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    Most veterans and military service members know VA loans are out there – and that they can help them buy a home more easily and, in most cases, more affordably.

    But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty details of these mortgage options? Things get a little murkier.

    In honor of Veterans Day this Saturday, we’re taking a closer look at VA loans – and what veterans should know about using them.

    You can get a VA loan anytime during or after your service.

    There is no expiration date for your eligibility and no limit to how many times you can secure a VA loan. You can take one out on your first home, second home and any home you buy after that.

    You may find it easier to qualify.

    Typically, VA loan programs have lower credit score and financial health requirements than other mortgage options out there. You may even be able to secure a VA loan if you’ve had a previous bankruptcy or foreclosure on your record.

    You can use it to refinance or cash-out.

    Need money for a remodel? Want to refinance your current mortgage for a lower rate or payment? You can use VA loans in these scenarios, too.

    You’ll save on other fees, too.

    A lot of closing costs go away when using a VA loan, including the funding fee. This typically runs as high as 3 percent of your total loan, so it can mean serious savings come closing day.

    Key Updates for 2023

    • VA loan limits increased significantly: In 2023, the standard VA loan limit increased to $726,200 for most U.S. counties, up from $647,200 in 2022. VA loan limits also increased for high-cost counties, topping out at $1,089,300 for a single-family home.
    • No down payment required: VA loans do not require a down payment, unlike most conventional loans, which typically require a down payment of 3-5%.
    • No private mortgage insurance (PMI): VA loans do not require PMI, which can save borrowers hundreds of dollars per year.
    • Lower interest rates: VA loans typically have lower interest rates than conventional loans. This is critical as we are in a rising interest rate environment.
    • Streamlined refinance process: VA has introduced a streamlined refinance process, known as VA Streamline, which makes it easier for veterans to refinance their existing VA loans.
    • Virtual Appraisals for VA Home Loans: In late 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022.” The bill proposes to make changes to the VA appraisal process, including allowing appraisals to occur virtually.
    • VA Appraisal Waivers: The bill also suggests that the VA start introducing a protocol for appraisal waivers. The agency is encouraged to provide guidance as to when an appraisal is necessary and in what cases it may be waived.

    Additional Benefits of VA Loans

    • No limit on the number of VA loans: Veterans can use VA loans to purchase multiple homes.

    Tips for Getting a VA Loan

    • Get pre-approved before you start shopping for a home. This will give you a good idea of how much you can afford to borrow.
    • Shop around for the best interest rate. VA loan interest rates can vary from lender to lender.
    • Consider using a VA-approved lender. VA-approved lenders are familiar with VA loan requirements and can help you navigate the application process.

    VA loans are a valuable benefit for veterans and military service members. These loans can make it easier to buy a home and save money on interest and closing costs. If you are a veteran or service member, you should strongly consider using a VA loan to finance your home purchase.

    Embrace Home Loans® is a Leading Provider of VA Loans

    We have a team of experienced loan officers who can help you get the best possible rate and terms on your VA loan. We also offer a variety of programs to help veterans and military service members achieve their homeownership goals.

    Contact us today to learn more about VA loans and how we can help you.

    Do you know a veteran or military service member? Show your gratitude this Veterans Day by sharing this post. You may just save them serious cash in the long run.

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