Category Archives: VA loans

From the inbox: is the VA loan debt payoff a good idea?

This is a GREAT question. If you don’t know, the VA loan allows for up to 4% debt payoff, as part of the mortgage balance. What does this mean?

Let’s take a hypothetical $250,000 dollar home. This means you can roll as much as $10K in debt payoff into a home purchase (credit card, car payoff, etc.). This has a couple of caveats, including home appraisal price — the home must still appraise for the contracted sales price or higher.

That’s great, right?! It can be. Who wouldn’t want to trade 10-15-19% credit card debt for 4-5% on a mortgage? It all depends on price point and long term goals. If you’re considering holding the home for a short time, this may not be the best use of the money.

Email me or call at 719-440-6626 and let’s talk options.

This is not legal or financial advice; always consult a qualified professional in their field of expertise.

From the inbox: Can I really buy a home for $780 up front on a VA loan?

I get variations of this question a lot! The short answer is, “Yes, in Colorado Springs and with a VA loan, it is possible (other areas, please consult your local Realtors!).”

Longer answer: there are three costs to a home buyer generally in the purchase process.

1. Earnest money: this is “good faith” money a buyer puts up to compensate the seller if they (the buyer) breaches contract for a non-protected reason.  I’ve had a lot of success w/$500 earnest money in town.  When that hasn’t worked, we try $750 or $1,000. Note: coordinate with your lender but you can often get this money back at closing.

2. Inspection costs: a home inspection costs about $280 in Colorado Springs. This is a sunk cost; even if you choose not to continue with the purchase, this isn’t reimbursable in the normal course of a purchase.

3. Appraisal: there is an appraisal cost that some lenders will charge upfront, others charge as part of the loan costs.

In sum, it is entirely possible to buy a home for an upfront cost of $780-$1280, depending on the lender and the earnest money required…and that earnest money can often come back to you.

Questions, please give me a call! If you’re looking to buy or sell in Colorado Springs or Denver, I’d be honored to earn your business.

From the inbox: what’s the catch with “no money down” on a VA loan?

Good question!  Short answer: there is no ‘catch’ but there are two expenses associated with a home purchase on a VA loan.

Longer answer:  No money down specifically means nothing down against the loan on your home.  There are two expenses you should be aware of, though.

First, with a signed contract, you will have to provide earnest money to the title company or designated earnest money holder.  This IS money you usually get back at closing and ranges from $500-1500 (I’ve had great success negotiating $500 here in Colorado).  The other expense is the home inspection; this is a “sunk cost” and runs about $250-280.

Summative answer:  you CAN buy a home with a VA loan for $780-1780, most of which is usually returned to you at closing.

Questions?  Looking to buy or sell in Colorado Springs? I’d be honored to earn your business!

Rob – 719-440-6626

Bigger Pockets: 7 Daily Step to a Real Estate Empire

I firmly believe that the most practical way to wealth for the majority of people is real estate. How do we get there? Bigger Pockets offers a few tips.

It can be really tough to get started, from raising the needed capital to finding the right deals. There are options, though, from low money down owner occupant loans to no money down VA loans.

Call, text, or email me and let’s talk options!

Rob @ 719-440-6626 or

From the inbox: do I have to use (a military affiliated bank) to get a VA loan?

Short answer: no.

Longer answer: the VA loan is actually a Veteran’s Administration guarantee on a home loan. It allows a military member to buy a home with no money down and avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is insurance on a loan; in the case of a VA loan, the VA is the insurer. Further, most lenders can do VA home loans; you are not locked into using a specific bank or lender. It’s your entitlement and prerogative to compare interest rates and closing costs.

Looking for a lender? Give me a call and we can talk options.

Call Rob @ 719-440-6626 or email

From the inbox: Can I really buy a home with a VA loan for no money down?

Good question! Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: yes, with a couple of caveats. VA loans are a fantastic entitlement for service members (I am one, too, and used my loan!). They allow a military member, active, retired or former, to purchase a home for no money down. The minimum credit score for these loans is typically 620. However, don’t let that hamper you if you’re close to that score but not quite there. You may be surprised to learn that paying off a debt could raise your score enough to qualify.

All that said, there are two up front costs on a VA loan you should be aware of. First, earnest money. This is money the seller requires you to put up at the time of the contract (or within the contract period, as negotiated). I’ve had good success in Colorado Springs with getting $500 earnest money allowed for military buyers. Here’s the awesome thing about earnest money: you get it back at closing!

The other up front cost is the home inspection. These run around $250-280. Here’s a cool thing about using me as your agent – I have a military buyer credit that can be used to pay for this inspection at closing!

In short, the total upfront cost can REALLY be as low as $780 to own a home on a VA loan.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs? I’d be honored to earn your business and be your advocate. Call Rob at 719-440-6626!