and the spouses of deceased service members.
Interested veterans and service members can expect to complete five steps, which include prequalification, or an initial assessment of your VA Loan eligibility; preapproval, which requires you to complete a loan application and provide the necessary documentation, such as your Certificate of Eligibility; the VA appraisal, where a VA appraiser will set a value on your prospective home; underwriting, or the review process to make sure everything is in order; and finally, closing, which is the last step where you sign the documents.
Dias noted that Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii stands ready to help you complete the loan process and obtain your Certificate of Eligibility. “We invite anyone considering applying for a VA loan to contact one of our experienced loan officers…as a direct VA lender we can guide you through the home loan process and get you into your new home quickly and easily.” -Aloha, Tony Dias
Upcoming VA Loan Seminars
Veterans United seminars include Powerpoint presentations & free workbooks. Question and answer periods follow the presentations. For more information and directions, call 676-8254.
Saturday, November 3 10 a.m. to 12 noon Veterans United Home Loans ofHawaii Educational Center 94-539 Puahi St., Waipio, HI 96797
Thursday, November 15 6 to 8 p.m. Veterans United Home Loans ofHawaii Educational Center 94-539 Puahi St., Waipio, HI 96797