VA Home Loan?

Updated on March 23, 2010
B.N. asks from Wesley Chapel, FL
16 answers

My husband and I were both in the Army and we are considering buying a home. We have just started looking so we haven't found anything yet but I wondered if anyone knew the process of getting a VA loan.

Do I go throught the bank or check with VA services? I checked with my bank and told them I wanted to apply for a VA loan and asked them what the process is but I think they wanted to try to get us to finance through them instead, of course so they can make money, but that is not what I was looking for.

Thank you!

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answers from Orlando on

Hi B.,

You need to get your certificate of eligibility from the VA first - then the rest is just like applying for an FHA.

You need 30 days of paystubs
2 Yrs of W-2's and 1040's
3 months of bank statements
Any Letters of Explanation for large deposits or breaks in Employment
If you are getting any Gift money - you need to get a Gift affidavit signed and source the gift monies.

I have been in the industry 20 yrs. Feel free to call me to pick my brain. ###-###-####



2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

What the VA actually does for you is guarantee your home loan. You get a statement of service from your command. Then you obtain financing for the home you're seeking to purchase. The only part that the VA has in it, is that they will guarantee to your lien holder, that if you default on your mortgage, they will cover up to a certain amount, depending on the cost of living in your area.

Of course, this will discredit you and you will lose your eligibility, but that's how the program works. The VA doesn't loan you the money to purchase, but just creates a safety net for the lien holder. i.e. I send my mortgage payment to Bank of America not VA

There are a lot of conditions that must be met to qualify for the guarantee, but I personally think that it's worth it in the end.

This is my understanding.

You can find out more information at:

I've used the home loan guarantee once since I've become a veteran.

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answers from Denver on

OK, let's break it down:
1. You need money in the form of a loan to buy the house - you get this from a bank or mortgage originator/broker
2. You need a downpayment on the house - to show that you have some skin in the game. This is where VA helps.
3. You need Mortgage Insurance - because you will not have 20% or more to put as a down payment towards the house. This is where VA comes in.

A VA "green sheet" is a certificate you can use in helping you 'get into' a home. The VA sets up rules for sellers and mortgage originators (brokers, lenders) to protect military people form getting taken advantage of when purchasing a home.

The VA will dictate that closing costs be paid by the seller, that they will secure the loan and provide mortgage insurance in case of default, they will mandate certain health and safety issues on the home are taken care of, that sort of thing.

The FHA does the same sort of thing, but they tend to be quicker. The VA drags it's feet a bit since they use their own inspectors for ensuring the value of a home and the health/safety issues I mentioned. It's why people tend not to use them very much.

You need to find a realtor who has handled a VA loan before, the contracts are written differently from other styles of financing and purchasing. You need extra time for the inspections and the seller absorbs a lot of costs. You also been to find a mortgage broker who can fund a VA loan, most can't. Your first stop should be the VA to obtain the green sheet and get some advice.

I'd help you but I'm in CO :) Happy house hunting!!

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answers from Orlando on

The benefits include a better interest rate and lower down payment (5%) than a conventional loan requires (20%.) However, a FHA loan has the same general interest rate and even lower down payment (2-3%) without all the VA hassles.

You'll need your dd-214s in order to apply for the VA loan.

Honestly, my husband and I qualified for a VA loan but went with the FHA. MUCH easier, borrowed the same amount of money, had a lower down payment and the same monthly payment afterwards. The VA also requires a better credit score for their loans, which wasn't the issue for us, but is worth mentioning to you in case you don't have top credit scores.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

A VA loan is not always the way to go. My husband and I have purchased several homes in the last 20 years and never used his VA loan. If you have good credit you can get a better interest rate with a bank. Anything you can do save money on a 30 year loan helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Honestly if you have a good Realtor they will help you with the loan proccess and the best way to go. You want to check out all the pros and cons of having a VA loan before getting one. For example, if they haven't changed the rules on VA loans you can't make early payments and you can't pay the loan off in advance. Also only certain houses apply. Do your research and check out different loans before making a final choice. We have Wells Fargo and are very happy with them. Land contracts are the best if you can find a seller willing to go that route. Just be careful and take your time when choosing a loan. Read all the fine print...Good Luck!

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answers from Tampa on

My husband and I are currently going through the process of getting a VA loan. You don't have to put any money down, and no mortgage insurance on the monthly payment. The interest rates are great too! However, the process is unbelievably long and lots of paperwork to process. Once you find a house (try to avoid short-sales, we lost bunch of time and money on them), then allow at least a month to close on the house. We had everything done (VA certificate of eligibility ordered, all tax returns, etc...) and it's still taking a month to close. Everyday, we hear something from the underwriters asking for more clarification/documentation. So, expect lots of stress and hassle, but it's worth in the end. We're getting a house, and not having to put ANY money towards it. You can ask the seller to pay for your closing costs (up to 4% of the selling price) and then there's no money down. Good luck!!!!

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answers from Tampa on

We're retired Army...I sold residential real estate for 13 years and many of them VA. In fact we have used our VA loan twice. Of course your bank doesn't want you to use your VA loan...He is a facilitator and they absolutely despise the extra paper work involved in a VA loan. First, go the the VA and get your certificate, then find a reputable Bank or Brokerage that will do the work. There are usually points involved in the loan also, so be prepared. Make sure that you are pre-qualified by that institution so that you can find the right home for the right will make it easier for your Real Estate Agent who is negotiating your sale price. Expect at least 30 - 45 days to close. Good luck...The first home is a wonderful experience, and I hope that you have a reputable agent and company representing you. We used USAA and had a great experience ....Shop around for a good Mortgage Broker or Bank, and make your Realtor do as much of the work as possible. That is their job! I agree that there might be a better deal than VA right now...and they are hungry! They should be willing to do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Some places may be different, but here's what we did when we got our VA loan. We went directly to the Mortgage company of our choice. Most places in an area with military people will keep the paperwork on hand. If a company won't do VA loans, go elsewhere. If you cannot find one locally, try USAA, you can find them online. They specialize in services to military. We currently use them for all our banking. The company we used then was State Home Mortgage. They gave us the paperwork needed to apply for the VA loan. (They may make you do eligibility paperwork, we didn't have to, so I don't know what that requires) There are fees associated with it, but we got those rolled up into the mortgage. They sent the paperwork in for us, and then the VA services sent a person out to do the appraisal. We never dealt with anyone but the mortgage broker, they did all the legwork for us, and things went very smoothly. We didn't have to put any money down and our interest rate was lower then any we compared to. Just make sure that military ID's and your most recent LES's are on hand. If you need anything else, they'll let you know.,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Just a suggestion....
Ask a reputable, experienced real estate broker about this. They should be very familiar with the different loans available and what the processes entail. You're going to want a broker to assist you with finding and purchasing your home anyway. Start there with your questions.

Best wishes!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Im not completely certain but my husband and I went through the mortgage company and told them we wanted VA backing. Not completely sure b/c he started the process from overseas and I talked with the Mortgage guy and real estate agent. I know for sure we never talked to a bank and the Mortgage guy told us how much we were pre-approved for. I would try that route. Hope this helps



answers from Tampa on

Hi B.,
I am in Tampa. I work for a local real estate / mortgage / appraisal company, Premier Property Group, Inc., but we do not do government loans. I have teamed up with my sister's company, Eagle Bank to do the government loans. Please contact her for all of your questions, I will e-mail her the above information. Her name is Carol Willis, her office # is ###-###-#### x203, cell # ###-###-####, e-mail: [email protected] would be happy to help you.
Victoria Willis-Muller
[email protected]



answers from St. Joseph on

Our realator hooked us up with the paperwork from the mortgage company. It's a really simple process to fill out. There are, however, conditions that the house will have to meet in order to be approved for a VA loan. It cannot be a short sale or need any major work done. You will also have to pay for a home inspector to go through the house and his report will be sent to the VA loan people, if it's not satisfactory then the faults will need to be fixed by the owners if they wish to sell to you, if not you'll either need to let the house go or secure another home loan that is not VA.



answers from Jacksonville on

Most banks offer VA loans. The only think that is different is you'll have to have proof of service. We went through USAA recently and it was so easy. If you have a good realtor, they should be able to help with a lot of things. Good luck.

VA isn't any longer than a traditional loan. Ours took 30 days but it could have been sooner if the seller had been a little more helpful.



answers from Indianapolis on

You need to get a Realtor that you trust. Look around, ask friends, call the VA office and talk to them. You might even be able to assume a VA loan or another loan. So I would find a good agent and talk to them. Good Luck and I hope you find the house of your dreams.



answers from Tampa on

Its alotttttttttt of paperwork I can tell you that. We have bought 2 houses & both times have used the VA for the loan. It is worth it but to be honest I cant really tell you the whole process. I believe if you call the base they will have info to get ahold of the VA. BTW I just happen to be selling my house. What area are you looking at buying into. Ilive in Spring Hill.

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