Contributor | In Mortgages, Personal Finance
A former journalist and author of “The Book on VA Loans: An Essential Guide to Maximizing Your Home Loan Benefits,” Chris Birk is also content development director for Veterans United.
Whenever Duan Rockette meets a prospective client, the St. Louis real estate agent asks a simple question: Did you serve? That isn’t a question many real estate and mortgage professionals asked just a few years ago. But VA home loans, which require 0% down, have boomed since the housing crash, driven by a combination of... Read More
Shopping for a home loan means getting your credit pulled. There’s no way around it. Without taking a look at your credit report, most lenders won’t be able to complete your pre-qualification, much less pre-approve you to purchase a home. Granting a lender permission to pull your scores – and, yes, they do need your... Read More
One of the benefits of government-backed home loans is that they tend to have more flexible and forgiving requirements when it comes bankruptcies, foreclosures and other derogatory credit. The wait time for a VA or FHA loan in the wake of one of these events can be considerably shorter than for conventional financing. But that... Read More
Millions of veterans and active military members are eligible for what’s arguably the most powerful mortgage option on the market. VA loans feature $0 down payment, no mortgage insurance and more flexible and forgiving requirements. To be sure, VA loans aren’t the answer for every veteran. But they continue to make a huge difference, especially... Read More
Closing costs are one of the most confusing and misunderstood parts of the homebuying journey. About a third of prospective buyers feel “not very” or “not at all” aware of them, according to a recent survey from real estate data and technology firm ClosingCorp. That can be a problem for buyers who jump into the homebuying... Read More
Becoming a homeowner is more than a big decision — it’s a journey. And just like you wouldn’t leave for a trip without making sure you’ve packed all your bags, you shouldn’t embark on the road to homeownership without preparing for the possible twists and turns ahead. If you’re looking to purchase a home in the... Read More
Just like you don’t need perfect credit to land a home loan, you don’t need to be debt-free, either. Credit card bills, collections and charge-offs – you can have some or all of these and still make a mortgage work. Of course, it’s never quite that simple. It’s often a question of what kind of... Read More
Housing economists and would-be homebuyers are finding reasons for optimism as 2015 nears. To be fair, the bar’s set pretty low after a tough year for housing. However, there are some genuinely encouraging signs that next year will be better for prospective buyers. Economic recovery and an improving job market will go a long way... Read More
Home price gains are slowing, credit is thawing and more first-time buyers may be hitting the real estate market in 2015. Better balance in the housing sector is “in” next year, as far as trends go. That’s likely to put buyers and sellers on a more even footing. Some prospective sellers sound especially bullish on... Read More
After years in the shadows, the historic VA loan program is getting some time in the sun, but it may be short-lived. VA loan volume has surged since the housing crisis. Veterans and military buyers have flocked to the program’s more flexible and forgiving requirements in a time of tight credit. But that momentum may be... Read More
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