More Havasu veterans are taking advantage of low-interest home loans
More Lake Havasu City veterans are receiving home loans than they were five years ago, according to statistics from Missouri-based Veterans United Home Loans.
According to the company, VA loans have surged by more than 59 percent in Arizona since 2013. No place has seen more growth than in Havasu, which saw a 99-percent increase in VA purchase loans in the past five years.
In Mohave and Yavapai Counties, the impact of VA home loans has definitely been noticed. According to Mohave State Bank Mortgage Department Senior Vice President Tom Ender, VA home loans make up about 10 percent of the market share for mortgages.
“Arizona markets are experiencing pretty good growth with VA home loans,” Ender said. “There are a lot of former military members migrating here. Lake Havasu City has become a pretty popular landing spot as people retire in Arizona for our weather and lower taxes.”
The loans themselves are a mortgage option only available to veterans, service members or military spouses. They require no money down, and are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA loan program has guaranteed more than 22 million loans to veterans since its inception in 1944.
“The biggest factor is that these loans are ‘no money down’,” Ender said. “The interest rates are better than a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage – you can buy a better house with a low interest rate. It’s a great benefit for veterans.”
In Arizona, 24,257 customers benefited from VA home loans last year.
“This historical benefit program has experienced a resurgence since the housing crisis,” said Veterans United Home Loans Director of Education Chris Birk. “More veterans have used this loan in the last five years than in the past dozen years combined … the purchase market remains strong as more veterans and military families turn to what’s become the most powerful home loan on the market.”
According to Veterans United, VA loans have maintained the lowest average interest rate on the market – and have held the lowest foreclosure rate – for the past 12 years.
Ender says VA home loans’ low foreclosure rate can be attributed to the quality of customers who apply.
“They’re high-quality people,” Ender said. “They take a high amount of pride in ownership, and have control over their debt. It’s the quality of the individual as much as anything.”