More people need to know the benefits of using a VA loan.

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My husband got a call from one of our sons yesterday telling him that he had gotten an offer from a mortgage lender that sounded too good to be true. Bill asked me if I had ever heard of such a thing. The lender would take his 5% rate to 3.5% with little or no closing costs. Earlier in the day, I had locked one of our other sons into the very same program. It’s called a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance. The rate on a VA loan is low enough right now, that with the premium being given on a 3.5% rate, all closing costs can be covered with no out of pocket costs to the Veteran. Additionally, the VA has no mortgage insurance and when refinancing charges a nominal guarantee fee of only .5% which can be added to the loan. When a Veteran uses his eligibility to purchase, the guarantee fee is significantly higher. Like the man on the radio says, “With rates this low, it’s the biggest no brainer in the history of mankind.” I just assumed everyone knew.

More people need to know the benefits of using a VA loan.

I can’t turn around at Christmas without running into an active Veteran in my own family. My nephew just got back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Army, my son Mike is a 1st Sargeant in the Army National Guard and has served multiple tours of duty overseas, my son Joel served in Desert Storm with the Marines, my step son Barry has had so many tours of duty in the Middle East that I’ve lost count. My parents were Marines, my step Dad was a Navy commander, and my granddaughter is dating a Marine. You may have a relative or friend in the military as well. With over 44,000 Veterans in Minnesota, I thought it might be worth sharing other benefits of using a VA loan.

· Qualifying Vets can purchase a home and take out a mortgage up to $417,000 with Zero Down.

· There is an upfront Guarantee Fee when you purchase or refinance but it can be rolled into the loan and there is no monthly mortgage insurance. This makes a VA loan much more affordable than other programs. If there is a service related disability of 30% or more, the Guarantee fee is waived.

· The rate on a VA loan is typically lower than that of a conventional mortgage.

· The VA stands behind the Veteran if they get into a difficult situation and will go to great lengths to help the Veteran keep their home.

· After a bankruptcy or foreclosure, the waiting period to requalify is the shortest of all loan programs at just 2 years provided good credit has been re-established.

· For Veterans purchasing a home higher than $417,000, the down payment is 25% of the difference between the purchase price and $417,000. So, for instance, at a $550,000 purchase price, the Veteran would put down $33,250 or just 6.05% of the purchase price and would get a 30 year fixed rate loan, one low payment and no mortgage insurance. Amazing.

I’m going to stop taking for granted that our Veteran’s know these benefits are available to them. Someone you know will thank you for this information. Please share! -Kate Wilson

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