VA Loans Blog

“Mortgage rates are set to increase” said the experts as they gazed into the crystal balls about a year ago. We confess, we too thought we may see somewhat of a dramatic increase. We, and they, were wrong. 

The CEO of the American College of Financial Services opined mortgage rates were likely to increase a “notch or two”. Exactly what a “notch” is was unexplained. I would assume it would mean a full percentage point. That hasn’t happened. Others were more subdued in their estimates and were closer to being correct.

No one, and we mean NO ONE can accurately predict where rates are headed. We all use our best guesstimates or, as those in the know prefer to say, our educated guess to place rates either up or down. We encourage veterans to consult with financial advisors or tax experts and make decisions on what works best for you. The mortgage rate, while important to some degree, should not be the only determining factor when considering a home loan.

We have, on several occasions, talked about the benefits of using your earned VA loan to buy or refinance a home. Not only are rates sometimes lower on VA loans but you can buy a home with zero dollars down. The VA will guarantee the full purchase price of your home. Lenders like that guarantee because it reduces the risk to the lender without pushing up the rates available to you. Another very positive aspect of using your VA mortgage is it is an assumable loan. If you decide to sell your home another qualified veteran can assume the balance of your loan. We’ve detailed that in earlier posts and won’t repeat the significance of that benefit here but if you want details call Brad at VALoansMN 612-240-9922. 

So how wrong were the experts who made predictions of rising rates? A year ago the average mortgage rate was about 4.25%. Today that rate is just under 4.5%. Given recent comments by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee they do not expect interest rates to make any dramatic moves upward in coming months. 

Come back in a year and we’ll tell you how right (or wrong) we’ve been. Remember, no one can predict where rates are going!

Posted by Joan Rusco on February 1st, 2019 3:02 PM
Almost 9% of the total population of states in the upper Midwest are veterans. Many of our fellow veterans bypass one of the most valuable benefits available to them: the VA home loan. Perhaps they don’t know all the advantages or think getting a VA loan is an arduous process to be avoided. At VALoansMN we can assure you the process can be quite simple and we’re more than willing to talk about the advantages of such a loan. Here are some facts about the VA home loan which may be unknown to many veterans.

1.  Use your benefit again and again

Your VA home loan is not a “one and done” benefit. You can use it as many times as you want. If you use your loan benefit to purchase a house then sell the home, pay off the loan, you are eligible to reuse the benefit. Or perhaps you have had your home long enough to pay off the VA mortgage. Either way your benefit is reusable.

2.  Your benefit never expires

Once your eligibility is earned it never goes away. Some may wonder whether they can still buy or refinance a home using a VA loan if the benefit was never used. The simple answer is YES!

3.  Leniency for lower credit scores, bankruptcy, foreclosures

A lower credit score, bankruptcy or foreclosure does not disqualify you from your VA loan benefit unlike many other loan programs. At VALoansMN we can shop around for several lenders because each will have their own criteria. VA guidelines do not state a minimum credit score to qualify and this gives lenders leniency to approve loans with lower scores. Also, the VA considers your credit re-established when you have two years of clean credit following a bankruptcy or foreclosure.

4.  VALoanMN rates are lower

According to the loan software company Ellie Mae, VA rates are about a quarter percent lower than other home loans. The VA backs the mortgages thus reducing the risk (and cost) to lenders.

5.  A surviving spouse may be eligible

Un-remarried husbands and wives of servicepersons who were killed in action can buy a home with zero down payment and no mortgage insurance.  The funding fee is also waived on these loans.

6.  Buy a condo or townhome with a VA Loan from VALoansMN

You can buy many types of properties with a VA loan including a condo, townhome, a home with up to 4 units, even a manufactured home. The VA maintains a list of eligible condominium developments. You can search by state or city on their  condo search tool.

7. There are many more VA loan benefits     

At VALoansMN we are happy to talk to you about your particular needs when it comes to home buying or refinancing. Find out more about the home loan benefit you have earned by calling Brad at 612.240.9922. 
Posted by Joan Rusco on September 2nd, 2018 4:04 PM

VALoansMN blog is dedicated to providing details about the benefits of using a VA loan to buy or refinance a home. But this time we’ll take leave of that mission to pay tribute to those who have or are serving. We strive each day to honor those who chose (or did not choose but were drafted) to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. This time of year, the entire nation is asked to join in that tribute.  November 11th is Veterans Day.  Older adults may remember it as Armistice Day. 

 

Veterans Day was born in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I known in that day as the Great War. It was the end of the war between the Allies and Germany. President Woodrow Wilson made the proclamation:

 

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.

 

Many have served in other wars since that day. We at VALoansMN are honored to meet these service men and women every day. We are here to serve you and we never forget our mission which is to serve those who have served or are serving us. There are almost 19-million Veterans in the U.S. today. Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa are those we are able to serve.  Thank you for giving VALoansMN your trust, for giving us the opportunity to, in some small way, serve you. We never forget what you have done for us and for that, we are most grateful.

Posted by Joan Rusco on November 10th, 2017 6:27 AM
We encourage clients to take time to consider options when it comes to buying or refinancing a home. At VALoansMN we strive to provide good information so you can make the best decision for you and your family. Here’s a quick list of reasons to use your VA Loan benefit.

1. No down payment on a VA Loan

Other home loan programs require at least a small down payment. Your VA loan is an exception.

2. You can shop and compare loans

Mortgage rates are not set by the Veterans Administration. The VA does not originate the loan. These loans come from banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders. At VALoansMN we shop rates for you and will offer you the best rate for your budget.

3. VA Loans have a government guarantee

The federal government guarantees a portion of the loan will be repaid to the lender even if you are unable to make your monthly payments. This enables lenders to offer a VA loan at very attractive rates.

4. No mortgage insurance

When a borrower has less than a 20% down payment other loans require the borrower to also pay monthly mortgage insurance. This can add hundreds of dollars to your payment. VA loans require neither a down payment or mortgage insurance.

5. Easier to qualify for a VA loan

Compared to other loans VA loan guidelines are more flexible. There are requirements for documentation, acceptable credit history and income needs but since the VA loan is guaranteed by the government this gives lenders more flexibility.

6. Choices in payment of the Funding Fee

The funding fee is an upfront cost based on the loan amount but the VA allows this upfront fee to be financed into the loan so you have no out-of-pocket expense unless you choose to.


7. Lower closing costs

Lenders are limited by the VA on the closing costs they can charge. This is yet another way these loans are more affordable than conventional or FHA loans.

8. Loan Variety

A VA loan can have a fixed or adjustable rate. You can use your VA loan to buy a house, a condo, new-built home or even a manufactured home.

9. No Prepayment Penalty

A VA loan does not restrict your ability to sell your home if you no longer want to own it. There’s no prepayment penalty or early exit fees with a VA loan.

10. VA loans are Assumable

An assumable loan means you can transfer your VA loan to a future home buyer that is also VA eligible.

These are ten good reasons to call us at VALoansMN and let us put these great features to work for you.
Posted by Joan Rusco on March 10th, 2017 10:02 AM

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