The first step in the home buying process is getting preapproved for your VA loan. By being preapproved you will know what price range to look at and what will be your total house payment including taxes and insurance. When your agent start showing you property, they will require that you have been preapproved for your VA loan before they start showing you homes. The standard documents the lenders will ask for will be: 1 LES or a month of paystubs, 2 years of federal tax returns and W2's, 2 months of checking and savings statements, and a driver's license.
The next step in the process is you want to start shopping for a real-estate agent and interview the agents for both their experience with VA Loans and their knowledge of the neighborhoods you are interested in. Many first time home buyers use the first agent they come in contact with and do not spend the time to interview agents and their experience levels. The agent you select can make a major difference in the home buying experience.
Once you have selected an agent they will help you determine, based upon your price range and family's needs what the best neighborhoods for you to start looking at will be.
Then your agent bassed upon your price range, neighborhood and propeperty criteria will start showing you homes to find the best one that meets your families needs.
After you have carfully selected the home you want to write an offer.Your agent should go over the current sales in the areas to help educate you on the values of similar properties in that neighborhood that have sold. This way you are better prepared to determine the price you want to submit on the home you are making an offer on.
Both you loan offer and real estate agent will discuss with you the closing cost that are a buyer is responsibility on a VA loan. There are three options for paying for the closing costs. The seller can give a credit to cover the closing costs. You can pay them yourself or the lender can raise the interest rate and give a lender credit.
Your agent will walk you through your intial purchase contract and talk to you about the protection clauses and contingency periods contained within the contract. Your agent will also discuss the option of you or the seller paying for a one year home protection plan. This covers the appliances, electrical, plumbing, and heating systems.
The 3 big contingencies in the contract are the appraisal and loans contengies to assure that the property apprases at the contract price and that the lender has approved your loan, before you remove those contengencies. You will also receive a booklet on natural hazards in the area called the Natural Hazard Disclosure Report
This report provides parcel-specific disclosures of official hazard zones that may affect future use of the property. The report also discloses any statutory natural hazard zones, property taxes and assessments, environmental contamination sites in the vicinity, and insurance claims history.
The 3rd contengencie is the right the have a home inspection done by a qualified individual to determine if there are major defects with the home, or what repairs and maintence items need to be addressed. You will receive a detailed report of any deficiencies in the home and have the opportunity to request for the seller to repair them.
Once your offer has been written your agent will represent it to the seller, and the seller can counter your offer, reject it or accept it. Hopefully the seller accepts the offer, and the agents can open up an escrow. Your lender will prepare all the disclosures and applications for your signature. The lender will then collect the money for the appraisal and put in the request for the VA to order the appraisal.
a processesor will be assigned to your loan file and they will prepare your loan to be submitted to underwriting. Once the underwriter reviewers your loans and the VA guidelines have been met a formal approval will be issue with additional conditions. You will be notified of the conditions or any additional expalnations or documentations are needed for the final approval. A second review is done for the final approval and once the final approval is issed you loan documents will be sent to escrow, youll be receiving additional estimates prior your loan documents being issued your closing cost and any money needed to be brought into closing.
At this point you will be doing a final walk though to determine all requested repairs have been completed, and that the home is in the same condition when you wrote the initial offer.
After your final approval your loan documents will be sent to escrow and escrow will contact you to set up an appointment to sign your documents and will let you know of any monies necessary for closing. Within a day or two your loan will be funded and the grant deed will be recorded and you will be a new happy homeowner.
Home Buying Road Map