You may feel, like most veterans and active-duty military, 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. Therefore, we are going to walk you through the VA Loan Process step-by-step so you have 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 its dream home and settle down, there are a few preliminary items you need to complete 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 are interested in.
1). 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 with personal military experience or a family member who has served, so they can advise you in a way other lenders cannot.
2). Apply for your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Although you may be active-duty military, veteran, or surviving spouse, there are certain qualifications Veterans Affairs has established that you must meet. These are contained within your personalized COE and determine to the federal government whether you are eligible for a VA Loan. Also, they communicate to your future VA-Approved Lender what loan amount you qualify for.
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.
3). Evaluate your current finances
You can either sit down with your significant other or your VA-Approved Lender to discuss your current finances to 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 or not. They can, in addition, 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 5 years from now, 20 years from now, etc.
4). 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, and colleagues can all provide agent recommendations, but your VA-Approved Lender can also advise you on the best person to go with. You should inquire with the real estate agent about their consultation fee, terms and conditions, and miscellaneous charges before you decide to partner with them.
Approaching Home Ownership
Once you partner with the necessary parties (Veterans Affairs, VA-Approved Lender, and real estate agent), it is time to get the ball rolling with buying your dream home. These 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.
1. Get pre-qualified for your loan amount
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. This will give you an even crisper picture of how much your family is able to spend, enhancing the time you spent evaluating your finances. Your lender should look at several different aspects of your current money-spending trackrecord, such as monthly income, credit history, marital status, etc. This is the start of maximizing your VA Loan Benefits and obtaining everything your military service entitles your family to.
2. Go House Hunting and Sign a Purchase Agreement
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. Your real estate, whether your VA-Approved Lender recommended them to you or not, will keep in touch with your lender as a team player. While your lender will take care of the finances, the agent will show you different properties in your local area and assist you 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 ball point pen to signature the document, watch for the terms “VA Escape Clause” and “VA Option Clause”, which you will utilize when buying your home. You can actually 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.
3. Hire a Home Inspector/Appraiser
To ensure the dream home you found will last your family a lifetime and calculate its real value (rather than just market), pay for home inspection and appraisal services. This is the same for any other homebuyer, despite whether they use a conventional loan or anything else.
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, it is your VA-Approved Lender’s responsibility to schedule the VA Appraisal on the property.
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!
1. 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 3 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 are starting 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 at (602).908.5849, and we can start the VA Loan Process with you.