A VA Loan is a mortgage option issued by private lenders and partially backed, or guaranteed, by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A VA Loan is a special type of loan that exists for active duty or retired United States military as a part of your veteran benefits.
For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans represent the most powerful lending program on the market. VA Loans are flexible, $0 down payment mortgages that have helped over 24 million active duty and retired United States military personnel become homeowners.
Despite the program being around since 1944, not all real estate agents understand the unique properties or specific details of the program. Our goal is to work with you to fully understand your benefits to assist you in obtaining the right home for you and your family.
VA Loan Purposes
Here are what you can use a VA Loan to do:
- To buy a home including townhouse or condominium unit in a VA approved project
- To build a home
- To simultaneously purchase and improve a home
- To improve a home by installing energy related features such as solar or heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, weatherstripping, caulking, storm windows/doors or other energy efficient improvements approved by the lender and VA. These features may be added with the purchase of an existing dwelling or by refinancing a home owned and occupied by the veteran. A loan can be increased up to $3,000 based on documented costs or up to $6,000 if the increase in the mortgage payment is offset by the expected reduction in utility costs. A refinancing loan may not exceed 90 percent of the appraised value plus the costs of the improvements. Check with a lender or VA for details.
- To refinance an existing home loan up to 90 percent of the VA-established reasonable value or to refinance an existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate.
- To buy a manufactured home and/or lot.
Other VA Loan Resources
Have Questions About Your VA Benefits?
We understand the VA Loan eligibility and process can be confusing. If you have any questions at all about how to take advantage of these benefits for you and your family, let us know and we’ll happily answer any questions you might have!
5 Steps to a VA Loan
- Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. A veteran who doesn’t have a certificate can obtain one easily by completing VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits and submitting it to one of the Eligibility Centers with copies of your most recent discharge or separation papers covering active military duty since September 16, 1940, which show active duty dates and type of discharge.
- Find a Home. Work with an agent to decide on a home to buy and sign a purchase agreement.
- Order an Appraisal from VA. Most VA regional offices offer a “speed up” telephone appraisal system. Call the local VA office for details. Please note, this is usually this is done by the lender.
- Apply for a VA Loan. While the appraisal is being done, the lender (mortgage company, savings and loan, bank, etc.) can be gathering credit and income information. 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.
- Closing the Loan. Simple finish close the loan and move in!