The home-buying process is both daunting and exciting—a melting pot of hasty decision-making if you aren’t careful. Even a picture-perfect home tour can have leaky pipes and faulty systems lurking beneath the surface.
When signing onto a Los Angeles VA loan, you don’t have to let the complexities of your contract get to you. Knowing what to look out for can help you avoid costly mistakes and give you a much-needed boost of confidence when signing those final papers.
Steer Clear of These VA Mortgage Slips
- Skipping Pre-Purchase Counseling. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, chances are you lack veteran knowledge. Never skimp on pre-purchase counseling that can walk you through the vital steps towards homeownership and provide essential debt management tools. Consult with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to link up with a counseling office or financial advisor.
- Doing Without a Budget. Don’t overlook your budget for the “home of your dreams.” While a spacious kitchen, luxurious garden, or indoor jetted tub can make for a compelling justification, they won’t be worth a potential inescapable debt. Think about a mortgage payment you can comfortably afford by consulting an online mortgage calculator or crunching numbers with your lender. Factor in costs such as homeowner’s insurance, property tax payments, and loan interest. Shop for home listings according to this budget. If you end up purchasing a home that costs a little more, let the numbers reign you into realistic expectations.
- Prioritizing a Downpayment. While many will aim to make the full 20% deposit on a new home, it’s unnecessary to VA loan borrowers. Don’t waste time saving up for an optional expense.
- Working with the First Lender You Find. Different lenders impose different requirements and surprisingly variant offers on deposits and interest rates. Don’t hop on board with the first lender you find, especially if their terms don’t work in your favor.
- Becoming Too Fixated on Home Structures. Purchasing a home is a long-term investment. If you’re a fan of a floor plan but could do without its wallpaper, don’t let the aversion drive you. Instead, think about replacing elements that don’t play to your senses and focus on the home’s overall structure. Similarly, if you come across a to-die-for kitchen island or home cinema in a poorly built home, take off the blinders, and reevaluate what matters most to your family. Don’t think about what you want—prioritize what you need and what will best suit your lifestyle in the years to come. At the very least, consider scheduling a renovation, which will help boost your home equity. Just because you can’t afford it in the meantime doesn’t mean you can’t afford it later on.
Shannon Christenot for Los Angeles VA Loans
When it comes to the ever-forgiving VA loan, don’t become complacent. Consider every opportunity to save with careful planning and thorough inspections. Work closely with your lender to determine the most cost-effective listing and rates.
At Shannon Christenot, we know the stress that comes with a Los Angeles mortgage and are committed to helping you take advantage of the city’s thriving economy. If you’re short of an ideal credit score or can’t quite hit the down payment minimum, we can get you on the right local program. Give us a call at (818) 601-2231!