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-   -   VA mortgage advice? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/va-mortgage-advice-874354/)

southernspeed Mar 15th 2016 5:35 pm

VA mortgage advice?
 
Hi, I've just moved to VA with my wife, for her work, from England. We are slowly getting the hang of things here but would like some advice on mortgages if anyone has much knowledge in that area? We have a good deposit but due to no US credit history (they don't accept our UK credit report which was very good) we can't find any willing lenders. We've tried a credit union here as a colleague in similar circumstances got a mortgage with a credit union in another area, but no joy. Any suggestions?
oh …. and where can I buy some decent tea bags?!!!

Pulaski Mar 15th 2016 5:48 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
How long are you planning on staying? The price of houses in most areas most of the time don't move much and given the very high round-trip cost of buying a house, it is usually not a good financial decision to buy unless there is a good chance of you staying put for five years.

Also the costs or ongoing maintenance and repairs can be pretty scary from the perspective of someone who has owned a home in the UK. Budget $5,000-$10,000 for a new roof every 15-20 years, and about the same for a new heating/AC system every 10-15 year, plus a myriad other minor repairs and maintenence expenses, such as termite treatments, carpet steam cleaning, and a mower/ mowing bills. :eek:

southernspeed Mar 15th 2016 6:20 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
Thanks for the info. We are here for the long term (in theory!) and have brought our ponies over with us which are in livery at the moment so we need somewhere with land, stables etc. Interesting about the roof and ac, I'd not given that a thought. We are hoping to buy an older property but we'll have to take what we can (if we can get a mortgage!) Is this why I'm seeing so many vacant, dilapidated properies scattered around? I think we have the mowing covered with the ponies :-)

Rete Mar 15th 2016 6:49 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
You will have to start building credit. My husband found that starting with a store credit card was good for him, as well as getting an American Express credit card. He would charge and pay off in full each month and after 3 months he had a rating.

You can also try applying online for a mortgage at Lending Tree to see if that will get you a mortgagor willing to take a chance on you.

Pulaski Mar 15th 2016 7:01 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
Have you tried Wells Fargo - several people have spoke of having good success as new immigrants with them, including at least one I remember who got a mortgage from them within a few months of arriving.

kodokan Mar 15th 2016 7:46 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
We bought after being here a year, with a small amount of credit history. Our buyer's agent had a pet broker he liked to work with - she was terrifying efficient and organized, and not fazed at all by our relative lack of credit. So I'd suggest starting with a good broker, and letting them do the legwork.

Teabags - Amazon has every type you could possibly desire. If your tastes are in the builders' tea range (mine are), then the Tetley British Blend in the supermarkets is the least terrible choice if you run out before new stock is delivered.

username.exe Mar 15th 2016 8:24 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
Look for a broker who has experience in dealing with people who have international backgrounds.

I used a guy that was able to work with me to get the right documents, and build a solid mortgage application despite not having the usual domestic history.

You might have to leave it for a few months to build up a bit of a credit history over here, though.
Best of luck.

southernspeed Mar 15th 2016 8:50 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
Thanks for all the info. We should have credit cards in a day or two so we'll start hammering them and get them paid off each month. Right , Amazon you say :-)

kodokan Mar 15th 2016 11:29 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 

Originally Posted by southernspeed (Post 11896416)
Thanks for all the info. We should have credit cards in a day or two so we'll start hammering them and get them paid off each month. Right , Amazon you say :-)

Make sure you know the reporting day for the cards - for mine it's the 11th, the day the statement cycle flips over. The statement balance is the one that gets sent to the credit agencies, and it's THAT amount you need to make sure is very low compared to your total credit available. The lower, the better; definitely under 25% (I've read people saying under 10% is the best to aim for).

So don't wait for the statement to clear the balance - go online and send a balance-clearing payment just before the statement is to be generated that month, so it's reported as only having a small amount of dollars outstanding.

Six months seemed to flick a credit switch for us - that's when we started getting junk mail from credit card companies.

southernspeed Mar 16th 2016 12:53 am

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
That's really interesting kodokan, many thanks.

Pulaski Mar 16th 2016 2:48 am

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 

Originally Posted by kodokan (Post 11896551)
Make sure you know the reporting day for the cards - for mine it's the 11th, the day the statement cycle flips over. The statement balance is the one that gets sent to the credit agencies, and it's THAT amount you need to make sure is very low compared to your total credit available. The lower, the better; definitely under 25% (I've read people saying under 10% is the best to aim for).

So don't wait for the statement to clear the balance - go online and send a balance-clearing payment just before the statement is to be generated that month, so it's reported as only having a small amount of dollars outstanding.

Six months seemed to flick a credit switch for us - that's when we started getting junk mail from credit card companies.

In my experience people get waaay too overwrought about the utilization figures. I have been at times rather over-stretched :o and still had a credit score comfortably over 700 and at one time pushing 750 ..... with several loans, a couple of store cards with one maxed out, and several credit cards with utilization of 75%-95%+ :eek:

Showing the degree of concern you suggest over whether utilization is 10% or 0% is barely going going to make a measurable difference. What hurt me hardest was applying for several loans in a short period of time - an idiot broker messed me around, "ran" my report twice and then turned me down ...... because running my credit depressed my credit score - so I got another loan to tide me over, and refi-ed another loan, and the next thing you know, my credit score lost 80-90 pts! :(

petitefrancaise Mar 16th 2016 3:50 am

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
Wells Fargo have an international team that can evaluate financial information from outside the USA. I have a contact in the team that is happy for me to pass on details. PM if you'd like it.

FWIW we used them and so have others on BE and we have all got excellent interest rates.

ottotheboar Mar 16th 2016 12:04 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 

Originally Posted by southernspeed (Post 11896198)
Thanks for the info. We are here for the long term (in theory!) and have brought our ponies over with us which are in livery at the moment so we need somewhere with land, stables etc. Interesting about the roof and ac, I'd not given that a thought. We are hoping to buy an older property but we'll have to take what we can (if we can get a mortgage!) Is this why I'm seeing so many vacant, dilapidated properies scattered around? I think we have the mowing covered with the ponies :-)

The older vacant properties is our area tend to need a lot of work. If you are planning to keep horses or any livestock budget for fencing as well which is not cheap.

You will need to bushhog the fields as horses are the worst of all grazing animals eating high and being selective.

southernspeed Mar 16th 2016 12:15 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 

Originally Posted by ottotheboar (Post 11897007)
The older vacant properties is our area tend to need a lot of work. If you are planning to keep horses or any livestock budget for fencing as well which is not cheap.

You will need to bushhog the fields as horses are the worst of all grazing animals eating high and being selective.

:-) back to the Anglo/American language barrier here …… bush hog ?
Yes I've looked at fencing costs, not cheap!

MidAtlantic Mar 16th 2016 12:30 pm

Re: VA mortgage advice?
 
creditkarma and creditsesame are both good (and free) ways of monitoring your credit score and getting tips on the factors that have the most influence.


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