2012 Survivors’ Benefits SummaryToday, I would like to discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I purchased a home in 2010 through our very own Barbara Terranova. I used the VA loan, and was locked into a great rate!

As most of us know, Virginia Beach is a Military-Central area. Therefore, if you are a military member or you were once a military member, it should be no surprise to you that you are in fact eligible for Veterans Affairs Loan assistance. If you did not know that, you need to speak to someone today! Did you know that it is not only active duty members that benefit from the VA loan? You can also get the VA loan if you are a Reservist or a National Guard member!

What is the VA loan you ask? Essentially it is a loan that is guaranteed by the federal government issued by qualified lenders to qualified buyers. That does not mean you are getting the loan from the government, just that they are guaranteeing the loan and the lendee (YOU). It can offer the opportunity to not have to put any money down, which helps military members and their families purchase homes without having a lot of cash on hand.

There is a funding fee that is associated with the VA Loan, but typically you can include that fee in the total loan amount. The purpose of the funding fee is basically what it states – it is used to fund the VA loan program and keep it up and running, all VA loans will pay into it.

Another great benefit of this loan is that there is no prepayment penalty! Typically (but not always) with conventional loans, you will not be allowed to make extra payments on the principle or on the loan. With the VA loan, you can readily make extra payments as you see fit without fear of getting hit with any prepayment penalties.

You can also get incredible rates which are locked in for the duration of the loan. The rates will depend on the market, and you will want to discuss with your lender the best way to get the best rate. I won’t discuss what rate I got, but I can tell you that it was better than a conventional loan for me at the time.

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Let’s say you are military or prior military or family. There are several main caveats that must be met in order for you to be eligible this loan.

-The first is that the home must be owner occupied for at least one year following purchase. The intention here is that you are purchasing a home for primary occupancy, not as an income producing (rental) property. That being said, every home is inspected prior to purchase. The home inspector must find the house in livable condition or able to be repaired as needed. Make sure you are working closely with your Realtor! They are an invaluable resource when you are going through the home buying process.

-Another is that you must qualify financially. For example, you must still have good credit, and a qualified lender must still approve you as you would be approved with any other type of loan (for more information regarding lender qualification, please speak to your local lenders!)

-Your VA loan will have a maximum purchase price. Make sure that you know the maximum before you start house shopping, or you may find your dream home only to find out that you cannot finance it with the VA loan! We all hate wasted time, and your time is worth something!


It was not easy to navigate for me, having been a first time homebuyer. But I had an incredible Realtor working for me, and a great lender that helped explain everything that I did not understand at the time.

There is so much information surrounding the VA loan that it is understandable if you are unsure of some of the rules and regulations. You can visit the VA Web Page or Veterans United for some more information, or you can contact us today and we can help to answer any of your questions! Don’t miss out on your VA loan because you didn’t know!

Barbara, Liz, and Steffani