Are you a veteran or active military? VA loans are a great way for veterans and active military to become homeowners. In fact, over 22 million service members have used these loans since 1944. However, even though this type of loan requires no down payment you still need some cash on hand for closing. Luckily for you, with a savvy S&D Real Estate agent on your side, they will be able to help estimate the costs you will need throughout the process. The goal for every good realtor is to save veterans money and get them into their dream home. Here are some home buying costs veterans & active military shouldn’t overlook.

Credit Report

Most often buyers will have to pay this fee which on average costs $30. This is paid to your lender when you first apply for the loan and this fee is nonrefundable even if the loan doesn’t close.

Earnest Money

Earnest money basically allows you to put a hold on a house while you go through inspections and appraisals. Without earnest money, you could, in theory, take multiple homes off the market until you decide which one you like best. With the earnest money, you look like a serious buyer who is ready for the next step in the buying process. Depending on where you live and what the market is like, you can expect to put down 1%-10% of the purchase price as earnest money. At closing, this money will go towards your down payment.


During a regular appraisal, the goal is to determine whether a home’s agreed upon sales price is of fair market value. When you are getting a VA home loan, the VA has their own set of standards that determine a fair sales price. The appraiser will calculate the square footage, ensure it’s safe, structurally sound, and clean. Typically, VA buyers will often pay for the appraisal upfront, but they can get that money back at closing.

Home Inspection

Home inspections are just as important, if not more important than a home appraisal. These inspections can unearth problems with the home that the appraiser missed. This is also your chance to point out repairs you want the seller to make or compensate you for on the home price.

Recording Fees

This is a fee that must be paid out of pocket at closing. With this fee, you are paying the county to record your mortgage in public record.

Title Insurance

Like regular insurance, title insurance protects you and your lender if there are issues with the title of the house from the previous owner. Meaning if the previous owner had a new roof put on but never paid the roofer, this would come up on the title and the previous owner would be responsible.

HOA Fees

If you are moving into a neighborhood with an HOA it is important to make sure when those payments are due and exactly how much they are. Some neighborhoods charge monthly, quarterly, or annually. So looping those fees into your home budget is a good idea.