Military buyers have a huge benefit when it comes to purchasing a home. Not only do service members have a no down payment option, but VA loans may be the best mortgage available. VA loans offer up to 100% financing with no monthly mortgage insurance. Thus, this feature keeps mortgage payments low. This is especially true when comparing to other low to no down payment loan types. So if interested in buying a home while in the service, it is important to understand the VA home loan process.
VA Home Loan Process
Although a VA loan doesn’t require a down payment and has such great terms, we feel education is key. We are not just an online company or call center type lender. Conversely, your loan officer thoroughly discusses your loan options and goals so that you are a knowledgeable and happy buyer. A VA loan process can be very simple, but we are including very detailed information below.
Gather: Discovery Phase
- Complete Loan Application – In person, over the phone, or apply online
- Answer a few VA loan related questions ** see below for examples
- Credit Review
- Up-Front Pre-Approval
- Discuss Goals With Buyer and Realtor
- Prequalification Letter Provided
- Certificate of Eligibility Obtained – We will order this for you! But learn more about COE here
- VA Loan Terms & Plan are Discussed
Process: Verifying Documentation & Property
- Provide Documentation (see VA loan documentation list below)
- Purchase Contract Executed
- Lock Interest Rate
- Discuss Loan Disclosures
- Order VA Appraisal, Title Search, Flood Certification
- Submit to Underwriting
- Provide Appraisal and NOV to Buyer
Move In: Final Stages to Get You Into Your Home
- Loan is Clear to Close
- Attend Closing
- Deed and Deed of Trust (Mortgage) Recorded
- Get the Keys and Move In!
** VA Home Loan Process Questions
VA requires additional questions compared to a regular mortgage loan. So you can be prepared by knowing answers to the following VA questions.
- Nearest living relative for each borrower – Name, address, phone, and relation to borrower
- Service entry date
- Have you used a VA loan before?
- Is there an existing VA loan?
- Has there been a previous VA foreclosure or short sale?
- Do you pay childcare expenses?
- Will you be present for closing? Would need to know if a POA is needed
- Do you have transfer orders? How to buy a home after receiving PCS orders
We understand the life of a service member and family can be hectic at a minimum. So we carefully and efficiently walk buyers through the purchase process. Also we believe a great closing experience requires preparation. The military understands preparation creates optimal outcomes and we believe this as well. Therefore by providing the following at application will allow our team to provide you the fastest and most accurate loan approval.
VA Loan Documentation to Provide Up Front
- Signed and dated Statement of Service Letter (Ask us if we need it though)
- Current LES
- Most recent bank statement (all pages of actual monthly statement)
- Photo identification
- Military transfer orders – if transferring to a new base. How to buy after receiving PCS orders
We will request your COE, status report, complete your application, and discuss your mortgage options. With the above items provided at application, it is reasonable to expect a same day, strong pre-approval. Our goal is to have educated, confident, and approved buyers!
Additional Documentation That May Apply:
Not every buyer is the same so the VA home loan process could require additional documentation. Scenarios could include divorce, additional owned properties, and credit explanations or documentation. If any of the following apply, go ahead and gather the documentation.
- Divorce decree, separation agreement, child support order – Learn how to get a mortgage before, during, or after divorce
- DD214 for Veterans separated from service
- Bankruptcy discharge
- Foreclosure, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure documentation to prove finalization date
- Credit explanation
- Tax returns – could be required for additional income, rental properties, etc
- Investment account statements – may be needed if used for down payment, proof of income, or other
VA Buyer Quote: Untiring, Trusting, and Effective Mortgage Lender! Our loan officer delivered a pinnacle performance in providing my wife and I with impeccable service, continuous communication, a fair mortgage rate that was locked in. He and his team worked with us in getting the paperwork done, understanding the requirements, and building a strong file. We were also so well organized that we were able to move the closing date several days earlier. Team Move helped us and we were tremendously satisfied with our loan officer and the team.
Author: Russell Smith
Team Move OVM Financial loan officer success is Russell’s primary focus. He provides the tools and techniques he used as a top producing loan officer. Additionally he offers the Team Move OVM Financial Agent Training Program. Sharing is so important to Russell so he works diligently to be a resource to loan originators and Realtors.