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There are close to 18 million veterans living in the United States today. These brave men and women, having served their country honorably have earned VA (Veterans Affairs) benefits for education, life and medical insurance, and VA-backed home loans. As a real estate agent, you can help educate veterans about their home buying options to start, or continue, building their real estate portfolios. If you haven’t worked with veterans and VA loans in the past, here are some things you should know.

What are VA loans?

VA loans are backed by the federal government, which means the borrower can often qualify for better loan terms, such as a lower interest rate, no private mortgage insurance, and no down payment.

Where to get a VA loan.

The process to obtain a VA loan is very similar to obtaining any other mortgage loan. The veteran will still apply for their loan through a private lender, such as a bank or mortgage company. The primary difference is that the borrower will need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to prove to their lender that they qualify for the VA loan program.

Eligibility

Veteran loans aren’t just for veterans. In many situations, the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran can also take advantage of this program.

More than just a mortgage.

Most agents know about VA loans, even if they haven’t worked with a veteran. However, VA housing assistance actually helps veterans with a wide range of housing-related needs. In addition to helping veterans buy or refinance their home, the program also has paths to help veterans build, improve, or keep their current home.

Why veterans should buy.

Buying a home is a great investment for most people, including veterans. The money they put into buying a home can grow as their home equity rises. Buying a home also enables veterans to take advantage of the tax benefits of home ownership. Plus, with a fixed rate mortgage, buyers can better plan their financial future since they aren’t at the whims of fluctuating rental prices. There’s also the pride of ownership that comes with having a place to call your own and customize however you want.

To learn more about VA loans, visit www.va.gov.