After you have honorably served in the military, you are classified as a Veteran. Being a veteran has its perks whether you are retired military or not. Veterans have access to home loans, education benefits, veteran group insurance programs. Getting a VA loan is a perk worth looking into if you are a vet.
Here are some of the steps you will need to take
1. Find a real estate professional to work with.
2. Find a Lender. Locate a lending institution that participates in the VA program. You may want to get "pre-qualified" at this point - that is, find out how big a loan you can afford. Lenders set their own interest rates, discount points, and closing points, so you may want to shop around.
3. Get a Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) verifies to the lender that you meet the eligibility requirements for a VA loan.
4. Find a Home and Sign a Purchase Agreement. Work with a real estate professional and negotiate a purchase agreement. Make sure the purchase and sales agreement contains a "VA Option Clause." You may also want the purchase agreement to allow you to "escape" from the contract without penalty if you can't get a VA loan.
5. Apply for your VA Loan. Work with the lender to complete a loan application and gather the needed documents, such as pay stubs and bank statements.
6. Loan Processing. The lender orders a VA appraisal and begins to "process" all the credit and income information.
(Note: VA's appraisal is not a home inspection or a guaranty of value. It's just an estimate of the market value on the date of the inspection. Although the appraiser does look for obviously needed repairs, VA doesn't guarantee the condition of the house. The appraiser, who is licensed, is not a VA employee. The lender can't request a specific appraiser; assignments are made on a rotating basis.)
The lending institution reviews the appraisal and all the documentation of credit, income, and assets. The lender then decides whether the loan should be granted.
7. Closing. The lender chooses a title company, an attorney, or one of their own representatives to conduct the closing. This person will coordinate the date/time and the property is transferred.
If you have any questions during the process that the lender can't answer to your satisfaction, please contact VA at your Regional Loan Center by calling 1-877-827-3702, with hours of operation from 8am to 6pm CST. If your interested in talking to a vet, our Team member Adam Peterson has served in the Air Force and has had experience first hand with the VA Loan process when he bought his 1st home with us.