808 Oahu Realtor (Ryan Riggins) License #RS-74740

Our way of spreading the word with Real Estate News

Get a VA Home Loan in 5 Steps

Leave a comment

Buying a home can seem like an intimidating process. But it really doesn’t have to be.

That’s especially true for service members and veterans using the VA home loan program. From start to finish, the VA loan process has at its heart only a handful of steps.

To be sure, there are plenty of small but important details, from credit scores and sufficient income to the condition of the property. But buying a home using your hard-earned VA loan benefits doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience.

In fact, the big-time financial benefits of VA loans help scores of veterans who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for home financing achieve the dream of homeownership.

Let’s take a closer look at the five basic steps of the VA loan process.

Prequalification

The first step is the most basic, but it’s an important place to start. Prequalification typically takes about 10 minutes or less. A lender will ask for your permission to access your credit reports and then give you a clear sense of where you stand.

VA lenders are generally looking for a credit score of at least 620, although the benchmark can vary. That’s a considerably lower score than military borrowers will need for conventional financing.

In addition to learning about your credit profile, lenders during prequalification will look to get a better feel for your homebuying goals and objectives. They’ll ask about your income and your employment and try to identify any potential red flags at the outset.

The goal is to get you moving on to the second step — VA loan preapproval.

Preapproval

Compared to prequalification, loan preapproval is more involved process. Lenders will want to get a much closer look at your financial situation and your ability to handle a mortgage payment. They’ll also start developing a paper trail.

You’ll fill out documents and paperwork, and lenders will start working to verify your income and other important information. The end result should be a preapproval letter that details how much a lender is willing to loan, provided certain conditions are met.

Preapproval letters are increasingly important in today’s housing market. Real estate agents and home sellers expect to see these letters included in an offer. In fact, some listing agents won’t accept offers on a home without a copy of your preapproval letter.

To be sure, getting preapproved for a VA loan doesn’t guarantee you’ll ultimately get it. There are still a handful of things that need to happen before you ultimately get the green light.

But VA loan preapproval is a key step in the process. Like prequalification, it’s also non-binding, which means you can seek preapproval from multiple lenders.

Getting Under Contract

Once you’ve got a preapproval letter, it’s time to start the house hunt. Finding a real estate agent who truly understands the VA loan program can make a tremendous difference for military borrowers.

VA loans are specialized loans that require specialized knowledge. The VA has its own Minimum Property Requirements that homes must meet. Real estate agents who know the program can help ensure veterans are focusing on move-in ready homes that are a good fit for this long-cherished home loan benefit.

Once you find a home you like, you’ll work with your agent to craft a purchase offer. In addition to no down payment and no mortgage insurance, VA loans also limit what borrowers can pay in closing costs. It’s common for VA borrowers to ask a seller to pay most, if not all, of their closing costs as part of the negotiation process.

The result of negotiations with a seller should result in a contract that makes sense for both parties.

Appraisal & Underwriting

As soon as you’re under contract to purchase a home, your lender will order the VA appraisal on the property. The appraisal has two main components — determining the fair market value for the home and making sure it meets the VA’s property requirements.

VA appraisals are typically completed and back to the lender in under 10 days. Your lending team will be working in the background to pull together additional documents and paperwork before getting your loan file in front of an underwriter.

The underwriter will review the loan file and alert the loan officer if there are any shortcomings or additional information needed. It’s important for borrowers to fulfill these requests as quickly as possible.

If things go well, the underwriter will review everything and issue a “clear to close,” which means you’re ready to head to closing day.

Closing

Closing day brings paperwork, a lot of signatures and finally celebration!

Author: Ryan Riggins (RA)

Ryan started building his businesses at the age of 18, and he hasn't stopped since. He is a successful Real Estate Agent and Investor. He not only has rehabbed properties, but also holds properties as rentals. Ryan has made money by building his real estate investment business, learning on his own, and finding mentors willing to share their knowledge with him. Ryan is a true Entrepreneur. When Ryan Riggins found himself making a change to Real Estate in 2006, he looked back to his first open house at the age of seven with his Mentor/Broker and father John Riggins. In 2006 Ryan was living in Ohio, he realized it was time for a change. He packed up and moved to Port Lavaca, Texas. He literally rolled into town on his last tank of gas, and lived in a old burger joint, and knew he needed to come up with money to pay his Mortgage. Ryan teamed up with his father and started rehabbing Mobile Homes. Ryan kept working until he had put systems in place for all phases of the business. He has a system for finding properties, to finding contractors for remodeling Flipping and Renting. Ryan continues to works as a Realtor with his father John Riggins as his broker and Rehabbing homes, doing about 4 deals a month. This is his passion. He loves the adrenalin rush, and yes Rehabbing can be a little stressful. In fact, Ryan says: "You've got to have ice water running through your veins." In the course of Rehabbing, Ryan manages to beautify his properties, and the surrounding neighborhoods one step at a time. Ryan enjoys helping others Build Wealth through Real Estate. Whether it be the first time home buyer or the experienced investor or helping distressed home owners sell to avoid Foreclosure. To Ryan its all about building life long friendships.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s