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Thread: Ft Hood/VA questions

  1. Regular Member
    ArmyWife71's Avatar
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    #1

    Hello Ft Hood/VA questions

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    Hi All,

    Sorry if anyone on the Ft Hood Army Wives has already seen this, but thought I'd post the question here too. I'm curious about buying using the VA process with poor credit, and if anyone has any personal experiences with it.....:

    Ok, I'm full of questions this week-hubby and I are really hoping to buy a house while we're at Ft Hood (we get there end of Feb/early Mar), and I'm curious about the VA buying process. Has anyone been able to purchase with poor credit? I'm wondering what that's like and if it's even possible. I keep hearing the VA is a 'get out of jail free' card, but I'm not sure if that's going to be true for us. We don't need anything fancy at all, just something to call ours. I am hoping to transfer to my company's office in TX from WA state, but it's not guaranteed at this point. I'm also curious to know what people think of Temple-I've heard good and bad, and since I've never been to TX I really have no clue what it's like commute-wise to Ft Hood or what crime is like.
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    #2
    Ft. Hood commute is horrible no matter where you live. Temple is a decent area, but considering it took DH 30-40 minutes to get home (and he would leave at 6, so after a lot of people left) when we lived right in Killen, I personally wouldn't want to drive all the way to Temple on top of that. Obviously, it would depend on how much time he is willing to spend on the road.

    It's kinda hard to make blanket judgments on where you should live, since I don't really know what you guys are looking for. I will say that if I were to buy a home in the area, I'd go with Harker Heights or Belton. Harker Heights is still very much an extension of the military community of Fort Hood, but it's nice in a suburban sort of way. Belton is more removed from the military feel. It's got a small town Texas feel and is really charming. Plus it's in between Killeen and Temple, which is nice.

    As far as the VA home loans go, I know there are ladies on here that are way more knowledgeable than I. Based on what I do know though, I wouldn't refer to the process as "get out of jail free" as the lenders do consider debt to income ratio and credit score, and not everyone is approved. I would urge you to meet with a credit union that is approved to do VA loans and see where you stand.

    Good luck!
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    #3
    for the VA buying process- it definitely is not " a get of jail free" thing.
    you will need a credit score of at least 640 and have a 40% or less debt to income ratio,

    the VA does not loan money- the bank does. so you will still need to qualify for a loan thru a mortgage company or a bank.

    also sit down and a do a budget- home ownership is expensive.

    when you do the calculator on line on sites like trulia- that amount is only the mortgage amount- and does not include taxes and insurance and you can add 4-500 dollars a month for those 2 things.
    then you have things that you do not have when you rent an Apt- Water, pest control, trash, landscaping maintenance both routine and emergency, these can add a couple of hundred extra a month-
    then look at the future- what if you get transferred and cannot sell for what you owe ( this is called being underwater)? what if you cannot rent for what it costs? ( not just mortgage insurance and taxes but property management fees, vacancy costs) can you afford to pay for this house and another one if it stays vacant longer than 30 days?
    Are you willing to GEO or short sale or god forbid foreclose if you cannot sell or rent?

    last year there were over 100,000 military foreclosures because people could not rent or sell their homes.
  4. Senior Member
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    #4
    We bought with a VA loan without having amazing credit but our scores were still right around 700 so not poor either. There are minimum scores required and you have to be approved by a bank first. However the VA loan can help you get a lower interest rate then you might otherwise qualify for in certain situations. For us we were able to get a 2.75% rate using a combo CDA VA loan where as not using VA our rate would have been a percentage point higher. For our good friends who bought about a year before us the VA interest rate was higher and they had the down payment they needed so they ended up going with a traditional loan. It can also be harder to use a VA loan if you are in a lower price bracket. In our area it was difficult to find a house that didn't need a ton of work. VA would not have approved most of the houses we looked at even though we were ok with the amount of work needed.

    I would suggest looking into free first time home buyer classes. They have one here that worked with you about improving your credit and removing obstacles you may have so you can eventually own your own home. In Maryland these classes allow you to take part in certain programs that can help you buy a home like down payment and closing cost assistance. However the best part is that they really work with people to show them how to improve their credit and debt situation. Also they are eye opening about what it actually costs to own a home. As well as going over the whole home buying process so you know what to expect.
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    #5
    Thanks everyone. I've actually owned a house before, but lost it in a short sale when I went through a divorce back in 2007. My ex was a civilian though, so we used traditional financing. My second husband and I have had a lot happen to us in the last 5 years (layoffs, losing a business, etc), and it's impacted our credit. We're trying to rebuild that, so I don't see us getting a house right away, but yeah, we'd love to own at some point. We may end up in base housing until things get better....now I just need to find a good job out there

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