Four Steps to get a VA Loan

A VA mortgage is a home loan with features that can’t be found in other types of financing options, but can be a huge help to those that serve our country honorably. So why do so few active-duty military personnel and veterans take advantage of it? Right off, applying for a VA loan might seem too overwhelming, too time consuming or even downright intimidating. These 4 simple steps will guide you through the process to get a VA loan and give you peace of mind.

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Step 1: Finding a lender and obtaining a COE

You should be aware that only U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved lenders are able to originate VA mortgages. Moreover, while some lenders are exclusively focused on conventional loans, some will concentrate on VA loan programs for military clients. Opting for a VA specialty lender such as Uniform Services Veterans Mortgage will provide you the upper hand because they are familiar with all the rules and requirements specific to get a VA loan and can help guide you through the whole process.

Next, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is why finding the perfect lender is beneficial, since they can help you easily obtain this. The COE is a document that is issued by the VA and confirms you are eligible to obtain a VA loan. The initial eligibility will reveal how much entitlement you can receive or the amount the Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees on your VA loan.

In order to obtain the COE, you should provide info on your military service. You can easily acquire a COE online through eBenefits portal on the website. The VA provides a helpful guide to show you how to order a COE here. If you have a problem getting your COE online and need to receive them by mail, we can help point you in the right direction.

Step 2: Finding the perfect house

Now it’s time to go house hunting. However, it’s crucial to get started with a real estate agent who is specialized or familiar with the VA process.

For instance, knowledgeable professionals are aware that there are seller-paid fees required exclusively on VA loans. In other words, some fees that would normally be buyer paid are required to be paid by the seller. There are also addition addendums that will need to be included with the initial purchase contract that, if left out, could slow or delay the home buying process. Working with someone familiar with the steps to get a VA loan can save you headaches in the future.

Step 3: Application process and VA appraisal

When you hand over the signed purchase contract to the Lender of your choice, this will begin the loan application process. You will receive loan disclosures and looking to lock in your interest rate.

The Lender will order a VA appraisal directly through the Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA).  The VA will then assign a professional appraiser, who will confirm that the value of the home you are purchasing supports the purchase price in your purchase contract. The appraiser will also check to make sure that the property meets the VA’s minimum property requirements. These requirements are dictated by the VA to make sure that Veterans are not buying homes that would be unsafe or need extra repairs.

Step 4: Closing the loan

After the application is underwritten, the process of legally transferring the property from the former owner to you begins. Otherwise known as closing, this is when you sign all the loan documents with a notary and finalize the loan process. Once the documents are signed by both buyer and seller then the title coordinates the exchange of keys completing the whole process.

Although these steps represent the typical VA loan process, your lender might go through additional steps depending on your unique situation. This is why you want to make sure you go to professionals who will guide you throughout this process, and most importantly are familiar with the steps to get a VA loan.

If you have questions about VA home loans, let’s chat, we’d love to help you learn more about this incredible financing option made specifically for those that serve our country.


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