The process of searching for a first home can be an exhausting and sometimes disheartening experience in today's real estate market where record levels of activity have left inventories of available homes at record lows in some areas of the nation. For many first-time buyers, however, the thought of applying for a home mortgage can be even more stressful. Fortunately, mortgage applicants who have qualifying military service can find that the process to obtain a VA home loan may be able to relieve some of that stress. 

Guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, VA home loans first originated after the end of World War II with the goal of making it easier for returning military service members to purchase homes. Today, the VA home loan program continues to offer important benefits for home purchasers who meet military service guidelines, including first-time buyers. 

A true zero-down home loan option

One of the biggest struggles faced by first-time homebuyers is amassing enough cash for a down payment. Since down payments are typically a percentage of the purchase price, today's rising home prices mean that the down payment requirement for some types of mortgage approval also increases. First-time homebuyers are particularly disadvantaged by down payment requirements because many of them are young adults working in entry-level positions. With no down payment requirement, first-time homebuyers who utilize a VA loan can often become a homeowner much more quickly than they might if using another type of mortgage option. 

Freedom from PMI payments

Another important benefit that VA home loans offer that is particularly useful for first-time buyers is freedom from expensive private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments. Most other types of home loans require PMI payments to be charged to borrowers who do not put down a full twenty percent of the purchase price of the home. Instead of being charged an expensive private mortgage insurance payment on top of the monthly mortgage payment, those who choose to use a VA home loan are protected from this charge. 

An assurance of condition

Borrowers who use a VA home loan also gain the benefit of having a basic assurance that the home meets basic quality standards. Every home purchased using a VA home loan undergoes a rigorous inspection process before the loan is granted. VA home loans can also be available to borrowers with some types of credit problems, including bankruptcy and foreclosure. Contact a reputable mortgage lender in your area to learn more about VA loans and how they might benefit your home purchase situation.