The Fourth of July turns our thoughts toward our veterans and the thanks we owe them. Near the end of World War II, we started showing our appreciation in a more practical way, with the home loan program, as part of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs). (For detailed information on the program, call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 or visit the Loan Guarantee Website at www.homeloans.va.gov).
Under this program, the VA guarantees mortgages made to borrowers with proven incomes and credit histories. VA Public Affairs Officer Steve Westerfeld explains that the process typically protects lenders, who actually provide the loans, against financial loss. As a result, private lenders will generally not require a downpayment and can offer VA loans to financially qualified veterans at competitive interest rates.
Veterans taking the loans must certify that the funds will be used to buy their primary residences. Once the loans havs been obtained, the VA will also try to help the veterans avoid foreclosure if they have difficulty making payments. (In our area, veterans seeking help should call the Roanoke Regional VA Office at 540-857-2108).
Based on the VAs maximum guarantee, lenders can usually provide up to $417,000 to qualified veterans without requiring a downpayment. This year, the loan guarantee limit stands at $417,000. On one day in late June, this amount covered a choice of six Alexandria dwellings, including two single-family houses, three townhouses and one high-rise condo.
At $416,585, the condo came closest to reaching the loan ceiling. Built in 1984 on Mount Eagle Drive in the Montebello Subdivision, it includes two bedrooms and two baths in its 1,305 square feet of living space. Pets are permitted, and the facilities feature a community center, indoor and outdoor pools and shopping on the 30-acre tract. The schools are Cameron Elementary, Twain Middle and Edison High. Call Montebello Marketing at 703-548-5958.
The newest residence is a three-story townhouse, built in 1990 on Walkers Croft Way in Kingstowne and priced at $415,500. This brick end unit features three bedrooms, three baths and a powder room in its 1,624 square feet of living space. It also provides assigned parking and a recreation room fireplace. The schools are Lane Elementary and Hayfield Middle and High. Call Reshawna Leaven at Saab Realtors, 703-288-4877.
The other four selections are $415,000 each. They include two 3-story townhouses, built in 1987 and 1983 respectively. The newer unit stands on Castletown Way in Runnymede, with a brick exterior, three bedrooms, two full baths and two half baths in its 2,324 square feet plus a one-car attached garage. Fireplaces grace both the living and recreation rooms. The schools are Bush Hill Elementary, Twain Middle and Edison High. Call Long & Foster at 703-451-9400.
Located in Cameron Knolls, the 15-year-old vinyl siding townhome has been remodeled recently. With two bedrooms, two full baths and one half bath, it also features hardwood floors, a fireplace and a one-car garage. The schools are Douglas MacArthur Elementary and TC Williams High. Call 703-549-8700.
The two single-family homes were built, respectively, in 1947 and 1962.
Located on Memorial Street in Groveton Heights, the oldest dwelling is also the largest. Behind its traditional red-brick exterior, this three-story house provides 2,424 square feet of living space on a half-acre lot that overlooks mature trees. It includes four bedrooms and two baths. Hardwood floors grace the dining and living area, which also displays a fireplace. The lower level features a paneled recreation room. The side driveway provides parking for four cars. The schools are Rose Hill Elementary and Hayfield Middle and High. Call Betsy Gorman at Long & Foster Old Town, 703-548-3700.
Four bedrooms and two baths also appear in the other single-family dwelling, in the Fairfax Homes subdivision. The two-story brick-and-siding structure provides 2,050 square feet of living space on its quarter-acre lot. Call Weichert, Realtors at 703-569-7870.