I started things off with the Media Luna cocktail: gin, elderflower, lemon, and watermelon. Honestly, the perfect combination. The table ordered the Yuca Cheese Puffs, which were fantastic. I only got 1/3 of one, so it may not qualify as a ‘tasting.’ They were so good; everyone at the table wanted them. The small bite was worth it and delicious! Next up was the Mozzarella Waffle Sticks, which were terrific. The sauce was spicy but in a great way. If you’ve seen the movie Beetle Juice, it reminds me of the scene where they say, “There goes Elvis!” (everyone turns their head, and you eat the whole meal) because that is precisely what I wanted to do. The Avocado Con Mojo was another highlight, and it consisted of crushed avocado, mojo rustico, and white sweet potato chips. The star of the meal was the Pressed Cubano Sandwich. It came with slow-roasted pork, pressed ham, and all the fixings you could dream of.
We came here to celebrate a birthday, so we also got hooked up with the Ice Cream Sandwich dessert: mojito-mint, passion-papaya, ruby-guava, and chocolate bocadito cake. Honestly, this place is impressive, and I highly recommend coming here. FoodiePhil rates Mariel an 8.6! This is a perfect spot for a date night or any special event. Highly recommended!
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In last week's newsletter, we discussed a few things related to VA loans and how they benefit active service members and veterans throughout the country. In this week's newsletter, we are going to dive in about a few other great benefits that a VA loan has to offer and will focus on three key topics:
- Zero Down Payment
- No PMI
- Credit Requirements / Pre-payments / Lifetime Benefit
1. Zero Down Payment
The most significant benefit of a VA loan is that there is no requirement for a down payment. This is great for borrowers who don't have much money to invest in their first home. In comparison, the minimum down payment on an FHA loan
is 3.5 percent, and for Conventional loans, you're looking at a minimum of 5 percent. With the VA loan, qualified borrowers can loan up to 100% of the home's value, meaning no down payment is required. This helps families get into a home without having to drain the bank account, an incredible benefit the VA offers to those that are eligible! With an interest rate significantly lower than what you would find on most conventional mortgages, this type of loan can be an excellent way to get into the housing market without paying anything upfront.
2. No PMI
Another great benefit of the VA home loan option is that no PMI is required. Lenders usually require borrowers to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) on loans with a down payment of less than 20% of the mortgage amount to guard against defaults. FHA loans require borrowers to self-insure home loans by paying a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). VA Loans do not require private mortgage insurance or a premium since they are already government-insured. You save a significant amount annually by not having a monthly mortgage insurance payment. You can't find this fantastic benefit on many other loans with a zero down payment.
3. Credit Requirements / Pre-payments / Lifetime Benefit
Unlike other loan programs, the VA has relaxed credit score requirements as they do not set or enforce credit score minimums. Most lenders have cutoffs with credit scores to ensure the borrowers are not at risk of default. There is also no prepayment penalty, a fine that lenders charge borrowers for paying off their loans more than the allowed periodic payment, or essentially, ahead of schedule. Fortunately, VA loans do not have prepayment penalties, which allows you to pay off your mortgage as quickly as you want. Lastly, the lifetime benefit is vital here. This is a benefit for eligible active service members and veterans. You can reuse your VA loan benefit multiple times to restore your full entitlement, as long as you have cleared the original loan and met the minimum occupancy requirements. It is even possible to service more than one VA loan simultaneously, which is excellent if you want to upgrade to a bigger, better home.
VA loans are an excellent option for those who are eligible. There are many benefits to this; the biggest is not having to break the bank to get you and your family into that home you've all dreamed of. Contact us today to learn more about your VA options!
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There are many factors to consider when getting into the home-buying process. It’s best to evaluate all options and to really make sure that now is the right time to buy a home. If you’re only focused on the purchase price and interest rate, you’re simply not ready to buy and need to evaluate more to make sure you are not wasting your own time. If you plan on expanding your family, do consider getting a home larger than you originally thought as it will pay dividends in the long run! If you would like to take part in a short interview for our next newsletter/blog please click here.
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