Posted on Aug 17, 2021
CPL Adam Schoenwald
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I'm getting ready to buy my first home, and I have the option of a VA Home loan, but I have heard conflicting stories on rather it is a good option or not. I have been told by some you pay nothing down everything is covered, while others say there are better ways to get a home loan and with the VA Home Loan program there are hidden Fees and they don't pay everything up front. So what gives?
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SSG Squad Leader
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I just used one. There were some fees I had to pay, but nothing like what I would've paid otherwise. I'm sure there may be better options for you as every person and their situation is different, but you should try a mortgage calculator. In my experience so far, I'm pleased with mine.
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CPL Adam Schoenwald
CPL Adam Schoenwald
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Thank you for your comment, I truly appreciate your advise, you are the 2nd person to mention a mortgage calculator. I will certainly look into this. I appreciate the tip.
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SSG Squad Leader
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CAPT Kevin B.
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First off, there is no "VA Loan". The loan is from a financial institution, not the Feds. Second, VA only backs up the typical 20% Down Payment. You still have to qualify for the loan at full amount. People who have a regular income that meets the threshold typically qualify. VA backed loans are typically a bit higher on the APR because most are squeezing into it, hence are riskier. That's why a bit down the road you look at a conventional refinance opportunity. That isn't as likely now due to the relatively low rates. You typically refi to a conventional if you can drop the interest 1% or better. I just did that to go from 3.8 to 2.5%. Net result is making the same payment and taking about 5 years off the loan. Also, the sharks out there that advertise 1.8% have so many visible and hidden up front fees, a simple calculation would show you're better off with 2.5% with maybe a grand or two in fees. Always go through the disclosures with a fine toothed comb. For the retired folk, I recommend not paying these loans off but take that money and have a financial house make 7-8%/year on it. You'll be ahead.
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CPL Adam Schoenwald
CPL Adam Schoenwald
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Thank you Sir for the amazing feedback.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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You just have to run the numbers through a mortgage calculator to see which will be the better option for you.

As for a second home, the VA will only cover you for a home that will be your primary residence. You can use it over and over as you move. You can rent your home out and leave it as a VA loan. You can't take out a VA loan on a property that will not be your primary residence at the time of your application
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CPL Adam Schoenwald
CPL Adam Schoenwald
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Have you used the VA Loan, was it worth it for you. I have just heard so many conflicting stories on what it is and what it isn't.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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CPL Adam Schoenwald if you don't have enough down payment to avoid paying PMI then it doesn't matter. The people who can debate over whether or not it's worth it are the people who can put down 20% of their home value. Unless the home you're buying is less than $125,000 you will probably need a VA loan. It doesn't matter what a hassle it is if it's the loan that saves you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. I've never had enough money socked away to be able to afford putting down enough money to avoid PMI so I don't have a comparison. I think most of the issues people have had came from the mortgage company they were dealing with
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CPL Adam Schoenwald
CPL Adam Schoenwald
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The home I am looking for will be around 250K, I want to build my own home if I can as it will probably end up being the home I will live in forever. But because I am not going to do this for another year, I am just trying to get my bearing on the best opportunities for me. From the sound of it, the loan is great if you don't have money to put down, but if you do, there may be better places to go for a loan. I appreciate the intel everyone is giving me. It is really helping me to understand that by asking early I can really be ready come the next year.
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