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VA Loan Tips and Hints

Here are some hints to help get you through the VA loan and home buying process:

  • Plan ahead. Plan at least 5 months ahead of time to buy a home. Two years is actually ideal. During this time you can save money, improve your debt to credit ratio and decide what kind of home would work best for your family.
  • Check your credit through the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and fix any errors before you get into the loan process.
  • Research to find a good VA approved lender with good service and good fees.
  • Get pre-approved for your loan amount before you start seriously looking to buy a home. This can help you narrow your search to only the homes you can afford and help you buy one quickly when a bargain comes along.
  • There are expensive places to live in the US and the VA Loan program has made allowances for that guaranteeing homes in some places to over $1,000,000.00. Check with the VA and get a copy of the "County Loan Limits for High-Cost Counties."
  • Get a home inspection and follow the inspector around if he will let you. A good inspector is worth every penny and they can usually tell you a lot they can’t/don’t write on the forms.
  • Make an accurate comparison of rental versus home ownership costs and be sure you are at a point in your life where you can and want to afford the cost of home ownership.
  • Carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of getting a fixed versus an adjustable rate loan.
  • Budget closing costs, moving costs and housing upgrades into the total cost of moving.
  • Consider buying below what you can afford. Life is always full of surprises and it’s best to be prepared rather than strapped to face them.

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