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7 VA Loan Tips for Idaho Veterans

Austin Callison

My experience goes as far back as my upbringing in a small ranching community in Northern California...

My experience goes as far back as my upbringing in a small ranching community in Northern California...

May 26 5 minutes read

Serving in the US armed forces is easily one of the most respectable professions many men and women can have. A life in the military comes with a lot of perks and benefits, and one of the most overlooked rewards for both Veterans and service members is buying a home through a VA loan. It is estimated that fewer than 12% of US veterans utilize their VA Loan benefits; something we hope to change here at Callison Group Real Estate.

What is a VA Loan and Are You Eligible?

A VA loan is a mortgage insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and issued by private lenders. They are available only to veterans, active-duty service members and their eligible spouses. 

Fun Fact: They are also available to every Boise veteran and qualified family for an entire lifetime; provided they are using the loan for their primary residence.

To check your eligibility, first obtain your DD Form 214. A VA approved lender can then request your VA Certificate of Eligibility for you or you have the option to request it directly from VA’s eBenefits website.

Why Consider a VA Mortgage for Your Idaho Home?

There are numerous advantages to buying a house through a VA loan. Some of the major perks include $0 down payment on your mortgage, the option to forgo private mortgage insurance (PMI), and low interest rates and closing costs. 

It should be noted that while Idaho veterans can take advantage of the above perks, putting as much money possible into your down payment is strongly suggested. The more you can pay upfront, the faster you’ll be able to pay off your home in the long run. It’s important to be honest as to how much house you can afford and develop a feasible budget for you and your family.


VA Loans and Good Credit

Additionally, the VA does not set a minimum credit score needed for a VA mortgage loan. However, having fantastic credit can help to attain a rock bottom variable or fixed interest rates. To know where you stand, be sure to continually check your credit report to develop better credit practices. 

Similar to interest rates, paying bills on time and living within your means makes you more attractive to all lenders. This will come in handy when applying for a home equity loan if you would like to renovate your Boise home.


2021 VA Loans Tips

Even though VA loans are more popular now than ever before, it is still different than a traditional loan and should be treated as such. 

Here are 7 VA Loan tips to consider if you’re thinking of buying a home through a VA loan. 

  1. You can get started without the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  2. A COE is issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is proof that you are eligible for the VA home loan benefit
  3. Your credit score still matters, but it’s not everything
  4. Lenders tend to be more flexible with VA loans 
  5. Make sure you have enough saved
  6. You are still responsible for certain closing costs (i.e. application fees, insurance, inspection fees, real estate taxes, and more)
  7. Shop for a VA lender and get pre-approved
  8. Look for reputable lenders that exclusively cater to military members, veterans, military spouses, and their families - compare all offers
  9. Find a real estate agent that’s VA-savvy
  10. Contact your VA regional loan center and ask if they can recommend a VA-savvy agent in your area.
  11. Choose a property that’s VA-approved
  12. Properties purchased through a VA loan cannot be used as vacation homes or investment properties, and condos must meet certain requirements
  13. Close the deal only when you’re ready to move in
  14. Interested homebuyers must complete the VA’s minimum occupancy requirement

How to Find the Best VA Loan in Ada & Canyon Counties

While the federal government insures all VA loans, they do not actually loan you the money for your future house. Applying for a VA loan still requires working with a bank or lending institution. The team at the Callison Group has a list of preferred lenders who time and time again have proven reliable for Idaho military veterans and active service members. Together, we can find the proper licensed VA mortgage lender to ensure we find the right house for you.


Many thanks to Shannon O'Keefe from Money.com for writing this educational and informative article for our many valued Idaho veterans. For more information and further resources, please refer to this guide to the 9 Best VA Loan Lenders as of May 2021 where you'll find helpful research to help you get the most out of your military benefits.

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