When does a VA mortgage become more than a loan? Each Veteran has a unique story that makes their journey unlike any other. And personal attention from the lender can make all the difference.
For Veterans, the phrase “make it home” can conjure thoughts of longing – for loved ones halfway around the world, for certain foods you can only get at home, or for the safety and security that home provides. Home can be the reward — and the motivation — to get through a hard day.
Making it home can mean a lot to a Veteran. A safe and successful deployment is what we wish for every servicemember. And when you do make it back, you may have VA loan benefits waiting for you that can help you buy a home. It’s only right that you enjoy the freedom you help protect in the comfort of your own home. With a VA loan, lenders can offer:
- $0 down payment per your entitlement
- No private mortgage insurance (PMI)
- Straightforward qualifying
- Competitive interest rates
- No penalty for early payoff
While the journey to a new home is different for everybody, most agree that the best thing about homeownership is that it’s yours. You and your service to our country are unique, and your road to homeownership won’t be exactly like anyone else’s.
Any approved VA lender can process a loan, but will they take the time to know your journey, your trials and triumphs to get there? Does it matter? To some Veterans, choosing the right mortgage lender is as important as finding the right home. A VA lender who listens, can handle tough situations, and will step you through any challenges that arise — this is the lender that you want on your side.
Each of the stories below ends with an approved VA loan and a new home for a beloved member of our military community. But it’s not just about the loan or the house. Important relationships are formed along the way.
To hear some of these stories directly from clients, click here.
Home Is a New Start for a Surviving Spouse
Patricia is a surviving spouse who found it a great challenge to overcome the loss of her husband, David. She married David, a Marine Veteran, twice. The first time, he had PTSD episodes that Patricia didn’t understand until later. “We had a tumultuous first marriage,” said Patricia.
Patricia moved six times in seven years, never really knowing how to grieve over David’s death. Then one day, Patricia visited her husband’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery and wept until she could weep no more. Unloading the burden of grief enabled Patricia to finally move on and use the home loan benefit her late husband had earned for her. She was able to buy a home with no VA funding fee to start anew building a life on her own. For Patricia, home means a new beginning.
Home Is Love for an Air Force Veteran
Alvin, a Veteran of the Air Force, had believed that his debt-to-income ratio was too high to qualify for VA loan approval. His loan officer, Celeste, saw through the challenge by getting to know Alvin’s situation better, thanks to detailed questions that a VA loan specialist knows to ask. By adding additional detail to his file, Celeste was able to get his ratios in check, and Alvin bought his new home where he and his fiancée, and her children, now live. Alvin named his new home, affectionately, Celeste. For Alvin, home is love.
Home Is Familiarity in a New Town
Chanda married her brother’s best friend, Daniel. The two men served together in the U.S. Air Force. Chanda and Daniel were serial renters for years. Then Chanda got promoted as an exchange administrator in the IT industry, and her new job would take them to another state. The family had to move fast. If it weren’t for the low rental inventory in their new town, Chanda and Daniel would not have considered buying a home. But the housing options were much better for buying. They had an infant son and two dogs, so a home of their own was sounding better and better.
The only problem was that they had to move in fewer than 30 days for Chanda to start her new job on time. Their loan officer, Andrew, recognized the urgency, and helped them close their loan with time to spare. For Chanda and Daniel, home is family.
Home Is Hope After Homelessness
Jason, a Navy Veteran, had his first homeless experience when his childhood home burned to the ground. Upon separation from the military he found himself homeless again. Things got so bad that he attempted suicide. But he picked himself back up, sought the help he needed, and found a job at an apartment complex in exchange for a place to live. As it turns out, Jason fell in love with the landlord’s daughter, Brittney.
Jason and Brittney were married in 2009, and their first daughter was born in 2010. Wanting more for his new family, Jason found a full-time job in the mining industry. And with his steady income, he bought a home with a VA loan. Today Jason is a proud father of three beautiful daughters and is an advocate for Veteran suicide prevention. For Jason, home is living.
Home Is Knowing Your Aging Parents Are Close By
Vernon is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in the Korean War. He and his wife, Linda, are getting up in years. Robbin (pictured above) is their doting daughter, who also owns a cake decorating business. Robbin’s aging parents lived in a mobile home 30 minutes from Auburn, Alabama, where Robbin lived. Robbin drove the one-hour round trip daily to check on her parents, who needed more and more help as they got older. Sometimes it meant Robbin would have to put off a cake-decorating job until she got home late at night. It came time for a change.
Robbin saw an opportunity for her parents to buy the home next to hers, but they’d have to sell their mobile home first to have enough money. They worked with a loan officer named Ben, who became the friend by their side through their journey.
The mobile home was not an easy sale. They had to get it up to HUD standards, which meant some serious structural upgrades, many of which they did themselves in the Alabama summer heat to save money. They were able to sell the home and buy the one next to Robbin’s. Today, Robbin walks next door when her parents need her, or when she wants to treat them to one of her cakes. For Robbin, home is peace of mind.
If you’d like more information about making it home with a VA loan, click here to contact a VA lender who will be attentive to your unique journey.
Veterans First is a trade name of Wintrust Mortgage, a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank. I NMLS# 449042 I Equal Housing Lender