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What Is a VA Loan?

Today is Veteran’s day so I thought I would dedicate today’s column to all the Veterans out there and to explain one of the benefits of being a Veteran- the VA Guaranteed Loan Program. The program was started in 1944 as part of the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act or the G.I. Bill, as it became known, by President Franklin Roosevelt. The purpose was to help veterans returning from war re-establish credit, purchase housing and to stimulate the economy. Since its inception, the VA Guaranteed Loan Program has helped over 20 million veterans and their families purchase homes. There have been several changes to the program since it began but the goal has remained the same: to assist Veterans and their families in obtaining loans to purchase or re-finance their homes. VA loans can be used to purchase existing or new construction homes or to re-finance an existing mortgage. This loan program offers several important benefits over other traditional mortgages. Most notably is the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment and no mortgage insurance. Typically a down payment of at least 3.5 % is required for most loan types. Some form of mortgage insurance is always required unless you have at least 20% to put down on a home. The VA also requires the property to meet certain requirements for it to qualify for this type of financing. The VA appraiser will make sure that the property is safe, sanitary and sound according to the VA loan requirements as well as making sure the property value is consistent with the loan amount. Who is eligible for the VA...

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