As a US Navy Veteran (1990-1994, Radioman, USS Niagara Falls and USS Nimitz), one of my primary focuses as a Realtor is to ensure that my brothers and sisters in arms get the best possible service when they are looking to purchase a home using their VA Home Loan Benefit.
When I first envisioned this page I was going to lay out all of the ins and outs of the VA Home Loan process…and then I remembered all the different variations and realized it would be best to summarize them and provide a link to the Veterans Administration Home Loan Website.
If you have met minimum qualifying service standards you are eligible to receive a VA guaranteed loan from certified lenders. In addition if you have qualifying service related disabilities, you are eligible for an adapted service grant to either purchase a home which has been modified to meet the needs of your disability or modify and existing home to meet those standards.
The first important step for any home purchase, is to assess your credit. While there is no boiler plate minimum credit standard for a VA secured home loan, most certified VA Home Loan vendors look for a minimum credit score of 640. If your score is below that I recommend using a free credit monitoring service, so that you can see where you need to improve. If your score is dramatically below that, you may want to seek paid credit counseling.
If your score is 640 or better the next step is to determine your VA Loan Guaranty eligibility. Charts for accomplishing this are located at the VA Website. At the bottom of that page you will also find instruction on how to apply for your Certificate of Eligibility, which would be the next step.
Now you seek out a lender. With any home purchase you want to get a preapproval letter, so that when you find a house your offer will be accepted and taken seriously. With VA Home Loans it is even more important that you not just do that, but that you find a lender which participates in the VA Loan Guaranty Program. This is not difficult as most major lenders do participate.
Now that you have all of this together, it is time to find a Realtor and get to finding that perfect home. As you are here, I will refer you to myself. The number is at the top of the page.
Once you and your Realtor find your perfect home, you will make an offer. MAKE SURE YOUR REALTOR PUTS A VA HOME OPTION IN THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT, so that you are not penalized if you cannot acquire the VA Home Loan and close the deal. It is infrequent that this happens, but it does and you want to protect yourself.
Now that you have an accepted offer (Congrats on that btw), you will formally apply for the VA Home Loan through your preferred Mortgage Lender. This will require a VA appointed appraisal. This appraisal does not replace the need for a home inspection, which will likely be required by the lender, and should be performed regardless of requirement. Again protect yourself.
If your home meets its appraisal requirements and there are no issues with your credit, your lender and Realtor will work together with you to arrange closing the deal.
From here you can have all the joys of home ownership. We look forward to working with you.