Tag Archives: VA loans

From the inbox: I see lenders advertising lower than 620 VA loans. Is this for real?

Short answer: yesno. Read the fine print.

Longer answer: the VA actually has no minimum credit score for insuring the loans of qualifying servicemembers. However, most lenders will require a minimum credit score.

There are lenders that offer loans to qualifying servicemembers with lower credit scores. There is always a cost, though. It’s usually in the form of a higher interest rate and higher loan costs.

That said, this can still be a good decision. There is something to be said about locking in housing costs vs renting, for example. But you have to run the numbers and do a cost benefit analysis.

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: 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 robthompsonrealtor@gmail.com

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!