VA is an awesome loan program... particularly for a disabled vet!
Unfortunately if the property you find needs work it won't be an option. Realistically if you find a property that will need renovation, you will need to have 3-5% available for down payment and closing costs.
My question was to find out the reason you wanted a VA loan. The tough part of choosing a mortgage is in most cases there is not a right or wrong answer. It is more about finding the best product/program for your personal situation.
Thank you for your service to our Country! As a fellow Veteran (OIF II) I would agree that the VA loan program is a great program, especially if you are a disabled Veteran. Disabled Veterans may be exempt from the funding fee. A down payment (in most cases) and PMI are not required. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no rehab type VA loan options available.
Feel free to call me or E-Mail me directly, as I can recommend a great book that may help you out in your application process for VA disability benefits.
Why find an experienced Realtor to make an introduction to a good loan officer?
It's one thing if you have an existing relationship with a realtor and you look for a referral. But to find a realtor and then from that find a loan officer ...it seems to me that you have added a step and increased the chances of a bad referral.
If you don't have a trusted relationship...Why not look for a referral directly to a lender/loan officer.
Andrew, I'm not sure how to respond directly to your questions other than adding an "answer."
I don't have to go with a VA loan, and I will sit down with a mortgage professional once the time comes (probably a 2-4 months from now). I'm nearing the end of the process of applying for disability benefits through the VA, and while I'm not certain that they will be approved, if they are I was thinking that a "no down payment (or at least minimal depending on the value of the loan" with no funding fee and no PMI is likely to be one of my options.
If it were to happen as I am optimistically planning, I was just curious to see if the 403(k) product would be available through that option.