VA Loans Process | VA Loans for Vets

The VA Loans Process: Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Your Own Home

What are the Steps For A VA Loan Approval?

Like most veterans and active-duty military, you may feel that obtaining your dream home with a VA home loan is a challenging endeavor. Not only do you have to obtain documentation directly from the national government, but you also have to choose the right lender and real estate agent. There are several parties to work with, who all have different qualifications and deadlines, that can muddle the VA loan process. We understand you could be having trouble getting started or feel stuck in the middle of your home ownership journey.

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Therefore, we will walk you through the VA loan process step-by-step, giving you a clearer picture of what obtaining a VA loan and buying your dream home really means. We believe you deserve to live with your significant other and children on the property you have always wanted but have not known how to purchase.

Buying a Home with a VA-Backed Loan

Before Home Ownership

Before you move your family into your dream home and settle down, you need to complete a few preliminary items first. You can decide on these on your own to finish or with a VA-approved lender to advise you on the required documentation and forward steps. They are the beginning of the VA Loan Process and will propel you and your family into securing the property you want.

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Partner with a VA-Approved Lender

While many lenders that advertise VA loans may seem eligible, only those the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approves can give out VA loans. These specially-trained home loan professionals desire to help you and other servicemen and women buy your dream homes.

We also recommend searching for a VA-approved lender who has personal military experience or a family member who has served, so they can advise you in a way other lenders cannot.

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Apply for your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Although you may be active-duty military, veteran, or surviving spouse, there are specific qualifications Veterans Affairs has established that you must meet. These are contained within your personalized COE, and the federal government uses them to determine whether you are eligible for a VA loan. Also, they communicate to your future VA-approved lender how much you qualify for the loan amount.

You used to have to mail your COE documentation physically to the VA. But now you can submit it without walking to the mailbox, thanks to the VA’s new online portal for veterans. Finally, your lender may be Web LGY System-affiliated, and they can obtain your COE on your behalf with your permission.

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Evaluate Your Current Finances

You can either sit down with your significant other or your VA-approved lender to discuss your current finances. They can help you see if you are stable enough to purchase a home. Factors such as your credit score, monthly income, and expenditures will affect whether you choose to move forward with the VA loan process.

They can also walk you through all the future homebuying costs you may not be aware of to give you a clearer picture of what you will be paying now, five years from now, 20 years from now, etc.

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Meet a Real Estate Agent

To help you find your dream home, you need to meet with a real estate professional that understands exactly what you are looking for in a home and your price range. Family members, friends, colleagues, and even your VA-approved lender can all provide agent recommendations.

You should inquire with the real estate agent about their consultation fee, terms and conditions, and miscellaneous charges before you partner with them.

Approaching Home Ownership

Once you partner with the necessary parties (Veterans Affairs, VA-approved lender, and real estate agent), it's time to get the ball rolling with buying your dream home. The following VA loan process steps involve VA loan qualification, finding a home your family falls in love with, and walking with a real estate agent through the rest.

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Apply for your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Once your VA-approved lender deems you eligible for a VA loan through the COE, they will help you get prequalified with your unique loan amount. Your lender should look at several aspects of your current money-spending track record, such as monthly income, credit history, marital status, etc. This will give you an even better picture of how much your family can spend, enhancing the time you took to evaluate your finances. This step is the start of maximizing your VA loan benefits and obtaining everything your family is entitled to from your military service.

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Apply for your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

The next step in the VA loan process, which your family will be the most excited about, is finding your dream home and signing on the dotted line for the purchase agreement. Whether your VA-approved lender recommended them to you or not, your real estate agent will keep in touch with your lender as a team player. While your lender takes care of the finances, the agent will show you different properties in your local area and assist in obtaining the best fit for your family.

It is crucial to remember that enrolling in the VA loan program covers some of the fees and costs included in the sales contract. Also, when you grab the ballpoint pen to sign the document, watch for the terms "VA Escape Clause" and "VA Option Clause," which you will utilize when buying your home. You can purchase the contract if the property fails to meet appraisal requirements for the contract price, saving you money on your dream home if things fall through.

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Hire a Home Inspector/Appraiser

You want to ensure that the dream home you found will last your family a lifetime and be a good investment. It's essential to calculate the real value (rather than just market) and pay for home inspection and appraisal services. This is a good practice the for any homebuyer, whether they use a conventional or another type of loan.

The inspector's job is to check every nook and cranny for any potential defects you and the homeowner may have missed along the way. However, your VA-approved lender is responsible for scheduling the VA appraisal on the property.

Homeownership Completion

You are ready to finish the VA loan process and purchase your family’s dream home when you have walked with a VA-approved lender and real estate agent this far. Both parties will collaborate with you at the finish line to sign the necessary documentation and get you moved in!

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Close on Your VA Loan

This is the final step in the VA loan process and the most important. You and your significant other will review all the pre-closing paperwork, which your lender will send at least three business days prior. These documents will prove your agreement to your VA-approved lender's loan amount and the VA mortgage's terms and conditions and will follow by paying closing costs.

Usually, you will close on your VA loan at a lawyer's office, title company, or escrow office with your private lender. They will walk you through homebuying financial logistics, like reinforcing your monthly mortgage payment, interest rates, and other processing fees. Once you've signed all your closing documents, you can move into your new home!

VA Loan Advisors that Have Marked the Trailhead

When you begin the VA loan process and pursue homeownership, you start an exciting finance journey to give you the property your family deserves. Our VA-approved lenders have walked that path with hundreds of clients with military service and even marked several trailheads for you to partner with us.

We have veterans on our team ready to serve you and help you obtain a VA loan, purchase a home, and celebrate the loan closing. You can apply here or call our office, and we can start the VA loan process with you.