Several future homeowners wonder if the home buying process differs from a conventional mortgage when the loan is insured through the Department of Veteran Affairs. While there are some key differences, the process is fairly similar. Essentially, there are eight steps to purchasing a home through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
1. Choose from A Variety of VA Lenders
There are several qualified VA lenders across the United States. Each approved lender has an in-depth knowledge of the VA program and will work with future homeowners to ensure they get the best interest rates possible. Finding an approved lender is the first step to purchasing a home through the VA.
2. Get a COE
A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required by the VA for all veterans looking to receive a VA house loan. A COE states that a future homeowner/veteran has met all the qualifications necessary to receive assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
3. House Hunt
After veteran potential homeowners have found their VA approved lender and received their COE, it is time to find a home. House hunting is easier with a real estate agent and once the dream house has been found, it’s on to the next step.
4. Sign a Purchase Agreement
Following the finding of the dream home, future homeowners will need to sign a purchase agreement. Working through a real estate agent, homeowners will need to ensure the agreement contains a “VA Option Clause.” The VA website specifically uses this as an example of a good VA Option Clause, “It is expressly agreed that, notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the purchaser shall not incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money or otherwise be obligated to complete the purchase of the property described herein, if the contract purchase price or cost exceeds the reasonable value of the property established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The purchaser shall, however, have the privilege and option of proceeding with the consummation of this contract without regard to the amount of the reasonable value established by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
5. Apply for a VA Loan
Following the first four steps, homeowners then move to the mortgage loan portion of buying a home. Working with their agent and approved lender, homeowners can apply for a VA Home Loan.
6. Undergo the Processing Procedure
After a VA home loan has been applied for, future homeowners must begin to undergo the processing procedure. This includes verifying employment and income as well as the home being appraised and inspected.
7. Move to Closing
Once the home has passed inspection and the homeowners have passed all processing, it is time to move to closing. In closing, the last of all home owning paperwork is signed and veterans become owners of their home.
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver