How to Buy a House with a VA Loan?

I am ready to buy a house and want to use my VA loan, now what?

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When you are ready to buy a house there are many steps to consider. Such as why I am buying, what features I want in a home, what school zone does the new home need to be in, what mortgage payment can I afford per month and many more. However when you are buying a house with a VA loan there are added steps to consider. Applying for your VA loan eligibility certificate will be the first step. Next you will need to speak with a lender who specializes in VA Loans to see if you qualify and then work with an agent who understands how to write a VA Loan offer and procedures required. However there are several benefits to purchasing a home with a VA loan.

These are the steps to how to buy a house with a VA Loan.

Why am I buying a home?

When you are considering purchasing a home with your VA loan there are certain restrictions involved. The home you purchase must be owner occupied. So that means no single family investment properties. However if you are wanting an investment property, you are eligible to purchase a 4plex multi family property as long as the Veteran occupies one of the units.


Applying for a VA Loan Eligibility Certificate

It is a good idea to apply for your eligibility certificate prior to looking for homes. Applying for a VA loan eligibility certificate can be handled many ways. You can either apply online, apply through your lender or mail in the Form 26-1880 with your DD Form 214 and other documents to show service. If you have already established a relationship with a lender they can do the work for  you and apply through their Automated Certificate of Eligibility system. The Automated Certificate of Eligibility system will help to make this a shortened process.

Who is eligible for a VA loan? What are the requirements?

  • 181 days of service during peacetime (active duty)
  • 90 days of service during war time (active duty)
  • 6 years of service in the Reserves or National Guard
  • Veterans
  • Active duty service members
  • Members of the Reserves
  • Members of National Guard
  • Surviving Spouses

 

Am I eligible as a spouse of a deceased Veteran? Who is eligible?

  • Surviving spouses unmarried and remarried.
  • An unmarried spouse of a veteran who has died during active duty or as a result of injuries from active duty service.
  • Spouses who received a VA loan with a Veteran prior to his or her death are eligible for a VA interest rate reduction or also known as a VA Streamline Refi.
  • Surviving spouses who were married upon or before turning 57 and on or after December 16th 2003 are eligible for a VA home loan. Surviving spouses who were married prior to that date are no longer eligible.
  • The spouse of an active duty member who is listed as missing in action or a prisoner of war for at least 90 days is eligible for a one time use of the VA home benefit.

 

Apply for a VA Loan with a Lender

Applying for a VA loan is the easy part all you have to do is meet with a lender and fill out the loan application, the lender will do all the work. Unfortunately all Lenders are not equal when it comes to VA Loans. Don’t get me wrong all lenders have access to most of the same VA loan products the difference is in the experience. Working with a lender who has VA loan experience makes all the difference. Eligibility isn’t a guarantee that you will get a VA Loan. You still must qualify.The lender will go over the qualifications of a VA loan during the application process.

It is important to find an agent who has worked with Military buyers

There are several reasons why working with an agent who has experience with Military buyers is key to the process. Buying with a VA loan has certain restrictions when it comes to the type and condition of the home. If your Realtor has experience they will be able to advise you during the Buyer Consultation appointment and showings if the homes you are viewing will qualify for a VA loan. Also there is certain verbiage that should be added to the purchase contract to protect the VA buyer. An experienced agent will know how to negotiate what is needed for a VA loan during the offer process. Another aspect that the agent will oversee the VA appraisal. The VA appraisal process is more in depth than a traditional appraisal and an experienced agent will be able to address any issues that might arise. Lastly during the closing process your agent will make sure that the VA buyer costs are in line with a VA loan and they are not paying for anything that should be paid for by the seller.

As a 10 year veteran of the US Army Military Police Corps., Ernie knows first hand the process of PSC’ing to and from a new duty station. Using his experience Ernie and Leah have helped many military families buy and sell in the Las Vegas Valley. Ernie and Leah have experience working with military relocation programs such as USAA, US Navy Federal Credit Union, Weichert and Wells Fargo Relocation program just to name a few.

 Ernie and Leah understand the steps involved for military relocation so weather you are going to buy or sell you can contact the Gonzales Team for immediate assistance at ernie@gonzalesteam.com or at 702-291-8126.

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On our site we have set up the home search to update daily so that you only view CURRENT Available homes. We have made sure that homes that are in “Pending” or “Contingent” status and in escrow are not in the search results. This will prevent you from being frustrated by wasting hours of your time. We are dedicated to helping our clients find the perfect home for them and their situation. We start the process by having a Buyer Consultation with all our clients to go over your needs and the steps to the home buying process.


To verify eligibility you need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. Going directly through the VA to obtain the Certificate can take several weeks. Please note that not everyone who is VA eligible can obtain a loan. You must still be approved for the loan from the lender

 

Benefits of a VA Loan

What are the Benefits of a VA Loan?

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One of the most important factors in buying a home is the loan. The loan program you qualify for will have a huge impact on your down payment, closing costs, and monthly mortgage payment. There are many benefits of a VA loan vs. other loan programs.

No Down Payment

By far the biggest benefit of a va loan is no down payment. This is a huge savings benefit because a VA buyer will not have to save money for years to be able to purchase a home. The average sales price of a home in the Las Vegas Valley is approximately $232,000 with a 20% down payment of $46,400 on a conventional loan. For a VA buyer that would be a savings of $46,400. This is HUGE!!

Lower Interest Rates

VA loan programs usually have lower interest rates up to .5% to 1% lower. This translates into a lower monthly mortgage payment to the VA buyer.

No PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance

On loans that a borrower doesn’t put 20% down the mortgage company charges a Private Mortgage Insurance fee monthly. This can add up to an average of $100 to $150 per month onto your monthly mortgage. That might not sound like a lot however it can add up to $1000 a year extra. VA loans do not charge a PMI fee monthly however there is a one time upfront VA Funding fee based on service and how many times you have used your VA Loan.

No Prepayment Penalty

Some loan programs charge a fee to pay off your mortgage early. A VA loan can’t charge a prepayment penalty. This way if you need to relocate there is no extra charge to sell your home.

Low Closing Costs

The VA loan program has restrictions on certain fees that a lender can charge a VA Buyer. This cuts down on junk fees that a lender can sometime charge. There are also certain fees that a VA Buyer can’t pay for that must be paid for by the Seller. A Seller can also pay up to 4% of the sales price towards the VA Buyers closing costs where other loan programs only allow the seller to pay up to 3% of the buyers closing costs. This is where working with an agent with VA experience will be necessary. Most agents will not know what to ask the seller to pay for or what the VA Buyer can’t pay for. Not negotiating these items at the beginning can cause closing delays in the end.


Less Stringent Qualification Guidelines

Another major benefit of a VA loan is that the qualification guidelines are less stringent than other loan programs. Most VA Buyers would not even be able to qualify for a Conventional loan.

Purchase any Home that meets Requirements

Any home that meets the condition requirements can be purchased with a VA loan. You can use your VA loan eligibility to purchase a brand new home, a resale, a foreclosure, a short sale, and even an auction home. An experienced agent and appraiser will be able to tell you if the home meets the requirements.

These benefits allow VA buyers who would not be able to purchase a home with most loan programs the ability to be home owners. The VA loan guaranty program was developed in 1944 to promote home-ownership among the returning troops who because of their service were unable to establish credit to buy a home. It is important to remember that it is a loan guarantee program not a loan program. A VA buyer must still qualify for the loan.

Ernie has dedicated much of his adult life to helping others in one way or another. At present Ernie is a leader in the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals whose sole mission is to promote home ownership among Veterans. The local Nevada chapter was just established in 2014 and so far they have given away a home to a deserving homeless Vet and volunteered in the local community to promote awareness of the program.

Ernie grew up in a small town in California moving from one rental to another rental his entire childhood. Buying a home in the Henderson area of the Las Vegas Valley was a dream come true. However after his service he didn’t have the greatest credit or money saved up for a down payment. Using the VA Loan eligibility was the only way we were able to purchase a home. We actually were able to purchase a brand new home from a builder. The builder agreed to pay the VA fees that a seller is required to pay and we didn’t have to pay a down payment.

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On our site we have set up the home search to update daily so that you only view CURRENT Available homes. We have made sure that homes that are in “Pending” or “Contingent” status and in escrow are not in the search results. This will prevent you from being frustrated by wasting hours of your time. We are dedicated to helping our clients find the perfect home for them and their situation. We start the process by having a Buyer Consultation with all our clients to go over your needs and the steps to the home buying process.

 

We understand the process because we have lived through it. If you are thinking of purchasing a home using your VA loan eligibility please contact us immediately for assistance. Ernie@gonzalesteam.com or 702-291-8126.

Gonzales Team of Keller Williams Realty Henderson NV 
Ernie and Leah Gonzales 
ernie@gonzalesteam.com 702-291-8126 
10424 S. Eastern Ave Suite 200 
Henderson NV 89052