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.
Who is Really Eligible for a VA Loan?
A veteran is eligible for VA home loan benefits if he or she served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force,
Marine Corps, or Coast Guard after September 15, 1940, and was discharged under conditions other than
dishonorable after either:
- 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime, or
- 181 continuous days or more (peacetime).
2 Year Requirement: A greater length of service is required for veterans who
- enlisted (and service began) after September 7, 1980, or
- entered service as an officer after October 16, 1981.
These veterans must have completed either
- 24 continuous months of active duty, or
- the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime).
Note: Cases involving other than honorable discharges will usually require further development by VA. This
is necessary to determine if the service was under other than dishonorable conditions. Members of the Reserves and
National Guard who are not otherwise eligible for loan guaranty benefits are eligible upon completion of 6 years
service in the Reserves or Guard. The applicant must have been honorably discharged from such service unless he
or she is either in an inactive status awaiting final discharge, or still serving in the Reserves or Guard.
Eligibility for Reserves and Guard expires on 9/30/07.
Source: The Department of Veterans Affairs
A favorite part of our work is getting to know people while helping them obtain real estate financing. Numbers and
dollar signs are only part of our job; the dreams and contentment of our borrowers are our first concern. Now is a time of
year when we can relax and reflect. We enjoy knowing that more families are comfortable in their own homes today because
of steps we've taken together.
We hope you're enjoying this season, and looking forward to a fantastic 2006! Feel free to call us whenever you have
questions about financing real estate.
Housing Market Shifts Gears
Higher mortgage rates and rising energy costs are causing America's red-hot housing markets to cool somewhat. Actually,
that's a good sign. We can't continue seeing average prices go up 13 percent, as a government report shows they did in
the twelve months ending June 30. Next year the National Association of Realtors expects real estate values to climb a
little more than five percent.
Buyers won't need to feel rushed when making a decision, since more homes will be on the market. If they miss buying one,
a similar house most likely can be found. Mortgage rates will climb from historic lows in 2006, but still remain
attractive. Continued moderate inflation also will help homeowners, especially if they have a fixed-rate mortgage.
Inflation boosts home prices, along with the cost of other goods. Renters will find their monthly checks to the landlord
getting larger. However, payments won't change for owners with fixed-rate financing. Yet their wages should increase
over time due to inflation. Housing costs thus will drop as a percentage of their budget, while their home
also is rising in value. Contact us soon to learn more about how a fixed-rate home loan can help you financially.
Owners with adjustable-rate mortgages also could benefit from locking in today's rates. We can show you how making
a smart move now can help you save a lot in the near future.
Make A Smart Choice
Consumers who aren't able to discuss their financing with a knowledgeable loan officer can have
disappointing results. You may not be aware, for example, that your closing costs are low because they have been
added to the loan amount.
Although some borrowers prefer that arrangement, you should have full knowledge of it. And you should be
given other possibilities to choose from. Someone who adds on closing costs will pay interest on that
larger balance as long as they live in their home. A higher loan balance also will reduce your profit
when it's time to sell.
Every mortgage feature involves tradeoffs. We can explain clearly how different loan types will work in your situation.
Having someone working for your also helps while you're waiting for your loan to be finalized. Some buyers
find that terms which were promised don't come through when it's time to sign the loan documents.
Or loan approval may not be granted. Either way, a borrower then doesn't know where to turn.
We'll make sure you're fully aware of how your home financing works. Additionally, we'll see that you obtain
the terms you expect. Contact us whenever you need beneficial financing. We look forward to going over your plans, and answering all your questions as we work together.
Cut Your Energy Costs
Higher energy prices are going to hit home this winter. The Energy Information Administration estimates that
households will pay anywhere from five to 48 percent more this year to keep warm. How much your bill goes up
depends on the type of heating fuel your home uses. Running electric furnaces will cost just five percent more,
while the price of heating oil will go up by about one-third.
Natural gas prices will rise the most, causing heating bills to rise by almost 50 percent. Fortunately,
there are steps we can take to reduce fuel use. Yet only about one in four Americans plan to make even modest
efforts, such as by adding insulation and caulking, to conserve energy this winter. A survey from the
National Oilheat Research Alliance reports that just 28 percent of U.S. households will take steps to
cut back on fuel consumption in the cold months.
Your First Step
Being sure you can afford the home you want is crucial to success when buying. Here are reasons why it's important
to talk with us before you start looking at houses:
- You'll have the confidence that assured financing provides. It's not uncommon for "buyer's remorse" to grip
someone right after they've signed a contract to purchase a home. Reasons for this phenomenon include wondering
whether you've overpaid for the property, or if you'll be able to afford the monthly payments. We can help you
avoid that second pitfall, since we'll make sure you know how your mortgage fits into your budget. We'll come up
with a home loan that you feel comfortable with. You'll also be fully aware of how your payments could
change in the future, so you'll never be hit with a financial surprise.
- You won't look at houses you can't afford. Nothing is more frustrating than falling in love with a home, and then
finding that it's out of your price range. Yet that can happen if you start looking at properties before talking
with us about financing. We'll also show you ways to expand your buying power, to help you get the home you want.
- You'll stand out as a qualified buyer. Sellers want to be certain that a transaction will go through before they accept a buyer's offer and take their home off the market. Having financing already lined up makes sellers eager to work with you. Other buyers may not be as attractive - and that will help you to obtain the house you want. Put our professional experience on your side when you're ready to buy a home. We'll be working on your behalf every step of the way!