Owning a home is a common goal for many American families and individuals, both military and civilian. We see happy home owners in television, movies, advertising, and real life all the time, but like anything in life, owning a home comes with both advantages and risks. If you think you’re ready for home ownership, or you think you might be getting close, carefully consider the following.
Owning your home provides quite a few advantages over renting your home:
The benefits of home ownership do have to be weighed against the challenges, however:
At Fortress VA Loans, our goal is to help you achieve your goals. If you wish to become a home owner, we can help you make it happen. If you think you’re ready to purchase a home, whether or not you’ve owned one in the past, contact us today. We’ll walk you through the pre-qualification processes to help you gain a solid understanding of your financial situation. Our family of VA loan specialists and lenders will be with you from day one until you’re in the home of your dreams.
Home appraisals and home inspections are two separate services with two separate purposes, but they’re both important parts of the home-buying process. They’re also both expenses for which buyers should be prepared.
A home appraisal is required by nearly all home loan lenders before a deal can be closed, and it is definitely required by all VA-approved lenders. In an appraisal, an independent third party verifies the worth of the house, townhome, or condominium to ensure the lender does not approve a loan for more than what the home is worth – this, of course, translates to potential savings for the buyer as well, since the buyer won’t want to pay more than the home is worth. To begin with, an appraiser will walk through your home and around any surrounding property. He or she will be looking for a number of things, including these:
Your appraiser may take photos and/or measurements, but they will not perform a complete inspection of the home or any of its systems or features. The walk-through will probably take less than an hour, and you, the buyer, do not have to be present at the time. Then the appraiser will research homes comparable in size, style, and location that have been appraised in the last nintey days to see what they are worth. If there is not enough recent data for your area, comparable home appraisals from further away or longer ago may be consulted as well.
Using all the information they have collected, the appraiser will determine a value for your home and report it to your lender, who will then approve, deny, or modify your loan application. Although the appraiser is contracted by the lender, you will be responsible for paying for the appraisal, usually as part of the closing costs (which can often be factored into the amount of VA loans).
A home inspection is not usually required by the lender or any other entity, but it’s highly encouraged by nearly all industry professionals. You, the buyer, contract and pay for the inspection, and if possible, you should be present at the home when the inspection takes place. It will likely last three or four hours. Your inspector will thoroughly examine every accessible part of the home, looking for potential problems that may affect the home’s value now or down the road. While the inspector does not have X-ray vision and cannot see into the future, he or she will be looking for these issues and more:
A home inspection is intended to protect you from any damage or danger concealed by an unscrupulous seller or any problems the seller just didn’t realize they had. Any major problems can be taken care of by the seller before closing or negotiated into the value of the home. While it may cost you a few hundred dollars now, it very well could save you that much or more in the future, not to mention accompanying life disruption.
The family of VA loan specialists and lenders at Fortress VA Loans honors your service to our country and the sacrifices your family has made, and we want to make securing a home loan as easy and as straightforward as possible for you. Contact us now to begin your pre-qualification or to ask any questions you may have about buying a home as a current or former military member.