Military members and veterans move around way more often than most people who live in the United States, which sometimes involves the decision to buy a home. While this can be stressful, knowing what to expect and how to plan for your move can help you be better prepared for what’s ahead.
With plenty of resources and help available to simplify the entire moving process, it has never been easier to make the right choices when buying a home. Even if you’ve never bought a home before or you are just now exploring the benefits of VA loans, with guidance to help you head in the right direction, you will be happy in a new home in no time.
Whether you’re a veteran or an active military member and you are beginning your search for a home to buy, keep these different things in mind so that you can find a safe, enjoyable environment for your entire family to call home.
5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home:
To help make the buying process a bit easier, there are a few things that you need to consider as you search for a new home.
1. Getting a VA Loan
If you are a veteran or an active military member, you may be eligible for a VA loan. This is a loan that is guaranteed by the government, giving you benefits such as no down payment. While this is a great perk, it is important to weigh all of your loan options to see what will work best for your financial and living situation.
2. Speaking with a Mortgage Lender
Before you think about talking to a real estate agent or even looking at houses, it can be helpful to speak with a mortgage lender to see what they will require and what the VA program will require too.
By deciding to speak with different mortgage lenders beforehand, you will know what to expect when it comes to the buying process while giving your prospective real estate agent peace of mind knowing that you are a pre-approved buyer. With a good lender on your side, you will be able to make sure you pre-qualify with ease.
Keep in mind, once you are under contract for a home you will need a lender very quickly. Make sure that the closing date is realistic, there is an inspection ordered, and that you can access homeowners insurance soon. This will not only give you an estimate of your monthly payment, but by doing all of this early on, you will have more time to compare and find what will work best when evaluating your finances.
Make sure the lender you are considering has your best interests at heart so that they can help you find your dream home and support you as you move through the buying process.
3. Picking Your Real Estate Agent Carefully
Finding the right real estate agent for your move is essential. They will guide you throughout the entire home buying process, communicating with you and working with you until you have found your dream home. It will be valuable to get along with them and share a good bond, which will make it easier to work alongside them as you search for your next home.
Be sure that your agent is aware of your unique needs as a military family and can help you make it through the moving process with success, saving you from stress or headaches along the way.
4. Start by Saving Money
One of the best things you can do to prepare for buying a home is to start saving money as soon as possible. Even if you plan on using a VA loan to help out financially, it will still be important to save for other costs and expenses you will have to cover down the line.
From escrow requirements such as pre-paid hazard insurance, pre-paid taxes, and title insurance, there is a lot to consider as far as costs go. Plus, you will also need to think about other purchases you may make for your home after you’ve moved in and what the cost of renovations or updates will be.
By saving money and preparing for the move, you will make it easier to cover added expenses and spruce up your home with brand new decor or details that will make the space feel complete after you’ve moved in.
5. Streamlined Refinancing
If you are a VA borrower, don’t forget that you have access to some of the most powerful refinancing options available. These options will allow you to refinance an existing VA loan to a new one with lower interest rates, including advantages such as no out-of-pocket costs.
This is only an option for veterans who have taken out a VA loan, other loans are not a part of this type of refinancing. If you are a veteran and you have non-VA loans but you want to refinance to a VA loan instead, you will need to look for a VA cash-out refinancing option. This will help you refinance your loan with ease, taking the proper steps to prepare to buy a home no matter your situation.
5 Home Buying Tips:
These home buying tips can help you better understand the buying process, making it easier to find your next humble abode.
1. See How VA Loans Can Help You
If you are eligible for VA loans, do some research on the requirements and rules, to see how much they will help you financially throughout the home buying process. If it seems to make sense for your situation, then take advantage of the benefits of VA loans, allowing them to help you and your family move into a brand new space.
2. Explore All of Your Lending Options
While VA loans are a great option, there are other alternatives available to help veterans looking to buy a home. You could look at FHA loans, which are similar to VA loans or you could check out USDA loans if you plan on moving to a non-urban area. You could even consider a conventional loan, which is the most common type that is available to the general public. It all depends on what you think will work best for your family, where you want to move, and your financial situation.
3. Pay Attention to Your Credit
Even though VA loans have more relaxed credit requirements than a traditional mortgage, it is still important to pay attention to your credit and make sure it is in good shape. When buying a home is will be essential to have a positive credit history, to prove that you are ready for homeownership.
4. Look Into Other Financial Resources
If you will need other forms of financial aid to help you become a homeowner, there are plenty of resources available to help veterans in the United States. Consider looking into the Dream Makers Program, Adapted Housing Grants, or local programs that may be near you.
Do some research and see if you can find financial resources that can help you get where you need to be to purchase a home.
5. Don’t Forget About Closing Costs
With a VA loan, you will have limited closing costs but you will still need to make sure you are financially prepared to cover the costs that will be required of you once the buying process is complete. You will need to pay for a credit report, an appraisal, title insurance, recording fees, and a survey – these may all vary by state but are typically a part of the standard buying process.
In most cases, your lender should provide you with a loan estimate which can help you better understand what you will need to pay at closing ahead of time.
Being Prepared to Buy a Home
If you have been looking to buy a stable home for your family to live in, it is time to take advantage of all of the resources available for veterans and active military members. This will not only make homeownership easier but will help to simplify the buying process. By being prepared for what’s ahead, you will be able to find your dream home in no time.
With these tips and different things to keep in mind, you will have a better idea of everything that you need to know to buy a home with ease.