VA loan prequalification is one of the first steps to take if you’re a veteran or military member ready to buy a home. But, like many, if you’ve been dreaming about owning a home, chances are you have already done a bit of “fantasy” home shopping online. And, you may have noticed that, in many cases, mortgage payments on a home can be less than what you’ve been paying for rent. While online mortgage calculators may be a place for a first time home buyer to start figuring out how much of a home they can afford, it is important to remember that the figures online are not necessarily an accurate measure of what is possible for you.

Take Online Calculator Results With a Grain of Salt

Generally, online calculators take a broad look at your debts and your income. They typically base your “affordable” home price on approximately 36% of your income. This can look good on paper (or rather, the computer screen), but first time home buyers sometimes underestimate the amount of expense involved in upgrading and maintaining a home. This is important because it factors into your monthly budget.

Your Service Matters

Some buyers miss their opportunity for VA loan prequalification because they underestimate the impact of their service. Some may think these loans are only for those who have several years of service. But, in reality, it is possible to get a VA loan prequalification from Starboard Financial with as little as 90 days of active service. Time in the National Guard or the Reserves may also make you eligible. Ultimately, to be considered, you will need to show your certificate of eligibility and other military documents.

A VA loan prequalification¬†can equal a great opportunity to buy a home without a down payment and without the need to purchase mortgage insurance. There’s also no application fee and financing is available for the funding fee.

To better understand both the costs and opportunities that you can find when buying your first home, contact us at Starboard Financial today.