Obtaining a home is not as hard as it may seem. You need to have satisfactory credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA home loan. Follow this guide if you are wanting to buy a new home using a VA home loan.
1. Approved VA Home Loan Lender
First, you will need to find a lender or institution like Finance of America that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get you going. Get yourself someone who is an expert in the loan process. Having someone who is a dedicated VA home loan specialist will make for a quicker and smoother process, than someone who only does it on the side.
2. Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Basically, this certificate is proof that you meet all of the requirements to qualify for a VA Loan. If you are interested in finding out if you meet these eligibility requirements you can follow this link for a breakdown. You can apply for a certificate of eligibility online, by mail, or the recommended route, your VA home lender.
Here is the PDF if you were to mail in your COE.
3. Finding The Perfect Home
Maybe the hardest part of the process, but it’s also the part that makes it feel the most real. Discuss a “VA Option Clause” with your real estate agent when negotiating a purchase agreement. You want all of your bases covered with the real estate agent you choose, so having yet another professional who specializes in VA home loans can come in handy.
Try not to get too dizzy with all of the paperwork, make the house hunting process fun. Browse local listings, speak with real estate agents, and watch HGTV for inspiration.
4. Apply for a VA Loan
Get your bank statements, pay stubs, and all other necessary forms of paperwork for your lender. The average benchmark number lenders set for an approved credit score is around 620. While it’s not impossible to get a VA home loan with bad credit, it may set you back since most lenders want someone they view as very low risk.
Not so fun part, but after you submit your application it needs to go through processing. This means processing your credit and income information to ensure that you qualify. This also includes an inspection of the home that you are considering to make sure that it meets the VA minimum property requirements.
6. Approved to Move!
After the institution reviews your assets, income, and credit, you’ll be granted your VA loan! You will have to sign a few more papers, and then pay some closing costs. The property will also be transferred to you, and keys will be given. Once you’ve finished everything, feel free to enjoy your new home.