A 4-Step Guide to the VA Loan Process
One way the VA fulfills its mission to serve those who have served is by providing a home loan ‘guaranty’ for service members, Veterans, and other persons who meet the VA requirements for a loan. Advantages of VA-guaranteed home loans include zero down payment and no mortgage insurance. Plus, the process of applying for a VA home loan is easy, and lenders may offer more favorable terms on VA loans.
Missteps can drag out the VA loan process timeline, but it’s straightforward if you know what you’re doing. We’ve broken down how to apply for a VA home loan into four easy steps to help our nation’s military realize the dream of homeownership.
1. Get Prequalified
Getting prequalified makes the VA loan process go much more smoothly.
People approaching the VA loan process commonly ask, “How long does it take to get a VA loan?”. While there are situations that can cause delays, a prequalification can help move things along quickly.
With a prequalification letter, you know how much home you can afford, and sellers will take you more seriously, increasing the likelihood your offer is accepted. It can also shorten the VA loan process timeline by speeding up closing your loan since most of the work of gathering your financial information is completed ahead of time.
You can choose any VA-approved lender for your loan, but it’s best to select a lender like Supreme Lending with experience in the VA loan program.
2. Find Your New Home
Now comes the fun part of the VA loan process – finding the home you want to make an offer to purchase.
Using a real estate agent familiar with the VA loan process is vital. Agents experienced in working with military buyers understand your needs better and can help you get the most from your VA benefit. They will also know if a property is a good match for VA or should be avoided, which is especially important if you’re interested in a multi-unit property or want to tackle a fixer-upper.
After your offer has been accepted and you have a signed purchase agreement, it’s time for the next step.
3. The VA Appraisal Process
The next step in the VA loan process is the appraisal. The appraisal is a mandatory assessment of the property performed by an independent VA appraiser tasked with determining the property’s fair market value and ensuring the property meets the VA’s minimum property requirements (MPRs).
There are a few things to know about the appraisal:
- Be prepared to pay the appraisal fee upfront.
- Appraisals can take longer than expected, especially when repairs are required.
- Your lender will finance the lesser amount between the appraised value and the purchase price.
- You should still get a home inspection, maybe even before deciding to move forward with the appraisal.
The VA appraisal can be intimidating, but if you’re working with an experienced agent and lender, their expertise will help guide you through the VA loan approval process.
Once your home passes appraisal and the Underwriter approves your loan, you are headed for the final step of the VA loan process — closing. You’ll review a closing disclosure with your Loan Officer, and your lender may verify your employment and finances one last time. Then all that’s left to do is sign the paperwork and get the keys to your new home!
Get Started on the VA Loan Process With Help From Supreme Lending Dallas
If you’re ready to get started or have questions, Supreme Lending Dallas can help. Our team of experienced mortgage professionals is here to get you through the steps to buying a house with a VA loan. We handle every step of the loan process in-house to help you close quickly and easily. Contact us today!