Veteran Joe Buys Dream Home with the Help of VA Loan
Upon his one-year anniversary of employment at PSE&G in May 2010, Joe and his wife decided to begin their search to purchase a home. As an Iraq war veteran, he was looking forward to settling down in a house that he could call his own, without having to move around so often.
“I was back from the war and knew I had a stable job at PSE&G,” said Joe. “Plus, we both wanted our daughter to grow up in a house rather than our rental apartment in Somerset.”
Although Joe worked near Somerset and had an easy commute, his wife had to travel to Springfield every day for work, so they wanted to move within equal distance of both their jobs. The couple decided to focus on the Metuchen area because they liked the school system and it was an even commute for both of them.
“Another spark that got us to begin house-hunting was Nick,” Joe said, of his friend and REALTOR®. “Nick was involved with my local Veteran’s Affairs (VA) chapter and was in charge of helping veterans with their housing. He let me know that I could use Veteran’s Affair’s Guaranteed Home Loan at a low interest rate, which would give us more money to use.”
Joe and Nick met just after he returned from war in 2009 at a VA job fair. They became friends and met frequently at VA meetings. Nick helped Joe get his job at PSE&G and let him know that he could use his veteran benefits to take out a mortgage on a home.
“Knowing I had the VA behind me with the loan made me feel secure,” said Joe. “We had the buying power and now we had the government to back us up.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs , VA-guaranteed loans are made available by private lenders, such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home, which must be for their own personal occupancy. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if [the veteran] fails to repay the loan.
Because VA Home Loans are available through any mortgage lender that participates in the VA program, securing a VA loan is similar to a standard mortgage. To apply, a veteran needs to fill out an application and stay in contact with the lender. The main difference in applying for a VA home loan is obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility. The VA Department provides helpful answers to FAQs about the loans and about Certificates of Eligibility
Some of the benefits of a VA Home Loan include: no need for a down payment; lower closing costs than other mortgages; assistance in the event of default in payment; and a negotiable interest rate. The VA Department also provides official videos to veterans with detailed information about obtaining a loan and refinancing.
Joe enlisted Nick’s services and began his search during that summer. Joe and his wife finally found a house that they fell in love with in July.
“If Nick wasn’t there to help, this process would have been very difficult,” said Joe. “I didn’t have to search for anything. Because I was using VA loans, I had already filled out the forms beforehand with Nick’s help, so everything went smoothly.”
With their VA loan in hand, Joe and his wife moved into their home in August. Joe and his family were able to enjoy the pool and their big, open living room in a house of their own.
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