An interesting infographic via Trulia.
VA loans are the most misunderstood mortgage program in America. Industry professionals and consumers often receive incorrect data when they inquire about them. In fact, misconceptions about the government guaranteed home loan program are so prevalent that a recent VA survey found that approximately half of all military veterans do not understand it.
With this in mind, we would like to debunk the most common myths about VA Loans.
Myth 1: The VA loan benefit has a “one time” use.
Fact: Veterans and active duty military can use the VA loan many times. There is a limit to the borrower’s entitlement. The entitlement is the amount of loan the VA will guarantee. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may have to make a down payment. Never the less, there are no limitations on how many times a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member can get a VA loan.
Myth 2: VA home loan benefits expire if they are not used.
Fact: For eligible participants, VA mortgage benefits never expire. This myth stems from confusion over the veteran benefit for education. Typically, the Montgomery GI Bill benefits expire 10 years after discharge.
Myth 3: A borrower can only have one VA loan at a time.
Fact: You can have two (or more) VA loans out at the same time as long as you have not exceeded your maximum entitlement and eligibility. In order to have more than one VA loan, the borrower must be able to afford both payments and sufficient entitlement is required. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may be required to make a down payment.
Myth 4: If you have a VA loan, you cannot lease the home.
Fact: By law, homeowners with VA loans may rent out their home. If the home is located in a non-rental subdivision, the VA will not guarantee the loan. If the home is located in a subdivision (such as a co-op) where the other owners can deny or approve a tenant, the VA will not approve the financing. When an individual applies for a VA loan, they certify that they intend on making the home their primary residence. Borrowers cannot use their VA benefits to buy property for rental purposes except if they are using their benefits to buy a duplex, triplex or fourplex. Under these circumstances, the borrower must certify that they will occupy one of the units.
Myth 5: If a borrower has a short sale or foreclosure on a VA loan, they cannot have another VA loan.
Fact: If a borrower has a claim on their entitlement, they will still be able to get another VA loan, but the maximum amount they would otherwise qualify for may be less. For example, Mr. Smith had a home with a $100,000 VA loan that foreclosed in 2012. If Mr. Smith buys a home in a low cost area, he will have enough remaining eligibility for a $317,000 purchase with $0 money down. If he did not have the foreclosure, he would have been able to obtain another VA loan up to $417,000 with no money down payment.
Veterans and Active duty military deserve affordable home ownership. In recent years, the VA loan made up roughly 13% of all home purchase financing. This program remains underused largely because of misinformation. By separating facts from myth, more of America’s military would be able to realize their own American Dream.
Phil Georgiades is our guest blogger today. Phil is the Chief Loan Steward for VA Home Loan Centers, a veteran and active duty military services organization.
Many pundits are warning that there will be a drop in real estate values because mortgage rates are beginning to increase. The logic makes sense. However, history shows that increasing rates have not negatively impacted home values in the past.
Four times over the last 30 years mortgage interest rates have dramatically increased. Here is the impact the increases had on home values at the time:
|May ‘83 – July ‘84||
12.63 – 14.67
|March – Oct ‘87||
9.04 – 11.26
|Oct ’93 – Dec ‘94||
6.83 – 9.2
|April ’99 -May 2000||
6.92 – 8.52
Perhaps the impact of increasing rates on future home prices won’t be as dramatic as some are predicting.
1. An appraisal isn’t an exact science
When appraisers evaluate a home’s value, they’re giving their best opinion based on how the home’s features stack up against those of similar homes recently sold nearby. One appraiser may factor in a recent sale, but another may consider that sale too long ago, or the home too different, or too far away to be a fair comparison. The result can be differences in the values two separate appraisers set for your home.
2. Appraisals have different purposes
An appraisal being used to figure out how much to insure your home for or to determine your property taxes may rely on other factors and arrive at different values. For example, though an appraisal for a home loan evaluates today’s market value, an appraisal for insurance purposes calculates what it would cost to rebuild your home at today’s building material and labor rates, which can result in two different numbers.
Appraisals are also different from CMAs, or competitive market analyses. In a CMA, a real estate agent relies on market expertise to estimate how much your home will sell for in a specific time period. The price your home will sell for in 30 days may be different than the price your home will sell for in 120 days. Because real estate agents don’t follow the rules appraisers do, there can be variations between CMAs and appraisals on the same home.
3. An appraisal is a snapshot
Home prices shift, and appraised values will shift with those market changes. Your home may be appraised at $150,000 today, but in two months when you refinance or list it for sale, the appraised value could be lower or higher depending on how your market has performed.
4. Appraisals don’t factor in your personal issues
You may have a reason you must sell immediately, such as a job loss or transfer, which can affect the amount of money you’ll accept to complete the transaction in your time frame. An appraisal doesn’t consider those personal factors.
5. You can ask for a second opinion
If your home appraisal comes back at a value you believe is too low, you can request that a second appraisal be performed by a different appraiser. You, or potential buyers, if they’ve requested the appraisal, will have to pay for the second appraisal. But it may be worth it to keep the sale from collapsing from a faulty appraisal. On the other hand, the appraisal may be accurate, and it may be a sign that you need to adjust your pricing or the size of the loan you’re refinancing.
The housing market has changed a lot over the last 40 years, with the number of home sales, the size of homes, and the cost of homes all changing since the 1970s. Check out this great infographic below to see the ups, and downs, of the housing market over the last 40 years.