What You Don’t Know About Your VA Home Loan Benefit Could Cost You

What You Don’t Know About Your VA Home Loan Benefit Could Cost You
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The VA guaranteed more than 1.4 million loans in FY 2021, and if you’re thinking about joining the club in the coming months or years, it’s best to start your homework.


Maybe you’re looking to downsize as retirement approaches. Maybe you’re looking to move to be closer to family, or relocating to your dream job after leaving service. Maybe the home you’ve been eyeing throughout the recent housing price spike has finally returned to your price range. Whatever the reason, it’s time to hit the market, and your VA home loan benefit is a critical part of your home-hunting toolkit.


Start your prep work Sept. 20 with a live MOAA webinar featuring special guest Heather Walrath, AFC®, financial educator at the Navy Mutual Aid Association. She’ll join Lila Quintiliani, ChFC®, AFC®, MOAA’s program director for financial benefits education/counseling, to help you successfully navigate a volatile housing market and clear up some common misconceptions.




For example:

  • ‘I’ve Done This Already’: Many military retirees have used VA loans to purchase one or more homes and feel comfortable with the process. However, the benefit has changed in recent years, with new fee structures, a new loan limit setup, and additional provisions for Purple Heart recipients. The webinar will cover all of the above in detail.

  • ‘My Realtor/Adviser Will Handle It’: While many Realtors, lenders, and financial professionals are very familiar with the VA loan process, some may deal with it infrequently, especially those in areas with a small veteran population. The Sept. 20 webinar will get you up to speed on all the details, including ways to make your VA-backed offer more competitive.

  • ‘I Don’t Need Cash’: Some buyers, especially first-time VA loan users, believe that because the VA loan doesn’t require a down payment, they’ll be able to navigate the homebuying process without bringing funds to the table. Then come the closing costs. The webinar will discuss this and other misconceptions about the program.

  • ‘I’m Sure I Can Afford This’: Qualifying for a loan and being able to afford a new home are two very different things – the webinar will walk attendees through what they need to know about maintenance costs, taxes (including available exemptions), home insurance, becoming a landlord, and more financial considerations you’ll need to make before signing that mortgage.


Can’t make the Sept. 20 event? Register anyway – everyone who signs up will receive a recording of the presentation. Visit MOAA.org/finance for more on your money, including other upcoming webinars, tax and retirement-account advice, and the latest financial news of interest to MOAA members.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on X: @KRLilley