Unlike traditional home buyers, those who qualify for the VA loan process have specific steps they must follow to qualify for eligible funding granted to US veterans. We’ll take you through the steps necessary to secure a VA loan including whose eligible and what you must do to lock up funding so you don’t miss any of the advantages provided for home buying veterans.
Who Qualifies for the VA Loan Program?
To qualify for a Washington VA Home Loan, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You have had at least 90 days of active duty service during wartime
- You have had at least 181 days of active duty service during peacetime
- You were discharged for circumstances other than dishonorable
- You are currently active duty personnel and you meet the above service requirements
- You are the surviving spouse of a Veteran who died during service or because of service-related injuries and you have not remarried.
- You meet any of the other qualifications that make you eligible for a VA loan including some members who served in the National Guard or Reserves, those who were discharged for hardship or compensable-connected disability or any of another list of qualifications that are established by the veteran’s administration.
Steps In The VA Loan Process
1) Once you determine you’re eligible for a VA loan, complete VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits and submit it to the VA Eligibility Center (P.O. Box 100034, Attn. COE (262), Decatur, GA 30331) along with copies of your most recent discharge or separation papers covering active military duty since September 16, 1940, which includes active duty dates and type of discharge.
2) Find a real estate agent to work with and start shopping for a home. You likely should get pre-qualified at this point to find out how big of a loan you can afford. Lenders will set their own interest rates, closing costs and discount points so you may want to work with a mortgage professional to help you find the best mortgage loan available.
3) Once you’ve decided on a home to buy, make sure the purchase and sales agreement has a “VA option clause” such as this – “It is expressly agreed that, notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the purchaser shall not incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money or otherwise of be obligated to complete the purchase of the property described herein, if the contract purchase price or cost exceeds the reasonable value of the property established by the Department of Veterans Affairs”.
4) Next, you’ll formally apply to the lender for a VA-backed loan. Gather the necessary documents like pay stubs and bank statements to help complete this process.
5) The lender will order a VA appraisal that estimates the market value of the property on the date of inspection. If the lender is authorized by VA to do automatic processing, upon receipt of the VA or LAPP appraised value determination, the loan can be approved and closed without waiting for VA’s review of the credit application. For loans that must first be approved by VA, the lender will send the application to the local VA office, which will notify the lender of its decision.
6) Close the loan and move into your new Washington home.
The VA loan program in the state of Washington isn’t always this cut and dry (check out questions we often get about the VA loan program in more detail) and many borrowers can run into a snags that cause a hiccup in the above steps. Most VA loan program buyers feel more comfortable with the help of a professional to work alongside of throughout the process ensuring nothing gets overlooked or any advantages that could be secured are secured. The home loan experts at Sammamish Mortgage are trusted VA loan program experts who’ve worked with numerous clients in your situation to get them everything they qualify for in the VA loan program.
If you’re a qualifying veteran in the market for a new home in the Washington area, trust Sammamish Mortgage to secure the home of your dreams with the best possible VA loan!