Tips From A VA Loan Mortgage Expert

Share Article professional loan specialists share valuable loan tips and discuss in detail the process of getting a VA Home Loan. LowVARates specializes in providing VA Loans for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

If I can play a role in making something less difficult for our Nation's veterans then I will do all I can to assist

Statistics show that only 25% of all eligible VA home buyers actually utilize their hard-earned veteran loan benefits. LowVARates has dedicated its work to assisting veterans use and understand these VA benefits as they pertain to buying or refinancing a home mortgage. Life is full of difficulties and even things we may feel are unfair. Owner of LowVARates, Eric Kandell, understands life in the military can be difficult. “If I can play a role in making something less difficult for our Nation's veterans then I will do all I can to assist,” Kandell said. “I hope that all those that come across our company feel we have made the VA home loan process much easier to navigate from start to finish.” The VA home loan is a very simple and straight forward tool that can make home ownership a reality for hundreds of thousands of eligible veterans and active military.

Step 1 is getting your preapproval letter. Getting a preapproval letter from your VA lender is one of the first steps that all veteran homeowners should take when trying to purchase a home. Before you go out and try to start buying a home you need to get a preapproval letter from your VA loan officer. The reason it is so important to have a preapproval letter in your possession is because sellers and real estate agents will not take you seriously until you have the preapproval letter.

Once you have your preapproval letter you can start making offers on different home. Have you ever seen the movie Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory? In this movie, those lucky holders of the golden ticket are granted access to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Your preapproval letter can be compared to the golden ticket given to these lucky recipients in the movie. Without the golden ticket there is no entry into the chocolate factory; however, once the golden ticket is presented the doors to this amazing chocolate factory are opened.

Veterans, you will notice once you have received your preapproval letter, many more doors opened to you. Realtors and sellers will be much more likely to take you seriously with your preapproval letter.

What will you need to send to your mortgage representative to get your preapproval started? For a VA home loan you will need the following:

-Your last two year's W-2 statements.
-One month's worth of pay stubs.
-Form DD214 (not necessary but helpful)

This information is needed on all applicants which is normally the veteran and his/her spouse. The reason we need your last two years W-2 statements is to verify how much money you make on average each year. The reason we will need eight months worth of pay stubs is to get an idea on average of how much money you are currently making with your current employer.

In addition, to determining how much money you make your pay stubs also verify current employment. Your form DD 214 allows your VA lender to expedite ordering process of your certificate of eligibility. Approved direct lenders with the Department of Veterans Affairs have the ability to order your certificate of eligibility, which will determine if you can or cannot get a VA loan, over the internet directly from the VA. Most veterans or active duty military who are applying for a home loan do not realize that the speed upon which they are getting approved is determined by how quickly they can get these necessary documents to their VA loan officer.

What will the VA loan officer or VA lender do once they have your information as described above? Once your VA loan officer has the three items outlined above, he will plug all of your information such as employment, income, assets and liabilities if applicable into his loan origination software. Once your information is entered into the software a VA loan analysis must be run by an approved VA processor or loan officer. The VA loan analysis is a form which will indicate to the lender whether or not you can afford the home that you were trying to purchase. The VA loan analysis is a relatively simple calculation. The calculation is outlined below:

(Monthly Income)- (proposed mortgage payment+insurance+taxes+utilities for that house+monthly credit card payments due) = RESIDUAL INCOME.

What is residual income? Reschedule income is how much money you have left over to survive with after having paid all of your necessary obligations. The VA does not want someone to buy a home that is so expensive that home does not allow them to make all of the necessary payments on time. The VA has set up certain criteria for necessary residual income based on what part of the United States you have been, how larger family is, the age of your children and older variables. For example, the amount of residual income needed for a single person living in eastern Ohio will be lower than the residual income required for a family of six living in Northern California.

Once your VA loan officer has done your VA loan analysis and determined whether or not you can afford your home your loan will be submitted to an automated underwriting engine. The most common used automated underwriting engine is DU or desktop underwriter. Within moments of submitting your loan to the automated underwriting system, your loan officer will know whether or not you are eligible for the loan and at that point you will be denied or preapproved! As you are already aware if you are preapproved venue will be issued a preapproval letter so you may start making offers on different homes of your choice.

Let's now assume you have made offers on a bunch of different homes and decided to pursue the home of your choice. At this point in time you will need to be working with a real estate agent and you will need to execute a purchase contract or purchase agreement with the seller. After you have unexecuted purchase agreement you will return that purchase agreement to your loan officer and your loan process will now begin. Your loan process could take anywhere from about two weeks to five or six way depending on a couple different variables. Though it is very easy to blame your VA loan officer should things not go as quickly as you have intended, there is a lot that you can do to speed up the process. The following is a list of things involved in the loan process that may take time over the next 2 to 5 weeks:

-Title insurance must be ordered and issued
-An appraisal of the property must be done
-Home owner's insurance must be set up and put in place
-Verbal and written verification of employment will be done on applicants
-Adverse credit may need to be cleaned up or discussed
-A VA underwriter needs to review all documents and issue final approval
-Closing needs to be scheduled

Though the list above may not appear complex or detailed, it is important to understand that in today's tight economy with increased financial guidelines your loan approval and processing will take longer than it has in the past.

So what can you do to make sure you are well prepared to buy a home with a VA loan? If you take anything away from this article it is that you should be educated and make sure you're working with a legitimate VA approved lender, bank or mortgage company.

“I have spent my entire professional career working with veterans and active-duty military,” Kandell said. “If you submit your loan in Cory for preapproval on our website you can rest assured that we will put your information into the hands of an approved VA lender in your area.” LowVARates is designed to educate all those looking to find out more about their hard earned VA home loan benefits.

For the past 20 years has been dedicated to serving veteran homeowners. We specialize in providing a variety of VA loans, like the VA streamline to qualified veterans for mortgage purchases and refinances. These loans provide lower interest rates and monthly payments than other traditional loans.

VA loans are currently the only program left that allows no-money-down loans providing a secure mortgage option guaranteed by the Federal Government. Our professional staff and loan officers will assist you to lock in low interest rates and take advantage of the unique opportunity provided through VA loans.


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Craig Walton
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