VA Loan Explained to First Time Home Buyer

22 Replies

My Fiancé and I plan to buy our first home in 2020. We plan to eventually work our way into house flipping. I’m not military, but he is.

Can someone explain the VA Loan and some of the pros & cons of using it in relation to real estate investing? Where can I go to read about the details of the VA Loan?

@Liz Collier I have found that the banks that are the most popular in the military communities also have excellent loan officers who work with people looking to purchase with a VA loan. Once you read about the loan online you will undoubetedly have questions. Try reaching out to a local loan officer with those questions to develop a relationship for when the time comes when you want to purchase.

A search on BP may be worth it also to find someone local in your market that has experience with VA loans. Best of luck.

@Liz Collier I used my va Loan back in 2011 for house hack. The biggest challenge was va loans take 45 days to close so some sellers don’t like that, and the house must be in livable conditions. Cash buyers made it even tougher.

Huge positives are no down payment and no pmi. I wrote the sellers a letter and they picked me. I was in San Diego at the time and used Michael Deery for loan officer. Not sure what area you guys are in.

@Liz Collier . Know what your funding fee will be. There is no PMI but a funding fee (not sure of name here) of approx 1.5% will suprise you at closing if you havent asked about it. This fee is waived if you have 10% or more service-connected disability.

Originally posted by @Matthew Rayl :

@John Blackrock @Liz Collier

VA loans can easily close in 30 days. I've done so multiple times. Again Liz, do your own due diligence. Good luck!

That's good to know! For disability when I did it in 2011 it was 10%. It must have gone up since then. 


@Liz Collier  

@Shelby Osborne just covered the topic of VA home loans at our local meet up group (Pints & Properties) this last Saturday at dirtbag ales! However, they record all their speakers so you can go to their facebook page to check it out. If you are looking to invest in the local area I would highly recommend coming out to their monthly Pints & Properties meetups. Reading and gaining knowledge is definitely essential but it wasn't until my wife @Jessica Franco and I started going to local meetups and networking that we started taking action. In fact, it was less than 90 days from our first meet up to closing on our first investment property! The realty group (Five Pillars Realty Group) that runs the meet up is full of agents who are active duty, former military, or military spouses. And best of all, they are all local investors so they actually know the market first hand! They also have a list of preferred vendors (property managers, contractors, insurance agents, etc.) who are all familiar with working with investors and make the process that much easier. 

Feel free to check out my profile for my success story using my VA loan for a house hack! In my personal opinion, I consider a multi-family house hack to be the most beneficial use of the VA home loan. If you want to know any more details about how my wife @Jessica Franco and I got started feel free to reach out to either of us.

@Dominic Franco

Thanks for the information! I'll definitely check them out. Initially we will need to use part of the loan for a primary residence but I understand that you can potentially use the VA loan more than once to a certain point (with some restrictions of course).

  @Liz Collier you've gotten tons of great feedback here regarding VA loans. As @Matthew Rayl says, do your own diligence.  Good thing is that you have time before you make a purchase, keep learning as much as you can about the process and you'll be well prepared to buy your first property.  

Start with the actual authority on VA loans--the VA itself, linked here.  The site discussed the loan requirements, process, funding limits, etc. Once you're familiar with the product, you'll be better prepared to speak with potential lenders.

  I also second @Dominic Franco 's suggestion to consider purchasing a small multi-family (2-4 units) with a VA loan. A great way to start! You can also consider purchasing a VA foreclosure, more to learn about this process--but it's totally doable! You can search for VA foreclosures here (as well as USDA, Fanne/Freddi Mac, etc).

Remember that your experience with closing a VA loan is not with the VA itself--it's with the lender providing you the loan. So people's individual experience regarding closing timelines (30-45 days), paperwork requirements, hassle/headaches, etc is largely the product of dealing with their chosen lender. I also recommend that your husband asks for VA lender recommendations from his co-workers. You'll probably get a good list of options.

  You're off to a great start.  Best of luck and please keep us posted on your progress!


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