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Infographic: How to Buy a Home with a VA Home Loan

by So Cal VA Homes
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How to Buy A Home with a VA Home Loan

Since 1944, the VA Home Loan program has enabled over 20 million Veterans to achieve their goals of homeownership. Buying a home with a VA loan is a straightforward process that more and more Veterans take on each year. Here are the six steps to VA home loan success:

Step 1: Find a Qualified Lender

  • Only lenders approved by the VA can originate VA home loans
  • Though many larger institutions offer VA loans, lenders who exclusively serve military clients may offer an easier, more custom-tailored experience
  • Once you find the right lender, they’ll be able to guide you through the entire VA home loan process, from start to finish

Step 2: Obtain Your COE

  • Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that proves to the lender that you meet military service requirements
  • Your lender can help you determine which evidence you need to provide to the VA and obtain your COE instantly
  • You can also use the VA’s eBenefits portal at va.gov to obtain your certificate

Step 3:  Get Pre-Approved

  • Pre-Approval helps you cover all of your bases and avoid any mistakes in the VA home loan process
  • Your lender will discuss factors such as debt-to-income ratio (DTI), employment, marital status and credit history to determine your estimated home budget
  • A pre-approval letter gives you a price range to shop for. The ideal scenario is when a VA underwriter has reviewed your file and issued a formal loan approval, contingent upon the property.

Step 4: Find Your Home

  • Work with a VA-savvy real estate professional to find a property that fits your desired location, style and budget
  • Your real estate agent will help you negotiate and put together a purchase contract
  • With a purchase agreement, signed by the seller, you’re ready to apply for a VA loan

Step 5: Apply

  • Your lender will walk you through the steps of how to complete your loan application and advises you on gathering the necessary documents
  • A VA appraisal will be carried out to ensure that the property meets the VA’s requirements and the property is worth what you have agreed to buy if for.
  • Once the VA underwriter verifies that you qualify for the loan and the home passes appraisal inspection, the underwriter will issue a final stamp of approval

Step 6: Close 

  • Follow the instructions of your lender and real estate agent to complete the closing steps
  • Pay any closing costs (if required) and provide proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • Collect the keys to your new home!

Although getting a VA home loan may seem complicated at first, breaking it down to these six steps and working with a qualified lender will make the process as fast and easy as possible.

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