What Is A VA Loan And How Do I Purchase A Home With It?
A VA loan is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and provides affordable home financing options for eligible service members, veterans, and surviving spouses.
1. Talk to a real estate professional
Real estate professionals work with many private lenders that are approved by the VA. They can put you in touch with a loan officer that specializes in working with military members and know the process for a smooth transaction.
2. Get a Certificate of Eligibility
To be eligible for a VA loan, you must obtain a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Your COE is based on the length of service or commitment, duty status, and character of service.
3. Choose a lender
It’s good to talk with several lenders who work with military members and can originate VA mortgages. You’ll want to make sure the lender is VA-approved. Some questions you might want to ask each lender:
- How many VA home loans do you close a month?
- What is the average time to close on a home?
- How much is the VA origination fee?
- Can financing fees be rolled into the loan amount?
- What additional costs are associated with the loan?
4. Pre-qualify for a VA loan
You must get pre-qualified if you are serious about purchasing a home. When submitting an offer on a home, a pre-approval or pre-qual letter is required. Talk to your loan officer about the required documents they need. Some documents your loan officer may ask for are:
- Driver’s license or other government ID
- Copy of DD-214 or Reserve/Guard point statements
- Statement of service for active duty borrowers
- Recent pay stubs and W-2s for last 2 years
- Recent bank statements
- Disability award letters
5. Search for your home
Once you find out how much of a loan you can qualify for and get your pre-qual letter, team back up with your Realtor® and search for your home. Be sure to work with a real estate professional who understands the VA loans and process so that no details are missed. There are minimum property requirements for a VA loan that homebuyers should know. Some are:
- Working electricity, no exposed wiring
- Functional heating and cooling system
- Adequate roofing
- No mold, water damage, or wood rot
- Proper water and sanitation
- Home is free from termites and other pests
- No lead-based paint
6. Submit an offer
Submitting a strong offer is critical in today’s market. However, more than likely, you may be up against a cash offer or a conventional loan. If your offer is accepted, you are required to deliver Earnest Money (normally 1%) and an Option Fee to the title company within 3 days.
When a seller accepts your offer, your Realtor® will send the executed contract to your lender and title company.
7. Always get a home inspection
The option period will give you time to obtain a home inspection as well as a pest inspection and negotiate any needed repairs.
8. Wait for the appraisal
Your lender will order the appraisal. If there are any issues the appraiser sees with the minimum property requirements, the sellers can be asked to fix the issues. Normally, the issues will need to be remedied before the loan will be approved.
9. Get the Clear To Close
Hearing from the lender the words “Clear To Close” are the best 3 words in this process! The lender and the title company have been working together to balance their closing statements.
10. Head to closing
Closing on your new home takes place at the title company. You will bring your driver’s license and a cashier’s check for any closing costs (you may wire the funds directly as well). Once the home is legally transferred from the previous owner you may take possession.
The Great State of Texas is Veteran-Friendly
Texas is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the United States and offers many great veteran benefits.
The Texas Veterans Commission advocates and provides services and resources to our veterans.
TEXVET assists with property tax exemptions for disabled veterans.
Texas Veterans Land Board provides a state benefits package for veterans, military members, and their families.
If you are looking for a Real Estate Professional to assist you in purchasing a home, I will be your advocate and will fight for you every step of the way. Call me at 281-361-2219 or simply fill out the below form.