As a veteran, active-duty service member or surviving spouse, you may be eligible for a VA home loan. This type of loan can be an excellent way to finance a new home or refinance an existing one. Here, we’ll guide you through the VA loan home buying process, so you know what to expect and how to get started.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
The first step in the VA loan home buying process is to determine your eligibility. To be eligible for a VA home loan, you must meet certain criteria:
- You must be an active-duty service member, veteran, reservist, or National Guard member.
- You must have served for a minimum of 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.
- You must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Your income and credit score must meet the lender’s requirements.
If you meet these criteria, you can move on to the next step in the VA loan home buying process.
Step 2: Find a Lender
The second step in the VA loan home buying process is to find a lender that participates in the VA Home Loan program. You can find a list of approved VA lenders on the VA website. Once you’ve found a lender, you’ll need to provide them with your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which proves your eligibility for a VA home loan.
Step 3: Get Pre-Approved
The third step in the VA loan home buying process is to get pre-approved for a VA home loan. This involves providing your lender with your financial information so they can determine how much you can afford to borrow. Getting pre-approved can help you narrow down your home search and give you a better idea of what you can afford.
Step 4: Find a Home
The fourth step in the VA loan home buying process is to find a home that meets your needs and budget. Your real estate agent can help you find properties that fit your criteria and budget.
Step 5: Make an Offer
The fifth step in the VA loan home buying process is to make an offer on the home you want to buy. Your real estate agent can help you prepare an offer that meets the seller’s requirements and gives you the best chance of getting the home you want.
Step 6: Get an Appraisal
The sixth step in the VA loan home buying process is to get an appraisal of the home you want to buy. This is required by the VA to ensure that the home is worth the amount you’re borrowing.
Step 7: Get a Home Inspection
The seventh step in the VA loan home buying process is to get a home inspection. This is not required by the VA, but it is highly recommended. A home inspection can uncover any issues with the home that you may not have noticed during your initial walk-through.
Step 8: Finalize the Loan
The eighth step in the VA loan home buying process is to finalize the loan. This involves signing the loan documents and paying any closing costs associated with the loan.
Step 9: Close on the Home
The final step in the VA loan home buying process is to close on the home. This involves signing the final paperwork and officially transferring ownership of the home to you.
The VA loan home buying process can be a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these steps and working with a knowledgeable real estate agent and VA-approved lender, you can purchase the home of your dreams with a VA home loan.