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Tips To Smooth The Path To Homeownership With Your VA Loan

homes1215_2Tony Dias
Branch Manager
Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii
NMLS #222836

The housing market is showing signs of rebounding, and buyers are out there taking advantage of low interest rates to purchase homes. Service men and women who qualify for the Hawaii VA home loan program are using their VA benefit to purchase homes with the most favorable financing terms available. A total of 5,292 VA home loans were issued in Hawaii in 2013, up 7.8% from 2012.

While pursuing ownership of your first home is an exciting and rewarding experience, there are some aspects of the process that can be a challenge, even intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help make your process as smooth as possible.

Know Your Credit Score

According to Credit Report and Score Statistics, 79% of surveyed credit reports contained an error. So it’s important to make sure charges are matching your records each month. Mistakes happen and the earlier you catch them, the easier it will be to resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers attached to your name. A bad credit score can cause an increase in the price of insurance, prevent you from renting an apartment or car, and could delay you in getting a loan, including a VA home loan. VA lenders generally look for a score of at least 620. That’s 120 points lower than the credit score of 740 that comes with a conventional mortgage.

Get Pre-Approval

The best thing you can do to get your VA home loan process off to a quick start down the right path is to get pre-approval for the loan before doing anything else. This is going to save you a lot of time because pre-approval will let you know if you can receive the loan and how much of a loan you can qualify for. Although you may meet the service requirements, there are other requirements that must also be met in order to receive a VA home loan.

Loan approval takes a look into your financial picture, including debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, residual income, employment record, credit score, etc. One of the first questions you will be asked is “have you been approved for a loan?” By already having the pre-approval done, you can move forward in the process without further delays. With pre-approval information, you will be able to determine how much of a house you can afford and narrow down your options.

Choose a Real Estate Agent Familiar with VA Loans

Many homebuyers hire real estate agents to assist them in finding their dream home. While this is a good idea, especially for first-time homebuyers, it’s important to make sure that your Realtor is familiar with VA home loans.

Properties must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for VA financing, some of which are:

* Properties must be properly maintained and in good condition

* Condos and homes that are part of an association require VA approval

* Private wells, septic systems, termite inspections, etc. have specific VA guidelines

Working with a real estate agent who is familiar with VA loans will save you time and headaches. Realtors are trained professionals who will serve as your personal advocate and act in your best interest. They will help you avoid costly mistakes that could occur when filling out paperwork and cause delays in achieving you goal of homeownership.

For detailed information on using your VA benefit in purchasing a home, plan to attend a Veterans United FREE seminar (see schedule below). Or call us at (808) 677-5626 to make an appointment for a free consultation with one of our loan officers.

“You’ve served our country. Now let us serve you.”

-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 677-LOAN (5626).

Tuesday, December 17 6 – 8 pm Veterans United Home Loans of

Hawaii Educational Center 94-539 Puahi St., Waipio, HI 96797

Saturday, January 11 10 am – Noon Veterans United Home Loans of

Hawaii Educational Center 94-539 Puahi St., Waipio, HI 96797

Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii is a VA-approved lender and is not affiliated with any government agency. NMLS 1907. “Veterans United” is a registered trademark of Mortgage Research Center, LLC.

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