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5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About VA Loans

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About VA Loans

We are pleased to welcome Phil Georgiades as our guest blogger today.  Phil is the Chief Loan Steward for VA Home Loan Centers, a veteran and active duty military services organization. – The KCM Crew

Veteran Buying a HouseVA loans are the most misunderstood mortgage program in America. Industry professionals and consumers often receive incorrect data when they inquire about them. In fact, misconceptions about the government guaranteed home loan program are so prevalent that a recent VA survey found that approximately half of all military veterans do not understand it.

With this in mind, we would like to debunk the most common myths about VA Loans.

Myth 1: The VA loan benefit has a “one time” use.

Fact: Veterans and active duty military can use the VA loan many times. There is a limit to the borrower’s entitlement. The entitlement is the amount of loan the VA will guarantee. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may have to make a down payment. Never the less, there are no limitations on how many times a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member can get a VA loan.

Myth 2: VA home loan benefits expire if they are not used.

Fact: For eligible participants, VA mortgage benefits never expire. This myth stems from confusion over the veteran benefit for education. Typically, the Montgomery GI Bill benefits expire 10 years after discharge.

Myth 3: A borrower can only have one VA loan at a time.

Fact: You can have two (or more) VA loans out at the same time as long as you have not exceeded your maximum entitlement and eligibility. In order to have more than one VA loan, the borrower must be able to afford both payments and sufficient entitlement is required. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may be required to make a down payment.

Myth 4: If you have a VA loan, you cannot lease the home.

Fact: By law, homeowners with VA loans may rent out their home. If the home is located in a non-rental subdivision, the VA will not guarantee the loan. If the home is located in a subdivision (such as a co-op) where the other owners can deny or approve a tenant, the VA will not approve the financing. When an individual applies for a VA loan, they certify that they intend on making the home their primary residence. Borrowers cannot use their VA benefits to buy property for rental purposes except if they are using their benefits to buy a duplex, triplex or fourplex. Under these circumstances, the borrower must certify that they will occupy one of the units.

Myth 5: If a borrower has a short sale or foreclosure on a VA loan, they cannot have another VA loan.

Fact: If a borrower has a claim on their entitlement, they will still be able to get another VA loan, but the maximum amount they would otherwise qualify for may be less. For example, Mr. Smith had a home with a $100,000 VA loan that foreclosed in 2012. If Mr. Smith buys a home in a low cost area, he will have enough remaining eligibility for a $317,000 purchase with $0 money down.  If he did not have the foreclosure, he would have been able to obtain another VA loan up to $417,000 with no money down payment.

Veterans and Active duty military deserve affordable home ownership. In recent years, the VA loan made up roughly 13% of all home purchase financing. This program remains underused largely because of misinformation. By separating facts from myth, more of America’s military would be able to realize their own American Dream.

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24 replies
  1. Andy Rose
    Andy Rose says:

    The first half of #4 is completely wrong. First you have to be an owner-occupant since with a VA loan you have to live in the home being purchased. Now if after living in the home and you later move you CAN rent out the home, unless restricted by covenants.
    And to clarify the 2nd part, with a multiplex home, you have to reside in one of the units.
    Other than that its a great post and good information!
    Let’s help Veterans and give them correct information.

  2. Hotaru Akane
    Hotaru Akane says:

    Can I just say what a relief to find an individual who truly knows what they’re talking
    about on the internet. You definitely realize how to bring
    a problem to light and make it important. More people ought to look at this and understand this side of your story.
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    the gift. https://Vimeo.com/86451837

  3. Bryan sam
    Bryan sam says:

    Meeting all requirements for a VA home advance is a straightforward system for generally veterans. Any moneylender who offers VA supported home loans can help you with the subtle elements. The trap is to do the examination to discover loan specialists who offer VA home credits and to apply to every independently.

  4. johnhester
    johnhester says:

    Thanks for the information. Hard money loan is a specific type of asset based loan.This loan is typically issued by private investors.People can get this loan with their bad credit score. It takes 2 or 3 weeks only.People can also get hard money loan from lending universe inc Here they will get some benefits. Like they have more than 10000+ verified hard money lenders and all of them are charged cheap interest rate with some easy conditions.

  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    I am wondering if you know anything about how easy it is to sell a house bought with a VA loan? What if due to work you relocate and need to sell your house with in a year of ownership?
    Thank you in advance

    • Ronnie McBride
      Ronnie McBride says:

      This will not be a problem, as long as your home is approved for other types of loans they will be able to use that option. With that said, it is easier to turn your home to another VA applicant sense the home has already met the requirements.

  6. penny arsenault-mclaughlin
    penny arsenault-mclaughlin says:

    Wonderful info, thanks so much. We have a question. Can we lease to own our home which we have lived in for 5 years now and we have a Va loan on it. We have a wonderful young man with a great job. Can he take over our Va loan on a lease to own arrangement.

  7. Vianne Ritter
    Vianne Ritter says:

    My ex husband and I purchased a home with a VA loan while he was active duty. We then got orders to move and decided to rent out the home. We eventually separated and he was caretaker of the house. But he let it go into foreclosure. So I got involved and retained the original realtor that sold us the home to put it on a short sale. It was sold. My problem now is that that mortgage is showing up on my credit report in default. I don’t know what to do to get it off since I was under the impression I was out from under it. Any ideas?

    • Russ
      Russ says:

      I had a home that I bought with VA and got divorced. I kept the house but took on all the debt so when I fell behind on the mortgage for 3 months I was facing foreclosure so I had to sell as a short sale. I sold the home but the mortgage company still put on my credit that it was a foreclosure but I got it taken off by disputing it with all of the credit reporting agencies

  8. Irideon Andon
    Irideon Andon says:

    Last year, I used a VA loan to purchase three separate cottages with separate addresses. They were on the same parcel though. I rented the front two out to totally cover the mortgage for all three which includes taxes and insurance. My official address is in the third house. You can buy up to a four unit property using a VA loan and I plan to use another VA loan when it comes time to buy my next investment property. I only found one realtor that was aware you can do that. One of them was a fixer upper at the time I made the offer but through negotiations and some repairs being included in the loan it was ready to go at closing.

  9. Russ
    Russ says:

    Back in 1996 when I first got out of the military it was so hard to use my VA benefits to buy a home. Back then they told me I had to do the same job in the civilian world as I did in the military so I wasn’t able to use my benefits for years until they revised the standards. Back then you couldn’t buy a condo or a trailer with VA and a rental property was seen as a commercial investment which required a large amount of money down.

    I’m glad they have made the system better since then and a lot easier

  10. Derek Dewitt
    Derek Dewitt says:

    My wife has been researching if her father qualifies for VA loans but isn’t sure where to start. I had no idea that VA loans were only used for rentals and can’t be used for property purchases. We will have to find a place that will approve VA tenants like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Michael Lee
    Michael Lee says:

    Before reading this article, I did not know how buying a rental property would work with a VA loan. Making sure that your property is your primary occupancy is the difficult part. Having a duplex would be a great way to get around this.

  12. George N. Pabon
    George N. Pabon says:

    They were on a similar bundle however. I leased the front two out to absolutely cover the home loan for every one of the three which incorporates duties and protection.

  13. Eli Richardson
    Eli Richardson says:

    I’m glad you talked about how most military veterans aren’t aware of the benefits of loan programs specially made for them. My best friend’s dad was in the military force, and the other day my friend mentioned they’re dealing with money issues and don’t know what to do. That’s why I believe they don’t know about the benefits of a VA home loan, so I’ll be sure to tell them. I really appreciate you helping me learn about VA home loans.


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