Jan 12 2024

Buying a home with a VA Loan? 6 considerations


Are you a Veteran preparing for homeownership? Find out facts about a VA Mortgage before you apply.

If you’re an Active-Duty servicemember, Reservist, Veteran, or surviving spouse, you may have a VA Loan entitlement. A VA Mortgage entitlement simply means that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has promised to back your loan up to a certain dollar amount, providing more surety in the eyes of a lender.

With this entitlement comes several key benefits—like 100 percent financing that doesn’t require a down payment. You can read more about the perks of using a VA Loan here. Understanding which benefits you’re entitled to, as well as which challenges might arise, can help you make an informed decision.

A Veteran’s guide to homeownership: 6 factors to consider

Using a VA Mortgage to achieve your dream of homeownership has its advantages:

1. You’ll have a place of your own.

Once you become a homeowner, you’ll have a place to call your own. There’s comfort in knowing that a landlord or property manager can no longer raise your rent or kick you out unexpectedly if they want to sell. Buying a home means you call the shots: You can paint and make upgrades without having to ask permission.

You’ll also have pride of ownership, both at the personal and the community level. “Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates an obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in said community,” the National Association of REALTORS® confirms.

2. You’ll begin to Build Prosperity.

One of the bigger perks of homeownership is the ability to Build Prosperity in the form of home equity. This is why real estate continues to be named the “best investment.” As you pay your monthly mortgage, a portion of this goes toward your loan principal, chipping away at how much you owe. You own a little more of your home with each payment. The same can’t be said for renting.

Rising home values also contribute to your equity gains. The average homeowner has over $300,000 in equity.

3. You’ll enjoy stability.

For many new homeowners in today’s market, peace of mind can be priceless. As a homeowner, you’ll no longer be subject to rising rents. Having a fixed housing cost can help to promote financial stability. A monthly mortgage payment that doesn’t fluctuate from year to year—save for changes in property taxes or home insurance—makes planning for future expenses much easier.

When buying a house with a VA Loan, you might also run into challenges:

1. Not all lenders offer VA Loans.

Misconceptions around VA Mortgages are everywhere. Many Active-Duty personnel, Reservists, Veterans, and surviving spouses with full VA entitlement are unaware of the loan programs offered solely to them. These programs are designed to give Veterans the chance to achieve their dream of homeownership, despite the hurdles that only military personnel may face.

Other myths include that you can’t use a VA Loan to buy a high-priced home. VA Loans don’t have a maximum amount, but Academy Mortgage has a maximum of $1,000,000 for those who qualify. Though the VA encourages lenders to provide VA Loans, not all lenders do. Academy Mortgage shows our thanks by offering affordable VA Mortgage solutions and has even been named one of the Best Military Lenders.

To learn more about your VA Loan options: Find an Academy Loan Officer near you.

2. You’ll be responsible for maintenance.

If a problem arises in a rental, it’s a matter of informing your landlord and asking them to fix it. But having freedom to paint and upgrade your home as you wish comes with responsibility. When you own a home, maintenance falls on you. Setting aside money each month in an emergency fund can help to cover unexpected maintenance issues, like repairing a roof after a storm or replacing a water heater.

3. You’ll need to make a decision if you’re transferred.

What happens if you’re transferred while living in a home that you bought with a VA Mortgage? One possibility is that you can sell your home and potentially make a profit.

If you’re not ready to cash in on your equity or don’t feel the sale will be profitable, you can keep the property and rent it. You may be able to rent your home and buy a new one using a VA Loan, with some limitations depending on how much entitlement you still have available. Note that a VA Mortgage can’t be used to buy a second home or investment property and is intended for a primary residence.

‘Highly recommended, especially for Veterans.’

It’s our privilege to serve those who have served. Connect with an experienced, local Academy Loan Officer to find out if a VA Loan is right for you.

All mortgage products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Additional conditions, qualifications, and restrictions may apply. Please contact Academy Mortgage for more information. MAC2501-2180805.