Wednesday, August 7, 2013

6 Steps to getting a VA loan

For anyone in the U.S. looking to buy a home, the VA loan is one of the best options available.  VA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and allow the home buyer to purchase a home with no down payment  no mortgage insurance, and the most flexible mortgage guidelines.  VA loans often have lower interest rates compared to other home loan products, making this program unbeatable.  

So what's involved with getting a VA loan? Many veterans know about their eligible benefits, especially when talking about buying a home, but most don't know how to take advantage of those benefits.  Below are 6 steps of what you will need to do in order to get a VA loan:

1. Determine your eligibility for a VA loan.

It's most likely that if you have served in the U.S. military, you qualify for a VA loan.  However, vets aren't the only ones who qualify so inquire if you are unsure.  Most active-duty personnel, National Guard and Reserve members qualify.  Certified VA lenders can help you determine your eligibility or you can contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs directly.  

2. Prove your eligibility with a Certificate of Eligibility

A certificate of occupancy (COE) is a VA document that proves to the lender that you eligible for a VA loan.  The good news is your lender can usually help you obtain this document within a short amount of time.  All VA loans require this document except for the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). 

3. Get pre-qualified to buy home with a VA loan

Though the VA determines your eligibility to get a VA loan, it is the lender that determines your eligibility to buy. After selecting a qualified lender they will run your credit report and may ask for paperwork like pay stubs, bank statements  and other associated loan paperwork.  After processing your paperwork your lender will be able to let you know how much home you can qualify for, what your monthly payment will be, and then you will receive a pre-approval certificate.  Most realtors require you have a pre-approval they agree to show you homes.  

4. Search for a home to buy

Your're pre-qualified and excited to buy, but first you have to find a home.  Write down a list of qualities you want in a home and once you are ready, meet with a realtor.  Real estate agents can help you find something in your price range and often times can help you negotiate a better deal on your dream home. I would recommend speaking with an agent before shopping on your own.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home and would look to speak to an experienced real estate agent, please click here.  

5. Complete the loan process with your lender

As soon as you've made an offer on a home and it has been accepted, get a copy of your purchase contract to your loan officer right away.  The loan process can sometimes be a long one and you don't want to miss any financing or settlement deadlines.
Stay ahead of the process by ordering your home inspection early and setting side money for your appraisal.  This way you'll know the true condition of the home and how it is being valued.  Note that appraisals are not required on VA IRRRL loans.  

6. Close your VA loan

As soon as your loan underwriter issues a loan approval, you can set up a "closing" to sign your VA loan documents.  Closings often take place at a title company but can sometimes be taken care right from your own home.  As soon as your loan funds and the wire goes out, you will receive keys to your new home.

See how today's VA loans can help you with your purchase or refinance. Mortgage rates are available online. It's fast, it's free, and your social security number is not required. Apply now

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