Permanent Change of Station Moves with VA Loans from a Military Bank

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move is a significant event for military families, often filled with both excitement and challenges. One of the most pressing concerns during this transition is securing a new home. Fortunately, VA loans, specifically VA home loans and VA mortgages offered by military banks, provide an opportunity for military families to purchase homes with favorable terms and minimal financial strain.

What is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage option available to veterans, active-duty service members, and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves. Backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA home loans are designed to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for military families. These loans typically feature lower interest rates, no down payment requirement, and more lenient credit requirements compared to conventional mortgages. (To learn more about the  basics of VA loans, read What is a VA Home Loan and How Does it Work?)

Advantages of Using a VA Mortgage During a PCS Move

  • No Down Payment Requirement: One of the most attractive features of VA home loans is the ability to purchase a home without needing to make a down payment. This can be particularly beneficial during a PCS move when financial resources might be stretched thin due to relocation expenses.
  • Competitive Interest Rates: VA loans usually offer lower interest rates compared to conventional mortgages. This can result in significant savings over the life of the loan, making homeownership more affordable for military families.
  • Flexible Credit Requirements: Military banks like Armed Forces Bank that offer VA mortgages often have more flexible credit requirements, making it easier for service members with varying credit histories to qualify for a loan.
  • No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Unlike conventional loans, VA home loans do not require private mortgage insurance, which can save homeowners hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Easier Qualification Process: Military banks understand the unique challenges faced by military families. They are often more experienced in handling the specific needs and timelines associated with a PCS move, making the loan qualification process smoother and more efficient.

Steps to Secure a VA Home Loan During a PCS Move

PCS moves are stressful enough without the added worry of securing a VA home loan. But don’t worry, it’s simpler than you might think. Here’s how to get a VA loan:

1. Obtain Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE):

The first step in securing a VA mortgage is obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This document verifies your eligibility for a VA loan. The loan officers at Armed Forces Bank can help facilitate this process to make it easier during a stressful move.

2. Choose a Military Bank or a Bank with VA Home Loan Expertise:

Select a military bank that offers VA home loans. These institutions are typically well-versed in the intricacies of PCS moves and can provide tailored assistance throughout the home-buying process.

3. Get Pre-Approved:

Before starting your home search, get pre-approved for a VA loan. Pre-approval gives you a clear understanding of your budget and shows sellers that you are a serious and qualified buyer.

4. Find a Home:

Work with a real estate agent experienced in PCS moves and VA loans. They can help you find a home that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

5. Complete the Loan Process:

Once you've found your home, your military bank will guide you through the remaining steps of the loan process, including the appraisal, inspection, and closing.

Tips for a Smooth PCS Move with a VA Mortgage

  • Start Early: Begin the home-buying process as soon as you receive your PCS orders. The earlier you start, the more time you'll have to handle any unexpected issues that arise.
  • Stay Organized: Keep all your important documents, such as your COE, pre-approval letter, and PCS orders, in a dedicated folder for easy access.
  • Communicate Regularly: Maintain open communication with your loan officer, real estate agent, and moving coordinator to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Utilize Military Resources: Take advantage of resources and support offered by your military community, such as housing offices and relocation assistance programs.

Using a VA mortgage from a military bank can significantly ease the burden of buying a home during a PCS move. With benefits like no down payment, competitive interest rates, and more flexible qualification requirements, VA home loans are an ideal solution for military families seeking stability and affordability during their transition.

By understanding the process and leveraging the resources available, you can make your PCS move as smooth and stress-free as possible. To talk to a mortgage banker with deep experience in VA mortgages and a commitment to serving military families, visit afbank.com.

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Subject to credit approval. VA loan qualification guidelines apply. VA funding fee may apply. Third party fees apply.