You would really need to speak to a mortgage broker. There are a lot of programs but it will be tough. If you found a place where that 25 to 30k was equal to 40% or more then that would help.
Sort of. They will compare like homes within a 1/4 mile radius of the subject property and take the average price per square foot of "those" homes. However, they will also add and subtract values for things such as fireplaces, paved driveways, half baths, full baths, etc. If you have 5 comparable homes and 3 have fireplaces then the value of the fireplace can be determined then subtracted from the homes without one. In any given town average price per square foot will vary based on several factors.
The VA loan only has limited advantages. I spent 4 years in the Army with a large portion in Saudi Arabia and I did a VA loan for my first home. Now that I am a REALTOR I have worked with several veterans. VA loan works to your favor for the closing. The seller has to pay for the pest inspection, you are not allowed to. Aside from that, the advantage of NO down payment needed at closing. However, this means that you will qualify for less since you will not be paying 5, 10, 15 or 20% down. As for closing costs, you would want to ask for the seller to pay closing costs, if they do not you will have to pay Transfer Tax, processing fees and title insurance. Transfer tax and title insurance depend on the purchase price of the home. HOWEVER, you should note that when you make an offer there are certain things you will need to pay for. An earnest deposit of $500 to $1000 is normal and a home inspection is recommended that runs about $300. and you will also have to get insurance right before closing. Home owners insurance varies and if you talk to your insurance company ahead of time they will be able to give you an idea of what it will cost. Mine is about $600 a year. I highly recommend asking the sellers to pay for a 1 year home warranty too and you should pick the coverage package. AHS has very good plans and a lot of satisfied customers. First step is get pre approved, then find a house that is in the range YOU know you can afford, then ask your mortgage broker what the title insurance, transfer tax and fees will be. If you work with an agent he or she can help you with all of this. An agent IS NOT going to charge you a fee to do this either. Do your homework and no matter what the bank or anyone else says, only buy what you know that you can afford. If you are renting at say $825 a month plus utilities and it is easy to manage then find a home with a payment that is equal to that or less than that. You will have home owner expenses here and there.It can be a stressful process the first time around. Simply because you are going into not knowing what to expect. A good agent can help make it much less stressful and explain everything upfront so that you aren't blind sided with unexpected costs. I hope this helps.
A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. However, have an agent do a CMA, then call another agent and have them do one too. Then go from there. There are a lot of variables involved and an agent can cut thru a lot of the crud by doing a CMA.
That really does depend on your long term goals and plans. I have a client that owns their own home but also have a park model in Texas for the winter. Since they are retired that works for them. If they could only chose one to live at they say they would stay at the house. It's a better investment in the long run. When it comes time to sell, park models can be more of a challenge to sell than a house.