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AdvisorNet

Currently set my goal to purchase a condo while using my VA home loan benefit.

Veteran

Jonathan Biederman Cliffside Park, NJ

I was wondering if anyone can provide suggestions or point me to a resource which will aid my navigation in the specific process of purchasing a condominium.

28 June 2019 1 reply Military to Civilian Transition

Answers

Advisor

Jodie Prieto-Rodriguez Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan:

Its great to see veterans use their benefits. I assisted a few of my troops while on active duty, and a few guardsmen at my current position.

Save about 10-20% of the value of the condo for miscellaneous expenses,e.g., closing cost, minor repairs, moving cost, down payment etc...

Go to https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage
register with ebenefits, and then use the housing link to apply for your Certificate of eligibility for a VA home Loan (it takes about a week to get emailed to you).

Gather all statements of income; Leave/earning statement. derivatives from investments, spouse payslips, etc... lenders and realtors will want to see this to get an idea of what you can afford, in what time frame, how much financing you qualify for, and to be honest... it really helps the process go smoother when you have all of your paperwork together.

I would advise you to find a realtor that understands the VA home loan process. The major realtors (century 21, remax, etc..) have complete training curriculum dedicated to VA home loan purchases. Smaller firms usually have a few agents who understand the process.

Shop around for a mortgage/bank that understands VA home loans. Shop around, shop around, shop....around. I cannot state this enough. Get the best (lowest rate) you can. Chances are you will be paying this mortgage for at least 15-30 years. Even if you sell it during that time, you want to retain as much funds as you can... as repairs, inspection, maintenance, and other cost will surely creep in over time.

If you choose a 15 year mortgage you will be paying more on a monthly basis, if you pick a 30 year you will pay less monthly, but will be paying longer.... it really depends on where you see yourself in 15 years.

If you have your heart set on a condo and want to get the best price. I would recommend the HUD websites. The properties here were seized by the states for various reasons and are often great deals that fly under the radar.

https://www.hudhomestore.com/Listing/PropertySearchResult.aspx?sState=NJ&sLanguage=ENGLISH

The above link is for homes in NJ.

https://www.hud.gov/topics/homes_for_sale

The above link is for all federal agencies that have homes for sale.

Realtors and mortgage lenders know about hud homes , some are great, some are almost great, and some are not; however, if you saved 1-20% of the house value, and are really set on buying the home; you can work out a deal with the seller to get the home up to code (VA requires this or they will not allow the home loan to go through) so that you can use the VA benefit.

This is not an all inclusive listing of what you will need for buying a condo; however, it is the best advise I can give from a person who has helped many troops use their benefits.

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