Like many Americans, the recent pandemic may have you thinking a lot about your current living space — and also thinking about buying a home right now. If you’re a military service member, veteran or family member, both new and tried-and-true tools and resources can streamline the process.

To get you started, Wells Fargo Home Lending is providing these insights:
• Assess your readiness: The decision to buy is personal. Take into account your goals and financial circumstances. Interest rates are still very low, so if you feel financially ready, this is a great time to look.

If you decide to move forward, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford, and having a rainy day fund to fall back on is a good sign of your readiness. Don’t overextend yourself in buying. Leave yourself with the ability to weather economic cycles and afford run-of-the-mill expenses for home repairs and updates.

• Build your team: Enlist the help of a home mortgage consultant who can help you navigate the process, as well as discuss financing options that fit your needs. This is especially true for military and veteran homebuyers. A military lending specialist can help you make the most of the home loan benefits you’ve earned. Consider working with a lender who understands the options available to military families.

• Know your down payment options: Not all financing options require you to put 20 percent down. For military service members and veterans, VA loans provide low- and no-down payment options for qualified borrowers, and do not require monthly mortgage insurance. Other low down payment options to explore include Wells Fargo’s Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage for borrowers with household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income, as well as FHA and rural lending programs. However, understand that more money down could reduce your monthly payments and interest paid over the life of the loan, and may also eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance or reduce your funding fee on a VA loan.

• Leverage digital tools: While a recent realtor.com survey indicates that 63.6% of consumers looking for a home want to see a property in person before buying, many start the hunt online, and now you have better opportunities to do so.

And once you’ve found a property, lenders like Wells Fargo offer time-tested digital tools allowing you to handle many aspects of the loan process remotely, including signing disclosures, uploading documents and simply getting started. In the first six months of 2020, 53 percent of the Wells Fargo’s VA applications came through the online mortgage application. To contact a home mortgage consultant, visit wellsfargo.com/military. To access free resources that can help you be a savvier home shopper, spend some time with Wells Fargo’s educational page, myfirsthome.wellsfargobank.com.

For military personnel and veterans especially, rest easy in knowing that you have access to many resources that can make the home buying process a smooth one.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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