Housing Watch: The benefits of a VA loan

'If you're a veteran and you're not using the VA home loan program, you're probably costing yourself money'

Dale Yurong Image
Thursday, September 1, 2022
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It is important for veterans to be aware that a Veterans Affairs or VA loan could make a big difference in their search for a home.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Home ownership has become more elusive with the economic slowdown and rising interest rates.

It is important for veterans to compare all loans they qualify for because a Veterans Affairs or VA loan could make a big difference in your search for a home.

The head of the Veterans Affairs Loan Guaranty Service says many veterans who have served our country don't fully realize the benefits of a VA home loan over a conventional loan.

John Bell spends a lot of time educating veterans.

"If you're a veteran and you're not using the VA home loan program, you're probably costing yourself money," he says.

The VA Loan program has partnered with 1.200 lenders.

Fresno mortgage lending officer Paul Salazar handles many different applications, including VA home loans.

"It's a wonderful loan, 100% financing. No mortgage insurance cost on it. Also, it's a little bit easier to qualify with debt ratios and credit scores than conventional loans," says Salazar.

Salazar says two pieces of information are needed to qualify for a VA loan.

"We need a certificate of eligibility and a DD-214 to show they're established, that showed they're in the military and their rank."

The housing market has cooled a bit with the steady rise in interest rates.

Realtors aren't seeing as many bids on homes on the market. Bell believes that could work in a veteran's favor.

"Now instead of getting 15-20 offers on a property, now you're seeing one to three. If you're a veteran and you gave up on that purchase process this is a really good time for you to get back in the game," he says.

Bell says today's VA loan product is much improved and more streamlined than the one offered in the past.