One great benefit veterans who have previously served or are currently serving our country are eligible for is the Veterans Administration home loan aka a VA loan. The VA loan allows for a zero down home loan for qualified veterans. However, just because you served the country does not automatically qualify you for a home loan. Although the VA does not have specific credit requirements for buyers looking to utilize the VA loan, private lenders facilitating these loans often do. In addition, you will also have to show that you have the financial means to pay the mortgage and home insurance moving forward. That being said, if you have a decent credit score and a debt to income ratio of 41% or less, you will likely be able to qualify for a VA home loan.
There are many benefits of the VA home loan. The most well-known of which is the ability to purchase a home with zero money down. However, veterans who purchase a home with a VA loan also have the benefit of no mortgage insurance (a requirement for home buyers putting less than 20% down with a conventional of FHA loan). Additional protections for home buyers using a VA home loan include limitations on closing costs and prohibiting early payment penalties.
The VA home loan is designed to protect the veteran, and thus there are a variety of property specific requirements for buyers looking to purchase a home with a VA loan. If you are shopping for a home in the Austin area, and are planning to use your VA loan it’s important to understand these requirements so you don’t waste your time looking at properties that may not be eligible to purchase with a VA loan.
Purchasing a New Construction Home with a VA Loan in Austin
If you are thinking of purchasing a new construction home with a VA loan, the builder must be registered with the VA. If the builder is not registered with the VA, that does not necessarily mean that home is off the table. The VA builder registration process is relatively simple, and a VA builder ID can be procured within a week in most cases. However, the builder must be willing to go through this process.
Purchasing an Austin Condo with a VA Loan
If you would like to purchase a condo in Austin using a VA loan, you will need to make sure the condo complex is on the VA’s approved condo list. For a condo to be approved it must meet the following criteria:
Just because a property meets the criteria above does not automatically mean it is eligible for a VA loan. A condo must be listed on the VA’s approved condo list. You can view and search for VA approved Austin condo buildings on the VA’s website.
Minimum Property Requirements to look out for when shopping for an austin home to purchase using a Va Loan
Whether you are buying a new construction home, a condo or an existing home with a VA loan you will need to make sure the property meets the VA’s minimum property requirements. These requirements are designed to protect the veteran from safety related issues as well as future economic burdens. Here are some of the minimum property requirements to look out for while shopping for an Austin home:
This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you are looking to purchase a home in Austin using a VA loan, it should give you a basic idea of what to look out for when considering your options. If you want to utilize your VA loan to purchase an Austin home, I’d be happy to help you navigate the process. Contact me today so we can start working to find the perfect home to meet your needs.
An accessory dwelling unit, aka an ADU, may be the perfect solution to all of your 2020 problems. The idea of a back house is nothing new to the Austin real estate market. They’ve been becoming more and more popular over the past decade as property values have increased throughout central Texas. They are great for buy and hold investors looking to capitalize on their investment by creating more opportunities for rental revenue. Similarly, more and more developers are building two units on one lot and then selling both units separately as detached condos. However, this year, more than ever, the benefits of an ADU as more than just an investment strategy are clearer than ever before.
Our houses have become places for much more than resting our heads at night and gathering for family dinners. Our homes now are someplace we spend the majority of our time. We work from home, workout from home and so much more. With all of the time you are now spending at home, you may have started to feel a bit confined by the four walls and space available. If you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic in your current home, an ADU could help. This accessory dwelling unit could be used as a home office, a class room, a home gym and so much more.
If you’re thinking about building an ADU on your property, you will first want to do your due diligence on if your zoning allows for a secondary dwelling unit. The rules will vary from one municipality to the next. In the City of Austin, they have very clear rules on building an accessory dwelling unit. The rules are based on lot size ( in order to build an ADU you must have a lot size of at least 5,750 sqft ), the property’s zoning, and impervious cover requirements. You can view the complete requirements in the City of Austin’s Land Development Code.
If you determine that you can physically build an accessory dwelling unit on your property, the next step would be to speak to a builder to determine what the costs would be. At this point, it would also be wise to speak with a trusted real estate professional to see if the costs to build an ADU would be recouped when you eventually sell your home. You may determine that building an ADU is not the best economic move, or that the construction timeline is too long to stay sane while doing everything in your current home.
If you still have your dreams set on the idea of a secondary dwelling unit, you could purchase a new home with an existing ADU on the property. There are some properties with secondary dwelling units for sale in the Austin market. There are also other properties, that have a secondary structure that could be remodeled to serve your unique needs.
Here’s a list of Austin area homes with ADU potential currently for sale:
If you’re looking for a home with an accessory dwelling unit in Austin or have questions about building an ADU at your Austin home, feel free to contact me today.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.