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Can I Use Va Loan Overseas

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Find A Real Estate Agent Experienced With Military Buyers

MYTH: Servicemembers deployed overseas can’t get a VA loan.

Especially when you are deployed and unable to visit homes yourself, hiring an agent who is familiar with the PCS process as well as the VA loan application and VA home requirements can be helpful.

VA lenders are able to connect you with real estate agents who have experience with both the process.

Going through a military relocation comes with a number of challenges, so working with an agent who understands these specific challenges and truly is a partner for you helps make the process easier and more seamless, says Hasbach.

The biggest challenge is buying a house sight unseen. Youll need someone to not only find a property and do the home tour but also coordinate tasks like making offers in a timely manner, closing dates, ensuring all the paperwork for the sales contract and mortgage loans are submitted on time.

In fact, managing the purchase timeline alone can be a complicated process. Orders for a PCS are usually given 90 days in advance, but there can be delays. The responsibility for getting closing dates changed will fall on your real estate agent, so having one with experience dealing with overseas buyers is a must.

A VA experienced agent will also help with finding a VA qualified home. In order to qualify for a VA loan the home needs to meet certain requirements. These include having working electric, heating and cooling systems, having lead-free paint, working sewage and sanitation and being free of termites, fungus and dry rot.

Benefits For Commonwealth Army And Recognized Guerrillas

Commonwealth Army Veterans are entitled to the same VA benefits, except for those benefits noted below. The term “Commonwealth Army Veterans” means a person who:

  • Served before July 1, 1946 in the organized military forces of the Government of the Philippines, AND
  • Such forces were in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces pursuant to the military order of the President of the United States dated July 26, 1941 , AND
  • Who were discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.

Veterans who meet the requirements above are entitled to VA benefits, except:

  • Non-service connected pension benefits for Veterans and dependents
  • Hospitalization, nursing home care, domiciliary care, outpatient dental and medical care even though the Veteran has service-connected conditions. However, while in the United States or its territories, the VA may furnish hospital and nursing home care and medical services to Commonwealth Army Veterans for the treatment only of their service-connected disabilities
  • VA loans, such as home loan guarantees and small business loans
  • Specially Adapted Housing Grants
  • PX and Commissary Exchange Privileges
  • Burial in National Cemeteries
  • Headstones and Markers

In addition, payments for Dependents Educational Assistance and Clothing allowance benefits will be made at a rate in Philippine pesos equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized.

Understand Occupancy Requirement Extensions And Exceptions

Usually, VA loans require you to move into your house within 60 days of closing. If youre deployed, however, you can receive an extension of up to 12 months. This allows you to buy a home while youre deployed overseas and move in once you return to the United States.

On the other hand, if youre married, you may not need to get an extension. You can meet the occupancy requirements of your loan by having your spouse move into the home while youre away.

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Does The Va Offer Personal Loans

The Veterans Affairs does not offer personal loans. VA loans give military service members and veterans the ability to purchase a home. also states, You cannot buy a home with a VA loan, apply for more money than you need to purchase and close the deal and take the remainder in cash. This means there isnt a loophole for using VA loan money to finance personal expenses, as you would with a traditional personal loan.

Va Loan Overseas: 3 Common Questions Answered

Can I Use My Va Home Loan Overseas

Sources estimate that roughly 200,000 active U.S. military are currently living overseas, plus an additional 80,000 former U.S. military. With so many eligible VA home loan participants living abroad, we often times hear questions about Program eligibility and the home buying or refinancing process from current military or former military living overseas. There are many great benefits to VA loans and its critical for these individuals to know all of the ins-and-outs of being able to access these benefits.

Here are 3 common questions about the VA loan overseas process answered.

What Is Different About the VA Loan Process While Overseas?

Simply put, not much. Overall, there are very few changes to the process for service members overseas, other than coordinating and interacting with loan officers and real estate agents on different time zones. A prospective borrower is treated the same way as any other service member living in the U.S. seeking a mortgage loan through the Program. Whether a military service member is being transferred back to the U.S. and would like to purchase a home in their new duty station or is remaining overseas and is interested in refinancing a home where their family is living, working with an experienced VA lender can simplify the experience.

Are VA Loan Eligibility Requirements Different While Living Overseas?

You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting at least one of the following requirements:

How Do I Get A VA Loan Overseas?

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Refinancing With A Va Loan

Veterans who already have a VA Home Loan can reduce their monthly payments or shorten the terms of their existing loan through the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program. Military veterans and service members who purchased a home with another kind of loan may also refinance their mortgage into a VA loan.

The VA does not require a credit check or appraisal for the IRRRL program, but some lenders do.

The VA allows veterans who have equity in their home to get cash back when they refinance. However, cash-out refinancing rules are ultimately up to the lender. Some lenders may not allow it at all. Others may allow the homeowner to refinance up to 100% of the homes value to pay off an older mortgage. Speak with your loan officer to find out your lenders cash-out rules.

The VA loan process begins with filling out a Certificate of Eligibility through the VA. Get started and learn more here.

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Deployed Active Duty Service Members

If you are deployed after purchasing your home, your occupancy status is not affected by the deployment. You are considered to be in a temporary duty status and are able to provide a valid intent to occupy certification. This requirement is met regardless of whether or not your spouse will be occupying the property while youre deployed.

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Is A Home Purchase While On Active Duty The Right Choice

Military personnel often get their duty stationed changed, sometimes as often as every three or four years. Frequent moves mean that for some members of the Armed Forces, purchasing a home may not make financial sense.

For others, however, there are circumstances that may make owning a home worthwhile. Perhaps youre reaching the end of your career and preparing to retire from the military. Perhaps you see the opportunity of buying a home as a commercial venture, planning on making improvements and reselling or renting the home out when you need to move again. Whatever the reason, your first step is to educate yourself.

Its a good idea for veterans to take a deep dive into what they think makes the most sense providing for their familys financial future, says Birk.

Being stationed overseas, in particular, means you are relinquishing control over many aspects of the home buying process and leaving the heavy lifting to a real estate agent. Things like touring homes, checking out the neighborhood, checking on property values, and comparing VA and non-VA approved homes are tasks you would normally do on your own.

Find information on the area where you want to buy to help you determine if a purchase is practical. Is it an up-and-coming neighborhood or on the way down? Does it have the schools and other amenities that are important to you? Is it close to base?

How Does The Va Loan Work

Can I Use My Dads VA Benefit to Buy a House? (VA Loan Requirements 2022)

Private lenders, including banks and mortgage companies, provide VA loans. The VA guarantees a portion of each VA loan against loss, eliminating lender requirements for down payments or mortgage insurance.

Though the VA does not require a minimum credit score, lenders may use their own credit score benchmarks. Credit score requirements may be as low as 620, making the loans easier to obtain for service members.

Additionally, military and veteran home buyers do not have to be first-time homebuyers they can reuse this benefit.

With that in mind, the VA backs home loans to help veterans and service members obtain permanent housing. But, it stipulates certain conditions on property types. You cant buy a vacation home in Italy with a VA home loan, for example.

If youre ready to buy or refinance a home using a VA home loan, ask your lender about your available options before you go house-hunting.

Heres a closer look at what you can and cant purchase with a VA home loan.

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Veterans Who Live In The Philippines

As a Veteran who lives in the Philippines, you are generally entitled to the same VA benefits as those living in the United States. You can visit the VA Manila Regional Benefit Office and the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic for benefit assistance needs and for limited healthcare treatment for service connected conditions. The regional office and the outpatient clinic are located in the same building. The Manila benefits fact sheet provides a list of the healthcare services provided by the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic.

Factors To Consider Before Buying International Property

Theres more to buying a house overseas than just purchasing the property. Here are other factors to consider.

Holding costs: Like any property, youll need to have funds set aside for upkeep and maintenance. These may be specific to the region youre buying in. For example, tropical regions require more outside maintenance than many are used to. If you fail to do that, it can result in a lot of damage, roof damage or tile damage, says Parker.

Security concerns: What security measures does the property have in place? Will you need to add bars or other security features? You should also consider who will look after the property when youre not there.

Short-term rental issues: In addition to needing someone local to manage short-term rental issues, youll need to comply with local and U.S. tax laws about rental income. Youll also need to confirm that youre allowed to rent out the property.

Taxes: Sales taxes could add to the cost of buying your property. Property taxes will likely also need to be paid. If you have a foreign bank account with a balance that exceeds $10,000 at any point, youll also need to report that to the IRS.

Exchange rates: Currency exchange rates are constantly changing. While the dollar is strong in many places, keep an eye on exchange rates and how they could affect buying property offshore.

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How To Buy A House Overseas

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Buying a house overseas might sound like an appealing option for retirement or occasional escapes from the U.S. As you might expect, buying international property is more challenging than buying a home domestically. With research and due diligence, however, you can buy a home overseas to enjoy now or in the future. Here are key things to know about how to buy real estate overseas.

How To Get An Ebenefits Account

What is the VA loan Certificate of Eligibility?

You can manage and apply for benefits online using eBenefits. If you dont already have an eBenefits account, you can register on the DS Logon Registration page. Instead of using your APO address for registering on eBenefits, use your last recorded United States address.

For dependents of Veterans without a social security number, you must do the following:

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Benefits For New Philippine Scouts

New Philippine Scouts are entitled to the same VA benefits, with exceptions noted below. The term “New Philippine Scouts” means non-commissioned Philippine Scouts who:

  • Enlisted under Public Law 190, 79th Congress, on or after October 5, 1945, AND
  • Served under Section 14 of the U.S. Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945, AND
  • Were discharged from such service under conditions other than dishonorable

Veterans who meet the requirements above are entitled to VA benefits, except:

  • Non-service connected pension benefits for Veterans and dependents
  • Hospitalization, nursing home care, domiciliary care, outpatient dental and medical care even though the Veteran has service-connected conditions. However, while in the United States or its territories, the VA may furnish hospital and nursing home care and medical services to Commonwealth Army Veterans for the treatment only of their service-connected disabilities
  • VA loans, such as home loan guarantees and small business loans
  • Specially Adapted Housing Grants
  • PX and Commissary Exchange Privileges
  • Burial in National Cemeteries
  • Headstones and Markers

In addition, payments for Dependents Educational Assistance and Clothing allowance benefits will be made at a rate in Philippine pesos equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized.

Appoint A Power Of Attorney

To buy a home while youre deployed, youll need to appoint a Power of Attorney to navigate the home buying process for you. While you are still able to complete your loan application online yourself, your POA will do things like apply for your Certificate of Eligibility through the VA and sign all required documents at closing.

Because youll be sharing sensitive financial information with your POA, it should be someone you trust. Most military service members choose their spouse, one of their family members, or a close friend to help them with their loan application and stand in for them at closing.

Not sure who to have as your acting POA? A great title company can appoint one of their attorneys on staff to do this for you. We have made this happen with many title companies that weve worked with, and we can help locate a good company for your situation should you need help finding one.

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Things To Know About Real Estate Practices Around The World

As real estate practices vary around the world, it’s important that you understand the local process to avoid the risk of violating any laws or making costly errors. Some countries have government-mandated restrictions in place when it comes to foreigners owning property, with the buyer’s country of residence, citizenship and financial situation also taken into consideration.

How To Finance An Overseas Property

Can I use my VA Home Loan Benefit More Than Once?

Buying a property abroad is an exciting adventure. But one of the biggest hurdles you may face is coming up with the money for your investment.

However, you do have a few options when it comes to financing overseas real estate, whether you want to buy a holiday home, an investment property while your child studies abroad, or a place to retire to.

You can:

An overseas mortgage is any mortgage you take out on a property that’s not in your country of residence. It can be from a local bank, or from an overseas lender in the country you want to buy in. Your approach will depend on your personal and financial situation, so it’s important to do your research. Weigh the pros and cons of each option to help you decide.

You might be surprised about some of the perks that can come with owning overseas property.

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Developer And Seller Financing

Developers and homeowners may offer financing. If you go this route, be sure to vet anyone youre working with.

Work with a local real estate agent and attorney to ensure the person youre working with has the right to transfer the title to you. Consider having any paperwork professionally translated so you know exactly what youre signing.

Eligible Va Loan Uses

With all uses, besides the VA streamline refinance, the VA expects the homebuyer to utilize the home as their primary residence.

Homebuyers can use the VA loan to:

  • Purchase a single-family home or VA-approved condominium.
  • Purchase a townhouse or multi-unit property , provided you live in one of the units.
  • Build a new home.
  • Purchase a manufactured or modular home. The VA allows for it if the property meets the VA minimum property requirements, though most lenders do not actually provide these loans.
  • Simultaneously purchase and improve a home by installing energy-related features such as solar or heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, weather-stripping/ caulking, storm windows/doors or other energy-efficient improvements approved by the lender and the VA.
  • Refinance a current VA loan into a lower rate – known as the VA streamline or IRRRL.
  • Refinance a non-VA loan into a VA loan.
  • Refinance a mortgage to take cash out of the home’s equity.

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What Do Spouses Need To Know

Military spouses play an important role in the home buying process. They can serve as Power of Attorney, fulfill the occupancy requirements of VA loans, and even apply with their deployed spouse as a co-borrower.

If you or your loved one are overseas and circumstances change and the perfect house becomes available, it is still possible to move forward with buying a home and you dont have to do it alone.

At OVM, military families are taken care of by loan officers who are well-versed in VA loans. We understand the ins and outs of the VA loan process, and we will work with you while youre on deployment to simplify each step.

As always, were here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process! Give us a call or start your application today.


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