You are eligible for VA financing, but are unsure where to start. You need an affordable home. But, you’ve probably heard rumors that VA financing makes it hard to get into a home.
The good news is that VA financing is just like most other programs. Sellers may still believe the myths surrounding the program, but it’s a great program with very few restrictions. This lack of restrictions includes the type of home you purchase.
You don’t need a specific type of home. Unlike the USDA program, where the home must be located in a rural area, the VA has very few restrictions. We cover them below.
The Home Must be Livable
The VA’s main concern is that a home is safe and sanitary. In other words, you must be able to live it in right away. If it needs a lot of work and would be unsafe for you to live in following the closing, it won’t be eligible. If however, the changes are minor or cosmetic and you can move in, VA financing is possible. The VA just doesn’t want to put you in a home where you can’t live comfortably or that will put your wellbeing at risk.
The Home Must Pass the Minimum Property Requirements
Along the lines of a home being livable, it must meet the Minimum Property Requirements. This is a simple list of things the home must have in order to use VA financing. These requirements are standard and are hopefully something you would want in a home too:
- Working plumbing, electric, and water
- Enough space for your entire family to eat, sleep, and bathe
- No major issues, such as damaged walls, termites, mold, or structural issues
- Adequate access to the home from the street
As you can see, the VA wants the home to be safe and sanitary. Moving into a home with termite damage, for example, could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. This could put you under financial strain as you try to make your new mortgage payments too. The VA avoids situations like this to avoid the risk of defaulting on your loan.
The Home Must be Moderate
If you are looking for affordable homes in your area, chances are they will be moderate anyways. But, it’s worth mentioning that the VA doesn’t allow luxurious accommodations. The home must be satisfactory for your family, but also the average size for the area. If it’s exceptionally large or has expensive features, it may not qualify for VA financing.
Talk to an Experienced Realtor
The best way to find affordable homes for veterans is to talk to an experienced realtor. Find one in your area that works with veterans. They will know the VA’s rules inside and out and can point you in the right direction.
The right realtor can also help you negotiate with sellers that are leery of taking VA financing. Many people assume VA financing takes forever or that they are strict with their appraisals. Neither issue is the case. VA loans take just as long as any other loan program to close and the appraisal is the same, with the exception of the MPR, which we discussed above.
Finding affordable homes eligible for VA financing is not as hard as it seems. Having the help of a knowledgeable realtor can help you speed the process along. However, even if you do it on your own, you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought. The VA provides flexible guidelines for financing as well as finding the right home.