Buying or Selling a Home as a Military Service Member
Home ownership rates among veterans far surpass that of civilians. While it’s obvious that the majority of military members believe in home ownership, the financial toll of the military can make it more difficult to get a foothold, and the home buying/selling process can become a lot more confusing when an active-duty service member deploys. However, there are numerous loans and safeguards to not only protect military members and their families , but to also make the buying and selling process a lot smoother. Below is a brief breakdowns of loans, MRP, and other benefits for veteran and military buyers. If you would like more information on any of the topics that this post touches on, contact us today.
Even if you’re not a first time home buyer/seller you may not of heard of a MRP before. A MRP is a Military Relocation Pro. So, is it worth hunting down a Realtor with this certification? Well, it all comes down to what is going to work best for you and your family, but in most cases – yes! A Realtor that has taken the time to get a MRP certification understands your needs and timetables making the transfer easier, faster, and less stressful. The MPR certification not only educates Realtors on the specific needs of active-duty and veteran buyers/sellers, but also trains them to take full advantage of military benefits and support that are available when working your transaction. You can learn more about the MRP certification on their website.
There are a number of loans specifically aimed towards people who serve or have served in the military. But who qualifies for specific loans and what do the loans entail?
VA Loans: These loans can be used by eligible veterans, active-duty military members, and qualified surviving spouses. The VA home loans are backed by the government but issued by private lenders. The VA loan program was designed to help veterans and military members get into a primary residence. The loans are not available for investment properties or vacation homes. There are a lot of elements to navigate for VA Loans which can seem daunting, but a realtor and/or lender can help you with the process. You can learn more about VA Loans and check if you qualify on the Veterans United Home Loans website.
FHA Loans: Anyone with at least a 580 FICO score, adequate income, and at least 3.5% down may be eligible to use an FHA loan. FHA loans tend to have the lowest minimum credit score requirements of all the loan types. There are a lot of parallels between FHA and VA loans like competitive interest rates and lower down payment options. There are more buying options when using an FHA loan, as the FHA’s 203(k) program allows borrowers to purchase and repair fixer-uppers. The amount of the loan is based on the projected value of the home once the repairs are complete. Learn more about FHA loans by visiting this website.
USDA Loans: These loans are similar to VA loans in that they allow buyers to purchase a primary residence with no money down. The difference is that these loans are for homes in what they deem to be “rural areas“. USDA lenders often look for at least a 640 FICO score. In addition to no down payment, another big benefit of USDA loans is that buyers can finance their closing costs. There is more specifics available about USDA loans on the USDA Agency loan website.
Conventional Loans: Anyone with qualifying credit (about 660 or higher), adequate income, and a 5% down payment can use a conventional loan (in most cases). Conventional lenders are looking for borrowers who have well-established credit, solid assets, and steady income. However, there is a lot more freedom when it comes to picking the property you want to purchase. You can find information on conventional loans on a number of websites.
Occupancy and Power of Attorney
This has to do with VA loans – in general, the VA loan program wants to get buyers into homes they’ll live in full time. However, they make exceptions when the buyer is deployed and for certain veterans. A VA buyer who is deployed or otherwise unable to manage the loan process can typically assign a power of attorney to a spouse or family member to manage the loan process and sign documents. Also, a spouse or children can sometimes fulfill the occupancy requirement on behalf of the VA buyer. The occupancy and power of attorney option means that the buyer’s spouse or children could potentially buy a home during a deployment or unaccompanied assignment.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA), is a federal law that gives all military members some important rights as they enter active duty. It covers such issues as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, and income tax payments. It also provides many important protections to military members while on active duty.
If you have any questions or would like to get started selling or buying a home, contact us today! We will help you throughout every step of the process. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 823.929.8630. Be sure to ask about our Veterans Reward Program!