If you’re active duty military and working at the Naval Weapons Station or at Joint Base Charleston, or if you are one of the many Veterans that decide to call Charleston home, there are some great advantages resulting from your service that can benefit you as a new homebuyer. As you start the homebuying process and are shopping for your new construction home, take a moment to educate yourself about the programs that are available in order to ensure that you are taking full advantage of one of the great perks of your service. The government has a great offering of home buying benefits and protections, coupled with the power of a VA loan available to those who have served.
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The VA loan program has been available through the Department of Veteran Affairs since 1944, helping more than 21 million Veterans, active-duty military and their families achieve the goal of homeownership, making it more financially accessible and better protected. The most obvious benefits of this program include:
- No down payment required (in other words, 100% financing)
- No mortgage insurance (typically required on loans with down payments less than 20%)
- Lower than average interest rates
- Set limits on closing costs
- Less stringent credit requirements
The bottom line is that VA loans can allow for buyers who might not qualify for a traditional loan to move in with less than perfect credit and for less money.
If you’re currently an active-duty military member are receiving a monthly housing allowance, it might be a happy surprise that you can use that money to qualify for a home loan. Essentially, your BAH can be considered as income, allowing you to qualify for a loan and increasing the amount of home you can qualify for.
Curious if you’ll be eligible for a VA loan? If you served in the following capacity, you likely will:
- 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime
- 181 consecutive days on active duty during peacetime
- 6 or more years in the National Guard or Reserves
Talking with a VA lender will help you to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility and give you a sense for you potential buying power. Certain builders around the Charleston area also offer special incentive packages to military buyers that offer things such as closing cost assistance or decorator allowances. Be sure and ask when you’re visiting the sales centers if any of these incentives might be available to you!
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