(67) Home Loans for Veterans: About the VA home loan program

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly

A blog about a service dog and her veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the veteran and the family caregiver)


Home Ownership Crisis

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, attention focused on the rise of renters in some of America’sApartment for rent sign largest cities where the rate of rentals exceeds home ownership. As our country emerges from the recession, the prices of homes and interest rates are low. Now might be a good time to consider using your VA benefits to buy a home.

Good News from the VA

The VA sent an email to veterans (those signed up on their e-benefits website), talking about the VA home loan program. William used this program after Vietnam to buy his first house. Once he sold the home and paid off the loan, he again is eligible for a VA home loan. As a single mom years before I met my husband, I sold my first home to a Vietnam Veteran, which he purchased under the VA home loan program. Both of us are familiar with the loan program. We hope to use it again one day once we are ready to move away from Cheyenne Mountain.

About the VA Home Loan Program

Click here to learn about the VA home loan program and even apply for a loan on-line. Here is a clip from the VA email that addresses some of the program features:

Eligible Veterans can get a VA-guaranteed home loan at any age and can reuse the benefit multiple times; most VA-backed home loans do not require a down payment; if you have certain service-connected disabilities, you may qualify for grants to install ramps, widen doors, and make other modifications to live independently.

Home for Sale sign in front of houseThe program covers homes, condominiums, or manufactured homes. You may also refinance an existing home loan, or pay for energy-saving improvements. Special provisions exist for the Native American veteran and those disabled veterans requiring special home adaptations due to a service-connected disability. The program will not cover construction of a new home (except for Native Americans building on public trust land). It will not cover vacation homes. The maximum purchase price covered is $417,000. Jumbo loans can be arranged but require $25,000 for every $100,000 over $417,000.

Making Loan Sense

When making an offer to buy a home under the VA program (or any home loan) be sure toHouse and dollar sign on teeter-totter talk with your lender about closing costs to make sure you understand what is due. You may be allowed to roll these costs into the loan price. Do not forget to find a home that gives you a private, safe place to relax.

Financing a Doghouse? 

Dog sitting in armchairMolly lives indoors with us so she does not need her own doghouse. That is a good thing because I know she has not done much to build her credit. Dog in doghouse with American flag

I wonder if the VA might cover mini-mortgage loans for those unfortunate canine critters that live outdoors.

Post your Comments: 

Have you used the VA to finance or refinance a home? What was your experience with the program? Please comment below. 

 

Photo credits: 123rf.com (except for Molly pics)

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.