Tag Archives: Veterans

Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: The Exciting Possibilities of a VA Cash-Out Refi

DHREA 12/06/2019
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(Each week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

If you’re a veteran, you have several options for refinancing — ones that work differently than a streamline refi. With a VA cash-out refi, veterans like you can take out some of the equity and use it however you want.

Just like any other big financial decision, you’ll want to understand it fully to see if a VA cash-out refi is what you need to reach your financial goals. Read over this guide for a quick overview and contact our office for more details.

Not a veteran? No problem! There are many refi programs available. Contact us today to find out how we can lower your rate or your monthly payment, or get some cash out from your equity to help pay for those future college expenses.

Why you should consider a VA cash-out refinance

The biggest draw of a VA cash-out refi is the cash, of course! How much cash depends on how much equity you have on your home. For example, if your mortgage is $200,000, but you’ve paid off $60,000, then the full $60,000 is available to you (less closing costs).

It gets even better! Refinancing your loan could also mean getting a lower rate or even lowering monthly payment. You aren’t required to take out the full amount with a VA cash-out refi. You can take out much less. Perhaps 10k is all you need, and that’s okay!

How do veterans use their cash-out equity?

The choice is yours! Everything from remodeling your kitchen to buying a car to taking a vacation to paying for school expenses is allowed with a VA refi. If you have a lot of credit card debt and the interest rates are higher than your refi rate, you may even want to use that cash to pay off your debt.

Here’s another benefit: if you’re a veteran with a conventional or FHA loan, a VA cash-out refi can erase the mortgage insurance that is required with those types of loans. Mortgage insurance isn’t required with VA loans and veterans are eligible to get a VA cash-out refi regardless of what their current home loan is.

What if you don’t need the cash?

If you don’t need the cash but are looking to lower your rate, then take a look at an IRRRL.  Interest rates with this type of refi tend to be lower, potentially saving you money in the short term as well as the long run.

The goal of an IRRRL is to refi into a lower rate and it’s also a requirement. So if your current home loan rate is lower than an IRRRL, then you will not qualify. Note that with a VA cash-out refis don’t have that “lowered rate” requirement.

Things you’ll need to apply for a VA cash-out refinance:

A VA appraisal may be required as well as a current copy of your credit. Of course, you’ll also want your VA certificate of eligibility. The only thing left is to apply! We’ve made it easy. You can get started right on our website. Click on the “apply now” buttons found throughout our site, and we’ll take care of the rest!

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MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

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Tiny Homes: Hip Helps The Homeless

DHREA 07/03/2018

The tiny house trend began two decades ago as a social movement espousing radical simplicity by people who wanted to downsize their physical space, lower their debt, and minimize their environmental footprint. On the other hand, some would say the tiny house trend was nothing more than that…a passing hipster trend.

Two decades later, the mindset has changed. Operating on the premise that housing is a right not a privilege, tiny house villages and encampment projects are now part of a burgeoning campaign in cities and townships across the country to help provide shelter for America’s growing homeless population, a membership that includes not just people suffering from mental illness and addiction, but also displaced under and unemployed individuals, families with children, teenagers, the elderly and military veterans.

Here’s a not-so-fun fact that will make your eye twitch: Millions of Americans are just one paycheck away from being homeless. We apologize for playing the role of Debbie Downer.

But according to the December 2017 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual report, the number of Americans without a safe and consistent place to dwell grew for the first time in seven years to nearly 554,000 people, 40,000 of whom are military veterans, numbers that are up 1 percent from 2016. However, the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty says HUD’s figures underestimate the numbers, suggesting that more than 3.5 million people, including as many as 1.35 million children, are homeless or under-sheltered each year in America. And the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that the U.S. needs as many as 7 million more affordable living spaces to meet its current homeless and low-income needs.

While the nation’s overall homeless population decreased by around 83,000 since 2010, at least 10 west coast cities have declared states of emergency since 2015 due to an explosion of homelessness. The main surge in the numbers of un-housed people is driven by cities in Washington, Oregon and California.

Since people helping people is what it’s all about, the tiny house movement for the homeless is currently supported mainly by private donors, individuals, GoFundMe initiatives, non-profit organizations, charities, faith-based entities and organizations like the Low Income Housing Institute, all operating and building tiny shelters with mostly volunteer workforces.

Safe, insulated, private structures range in size from 8-by-12 foot (2.4-by-3.6 meters) spaces costing $2,500 per unit to build, to 16-by-20 foot (4.9-by-6.0 meters) spaces costing $10,000 per unit, to as large as 300-square-foot (91 meters) spaces costing $28,000 per unit. The micro-community approach to housing the unsheltered is beginning to take off, not just in the Pacific Northwest where the movement began and the need is greatest, but also in cities in Texas, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia and New York, and in 10 tiny house villages for the homeless across the U.S.

Some models have individual restrooms, showers and kitchenettes. Others have communal kitchens and bath houses. Still others have green spaces for community gardens. Each village is unique. Some are free and some require a small rental fee. But most are meant as transitional living quarters until people can get back on their feet. Because we all know in our heart of hearts, no matter how tiny, there’s no place like home.


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