If you’re active military or an armed services veteran who’s ready to buy a home, a Veterans Benefits Administration (VA) home loan allows you to transact with no down-payment, no minimum credit score, and a better interest rate than you’d otherwise qualify for because the VA is guaranteeing the loan for the mortgage lender.
You’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility that you can acquire online or through your lender, along with social security numbers, pay stubs and debt obligations to give the lender.
Your loan approval requires an appraisal provided by a VA qualified appraiser. VA and FHA loans have stricter housing guidelines, so if the appraiser notes a health or safety issue that has to be repaired, installed or remedied, and the seller agrees to the scope of work, a follow-up compliance inspection will be necessary to insure the work has been completed.
You’ll have to order your own property inspection to ascertain the working order of the home’s operating systems and installations not obvious to the naked eye, which is a different focus from the appraisal.
Your lender will explain which fees are paid at closing as you’ll be responsible for any fees that aren’t VA-approved. Expect to pay about one percent of the loan as a loan origination fee, plus “reasonable and customary fees” such as hazard insurance, credit reports and other items.
Your VA home loan benefit is not a one-time thing; you can use it to refinance or buy your next home.