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.
Surviving Spouses May Be Eligible for a VA Loan
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently launched a web site that is dedicated to the surviving
spouses and dependents of military personnel who died while in active military service and to the survivors
of veterans who died after service. The new web site is located at
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Labor (DOL) and the Social
Security Administration (SSA) offer a wide range of benefits and services to the survivors of U.S. military
personnel who died during active service to their country.
Home Loan Guaranty -- The surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or as the result of a service-connected
disability may be eligible for a guaranteed loan from a private lender. The loan may be used to purchase,
construct or improve a home; to purchase a manufactured home and/or lot; or to refinance existing mortgages or other
liens of record on a dwelling owned and occupied by the surviving spouse as his or her home.
More information can be found at at
There is no time limit to use this benefit.
Source: The Department of Veterans Affairs
Your Best Mortgage Choice
Comparing mortgages is often an eye-opening exercise - even for experienced home buyers. Unfortunately, too many
consumers are content simply to find a home loan that allows them to complete the purchase they want. Or they focus
on one-time costs and other factors that soon will be unimportant. Yet great peace of mind comes from having home
financing you know will suit your budget and temperament for years to come.
That allows you to keep your finances moving towards your long-term goals. And that's why we enjoy going over several
mortgage options with our buying and refinancing clients. Yet we won't overwhelm you by showing every possible
home loan type. After listening to your goals and plans, we come up with several mortgages to consider.
Commonly a buyer thinks that the lowest possible payment is the best deal. Yet that's often not the case, since you could
pay more over time on a mortgage providing the best payments now. We'll give you the information you need to make
a mortgage choice you'll be happy with for years. Instead of offering you a "hot product," we'll talk about the
pros and cons of several home loans, so you can make an informed financial decision.
Today's New Market
Rising home prices are causing many buyers to take a close look at new mortgages that reduce their monthly payments.
Interest-only payment plans and 40-year mortgages are examples. But you may be better off with a home loan that
lets you build equity faster. Although home prices have been rising dramatically in recent years, their increase
could slow in the future.
That's not to say there's a real estate price "bubble." Many economists contend that home prices will fall only if
unemployment is increasing rapidly. Yet today's rising interest rates with time will change the market from
favoring sellers to being a "buyer's market." Higher rates make financing more difficult by causing monthly
payments to increase.
Home price appreciation then will lessen, as fewer consumers can afford these higher costs. Building equity by paying
down your loan then will be seen as more important than it is now. Homes will remain a great investment over time,
since slower price gains will bring more buyers back into the market. But counting on an unbroken stream of large
increases in real estate values will at some point be unrealistic.
Home Sales Set for Record Year
A fast pace of home buying over the summer has economists at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicting that
America's real estate market will set another sales record in 2005. It would be the fifth year in a row that home sales
have achieved all-time highs. Strong demand and a limited supply of houses for sale mean that a typical home's value
should rise 9.4 percent this year, NAR adds. Someone who purchased a $200,000 property last year soon could find it's
America's housing market has benefited in recent years from a combination of low interest rates, a growing population,
and home loans that make it easier for more families to purchase now. The market's strength can be seen from the
fact that higher short-term interest rates haven't slowed home sales. For more than a year the Federal Reserve has
been regularly boosting interest rates.
Real estate sales have exceeded the experts' expectations. Earlier this year NAR forecast a healthy market, but
wasn't predicting a sales record. Contact us soon if you're planning to buy a home. We'll show you why today's market
is making an important purchase possible for so many Americans. You'll find that we'll work closely with you to
insure the process goes smoothly, and that you're happy with the results.
Save While Improving
New tax breaks will reduce the cost of many home improvements. Congress recently approved legislation allowing owners to
cut their tax bill when they make home improvements that conserve energy. Many improvements will be eligible for this
benefit. Adding insulation, replacing windows and doors, and putting in a new furnace or water heater are examples.
You'll receive a tax credit which could shrink your income tax by up to $500. However, this break won't be available until
next year. Yet now would be a great time to start planning your project, by meeting with contractors and looking over
building materials. That will put you at the head of the line if demand increases once the energy bill becomes law.
You'll also want to have your project financing lined up, so those details won't slow you down. Call us right away to
learn how easy it is to add energy-saving improvements to your home. Making these improvements will cut your heating and
cooling bills as long as you live in your house. Adding new doors and windows also will reduce noise from outside, and give
your home a great new look!
Many homeowners today report that it's hard to find workers who will return their phone calls, much
- Do more research. Most remodeling projects have aspects which are new to us, so it's best to spend plenty of
time learning about your options. Two contractors often will approach the same job differently, or use different materials.
Finding out more about the work lets you decide exactly what you want; and you're then more likely to be pleased with
- Envision every aspect of the finished project. It's not uncommon to see things after a project is done that we wish
we had considered earlier. But the more time you have to go over a project, the more likely you are to think of everything.
- Someone remodeling their kitchen will know it's important to carefully choose their cabinets and counter tops. Yet
they might not put as much thought into lighting. However, something we take for granted can have a big effect on our work
space. In older homes we often see fluorescent lighting that lacks warmth and is hard to direct.
- You might consider halogen lights instead. Also think about where you want your lights - having some underneath
cabinets will help you see what you're doing. Make sure your counter tops are at a comfortable height for everyone
who will be working in the kitchen, as well. Don't let the size of your appliances or cabinets dictate your counter
- Be certain you have funds ready to cover all your costs. I'll explain different ways of financing home improvements,
and show you how they'll work within your budget. You'll then be able to make a choice that you know will allow
you to get the improvements you want, without causing financial strain. Home improvement projects are exciting -
and stressful - enough without worrying about money while you're in the middle of them!
Your Ever-Ready Cash
Home equity borrowing lets you obtain money on very good terms. Interest payments generally are tax-deductible on home
equity loans - and rates are much lower when compared to most other forms of consumer credit. For that reason they're
great tools for paying off high-cost credit card debt. Here are some other reasons for obtaining a home equity credit
line or second mortgage:
- Avoid paying for mortgage insurance when purchasing a home. Combining a second mortgage with a first mortgage means you don't have to accept that expense.
- Have down payment funds for a second home, or be able to make an offer on a move-up home before your current house is sold. Ever-ready home equity cash gives you more financial flexibility.
- Improve your home without paying a lot for financing. Renovations will add to the value of your property, while increasing your enjoyment of living there.
- Take out some of your equity without having to refinance your existing low-rate first mortgage. Rental property owners also can enjoy their gains this way.
- Buy a car on better terms. One in four car owners find their old vehicle is worth less than what they owe on their auto loan when they go to trade it in. Dealers then add that average unpaid balance of $3,668 to the cost of a new truck or car. Using home equity funds to finance a vehicle keeps your car payment from rising.
- Have funds available for any emergency need. Many owners appreciate knowing they have instant access to cash through a home equity credit line.
If you looked at home equity loans a few years ago, you may want to examine them again now. Today these financing tools are
easier to obtain, and available for more homeowners than ever.