Buying a house with a VA (Veterans Affairs) loan involves several steps. Here is a general overview of the process:
Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE): To qualify for a VA loan, you must be a veteran, active-duty service member, National Guard or Reserve member, or a surviving spouse of a service member. You will need to obtain a COE from the VA to confirm your eligibility.
Find a VA-approved lender: VA loans are not directly issued by the VA, but are provided by private lenders who are approved by the VA. You will need to find a VA-approved lender who will work with you throughout the loan process.
Get pre-approved: Before you start house hunting, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a VA loan. This will give you an estimate of how much you can borrow and help you set a budget for your home search.
Find a home: Once you are pre-approved, you can start looking for a home that meets your needs and budget. Work with a real estate agent to find properties that are eligible for VA loans.
Make an offer: When you find a home you want to buy, you will make an offer to the seller. If your offer is accepted, you will move forward with the purchase process.
When you buy a house with a VA loan, several types of inspections may be involved to ensure the property meets the VA’s minimum property requirements. These inspections may include the following items:
VA appraisal: As part of the VA loan process, the property will undergo a VA appraisal, which is conducted by a VA-approved appraiser. The purpose of the appraisal is to determine the fair market value of the property and ensure that it meets the VA’s minimum property requirements, including health, safety, and habitability standards. The VA appraisal typically covers the interior and exterior of the property, including its structure, systems (such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical), and any required repairs or deficiencies.
Wood-Destroying Insect Inspection: The VA requires a wood-destroying insect inspection, commonly known as a termite inspection, for properties located in certain geographic areas with a known history of termite activity. The inspection is typically conducted by a licensed pest control professional to check for any signs of active or past termite infestation or damage.
Additional Inspections: Depending on the condition of the property and other factors, additional inspections may be recommended or required. For example, if the property has a well or septic system, a well water test or septic inspection may be needed to ensure they are functioning properly. Other inspections, such as roof inspections, structural inspections, or environmental assessments, may also be advisable in certain situations.
It’s important to note that while the VA appraisal and wood-destroying insect inspection are typically required for VA loans, additional inspections are not always mandatory. However, it’s highly recommended to consider these inspections to ensure that the property is in good condition and meets your expectations as a homebuyer. Working with a qualified home inspector and other relevant professionals can help you identify any potential issues and make an informed decision about the property before proceeding with the purchase.
Finalize the loan: If the property passes the appraisal, you will work with your lender to finalize your loan application. This will involve providing additional documentation and completing the necessary paperwork.
Closing: Once your loan is approved, you will attend a closing where you will sign the final paperwork and pay any closing costs or fees. At this point, you will officially become the owner of the home.
Move in: After closing, you can move into your new home and start enjoying the benefits of homeownership.
It’s important to note that the VA loan process can vary depending on the specific lender and location, so it’s recommended to work closely with your lender and real estate agent to ensure a smooth transaction. Additionally, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of VA loans, including the entitlement amount, funding fee, and other requirements to fully understand your obligations as a borrower.