How Buying A Home Works For My Fellow Vets

Dated: 09/27/2016

Views: 793

How to become a homeowner using the VA Loan.

             It's is a huge concern to me that many veterans do not take full advantage of the VA loan that they earned. I believe that using a home as a financial tool (not to mention that you have YOUR OWN home) is an incredible advantage that is under-utilized by veterans that could really help them. One major reason for this is that the process looks scary and it's hard to trust (in many times) a stranger to help guide you through the process. This is why I've wrote this for the veterans out there who are wondering how this all works.

The first step in the process is to get your certificate of eligibility from the VA by either calling them and having it mailed or by visiting the ebenefits website. This will be required by a lender once you go to get pre-qualified for a loan.

Pre-qualification & pre-approval

This is a critical first step. VA loan pre-qualification and pre-approval requirements can vary by lender. VA lenders are often looking for a FICO score of at least 620, a score that is considerably lower than what you’ll typically need for conventional financing.

Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved gives borrowers a clear sense of whether they’re ready and what they can afford. It also shows home sellers and listing agents that you’re a strong home-buying candidate.

Prospective buyers with a pre-approval letter in hand are in a prime position to start the house hunt.

With today's low interest rates, and the zero down that's required for a VA loan, the money you will have to come up with to close will be cheaper that a security deposit to rent a place, and your payment would be close to, if not less than renting said home.

Getting under contract

Signing a contract to purchase a home comes next. This is a step where real estate agents who know VA loans can make a big difference for military buyers.

Buyers can use this program to purchase single-family homes, condos, multiunit properties, and more. But the VA also wants veterans getting “move-in ready” homes that meet some basic health and safety conditions. Some fixer-uppers can be challenging to make work for VA loans.

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The VA allows sellers to pay all of a buyer’s mortgage-related closing costs and up to 4% of the purchase price in concessions, which can include things like prepaid taxes and homeowners insurance and even paying off collections.

VA-savvy agents can help you draft a competitive offer that maximizes the program’s benefits and your bottom line.

VA appraisal

Once you’re under contract, your lending team will order an appraisal, which is conducted by an independent VA appraiser. The VA appraisal process has two parts: determining the home’s value and whether it meets property condition requirements.

Lenders will typically need at least one good recent comparable home sale to support the property’s value. Contrary to common misconception, VA buyers are allowed to pay for repairs in order to satisfy the property requirements. It’s often more a question of whether that makes good financial sense.


Like with any other mortgage, a lender’s underwriting team will review your loan file for completeness. You’ll need to meet guidelines set by both the VA and the lenders.

Borrowers can help themselves by answering questions and supplying paperwork as swiftly as possible. It’s not uncommon for underwriters to ask for additional documentation regarding finances, assets, and related issues.


It’s time to celebrate! Most VA loans close in 30 to 45 days, which is the same as conventional financing. You’ll need to push hard to when signing a stack of paperwork and getting the keys to your new home.

For more information call

Charles Brown

702-281-5781    or Email

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