Celebrating Military Appreciation Month with a Commitment to Service

Sara Malone
VA post

May is Military Appreciation Month. Across the nation, we reflect on the immense contributions and sacrifices military personnel and their families make to safeguard our freedom and security. It's also an opportunity to assist veterans in accessing the benefits they have earned, especially when it comes to navigating the path to homeownership.

Our blog focuses on explaining United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans for veterans and their families. Understanding the ins and outs of VA loans is important, offering advantages for those looking to buy or refinance a home. As one of the most significant benefits available to service members, VA loans facilitate homeownership by offering favorable terms that are often not available through conventional financing options.

To unpack the complexities of VA loans; we aim to empower veterans with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and fully leverage this valuable entitlement. Whether you're a veteran, active service member, or a family member, this guide will help you understand how VA loans can provide a smoother and more accessible route to owning a home.

What is a VA Loan?

VA loans are a unique lending option specifically designed for veterans, active-duty service members, and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves. Administered by the VA, these loans provide an avenue for homeownership that is more accessible and financially beneficial than conventional mortgage options.

The primary purpose of VA loans is to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (depending on eligibility), helping them purchase, build, repair, retain, or adapt homes for personal occupancy. VA loans are notable for their distinctive benefits:

  • No down payment required.
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  • Lower average interest rates compared to conventional loans.
  • No prepayment penalties.

These features reduce upfront and ongoing costs, making homeownership more attainable for those who have served our country.

A Brief History of the VA Loan Program

The VA loan program was established in 1944 as part of the original Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill of Rights. This historic piece of legislation was created to help returning World War II veterans reintegrate into civilian life by offering them a range of benefits, including low-cost mortgages, loans to start businesses or farms, and tuition assistance.

The introduction of the VA loan program marked a pivotal moment in U.S. history, significantly impacting the lives of veterans and contributing to the post-war boom in the American economy. It provided veterans with a means to share in the prosperity they had fought to secure, facilitating wealth accumulation and contributing to the growth of the middle class. Since its inception, the program has helped millions of veterans and their families purchase and maintain homes, proving to be one of the most valuable and enduring benefits of military service.

The impact of the VA loan program extends beyond individual homeownership. It has also stimulated local housing markets and contributed to community development across the United States. By enabling veterans to buy homes without a down payment, the VA loan has been instrumental in helping generations of military families to establish roots and build stable futures.

Eligibility for VA Loans: Understanding Service Requirements

Eligibility for a VA loan is primarily based on service history. Veterans, active-duty service members, and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves can qualify for this benefit, which is one of the most substantial the Department of Veterans Affairs offers. Specifically, veterans who have served at least 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, or 181 days of active service during peacetime, are eligible. Active-duty personnel become eligible after 90 days of continuous service. For members of the National Guard or Reserves, eligibility is established after six years of service. However, if they are called to active duty, they become eligible after serving 90 consecutive days under Title 10 orders.

In Appreciation

The VA loan program is more than just a way to buy a home—it's a bridge to the American dream, a tool for financial stability, and a token of our nation's gratitude for your service. Sirva Mortgage has been helping veterans and active service members find homes for over 30 years. Here are some of our experiences and stories:

“Veterans often face unique challenges in transitioning to civilian life, and homeownership can be a significant milestone in that process. They do so much to protect us and our country, I love being able to do what I can to help Veterans make their dreams of homeownership come to reality.

Understanding the home buying process can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Providing education and services tailored to veterans can help them navigate the process with confidence. This includes understanding mortgage options, budgeting, and homeownership responsibilities.” - Rosalyn Sonkoy

“My father is a Marine Corps veteran and used his VA benefits to purchase the home I grew up in. This reminds me of the importance of the benefits of VA financing whenever speaking with a veteran for their home purchase needs.” - Ernie Phillips, NMLS #4488

“I am the granddaughter of a military veteran, and I have a cousin currently enlisted in the Navy. Meeting so many brave heroes throughout my life has deepened my respect and gratitude for our military community.

As a mortgage consultant, I'm privileged to assist military members in finding their dream homes. Their dedication and sacrifice make our country a safer place, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to assist those who have served us.” – Samantha Stepp, NMLS #2359623

“About a year ago we closed a loan for a disabled veteran that is exempt from paying property taxes.  The servicer had a hard time getting this set up and had paid taxes on the veteran's behalf that were not due, due to the exemption.  I worked with the servicer and the veteran until the issue was resolved and the veteran was refunded the money.  This process took several months and conversations for a final resolution.  In the end, the veteran received their full benefit and was happy with the personalized attention received during the process.” - Dawn Schultz

Thank you to all our veterans and active-duty military personnel for your service and sacrifice. This Military Appreciation Month we reaffirm our commitment to you and your families with every resource at our disposal.

For those ready to start their home buying journey or seeking more information about VA loans, we are here to help every step of the way.