A VA loan is a mortgage available to most veterans, that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. While it is not the best choice for all veterans, there are some wonderful benefits including no mortgage insurance requirements, and no down payment in many cases.
Make sure that your attorney places a VA option clause in your purchase contract. This clause will allow you to "escape" from the contract without penalty if you are unable to obtain a VA loan or if the property does not meet VA guidelines.
Veterans who qualify as 15% or more disabled from the VA do not have to pay a funding fee. The VA is a great program for first time buyers and those with some minor blemishes on their credit.
There are pros and cons for the VA loan program. Be sure to ask your mortgage professional if they offer VA financing. Many who do not offer or understand VA financing may try to dissuade you from taking a VA loan.
Ask your mortgage broker the pros and cons of the VA mortgage in comparison to a standard conforming mortgage loan.
VA loans require special appraisals and flaws with the house most be fixed before closed. If they are not fixed before close sometimes it can be arranged that the costs of repairs will be escrowed into an account by the sellers.
If you decide that a VA loan is right for you, then you will need to apply for a Certificate of eligibility. If you do not have one, then you need to complete VA Form 26-1880 and submit it to one of the Eligibility Centers with copies of your most recent discharge papers.
One of the downsides of a VA loan is that there a funding fee which is charged as a percentage of your loan amount. The funding fee will vary depending on if you were on active duty, or in the reserves, and also based on the number of times you have used your eligibility. If you are receiving any service connected disibility payments you will not be charged the VA funding fee.