VA Home Purchase Loans
A borrower needs to acquire a Certificate of Eligibility online, and some eligible borrowers are processed without a manual underwriter or VA review. If the lender is approved under VA’s Lender Appraisal Processing Program (LAPP), the lender can review the home’s appraisal if the appraisal was done by a VA-assigned appraiser, and the loan can be closed based on that review. The LAPP can close the loan quickly.
Contact a VA-approved lender to begin the VA loan process. A VA loan specialist will ask basic questions about the borrower’s financial history to determine if a loan fits the borrower. Getting pre-qualified will help both the borrower and the lender establish eligibility and get loan pre-approval.
The difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval is information verification. A pre-approval shows the lender that a borrower is capable of buying a home. The borrower must gather paperwork and properly submit it for the pre-approval process to be successful. Some VA lenders will help you fill out the paperwork and help you organize the documents. Some of this process can be completed online.
After the lender receives the borrower’s documents, the borrower gets a pre-approval letter that outlines any additional steps the borrower must take to officially complete the VA loan paperwork. The conditions listed in the pre-approval letter must be met in order to close the loan.
As soon as the borrower receives a pre-approval letter, it’s time to find a real estate agent and look for homes. As a military buyer, you may want to locate a veteran-friendly real estate agent who caters to the specific needs of military families and fully understand the VA loan program. Make sure your lender and real estate agent are knowledgeable about the VA loan process.
Closing and Processing
Prior to the loan closing, the VA lender requests an independent appraisal of the property. The VA appraiser assesses the property’s value and makes sure it meets the VA’s property condition standards. If any problems arise, such as a leaky roof, termite damage or structural issues, these must be resolved before the loan can be closed.
The loan underwriter closely reviews the VA loan package. An underwriter’s job is to confirm all information is accurate and make sure all documentation is set. If any documentation is missing or does not meet VA lender requirements, the underwriter makes a list of what is needed to resolve the issues. After the underwriter approves the VA loan, the borrower needs to prepare for closing, which is the day the final paperwork is signed and the keys to the property are turned over to the borrower.