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So Cal VA Homes

Infographic: How to Buy a Home with a VA Home Loan

by So Cal VA Homes
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Since 1944, the VA Home Loan program has enabled over 20 million Veterans to achieve their goals of homeownership. Buying a home with a VA loan is a straightforward process that more and more Veterans take on each year. Here are the six steps to VA home loan success: Step 1: Find a Qualified Lender Only lenders approved by the VA can originate VA home loans Though many larger institutions offer VA loans, lenders who exclusively serve military clients may offer an easier, more custom-tailored experience Once you find the right lender, they’ll be able to guide you through the […]

Industry Interview: How to Be Financially Prepared Before Buying a Home with a VA Home Loan

by So Cal VA Homes
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Let’s face it: buying a house is a big decision. For most people, including many Veterans, it’s the biggest financial choice they’ll make in their entire lives. This decision can also be one of the most rewarding when done right, and that means getting financially — and mentally — prepared for it. As part of our commitment toward educating Veterans about the VA home loan process, we reached out to leading industry experts and asked for their tips on Veteran financial readiness. Their responses covered a wide range of advice, from the basics of VA loan prep to unique insights […]

3 Ways to Obtain Your VA Certificate of Eligibility

by So Cal VA Homes
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The VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is one of the most critical documents in the VA home loan process. This certificate serves as proof of a Veteran’s military service and provides important information to the lender. If you want to get your hands on your COE but don’t know where to start, we’re going to take a look at three ways you can obtain your VA Certificate of Eligibility. #1: Apply via mail If you’re into getting your COE the old-fashioned way, you can request it from the VA via mail. You’ll have to print a copy of VA Form […]

How is VA Loan Entitlement Calculated?

by So Cal VA Homes
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As a Veteran, you’ll hear the phrase “VA loan entitlement” used often when you start exploring your military benefits. A simple way to define entitlement is the maximum amount of guarantee that the VA will provide to a lender on a Veteran’s behalf.  A common misconception is that entitlement is the maximum loan amount you can get. Not true! Your entitlement amount is just a fraction of your zero-down buying power. With just a little research, you can find out why VA loan entitlement matters and calculate your own entitlement amount.  Understanding VA Loan Entitlement One of the most appealing […]

Can You Use Your GI Bill to Qualify for a VA Home Loan?

by So Cal VA Homes
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What is the GI Bill? Whether you’re looking to pursue a new career path or just pick up a new skill, the GI Bill is an invaluable tool for Veterans of all backgrounds. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped millions of Veterans pursue trade school and higher education while fueling American economic prosperity for the long term. The updated Post 9/11 GI Bill, rolled out in 2009, expanded the benefits to include a monthly housing allowance.  More recently, the Forever GI Bill added even more benefits to Veterans. Those discharged or released from active duty on or after January […]

Refinancing & New VA Loan Limits

by So Cal VA Homes
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Many Veterans are interested in how refinancing affects their VA home loan entitlement. We hear questions like, “Do the new VA loan limits apply to me if I refinance?” and “How can I restore my VA loan entitlement by refinancing?” Today we’re going to look at what these new limits are and how they might impact a Veteran’s decision to refinance. Current VA Loan Limits Starting in 2020, the VA lifted its limits on the amount of money that eligible Veterans can borrow without making a down payment. This is big news for thousands of Veterans, but it doesn’t make […]

Infographic: 6 Reasons to Buy a Home in Temecula

by So Cal VA Homes
in Tips
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    Reason 1: The Temecula Valley Is Beautiful Temecula provides a relaxed atmosphere for those who enjoy a country setting, rolling hills, and vineyards. Temecula has warm Mediterranean-like weather that is also cooled by the wind from the ocean. The temperature averages 76.5 degrees annually and peaks at 90 degrees in summer. Reason 2: Temecula Appreciates Veterans The city warmly welcomes Veterans and has taken several concrete steps to show appreciation for Veterans and active military personnel. The Military Banner Program displays official military photos of service persons who reside or have immediate family living in the City of […]

The Blue Water Bill: What It Means for VA Loan Limits in 2020

by So Cal VA Homes
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The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 is a key piece of legislation that will have a sweeping effect on the VA home loan program for years to come. This act extends benefits to certain Vietnam War Sailors who served between 1962 and 1975 and uses changes in the VA loan program to pay for some of the required measures. The most significant of these changes is the elimination of VA loan guaranty limits. What are VA Loan Guaranty Limits? Prior to the Blue Water Bill going into effect on January 1st, 2020, the amount that a qualified […]

Infographic: Debt to Income Ratio Explained

by So Cal VA Homes
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  What is a debt-to-income ratio? Debt-to-income ratio is a percentage, a number that compares a buyer’s proposed housing costs and debt payments to their gross monthly income. Debt-to-income ratio is a metric that gives lenders a clear idea if a buyer will be able to afford future mortgage payments. How is your debt-to-income ratio calculated? Debt-to-income ratio is calculated by dividing monthly debt payments by monthly gross income. The resulting number is then given as a percentage. There are two forms of debt-to-income ratios: a “front-end” ratio and a “back-end” ratio.” The front-end ratio compares a buyer’s proposed housing […]

How to Determine How Much House You Can Afford

by So Cal VA Homes
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Are you a first-time homebuyer wondering how to determine how much house you can afford? Trying to figure out how much you should spend on a home and just how much you can actually afford on a mortgage can be overwhelming. Figuring out these things does not have to be nerve-wracking if you know who to turn to! Keep reading to learn more about assessing your finances and preparing to buy just the right home for you. Your Financial Situation: 4 Factors to Analyze One of the first things you need to do when determining how much house you can […]

How To Use a Mortgage Rate Calculator: Getting the Most Out of This Important Tool

by So Cal VA Homes
in Tips
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Knowing how to use a mortgage rate calculator is tremendously helpful for first time home buyers. A mortgage rate calculator is useful for getting an estimate of your monthly mortgage payment and seeing what part of your monthly payments will go toward interest, taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. In this guide, we will walk you through the different steps that allow you to calculate your mortgage. How to Use a Mortgage Rate Calculator The information required for most mortgage rate calculators can appear a bit daunting. Here is the most basic formula, one that will only give a general estimate of […]

How to Lower Debt-to-Income Ratio Before Applying for a VA Home Loan

by So Cal VA Homes
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Are you anticipating applying for a VA home loan and need to know how to lower debt-to-income ratio? This is an important topic because your debt-to-income ratio affects the kind of mortgage you will qualify for as a first time home buyer. What is the Debt-to-Income Ratio? Your debt-to-income ratio is a percentage, a number that compares a buyer’s recurring expenses and debt payments to their gross monthly income, the amount of money earned each month before taxes and payroll deductions. A Debt-to-income ratio is a metric that gives lenders a clear idea  if you will be able to afford […]

Temecula and Murrieta Real Estate: What’s the Difference?

by So Cal VA Homes
in Tips
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Are you asking yourself what the difference is between Temecula and Murrieta real estate? Temecula and Murrieta are both in the southwestern corner of Riverside County. Veterans and non-Veterans are drawn to the area because it is a remarkably affordable place to live and very family-friendly. Both cities share a number of attractive, positive similarities, and they each ranked very well in a recent Wallethub survey. Wallethub compared 254 cities across California in 2018, applying twenty-one key metrics to determine the best places for families to live. Temecula came in at twenty-one, and Murrieta ranked fifty-nine. Looking closely, however, Temecula […]

Temecula and Murrieta Real Estate: What’s the Difference?

by So Cal VA Homes
in Tips
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Are you asking yourself what the difference is between Temecula and Murrieta real estate? Temecula and Murrieta are both in the southwestern corner of Riverside County. Veterans and non-Veterans are drawn to the area because it is a remarkably affordable place to live and very family-friendly. Both cities share a number of attractive, positive similarities, and they each ranked very well in a recent Wallethub survey. Wallethub compared 254 cities across California in 2018, applying twenty-one key metrics to determine the best places for families to live. Temecula came in at twenty-one, and Murrieta ranked fifty-nine. Looking closely, however, Temecula […]

How the Mortgage Rate Drop Will Affect the Housing Market (Infographic)

by So Cal VA Homes
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  Share this Image On Your Site </p><br /><br /><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to SoCalVaHomes.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /><br /> <p><a href=’https://www.socalvahomes.org/2019-mortgage-rate-drop-infographic/’><img src=’https://www.socalvahomes.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/So-Cal-VA-Homes-How-the-Mortgage-Rate-Drop-Will-Affect-the-Housing-Market.jpg’ alt=’How the Mortgage Rate Drop Will Affect the Housing Market’ 540px border=’0′ /></a></p><br /><br /><br /> <p> The Current Market: Mortgage interest rates are at the lowest they have been in over a year. As…

First Time Home Buyer: Overcoming Common Fears

by So Cal VA Homes
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It is very common for a first time home buyer to experience certain fears. These feelings are understandable: buying a home is a big step, and it can be a complicated process. We asked home buyers who purchased a home in the last five years to describe their most significant worries before buying their first home. We also asked them how they overcame these fears, and if they could provide advice and tips for others in a similar position. Can I really afford this house? Many first time home buyers worry about overpaying for a house. They ask themselves, what […]

What Do First-Time Homebuyers Need to Qualify for a Home Loan?

by So Cal VA Homes
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If you have never purchased a house before then, you might be wondering about first-time homebuyer qualifications. You will be relieved to know that there are many mortgage programs available to make it easy for first-time homebuyers to purchase a house. However, if you are a Veteran or qualified active military member, you have one of the best home loan programs right at your fingertips. The VA home loan program was created to make it easier for Veterans to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. The program also supports the construction of a new house on a lot […]

Things You Need to Do After Buying Your First Home

by So Cal VA Homes
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If you just purchased your very first home, you will appreciate this list of essential steps for first time home buyers to tackle immediately after closing. You are probably eager to begin unpacking boxes and to arrange furniture, settling into and enjoying your new space. To get settled, there are several things you must do to stay organized and safe and to keep your new house in excellent condition. Change of Address You will need to update your home address. Be sure to fill out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service. Doing this will ensure […]

Common Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

by So Cal VA Homes
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If you are preparing to invest in your first house, you will want to know about—and avoid–common first-time homebuyer mistakes. Knowing what to expect ahead of time and doing some research will help to guard against avoidable problems down the line. Here is a list of mistakes to avoid when coming up with your home buying game plan. Be Realistic About How Much You Can Afford Don’t make the mistake of overestimating how much you can afford. Four key factors determine how much you can borrow on a mortgage: household income, monthly expenses, credit score, and how much you have […]

A Must-Have First-Time Home Buyer Checklist

by So Cal VA Homes
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A first-time home buyer checklist is a must if you want to be fully prepared for the exciting and also daunting journey of purchasing your new house. While it’s much more fun to think about paint colors and what it will feel like to walk into your new home for the first time, there are a few critical steps to take first. Good planning and patience as you go into the home buying process will pay off in the long run! Save for a down payment, but only if you are using a conventional home loan. If you are using […]

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