The VA Home Loan purchase is arguably the best loan program available for buying a home. The program is designed to help eligible active duty military, veterans, and surviving spouses qualify for a home. As a country, we understand that the circumstances many of you find yourselves in after military service can make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage. With that in mind, the VA loan program was created.
Benefits of the VA Home Purchase Loan
There are three major advantages of the VA loan over conventional and FHA loan programs.
The first advantage is that there is no required down payment. While you may, if you so choose, put money down, it is not a requirement and you will not be penalized for choosing not to put any money down.
The second main advantage is that you are not required to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI.) On conventional loans with less than 20% down and all FHA loans, you are usually required to pay PMI, which can add hundreds to your monthly payment. The worst part of PMI is that it’s not there to protect you, but to protect the lender.
The final main advantage is that the VA loan allows you to get some of the most competitive interest rates available. Because the loan (provided by a lender) is backed by the VA, the lender generally will pass some savings on to the borrower in the form of lower interest rates. That’s great news for you!
The VA Loan Process
Once you decide the VA loan is the right choice for you, you’ll want make sure you have the proper guidance as you begin searching for a home.
First you’ll likely want to get in contact with two different real estate experts. A mortgage lender/broker and a realtor. We have you covered as far as the loan financing is concerned, but you’ll need to find a good realtor who is familiar with the VA home loan program. We can help you there too with a list of preferred realtors.
The realtor will need to understand the VA program so that he/she can save you on closing costs and ensure that the home you’re seeking will meet VA guidelines. The lender/broker needs to be knowledgeable about the VA program because there are some very specific guidelines that if not understood could end up causing the sale to fall through.
Once you get a good lender and realtor, you’ll want to get prequalified. This allows you to find the maximum amount of money you are likely to be able to borrow to buy a home. Getting a prequalification letter and showing it to a seller shows the seller you’re serious about the offer. In order to get prequalified, you’ll need to bring in documents that help the lender understand your financial situation.
After being prequalified, you’ll be ready to find that dream home. This is where your VA experienced realtor steps in. He/she will help you find the home that is the best fit for your needs and budget. Once a home is located and you have an accepted offer and a signed purchase agreement, you’ll be ready to start wrapping up the process.
Your lender (hopefully us) will, under your direction, lock in your interest rate and will work on your behalf for the bank’s approval. Assuming the inspection, appraisal, etc. all go well, you will be ready to sign your final documents and be the proud owner of a new home.