Purchasing a Home Using the VA Home Loan Program
So now that we know what it takes to become eligible for the VA Home Loan Program and how to qualify credit-wise, it is important to know the ins and outs of actually purchasing a home using the program. While it is a relatively straight forward process, there are a few little “gotchas” to work through. The more you know up front about these stipulations and guidelines, the easier the buying process will be on the back end.
The first thing to know when applying for the VA Home Loan program is that it can only be used for primary residences. So if you were looking to finance that lake home you’ve had your eye on for years, or get in on an investment opportunity, this program would not be suited for you. What it can be used for is simply purchasing a place that you intend on occupying. Another thing to be aware of during the purchase process with the VA Home Loan Program is the appraisal process. While appraisals are clearly a standard part of any home-buying process, the VA Home Loan Program differs in that it is the VA that chooses one of their pre-approved appraisers. These appraisals ensure the investment security of both the buyer and the VA. Also it is worthy to note that the average turn-around time for a VA appraisal is 10 days. Knowing these two quirks can help you more easily look into this program.
So you’ve found your home and you’ve chosen to finance it using the VA-backed mortgage program. Perfect. But what if you think that maybe, somewhere down the road, you might want to move? The VA Home Loan Program affords you the potential to make your home very desirable to pending buyers. With an assumable mortgage, the VA allows possible buyers to essentially pick up where you are choosing to leave off with your loan. This is appealing in the case of lower rates when the market goes up. The catch, however, is that the buyer must qualify with the lender prior to the assumption of the loan. With this, the lender has the ability to keep the seller liable for the loan. A liability release must be granted from the lender to become fully clear of any debt owed on the property. The last major catch has to do with VA entitlement. What is meant by this is that if the buyer does not meet the VA guidelines for qualifying for a VA loan, the entitlement is still tied to the seller. This means that until this loan is clear, the seller would not be able to use the VA Home Loan Program to purchase another property.
With the right knowledge, you can enter the VA home loan process with confidence and relative ease. While the VA Home Loan Program does have strict guidelines, it also allows for a comforted sense of purchasing a home. Now that you have a basic sense of what it is like to purchase using a VA home loan the next step is to get the ball rolling and contact an approved mortgage lender.