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VA Home Loan program available to qualified buyers

Simply put, a VA Home Loan allows qualfied buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment.

There are also no monthly mortgage insurance premiums to pay, limitations on buyer’s closing costs, and an appraisal that informs the buyer of the property value. 

For most loans on new houses, construction is inspected at appropriate stages and a one-year warranty is required from the builder.

VA also performs personal loan servicing and offers financial counseling to help veterans  having temporary financial difficulties.

What if I’ve used a VA Home Loan before?

You can have previously-used entitlement “restored” one time only in order to purchase another home with a VA loan if the borrower has paid off the prior loan but still owns the property, and wants to use his entitlement to purchase a second home. This often occurs with active duty borrowers who PCS to a new station but want to keep their existing home for retirement. However if the prior loan has been paid off, and the property is no longer owned, they can have their entitlement restored as many times as they want.  They can re-use their VA eligibility for every home purchase from the first to the last.

Also, veterans who have used a VA loan before may still have remaining entitlement (see chart) to use for another VA loan. A veteran’s maximum entitlement is $89,912, and lenders will generally loan up to four times your available entitlement without a down payment, provided your income and credit qualifications are fine, and the property appraises for the asking price. Lenders may require that a combination of the guaranty entitlement and any cash down payment must equal at least 25 percent of the reasonable value or sales price of the property, whichever is less.

Remaining entitlement and restoration of entitlement is not automatic. It can be requested through the nearest VA office by completing VA Form 26-1880. The entitlement may also be restored one time only if the veteran has repaid the prior VA loan in full but has not disposed of the property purchased with the prior VA loan.

What service is not eligible for a VA Home Loan?

You are not eligible for VA financing solely based upon service in World War I, Active Duty Training in the Reserves, or Active Duty Training in the National Guard. Note: Guard and Reservists are eligible if they were “activated” under the authority of title 10 U.S. Code as was the case for the Iraq/Afghanistan.

Do all local lenders offer VA loans?

Not necessarily. Choose a VA-approved lending institution that can handle your home loan. A lender can help you review your credit history and determine how much of a loan you can qualify for. Be aware that different lenders have different closing costs and other fees, so it pays to shop around.

What types of repayment options are available?

The guaranteed 30-year loans with a choice of repayment plans: Traditional fixed payment (constant principal and interest); Graduated Payment Mortgage, or GPM (low initial payments which gradually rise to a level payment starting in the sixth year); and in some areas, Growing Equity Mortgages, or GEMs (gradually increasing payments with all of the increase applied to principal, resulting in an early payoff of the loan). There is no prepayment penalty.

What is the maximum VA loan?

Although there is no maximum VA loan (limited only by the reasonable value or the purchase price), lenders generally limit the maximum VA loan to $417,000. 

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. in the old Mercy Medical Center.

Meetings

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

American Legion Post 108, second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, 287 Hermosa St.

Veterans for Veterans, every Tuesday at 10 am, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd. (Buffalo Inn).

Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans, Monday at 6 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590 and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

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