As a thank you for serving the nation, the country gives back to the military personnel by making it more affordable for them to purchase a home. In other words, military benefits could make buying a home 36 percent less expensive than renting. However, these benefits sometimes seem too good to be true and many people rush into buying their first home. You wouldn’t go out in the field without the proper checks and verifiable intelligence, so why would you buy a house without the same information? Check out some of these tips to help you score the home of your dreams.
Figure Out What You Can Afford
The first step in buying a home is to determine your budget. Typically, you will want to buy a home that including payments and insurance does not exceed 35-45 percent of your gross annual income. Remember though, these are not the only costs associated with buying a home. You will also have to dish out money for things such as home appraisal and inspection so be sure to include this in your calculations. You will also want a lender to pull your full credit report so that you can determine whether your score is good enough for a loan. If you don’t feel comfortable with your credit score, you might want to rent until you bring it back up.
Find a VA-Savvy Agent
Veterans and active-duty service members are eligible for a VA loan if you have served 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime, 181 consecutive days on active duty during peacetime, or 6 or more years in the National Guard or Reserves. The benefit of a VA loan is that it makes buying a home more affordable by offering no down payment, no mortgage insurance, lower interest rates and more lenient credit requirements. However, not every realtor is familiar with the VA system, so you need to make sure that you find an agent that is aware of how to navigate these waters. The VA won’t underwrite any house, so your realtor must be sure that you find a home that meets the VA property requirements. You can ask another vet for a referral, or look for reliable military affiliate real estate agents online for the most knowledgeable professionals.
Just like any purchase, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare VA loan rates from multiple lenders. It’s true that this can cause your score to fall a couple of points, but it doesn’t occur every time and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will also want to shop around for different houses to ensure you’re getting the best deal. When you decide on the home of your dreams, be sure to do a home inspection. You will want to get a clear look into the things that may be lurking in the darkest parts of the home and it will also allow you to negotiate terms and costs of the home.
Buying the home of your dreams is possible with the right strategy. Take these tactics into consideration and you’ll be lounging in your new home in no time at all.