The Road To HomeOwnership Starts Here

VA First Time Home Buyer Loan Program*

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Let's take a look at a fictional scenario which illustrates the features and benefits of a VA loan. Ray was an ambitious young man who wanted to serve his country so he joined the Marines and he bravely did 4 years of active duty. Once he completed his service he decided to settle down and get married to Brandi and before they knew it they had 2 beautiful kids named Joe and Kathy. They rented an apartment for $1,200 in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago. Ray finished college and got a good paying job in the IT field and it was time for them to buy their first home. Ray and Brandi had less than perfect credit but both of their scores were above 600 which was the mininum required score for the VA program. Brandi was still in nursing school and she had a significant amount of student loan debt which was deferred for at least another 18 months before she had to make her first payment on these loans. Randy and Brandi anxiouly sat down with Firsthomebuyers and they told them they qualified for the zero down 30 year fixed rate VA loan and the student loans were not an issue because you don't have to count student loan payments to qualify for a VA mortgage if the loans are deferred for at least 1 year from the closing date. Ray and Brandi were excited but they told Jerry they don't have hardly any money for closing costs either. FirstHomeBuyers told them that the seller can pay 4% of the purchase toward closing costs and they were approved for $150,000 so the $6,000 should be more than enough to cover their closing costs in their particular situation. Ray and Brandi found the perfect home and their new mortgage payment was about the same as their rent payment. They finally achieved the American Dream of owning a home and they stayed in that starter home for 5 years before they sold it to another Veteran. The VA loan is assumable and the Veteran buyer offered them a good price because interest rates had moved up significantly over the last 5 years and the buyer was willing to pay top dollar for the home because he was able to take over the loan payments and assume the the low rate that Ray and Brandi had on their loan. Finally, Ray and Brandi were able to purchase their next home using another VA loan because it is reusable. You can use your full VA entitlement over and over again as long as you pay off the loan each time. In summary, Veterans and active military personnel should take a look at the VA program which has more flexible underwriting guidelines than conventional programs, the loan is assumable which can be a great selling tool when you sell your home down the road, and you can use a VA loan again when you purchase another home.

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Veterans and active military personnel are eligible to participate in the VA loan program. Generally, you’re likely qualified if you served:

  • 181 days during peacetime (Active Duty)
  • 90 days during war time (Active Duty)
  • 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
  • Some surviving spouses may be eligible

Required Military Documents:

  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE)-Today most lenders can obtain COE for you within seconds.
  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, generally referred to as a "DD 214", is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation, or discharge from active-duty military.

    Service members are given the option of accepting the edited, unedited or both copies upon separation. The National Personnel Records Center is the government agency tasked with replacing a lost and destroyed DD Form 214 upon request from a veteran. Requested copies are mailed from the Military Personnel Records Center.

Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance:

soldier-coming-homeThere is a grant called the Dream Makers Program which matches your contribution three-to-one up to maximum $5,000. Military personnel (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Veteran) are eligible for this program. FHA, VA, USDA programs available. Apply for grant.There are maximum income limitations.

You should seek a loan officer who has experience with these type of loans because the guidelines and procedures are different than any other program..


*We are not a government agency or endorsed by VA.

Equal Housing Lender

(847) 516-5743


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