As a veteran, I’ve used the VA loan to purchase 4 different homes. It’s an incredible benefit that allowed me to become a homeowner years earlier than I would have been able to without it. And, it’s no more difficult to use than any other type of loan.
As long as you find a home well within your means, there is no reason not to take advantage. Here are the general steps you can take to obtain a VA loan:
Make Sure Your Eligible
Your credit and income will need to be adequate for the loan amount, like any other loan type.
Active servicemembers, veterans, and certain family members can be eligible for the VA loan. Your service dates, amount of continuous service, and type of discharge are all factors.
Go to the Veterans Administration website to see if you fit the requirements.
Use It Correctly
The VA loan can be used to:
- purchase a house or condo (in a VA approved project)
- build a new home
- buy and rehab a home
- remodel a home with energy efficient upgrades
- buy a manufactured home or lot
- refinance an existing VA loan to lower the interest rate
- refinance an existing mortgage
Get Your COE
Depending on your category, you’ll need to provide evidence when you apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. Veterans need their DD214, for example.
You can apply for the COE online or through your lender.
Find a Lender
Find a lender that processes VA loans and don’t be afraid to shop around. It’s a good idea to get pre-qualified and figure out your budget before looking at homes. Your lender can also help you obtain the evidence you need and apply for a COE.
Find a Home
Now that you know your budget, choose a real estate agent, find a home, and get under contract.
Before signing the purchase and sale agreement, you’ll want to make sure that there’s appraisal and financing contingencies. The VA has a set of minimum requirements that the home must meet or it doesn’t qualify for a VA loan. These requirements are in place to protect veterans, servicemembers and their eligible family.
Apply For the VA Loan
Now that you’ve chosen a home, it’s time to formally apply for the loan. Your lender will ask you to fill out all the pertinent paperwork and have you submit all the needed documents. They will also order a VA appraisal.
The freedoms we stood for in this country we served make home ownership possible. No eligible veteran is forced to rent. Find a home that is well within your budget and take advantage!
Send us your questions and feedback!
Contact Us if you’re thinking of selling your home.