Veterans Affairs mortgages, or VA loans, have become lifesavers for homeowners struggling to refinance with conventional loans.
Low mortgage rates and tighter underwriting standards have led to a huge demand for VA loans from refinancers, says Michael Frueh, loan guaranty director for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The biggest advantage of refinancing with a VA home loan is that homeowners can refinance up to 100 percent of the home's value, and they don't have to pay for mortgage insurance. A non-VA home loan normally requires some equity in the house.
"As values in the market continue to stabilize, veterans can take advantage of lowering their interest rates to today's unprecedented lows," says Deborah Ames Naylor, executive vice president of mortgages at PenFed, the Pentagon's credit union.
If you are a member of the military on active duty, a veteran, a reservist or a member of the National Guard, here are some refinancing options you may consider when it comes to a VA home loan.
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That depends on a lot of factors, Pat. Is it a primary residence? An investment? How long has it been either or both and how recently?
You can probably get basic advice from a Real Estate professional, but as the others have said, you really should be asking a CPA. I'm happy to recommend a great one located in Wheaton if you're interested.... more
Every home inspection is different but you shouldn't expect there to be no issues even if you are buying a new home! Home ownership is ongoing and issues constantly come up that you have to deal with. Having a trustworthy source for service providers is key! Having an agent that has experience with home renovation, maintenance, and construction is also extremely valuable. There is almost no issue that cannot be dealt with. All is takes is time and money....just a matter of how much and who does the work. You want both quality and value.... more
In my experience sellers countering at full price happens when the house has just hit the market and there is a lot of activity, if the price is below market or if the offer is super low ball. Not every seller is pressed to sell and if the price is reasonable in a good market, the gamble to stick to his or her price may pay off. You would know by examining comparable sales or if other buyers are willing to pay.... more
When buying new construction, always try to get a home inspection before the close in of the walls so that the inspector can see the plumbing and electrical wiring as well as the bare bones. You should also have a final inspection once the work is complete. Investigate the builder thoroughly. His or her performance on other homes is a real tell as to the quality of the latest product. I would expect a quality builder to complete a home in well under a year.... more
It's basically the bank's way or no way, however, you may be able to purchase at a price significantly below market value for a standard sale. It really is a case of buyer beware. The best advice I can give is to hire a good home inspector so that you know exactly what you are getting into. My experience is that they love their forms and addenda, but usually work with you in doing the right thing.... more
The tax assessment is not necessarily related to the market value. Unless the property is sub dividable, the fact that it is bigger than other lots does not add a lot to value. For some buyers, this could be a huge problem if they have to care for a larger lot than they need in which case would have a negative effect on value.... more
The assessed value can often be very different from market value so I it is hard to know whether offering $60k over the assessed value is reasonable. In the end, it's the sellers decision to make as to whether your offer is reasonable to him or her. Each seller has a different bottom line.... more