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January 22nd, 2010 8:38 AM by David W. Welch
This information provided by and posted with permission of Jay Buerck from YouServed.com.
Veterans and military homebuyers in Florida turned to VA loans in huge numbers in 2009. The credit crunch and overall housing decline made these government-guaranteed loans even more appealing. And 2010 is shaping up to be another big year.Since 1944, more than 18 million veterans have become homeowners through the VA Loan Guaranty Program. In essence, the Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees about a quarter of a borrower’s mortgage. That guarantee gives VA-approved lenders a degree of protection and, in turn, spurs lending to a group of people who spend their lives serving others.VA loans come with a host of big-time benefits for qualified borrowers. The program’s top benefit is that military buyers can purchase a home worth up to $417,000 without putting down a single dollar. Other major benefits of VA loans include:-No private monthly mortgage insurance-No penalties for loan pre-payment-Higher debt-to-income ratio allowed than for most conventional loans-Sellers can pay up to 6 percent of closing costs and concessions Most veterans and active duty military find VA loans easier to obtain than conventional loans, which typically require at least a 15 percent down payment. In fact, more than 75 percent of VA borrowers couldn’t have qualified for a standard loan. Today, in Florida, the VA guarantees about 11,000 home loans worth a combined $2.2 billion. As the credit and housing markets continue to sag, VA loans will only become more appealing to military buyers in search of a way to stretch their dollar. To be eligible for a VA loan, borrowers must first be:-Military members who’ve served 181 days on active duty or three months during war time may be eligible.-People who have spent at least a half-dozen years in the National Guard or Reserves-Spouses of those killed in the line of dutyVeterans who already have a home loan can also benefit by refinancing through the VA. The agency’s refinancing programs allow qualified borrower to refinance up to 100 percent of the value of their home.
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