11 Oct How To Get A VA Home Loan?
Mortgage applications can be daunting for many borrowers. This rundown of 6 steps to getting a Veteran home loan is easy to understand when broken down. Follow this Step-by-Step Guide to the VA Loan Process
- Select a VA-approved Lender
A lender of any kind would seem to be sufficient on the surface. It is possible, however, to find that not all lenders are the same. VA mortgages can only be originated by lenders approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, some lenders specialize in conventional loans, while others focus almost exclusively on VA loans. When compared to a lender who only funds a few VA mortgages a year, using a VA specialty lender may simplify and speed up the process.
- You must obtain Certificates of Eligibility (COEs)
It is possible to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by working with an experienced lender. With the COE, you can prove that you are eligible for VA loan benefits. Further, the lender will know how much entitlement you qualify for and how much the VA will guarantee. Your lender will need information about your military service to get your COE. COEs can be obtained online instantly through a lender’s portal or the VA’s eBenefits website. If a servicemember or surviving spouse cannot bring their COE online, they will have to mail it. You can get help finding the right resource for your situation from a VA lender or the VA itself.
- Get a pre-approval for your loan amount (optional)
Pre-qualification is essential but not required. This step can save you time and potential surprises later on.
To qualify for a VA loan, your VA loan professional will discuss your income, credit history, employment, and marital status. You can avoid surprises during underwriting by providing your lender with complete details during pre-qualification. Additionally, you can use the VA loan calculator to figure out how much you need and spend.
- Sign a purchase agreement and go house hunting
In the fourth step, borrowers typically enjoy looking at homes they might be interested in purchasing. Take advantage of your VA benefits by working with a real estate professional specializing in the VA process. A knowledgeable agent will know that the VA allows specific fees and costs to be paid by the seller (if both parties agree), and they can assist you in negotiating these fees. Once a purchase agreement has been signed, you can apply for a VA loan.
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- A VA appraisal is ordered by the lender after the application has been processed
You’ll need a signed purchase contract to complete your initial VA loan application. Lenders order VA appraisals once they receive the contract. Choosing the right appraiser is crucial here as well. Home appraisals performed according to VA standards can only be conducted by professionals certified by VA to do so. An appraiser from VA will ensure the price you agreed to pay corresponds to the home’s current value. The VA appraisal also includes an inspection to ensure the home meets the VA’s minimum property requirements (VA MPRs). The VA appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection, which looks for code violations, defects, and property conditions. Underwriters will approve the loan if the assessment for value and VA minimum property requirements are met and the lender confirms you qualify for the loan.
- Get your loan closed and move in
As soon as the underwriter approves the loan, all that’s left to do is move in. A legal transfer of ownership occurs during closing. As part of the closing process, you must sign documents confirming your understanding of the loan terms. Providing proof of homeowners insurance and paying closing costs may be required. After all closing papers have been signed, you will receive the keys to your new home.