In today's hot housing market, time is of the essence. You don't want to miss out! And if you are a veteran or active duty military personnel, you may be eligible for a VA home loan. These loans offer many benefits, including a fast and easy approval process.
Read on for a detailed overview of the VA loan process and valuable tips on how to speed up the process. because when it comes to buying your Texas home, you do not want to delay! Start your VA loan here today!
What is a VA loan?
A VA loan is a mortgage that is backed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are available to eligible veterans, active duty military personnel, and their spouses. These loans offer many benefits, including low interest rates and no down payment.
Because Veterans Affairs backs these loans, they can make the terms and process much more attractive than typical mortgages. For example, a conventional loan has higher requirements for credit, employment, down payment, and closing costs.
Like other federal loan programs, because they are government-backed, the terms are much more amenable to home buyers.
Meanwhile, to honor the military service of active duty service members, veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans (anyone with VA eligibility), the VA provides much better mortgage terms.
So while the VA is not the loan originator - you will still need to find a VA-approved lender to work with - VA mortgages are a great way to go.
VA home loans overview
The VA loan program was created in 1944 to help returning service members purchase homes. The program has since helped millions of veterans and their families achieve homeownership.
In the past several years, Veterans Affairs has worked hard to improve a range of benefits for those with military service. In 2020, a new law went into effect that makes the home buying process with a VA loan even more attractive in this hot housing market, since it did away with loan limits for eligible veterans.
VA loans typically come with a lower interest rate than conventional mortgages, allow for higher debt-to-income ratios and lower credit scores, and they don't require private mortgage insurance.
How do I apply for a VA loan?
You can apply for a VA loan through any lender that offers them. This type of broker is typically referred to as a "VA approved lender." It's important to select a broker who is experienced both locally where you are purchasing your home, as well as experienced with homebuyers using a VA loan to finance their purchase.
You will need to provide your military discharge paperwork as well as proof of income and assets. You will need to obtain a "Certificate of Eligibility" (COE) that proves to the lender that you are eligible for a VA loan.
Your COE can be obtained through the Veterans Affairs website, or your broker should be able to help you obtain it. Once you have your COE in hand, you're ready to start shopping for a home!
How quickly can you get approved for a VA loan?
The approval process for VA financing can be as little as 21 days. VA loan approval is typically much faster than for other types of home loans. There are other factors however that affect the timeline.
However, most VA loans close in 40 to 50 days. This is the standard timeframe for the mortgage industry, regardless of the type of financing. Your specific timeframe depends on a few additional factors.
The first is whether or not you are pre-approved for a VA loan. Getting pre-approved is not required, but highly recommended as it will give you an idea of how much house you can afford and what interest rate you will qualify for.
The second factor has a lot to do with the seller. When are they able and willing to move out?
The third factor is the most important: the VA appraisal. VA lenders must order VA appraisal, which takes about 10 days to complete. However, sometimes this can take longer, especially in rural areas.
The appraisal will also impact whether any repairs need to be made to the home. If extensive repairs are needed, that can push the closing date by as little as a few more days to weeks or even months.
What is a VA appraisal?
The VA appraisal is required for every home purchased using a VA loan. The appraiser will visit the property to make sure it meets certain standards set by the VA.
These standards are in place to protect veterans from overpaying for a home that doesn't meet minimum property requirements. The appraisal report will also identify any necessary repairs that must be made before the loan can be approved and closed.
In some cases, the seller may agree to make these repairs before closing. However, if the repairs are significant, this could delay your closing date or even void the contract entirely.
How do I find a VA appraiser?
Your VA lender will usually have a list of VA appraisers that they recommend. However, you are free to choose any VA appraiser that you like. This is similar to conventional loans, where your real estate agent or lender may make a referral for an appraiser.
However, when choosing an appraiser, it's important to make sure they are licensed and insured. You can also ask for references from past clients to get an idea of their level of service.
A VA-approved appraiser will evaluate the property against different standards than for a conventional mortgage. The VA has strict guidelines for its loan programs, to ensure the new owner's safety and to protect the long-term value of the property.
Can a VA loan close in 21 days?
Yes, in many cases a VA loan can close in as little as 21 days. While the factors noted above can cause things to drag out, each one is unique and outside the norm.
The best thing you can do to move things along is to get pre-approved ahead of time and settle on a home that won't need lots of repairs. If you have your heart set on a property that's going to need some fixing up to close, at least you will go in with your eyes open knowing it will likely take longer than 3 weeks to close on.
Do VA loans take longer to process?
No, VA loans actually have a shorter processing time than most other types of mortgages. Yet another benefit to this type of loan!
However, the one extra step in the home buying process as it related to VA loans is the VA appraisal. It must be completed by a VA-certified professional to ensure the home meets specific standards to qualify for VA financing.
How long are VA appraisals taking in Texas?
VA appraisals in Texas typically take around two weeks to complete. In busy metropolitan areas, you may be able to get one done quicker, but 10 to 14 days is normal.
However, if you're buying a home in a rural area, you may need to wait on an inspection. For example, if the VA-certified inspector has to travel, this can add to your timeline.
How long does it take to get VA loan approval in Texas?
The entire process of getting approved for a VA loan can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Texas is a big state, so there's a lot of variety!
Your VA home loan will go quicker in more urban areas versus rural ones, but a lot comes down to working with the right lender. They will have the right connections to keep things moving smoothly. That's why it's so important to hire a team like the experienced, local lenders at Texas United Mortgage.
Not only can a VA lending expert help ensure your approval, appraisal, and all other steps go as they should, they can help you secure the best interest rates.
What can I do to close on my VA loan quickly?
There are a few things you can do to speed up the process:
- Find an experienced VA approved lender.
As we noted above, the right lender can make a huge difference in how quickly you can close on your loan.
- Get preapproved for a VA loan before you start shopping for homes.
This will give you an idea of how much you can afford and help you move quickly when you find the right home.
- Agree on a timeline with the seller.
If you can close on the loan quickly, be sure to let the seller know so they can make arrangements accordingly. Make sure your real estate agent is aware so they can negotiate well on your behalf!
- Follow all major steps in the closing process.
This includes ordering a home appraisal, securing financing, and signing all necessary paperwork.
- Be prepared for additional steps.
In some cases, you may need to provide additional documentation or go through a second round of underwriting.
Takeaways on getting a VA loan approved quickly in Texas
The VA loan approval process is typically much faster than for other types of mortgages. In some cases, you can get approved for and close on a VA loan in as little as 21 days.
There are a few things you can do to speed up the process, including getting preapproved for the loan and agreeing on a timeline with the seller. Be sure to follow all major steps in the closing process and be prepared for additional steps that may be required.
And remember that working with the right VA lender can be the difference in your home buying experience. Choose a lender who knows and understands VA mortgages to ensure your VA appraisal and all other steps go quickly and smoothly. Contact Texas United Mortgage today for a lender you can trust with your VA home buying needs!
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