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The VA loan process can be quick and simple if you follow 5 easy tips:
1) Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Coming prepared with the right documents can save time in the VA home loan process. If you already have your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), show it to your loan specialist. If you don’t have one, your loan specialist may be able to get it instantly online, or you can use the Veterans Information Portal. A COE is necessary to get the process rolling. The COE tells the lender how much entitlement you have, which translates to how much “house” you can get if you qualify.
Have your income documents ready. Bank statements, investment statements, W-2s, 1099s, divorce documents, tax returns, etc. will be needed to determine how much money you have coming in. The lender will be able to get a good read on how much you have going out by obtaining your credit report. You should come prepared with ballparks of your rent and other expenses that may not show up on the credit report. After assessing financials and entitlement, a lender can tell you how much VA loan you qualify for. Getting pre-qualified will take the mystery out of how much you can borrow.
3) Real estate
As soon as you know how much you qualify for, make an offer on a property. A purchase contract is helpful when the lender begins to underwrite the VA loan. The purchase contract can be written with the condition that you fully qualify for your loan. The first two of these 5 tips will help your chances.
Once the VA loan application process is underway, the VA appraisal will be ordered. A specially certified appraiser will determine the value of your property and will look for any hazards that may deem the property unsafe to live in. You’ll want to order an independent property inspection as well. If through the VA appraisal or independent inspection it’s discovered that the property needs repair, then a solution between the buyer and seller will need to be arrived at before closing. If the property passes VA appraisal for value and safety, then underwriting can proceed.
At this point, you’re very close to owning your home. The VA loan closing process involves signing your VA mortgage and property title documents. There shouldn’t be any surprises here. You should be able to move in shortly after closing – sometimes within 24 hours.
With a VA-backed mortgage, 100% of your home can be financed with no private mortgage insurance required. Being prepared is key. For more information about VA-guaranteed loans, ask an experienced loan specialist.