VA Loan / Veteran Mortgage News
(NMLS #273132) is Sr. Loan Officer specializing in VA Home Loans with Emery Federal Credit Union and VALoans.com. Bruce has originated and underwritten VA loans in all 50 states for over 25 years and is a Nationwide Lender.
Marking VA's 75th Anniversary of Service
Vice President Richard B. Cheney joined Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson on July 21, 2005 to kick off a yearlong celebration of the VA Department's 75th anniversary.
Cheney honored the veterans in the audience, from 103-year-old World War I veteran Lloyd Brown to veterans of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq during a ceremony at Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall.
All, the vice president said, "have shaped the life of this nation for the better" through their service and sacrifice. In doing so, he said, they "have given every generation of Americans a lesson in the values of personal responsibility, morale strength and unselfish courage."
Every military veteran, whether drafted or enlisted, commissioned or not, and regardless of their service or whether they served in combat, shares common experiences and a common bond, Cheney said. "Each took an oath (and) lived by a code a stood ready to fight and to die for their country," he said.
They "have left a legacy like no other fighting force ever assembled," the vice president said, bringing "relief and deliverance" to those who have struggled and suffered and lived under oppression around the world.
Today, in the war on terror, Americans are once again "fighting...to defend ourselves against the most merciless enemies and to advance the cause of freedom and democracy," he said.
Nicholson, a Vietnam veteran himself, called America's veterans "liberty's champions and tyranny's worst nightmare" who he said "have brought honor to our country."
Those contributions have not been without cost, the secretary acknowledged, with some veterans giving their lives and others receiving "terrible injuries" serving their country.
And just as they stood up for their country, their country and the VA will continue to stand by them, Nicholson promised.
The secretary vowed that the VA, created 75 years ago today by President Herbert Hoover, will continue to live up to what Nicholson called its "noble mission: to honor our veterans' noble sacrifices and to dignify the cause they served by serving them."
For the past 75 years, the VA has provided health services and benefits to American veterans, living up to the promise made by President Abraham Lincoln during his second inaugural speech: "To care for him who has borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan."
On July 21, 1930, Hoover signed an order that consolidated various veterans programs into one organization to more effectively fulfill Lincoln's promise.
America's support for its veterans, however, actually dates back much earlier, Nicholson said today.
The Pilgrims passed a law stating that members of Plymouth Colony would provide support for soldiers disabled during the war with the Pequot Indians. The continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments and tried to curtail desertions during the Revolutionary War by providing pensions to disabled soldiers. But the bill was left to the states, so only about 3,000 Revolutionary War veterans ever drew any pension. The first U.S. Congress assumed the burden of paying veterans benefits after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789.
Over its history, the United States has created the world's most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans-providing world-class health care, educational opportunities, persons and disability compensation, home loan guarantees, life insurance and more.
No other country in the world approaches the United States in supporting its military veterans, Nicholson told the audience today. "Not one."
Today, some 237,000 VA professionals provide health care to more than 5 million veterans through 157 hospitals and more than 850 community-based clinics. Fifty-five VA regional offices distribute pensions and disability compensation to more than 3.4 million veterans. In addition, 120 national cemeteries provide a dignified, permanent final resting place for those who wore the uniform of the U.S. armed services.
"Today, we celebrate 75 years of serving (American veterans) and reaffirm our commitment to them in the decades to come," Nicholson said.
The anniversary celebration will continue through the year with events throughout the country.
Higher Rates Hurt Credit Cards
For more than a year the Federal Reserve has been raising short-term interest rates. Happily, longer-term mortgage rates have been little affected by these changes.
Rates on 30-year home loans actually were lower this summer than they were twelve months ago, as you can see in the chart here. Yet folks who run balances on their credit cards are getting hit hard by higher short-term rates.
That's because the interest rate on many credit cards is tied to the prime rate. And that's risen by about two percent over the past year.
Some major credit card issuers also are raising minimum payments from two percent of the balance owed to three percent now. A combination of higher rates and increased minimum payments may make credit card bills budget-busters for some consumers.
Many Americans have found that borrowing against their home equity provides lower monthly payments which also are tax-deductible. We'll explain how different home equity loans work, and help you choose one that gives you the greatest benefits.
After using a low-cost home equity loan to pay off your credit cards, it's important to avoid the temptation of charging up your cards again. Talk with us soon to find out more about how you can improve your financial future by eliminating your credit card bills.
No Time to Wait
America's real estate market is thriving, as home sales continue reaching new records. Yet too many potential home buyers are standing on the sidelines.
Some hesitate because no one in their family has ever purchased a home, and they're unsure how to proceed. Others wait because they wrongly believe buying now is impossible for them. Here are some common home buying myths:
- I need a large down payment to make a purchase.
- My credit must be perfect in order to buy a house.
- I must have been in my current job for at least three years.
All of these ideas are incorrect, and needlessly keep families from buying a house they'll enjoy for years. Here are some facts about home buying that more consumers need to know -
- You can purchase a VA home loan with $0 of your own funds.
- Persons with previous credit problems can buy a house now / the VA guidelines will look at the last 12 months of pay history.
- Households with little or no formal credit history can use on-time payment of rent or utility bills to establish their creditworthiness.
- Income from a part-time job or from renting out part of the home you plan to purchase can help you qualify for a loan.
Contact us soon if you, or someone you know, has been waiting to buy a house. They may find they can move into a nice home right away!
Making It Easier
Buying a home has become simpler in recent years. Yet it still remains a complicated and sometimes anxiety-provoking process.
Our job is to help you obtain the funds you need - and to do so in a way that reduces your turmoil and expense. We'll enjoy satisfying results when working together, since we'll stay focused on your housing goals.
We'll explain the loan steps to you, so you won't feel like events are happening that are out of your control. We'll start by going over easy ways that you may be able to improve your credit score, which can result in a lower mortgage rate.
Together we'll also review how different loan programs would fit into your budget, and affect your finances in the future. You'll then be ready to look at homes and choose one to purchase.
Real Estate Moves Higher
U.S. real estate values continue climbing, as the map here shows. During the year ending March 31 average home prices went up 12.5 percent, according to a government report.
House prices should increase by a more-moderate 8.8 percent on average this year, says the National Association of Realtors. Many buyers are finding that rising prices mean it's best to purchase as soon as possible.
Yet it's important to make sure your home financing is affordable today, and will stay that way in the future. We'll explain how different mortgage options would work in your specific situation, so that you can make an informed choice.
You'll be helped by great rates - some of which recently were at their lowest points this year! Let us show you how today is a time of opportunity for America's home buyers.
Why We Remodel
Each family molds their home and yard according to their needs and dreams. Even in a neighborhood of similar houses, every home is somewhat different.
One of the pleasures of living in a house for awhile is that you discover ways to make it "perfect" - exactly the way you want it to be. That's why home improvement projects are so commonplace.
You may want to add a room, update your kitchen, or put on a deck. Or you may need to replace your roof or add air conditioning.
Normal lifestyle changes also lead us to alter our homes. We may want to make them safer for grandchildren or grandparents.
And it may be important to add electrical circuits for our home entertainment center or office. Increasing our home's comfort, safety, and usefulness are keys to our renovation projects.
Remember to keep track of your home improvement expenses, since they'll reduce your profit when you sell the house. Also make sure to talk with us about easy ways to pay for the work.
We'll show you how you can use the built-up equity in your house to fund an important project. Contact us soon, and get started on perfecting your home!
The Right Home
You can buy with confidence, knowing that getting a loan won't be a problem. You'll also know that the amount you're paying is affordable.
Finding a helpful lender means more than looking for a low rate. Instead, you need someone who will be with you from start to finish. You need a mortgage professional who's on your side, and will work through any snags or problems if they occur.
Buying a house is a process that requires trust and honest communication. Feel free to ask us for the names and phone numbers of home buyers similar to you who have benefited from my professional services.
Purchasing a home is a big step in many ways. Working with someone who is always there to answer your questions and reduce any anxiety is a great advantage that you deserve.