With their reputation for extraordinarily favorable terms, it is not a surprise that the mortgages offered by the VA’s home loan program are so popular. Do you know how to get a VA home loan?
How to Get a VA Home Loan
According to MarketWatch, VA home loans make up roughly 10 percent of the mortgage market with some 610,000 of these government-backed loans (worth more than $161 billion) being extended in just the 2018 fiscal year. Do you think this mortgage option could help you make your dreams of homeownership a reality? Here’s what you need to know about getting a VA home loan:
Are You Eligible?
Not everyone is eligible to secure a VA loan, as it is a benefit earned through military service. Service members, veterans, and National Guard and Reserve members who have completed the appropriate amount of service are entitled to this housing benefit. Surviving spouses may also qualify. To establish your eligibility, you will need to collect the appropriate evidence and request a Certificate of Eligibility.
However, simply being eligible to apply for a VA loan is not a guarantee that you will actually be able to get one (source). After meeting the eligibility requirements for service, you still need to qualify for the loan by demonstrating that you have sufficient credit and income. You’ll also have to choose a property that meets the program’s requirements.
Choosing the Right Team
The VA does not actually provide funds for any loans. Instead, it sets the guidelines for the program and backs loans made by private lenders that meet its loan program’s requirements. If you want to use a VA loan to purchase a home, you will need to select a VA-approved lender (source). This lender will help guide you through the process and help you get the maximum value out of your benefits.
Are there other professionals you might want to enlist? Many experts recommend that borrowers planning to use a VA home loan choose a real estate agent familiar with the program. After all, any home being purchased with a VA loan must meet the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements, or MPRs. A real estate agent who is knowledgeable about these requirements can direct you toward properties that will fit the bill.
Steps to Take to Secure a VA Home Loan
You’ve secured a Certificate of Eligibility, chosen a lender, and selected a real estate agent to assist with your home search. Now what do you need to do? The VA says you’ll need to complete the following steps to buy a home with a VA home loan:
- Find a suitable home. Locate a home that meets your needs, your budget, and the VA’s MPRs and begin negotiations to buy it. When your offer is accepted, sign a purchase agreement. Make sure that the agreement includes a clause stating that you can walk away from the deal without forfeiting any earnest money if the VA appraisal comes in for less than the purchase price.
- Complete the application for a VA loan. Finalize the loan application and provide any needed documentation. If you opted to get prequalified* or preapproved, you’ll have a head start on this process.
- Be patient and responsive while the loan application is processed. Once you submit the application, the lender arranges for the property to be appraised by a VA-approved appraiser to verify that it meets the MPRs and is properly valued. They will also verify and review the financial information listed on your application to determine if you qualify for the requested loan.
- Attend closing. If the loan is granted, a closing will be scheduled. During this meeting, funds will be exchanged and the necessary paperwork will be signed to complete the transfer of the property. At the end of closing, you will officially own the property.
If you have questions about how to get a VA home loan, the friendly, knowledgeable team at PrimeLending of Springfield, Missouri, is ready to listen to your queries and provide you with clear, useful answers. Embracing simplicity, transparency, and personal service, we do our best to ensure that getting a home loan is a rewarding experience for our customers. From application to closing, you can count on us to be at your side throughout the loan process. Contact us today to discuss your home financing needs and learn more about our services.
* A prequalification is not an approval of credit, and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.