So far this year, more than one in 10 buyers statewide — more than 2,900 — has used a VA loan, according data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

In Pierce County, nearly one in five buyers or almost 900, used VA financing, along with more than one in four Thurston County buyers — 428 — through the start of May.

Many veterans are reluctant to give up the benefit in favor of a more conventional loan, even if it means a better chance to score a home, because of the clear financial advantage.

“The benefits for the veteran are tremendous,” said Greg Nelms, chief of loan policy with the VA mortgage loan team.

VA buyers don’t have to put money down to buy a house. And because the VA guarantees the loan, the buyer doesn’t pay for private mortgage insurance, a cost that can add up to another 1 percent on top of the purchase price.

The interest-rate savings on a $300,000 loan, for instance, could be as much as $50 to $100 a month for a VA loan compared to conventional financing



Dave Jennings