As an 82nd Airborne combat veteran and there's hardly anything I enjoy more about the real estate business than helping Active duty, reservists and veterans utilize their VA loan to purchase homes and build wealth. I get the honor of working near Fort Bragg, North Carolina where we have a constant influx of new Active Duty service members relocating to the area. Fort Bragg is huge and our clients who utilize the VA loan often end up purchasing homes in Fayetteville, Raeford, Hope Mills, Spring Lake, Cameron, Southern Pines, Pinehurst, West end, Carthage, Vass, Sanford and Broadway. 

We take pride in providing an educational process on how to use the VA loan to purchase a home and build wealth. We don't just help you purchase one home. We look to be a resource to you as you use your VA loan time and time again. We get a ton of questions regarding this topic, so we've compiled the most frequently asked questions here. If you're looking to utilize your VA loan and have questions about it, you can find it here. 

1. What is a VA loan?

  • In my opinion, the VA loan is one of the best and most consistent benefits that is given to our service members. I've used it personally three times to purchase homes and build wealth and I love helping our service members who relocate to Fort Bragg, retire here or separate from service utilize it to achieve their financial goals. 

  • A VA loan is a type of mortgage loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These loans are designed to help eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and surviving spouses purchase homes. The VA does not actually lend the money, but it guarantees a portion of the loan, which enables lenders to offer better terms and interest rates. This makes it easier for veterans to buy a home without having to make a large down payment or have a high credit score.

2. Who is eligible for a VA loan?

  • Eligibility for a VA loan is determined by the VA and is based on factors such as military service, length of service, and discharge status. Eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and surviving spouses may be able to take advantage of these loans. To be eligible, veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime or 181 days of active duty during peacetime. Additionally, most National Guard and Reserve members are eligible as well (there are time frame requirements for active duty time, but most meet them).

3. What are the benefits of a VA loan?

  • One of the main benefits of a VA loan is that they often require no down payment. This is a huge advantage for veterans who may not have a lot of savings or who want to keep their cash reserves for other expenses. Additionally, VA loans typically have more lenient credit and income requirements, and they may also come with lower interest rates than traditional mortgages. This makes it easier for veterans to qualify for a loan and can save them thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Another benefit of VA loans is that they do not require private mortgage insurance, which can add hundreds of dollars to a monthly mortgage payment.


3. How do I apply for a VA loan?

  • To apply for a VA loan, you will need to submit a VA loan application to a lender that participates in the VA loan program. You will also need to provide documentation of your military service and other financial information. Some of the required documents include your DD-214, your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and proof of income. You will also need to meet certain credit and income requirements set by the lender. Once you have completed the application process, the lender will review your application and determine whether you are eligible for a VA loan.

4. What is the VA funding fee?

  • The VA funding fee is a one-time fee that is charged to veterans who use the VA loan program. The fee is used to help cover the costs of the loan program and is typically financed into the loan. The amount of the funding fee varies depending on the type of loan, the amount of the loan, and whether the veteran has used the loan program before. For first-time users, the funding fee is typically 2.3% of the loan amount. However, veterans who have a service-connected disability might be exempt from paying it.

5. Are there limits on the amount I can borrow with a VA loan?

  • Yes, there are limits on the amount that can be borrowed with a VA loan. These limits vary depending on where you live and the type of property you are buying. However, in most cases, the maximum loan amount is $726,200. For veterans who live in high-cost areas, the maximum loan amount may be higher. Additionally, the VA does not have a maximum loan term, but most VA loans have a 30-year term.

7. Can I use a VA loan to buy a second home?

  • Yes, veterans can use a VA loan to buy a second home, provided that the property is for personal use and not for rental or investment purposes. This means that veterans can use a VA loan to purchase a vacation home, a property for retirement, or a home for a family member.

8. How much do I qualify for with a VA loan?

  • The amount you qualify for with a VA loan depends on a variety of factors, including your income, credit score, and the value of the property you are looking to purchase. The VA sets limits on the amount you can borrow, which vary depending on where you live. In most cases, the maximum loan amount is $726,200. However, if you are purchasing a home in a high-cost area, the loan limit may be higher. Additionally, your lender will also consider your debt-to-income ratio, credit score, and other financial factors when determining how much you qualify for. It's important to note that the loan amount you qualify for may also depend on your eligibility and entitlement, which is determined by the VA based on your military service and other factors.

9. Do I have to sell my home before using the VA loan again?

  • This is one of my favorite questions because it's often one that people assume the answer is Yes. But, it's not. One of the big wealth building secrets for veterans is that you can use your VA loan over and over again if you do it right. The VA does not require veterans to sell their existing home before purchasing another one with a VA loan. However, you must intend to occupy the new home as your primary residence and you must have enough entitlement remaining to cover the new loan. Additionally, the VA has a policy called “bonus entitlement”, which allows veterans to use their VA loan benefit again even if they have not sold their previous home. Bonus entitlement is available to veterans with a certain type of discharge, and it allows them to use the VA loan again even if they still own the previous home. However, it's important to keep in mind that there may be some restrictions and qualifications regarding this type of loan and you should check with a lender for more details.

10. Can I rent out my home with a VA loan?

  • This is also a big wealth building strategy that we teach our veterans when they come into Fort Bragg. You can rent out your home with a VA loan, however, there are some restrictions and qualifications you must meet. The VA loan program is primarily intended for veterans to use as a primary residence, and the VA expects that the borrower will occupy the home within 60 days of closing the loan. However, if you have a change of circumstances and are unable to occupy the home as your primary residence, you may be able to rent out the home as long as you retain ownership and continue to pay the mortgage.

Ready to talk about using your VA loan to buy a home and to start building wealth? Schedule a call with me here.  

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