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How Long Does it Take to Close a VA Loan?

It’s an extremely common question across Veterans United Network:

“How long will it take to buy a home with a VA loan?”

And it’s a tough one to answer. Buying a home is a multi-step process, and hiccups can occur at any stage of that process. But with good preparation and the right approach, VA buyers can better predict when those precious keys will finally be in hand.

Let’s review five key factors that could affect the timeline of a VA loan purchase. Knowing the details of the VA loan process is important for you and your customers.

how long does it take to close a va loan

How long will it take to buy a home with a VA loan? It all depends.

Factor #1: Are you preapproved?

PREAPPROVAL: It’s one of the best ways to shorten the waiting game.

A “preapproved buyer” has met a lender’s basic requirements, and is likely to obtain a loan, provided that certain conditions are met. VA loan preapproval shows that a buyer is probably going to obtain financing, which eliminates a hefty amount of uncertainty and delays.

When should a buyer get preapproved? As soon as possible. Most lenders recommend getting preapproved months before starting the house hunt. That leeway gives potential buyers plenty of time to clear up eligibility problems before falling in love with a home.

Get Started with your VA Loan Request

Factor #2: Buyer/seller timelines

When do you want to move in? When does the seller want to move out?

Just because a home is on the market doesn’t mean the sellers are ready to move immediately. Perhaps the sellers want to stay until the end of the school year. Maybe they have to wait until their new home is complete.

And perhaps the buyer is in the same boat. Buyers and sellers have to agree on a closing date, and that date could either speed up or delay the entire process.

Factor #3: How long will the VA appraisal take?

A home purchased with a VA home loan is subject to the VA appraisal. And only a VA-approved appraiser can perform a VA appraisal.

VA lenders are responsible for ordering VA appraisals, which are completed in 10 days on average. But as VA appraisers are in short supply in rural areas, buyers should expect the VA appraisal to take longer in sparsely-populated locales.

Repairs and va loan closing time

Simple repairs shouldn’t delay the VA loan process by more than a few days.

Factor #4: Will any repairs be ordered?

The results of the VA appraisal can also either hasten or hinder the closing process.

If the VA appraiser makes a home “subject to” repairs, those repairs must be completed before the loan can close. Extensive repairs could push the closing date back by weeks or months.

The appraisal value can also affect the final timeline. VA loans can’t be issued for more than a home’s appraisal value. If the appraisal value falls below the purchase price, buyers have some thinking (and some delays) ahead. Buyers can either:

  • Ask the seller for a price reduction
  • Ask for a Reconsideration of Value
  • Make up the difference in cash
  • Walk away from the purchase

Factor #5: How long will underwriting take?

Post-appraisal, any VA loan file is subject to final underwriting. If an underwriter needs additional documentation or notices an eligibility problem, the closing date could change.

A word of advice for buyers: You’re extremely close to the finish line, so try not to panic. Be as helpful as possible during this phase, and you’ll likely be in good shape for a quick close.

Conclusion: Be prepared and give yourself wiggle room!

Being Prepared and Closing a VA Loan

With luck and good preparation, you’ll be relaxing on your own front porch before you know it.

At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to predict how long the purchase process will take. The VA loan process could take two weeks. It could take two months. It could take two years.

The lesson? Control what you can:

…and let go of what you can’t. Be flexible, give yourself wiggle room, and get ready for an exciting journey!

For more information on things to avoid while in the contract phase, check out this contract guide.

Photos courtesy of Nina Matthews PhotographyJessicaReeder and kretyen


Posted by Jessi Hall
| jhall@veteransunited.com


94 Comments

  1. Tirzah Zadra McCrory
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Good info! And I am finding this consistent with what I am finding with my VA deals right now! Love working with our military. I am enjoying using my CMRS (Certified Military Relocation Specialist).

  2. Robert Herrera
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    The one thing I am running into is that no one wants to accept a VA loan.The VA loan is the last on the list that sellers will take.Making it hard for veterans to buy a house unless we have cash.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Hi Robert – The VA loan program has been through some extensive changes in recent years, which make the program simpler and easier than ever. But some sellers and agents aren’t aware of those changes, and are unnecessarily frightened of the VA loan process. We’re doing our best to combat that problem with good public education! My best advice – find a buyer’s agent who’s worked with VA buyers before, and encourage him/her to educate the seller’s agent about the ease and flexibility of VA loans! Best of luck to you, Robert!

      • Stephanie
        Posted May 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Jessi,
        That’s a nice political answer to Roberts comment but in reality. When a seller signs a listing agreement to sell their house they’re generally ready to sell it that day. You would be hard pressed to find a seller who is willing to wait from 2 months let alone 2 yrs for a loan to be approved and not 100% guarantee that it will be approved. I think VA loans are great but the process needs to be speed up to match the time frame of conventional loans. The every entity that is in place to help the veterans as the same one that is causing them frustrations and to miss out on a purchase if a home that they love.

        • Posted June 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Hi Stephanie – Sure, we’d all like to sell ASAP. But in many markets, that’s not a realistic expectation. In many markets, it’s common to wait 30-60 days for closing, and it’s typically not a problem for most VA loans to close within that time-frame. Working with a good lender, a good agent and an appropriate property are all keys to ensuring quick closing timelines, which our veterans certain do deserve.

        • Joe Harosky
          Posted September 8, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          I agree with the previous comments that VA loans are the last on the sellers lists of offers. I have been experiencing this during my bidding process from both realtors and sellers in Hawaii. Sellers and realtors don’t want the extra hassles (perceived or real) with VA loans. In addition, I believe that I just lost out to another buyer due to having a VA loan on the offer. My offer was above listing price with money down and the seller selected another offer. I’m aware that this could be a result of many factors, however, it is a reality that sellers and realtors prefer to avoid VA loans.

          • Posted September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            It is a fact in many markets, Joe. You’re certainly right. We’re doing our best to combat the negative connotations associated with VA loans via this blog. We hate to see service members losing out on properties due to VA loan misconceptions! Thanks for sharing, and for your service.

  3. Gerry Clark
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Gerry,
    I thought you might find this interesting.
    June

  4. Eduardo Rubiera
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    We gladly work with active military and veterans. Just one way to say “thank you” for all they do.

    Florida Real Properties, LLC

  5. carl marshall
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    wow excellent infromation

  6. carl marshall
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    im glad somebody looking out for us thanks

  7. C. L. S.
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I thank everyone who has served in our military.

    My only concern is the process of getting a house we are going on almost 7 months on trying to get this new house and it has been something.

    My husband is a 100% disbaled vet. It should be easier for them since they did fight for our country. and for the freedom we walk on.

    the people that are involved are amazing people they have helped us out so much its been unbelievable. they should be commended.

    but as for the the rules that have changed the VA process they are ridiculious.

    sincerly,

    C.L.S.

    • Posted August 23, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Hi CLS – Thanks to your husband for serving! We’re sorry to hear you’re having a hard time purchasing a home. If there’s a question we can answer or information we can provide, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

    • Carrie Fisher
      Posted February 6, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Maybe go with another realtor. I’m buying my second home using VA both times have been easy I got pre approved first. When I sold my first house I sold to a man using VA as well everything went fine. I’m not sure why people are getting hung up with a va loan

  8. Julie
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Marsha Rem of RE/MAX 702-279-5103 and Winsor Cooper III VA Mortgage Loan Specialist 702-953-5833 for your kind assistance in helping us obtain our dream home. I agree that the sellers are not not interested in VA loans in fact in Vegas it is most likely the last option on the sellers list. Both my husband and I are retired disabled Vets and thought this process was quite seamless. If you have a knowledgeable realtor and a great VA loan officer then the process is painless. We put the bid in, got the VA appraiser everything done within approx 10 days. Waiting on the underwriter and then we will close this deal. Could not be more pleased with the service I have received. My advice to the all Vets looking for a home, take good care of your credit, have all your paperwork in order and find a realtor that has integrity and your best interest at heart. Trust me they are out there. I highly recommend both if you are in the Vegas area. Look up Marsha Rem…she will move heaven and earth to get your deal done and has a heart of gold. Winsor Cooper III, is also the number VA Mortgage Specialist and he knows his stuff. Use your resources and ask around, don’t settle we served and it should be appreciated when you are purchasing a home. Look for the best and don’t settle for less. God Bless you all and thank you all for serving with pride.

    Respectfully,

    Julie Retired USAF

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Julie,
      Thank you so much for sharing about your experience. We are so happy that you had a wonderful experience with Winsor and your agent Marsha! Congratulations on your new home!
      Samantha

  9. Mike
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I am a seller waiting for two months for VA loan to be approved. Had I known all the Mess with the underwriting process I would not have signed the contract. I will never sell to a buyer who is going through a va loan again unless things Change to speed up the process. I want to do the right thing and help veterans but the process makes it unappetizing .

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Mike,
      The turn times can be somewhat dependent on the specific property as well as the lender the buyer is working with. If the buyer uses a VA specialized mortgage company like Veterans United Home Loans, the wait times can be drastically decreased due to streamlining the process. I wouldn’t reject all VA buyers just yet. If you ever sell again and receive an offer for a VA loan, just ask if they are working with a company that specializes in VA loans, as compared to a local bank who generally doesn’t have the same level of experience with this financing option.
      Thanks for your input!
      Samantha

    • Bill
      Posted April 25, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I am in mn and I will never ever again except a va offer again. What a long drawn out, process. Not worth any sellers time or trouble.

  10. Judi
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I am considering an offer right now on our home and the buyer has a VA loan. What kinds of “repairs” might the VA appraiser ask for? The house is in good repair, newly renovated but, for instance, several windows don’t have screens. Are we going to be delayed for petty things like that?
    Is there a place that I can see the guidelines or check list that the appraisers use to assess repairs before I accept this offer?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted November 5, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Judi,
      The appraiser is going to look at the minimum property requirements which is chapter 12 here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/pam26_7.asp
      They are looking for items that would make the home unsafe, structurally unsound or unmarketable.
      Let me know if you’ve got other questions! I’d be happy to help.
      -Samantha

  11. joseph
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    We r sellers and we were notified 2 days before closing that there would be a delay. It has been over45 days and we r still waiting. We signed a 30 day extension but will not sign another extension. The awesome vet loses and the sellers.Our Vets deserve better.No more VA loans for us

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Joseph,
      I wouldn’t shut out all VA loans yet. The buyer may have been working with a lender who lacked experience with that specific loan product. Let me know if you have any questions on VA loans, I’d be happy to answer them!
      -Samantha
      Samantha@vu.com

  12. Shannon
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know if the government made a change in the eligibility requirements for a va loan after the recent shutdown? I ask b/c I am a seller who accepted an offer from someone who was “preapproved” for a va loan prior the government shutdown. In fact, the appraisal had been done and the underwriting process was 3 weeks into the process. After the shutdown, we were told that the buyer no longer qualified because some eligibility requirement had been changed and the buyer had to serve to more months before they could reapply for the loan. I can’t find any evidence of that sort of a change. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Hi Shannon,
      I don’t believe the eligibility requirements changed. It’s possible that they had not yet obtained his certificate of eligibility, and once received determined that he was not yet eligible, but to my knowledge that wouldn’t be as a result of the shutdown.
      -Samantha

      • Shannon
        Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Can someone be preapproved for a VA loan without showing a certificate of eligibility?

        • Samantha Reeves
          Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Hi Shannon,
          You can be pre-approved for a VA loan without having your certificate of eligibility but a condition of pre-approval would be that your COE is obtained and shows you are eligible. If you’re having trouble obtaining your COE you can call 888-212-1958 and a VA mortgage specialist can help you with both obtaining your COE and also determining pre-approval.
          -Samantha

  13. lynn
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    its been along time coming for me and my husband who is retired and working overseas after 25 years in the army he really worked hard for this and is still working hard but it was easy with the va loan we had a good realtor who cared about getting this done who got us a good va lender who asked for the file and now we are at the va appraiser part and the lender said we will be closing december 13th a was just a blessing from God but you have to find the right people who is going to take care of everything for and make sure that you have what you need and what also made it easy is the we went with a new builder wich cut the time in half having a good realtor makes the different in charlotte nc a major city it was like a peice of cake

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Lynn,
      Congratulations! That is wonderful news!
      -Samantha

  14. Alli
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I see so many people here saying that the VA loan process is not a problem and shouldn’t be any different than a conventional loan etc, but I have a buyer for my home that is doing a VA loan and it has been a nightmare.

    We are now at the point that we may very well lose the house we planned on purchasing because the VA loan for the purchase of our current home is taking too long. Closing has been pushed back, they haven’t scheduled the appraisal even though it was ordered over 3 weeks ago. We are not in a rural area, so it shouldn’t have taken that long. They said they didn’t know why it was taking so ling and that they were caught up. They would get back to us immediately – that was over a week ago. They repeatedly have refused to give needed information to our broker.

    We want to get the appraisal done because we understand that VA appraisals tend to come in low, and re-appraisal or negotiation may need to happen, which could delay the process even more.

    Our broker is advising there are red flags all over this because of these VA delays and so our new home purchase is in jeopardy.

    If we end up having to re-list our home and start all over, I can certainly understand not accepting offers for VA loans. I want to help our military families as much as possible, but I also don’t want to lose my dream home as much as they don’t want to lose theirs.

  15. Danni
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why a seller would be leery of selling to someone with a VA loan unless they had absolutely no idea how it works and are only going by hearsay. The VA does not provide the loan, the Veteran obtains a loan through a private lender and the VA provides guarantee to the seller that the loan will be paid. It is too bad that Veterans would have to suffer not being able to purchase their dream home because a seller is naïve.

    • Bill
      Posted April 25, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Va loans are a nightmare. Sellers sit and wait just like buyers, I’m in 3 months with this buyer and I’m forced to go back on market. I’m done waiting

  16. Candace
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We received a pre-approval for a VA mortgage. We have done everything and provided everthing within a day of being asked for it. The appraisal was done in 5 days no conditions. I am the co borrower and had a bankrupcy discharded 2 years prior to us applying for the mortgage. Everything we have read said if prior to 2 years we are fine. The mortgage broker new about this also. Now we are told the mortgage company is running us through a different govenment program?? We were told by the broker we are fine and will still close on the 16th of this month. What could possibly be the real honest problem?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Candace,
      That’s a really good question. I would ask the broker to explain to you in detail why this is occurring. If you are being switched from a VA loan to a different type of loan, there may be different loan terms such as a down payment or a requirement to pay private mortgage insurance. Make sure you ask as many questions as it takes to truly understand the situation.
      Let me know if you have further questions.
      Samantha

  17. Candace
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Samantha, Thank you for you response. Finally received an answer. I had a bankrupcy that was discharged in Oct 2011, we are now being told after all this time that the broker cant find a company that will take the loan. She has only checked 2 companies how of the many she claims there are. Its frustrating to think that we were upfront provided all documentation weeks ago and now I cannot be on the loan?? Let me add that we had even got married as we were told we needed to for me to be on the loan. (its a good thing we were to be married anyway but this just sped things up, and not how we wanted to be married). We do not understand that if VA guarentee’s the loan how can the mortgage companies overturn what VA says. And he VA says if its discharged prior to 2 years what the real issue is. I had no government liens, no homes involved in the BK. Thanks

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Hi Candace,
      You might want to give a loan officer at our company a call: 888-212-1958 and just run your scenario by them. It’s possible that we may have different guidelines than the banks the broker tried. It could at least give you peace of mind in knowing either that the broker is correct and you can’t move forward with VA with you on the loan OR that we may have different guidelines and could include you. Either way, I’d think it’s worth a shot.
      Best of luck!
      Samantha

  18. Sam
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    We are working with our bank right now to do the loan. What our lender is doing for us is putting together a loan, without a house picked out. Once we get all the approvals then we will go back and tell them the house we choose, this is so that when we are ready, we have most all they work done and should close in the expected 45 day closing.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Hi Sam,
      That’s a great way to do things and one I encourage! Getting pre-approved prior to selecting a home is the best route to take because then you know with a fair degree of certainty that things will go smoothly once you select a property.
      - Samantha

  19. David
    Posted February 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I applied for a VA loan as a refinance on a home that I already own and which was appraised for over $100,000 7 years ago. I recently built a completely finished 24X30 garage workshop that cost over $25,000 when the VA appraised my property they said it was worth $55,000 . The interest rate was no better than a conventional loan and the fees were about the same as I could have got at the bank where my wife works so there was no real advantage to getting a VA loan for me. But now I’m already into the process and it’s like a runaway train once you get it started you are on the tracks and there’s pretty much no stopping the train. I don’t owe a lot and the refi will save me money each month but the hassles have been a pain in the butt and the appraiser was totally incompetent by comparing my 4 bedroom two bath property with two garages and 3 1/4 acres of property that is 3 miles outside of town in a highly desirable neighborhood to places like a two bedroom 1 bath house on a lot half that size 15 miles from town he showed immediately that he had no professional credentials at all. If I had done my homework and not assumed that a VA loan would be a better deal I would just have got a loan locally and already be finished with it.

  20. Eric
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I am in a refinance that started in March 2013. It has been stuck at the VA underwriters since May of 2013, so far as my lender is concerned. My VA disability took almost two years to finish, but I would not expect the VA to take a year to complete the final phase of a refinance.

    Should I call BS on my lender? They do hold my current loan.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Eric,
      That is an extremely long time. I would request a very good and detailed explanation of why this is taking so long from your lender. I don’t know why it would take this long, but I’m also not aware of the entirety of the circumstances. If you don’t feel satisfied with your lender’s answer, it might be time to search out another lender.
      - Samantha

  21. melissa
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I are trying to purchase a home using his VA coe. He’s disabled. We had to convince the seller and the realtor to accept our VA offer. We were assured loans were closing in 30 days. But we hit road block after road block. We were trying to purchase rurally. Got lucky a VA appraiser lived just down the road. But for some reason she never got the appraisal request until 34 days later. Title never received a request for title work. And then it took over 30 days for that to be completed. Seller is fed up with this whole process. Even gave us an ultimatum close by 15th or done..not going to sign anymore extensions. Going on 90 days still no assigned closing. We finally had to switch lenders. Got tired of the excuses. We ordered it they just didn’t do when ordered. So mywquestion is why was there no follow-up? With not refer lender and very unsatisfied customer.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted April 14, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Hi Melissa,
      I’ve looked into this for you. I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you, and I understand the frustration that can cause. While every lender is subject to the turntimes of third parties like title companies or appraisers, ultimately the ordering of and checking up on those items is the responsibility of the lender. These are big items in a home loan, but since I’m not part of the company you used previously, there’s little I can offer to answer “why” they wouldn’t have performed those tasks.

      At the end of the day, the home loan process is all about teamwork, and I understand you are now working with Veterans United Home Loans. Veterans United is dedicated to making the process as efficient and smooth as possible, and your loan officer is always going to be your best resource on the status of your file. You also have the option of contacting the Client Advocates at 800-212-5200 with any concerns or with something you might need if Andy is away from his desk at the time. We know you’ve put in a lot of hard work and time into this home transaction, and Andy has assured me that he is aware of the high stakes and is keeping a close eye on your loan.
      - Samantha

  22. tracey
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Why does the VA wait till the last second to ask for documents AFTER we paid for appraisal and inspection? Leaving us in the lurch and wondering are we going to go close or not? Why don’t you revamp and handle loans like quicken..underwritten before a purchase. Saves us buyers and sellers a lot of stress. If I’d known how quicken handled it I would have gone with them!

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Tracey, our management team has addressed your feedback with your loan officer, and we understand the anxiety of waiting. Your loan officer will reach out to you shortly regarding the items that are still needed for your file to close, including repairs to the property and more information regarding your income. The VA wants properties to be safe, sanitary, and a sound investment for the veterans and service members using this benefit, and the repairs required by the appraiser are important safety-related updates.

      Once the repairs have been confirmed complete, we order a reinspection with the VA appraiser to approve, but we cannot take that step until we get the go-ahead. Your loan officer is following up with the real estate agents on the loan regarding the repairs – and your loan officer is always your best resource on the current state of your file should you ever want an update. He will be able to answer any questions you might have about the necessary items needed to move forward on your home loan, and as soon as the requested tasks are complete, we will be able to give you a much clearer timeline to closing.
      - Samantha

  23. tracey
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I would like to offer a humble apology..after discussing my situation I discovered the frustration actually stems from other source..the agent I am working with for my loan has been very forthcoming..professional and helpful. The anxiety and stress of closing can cause a person to jump to conclusions..my advice talk to agent first lol.

  24. Tracey
    Posted May 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    We are selling our house to a party with a VA loan. He wants to close on May 30, which only leaves this weekend for us to move. However we still have not gotten word that our house has passed the appraisal process. Getting very frustrated. Don’t know how they expect us to be out of the house, when they won’t tell us if we are moving for sure or not.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Tracey,
      I understand the frustration. See if your real estate agent can call the lender to get a status directly from them or propose a contract extension so that you have extra time to move.
      - Samantha

  25. Dehlia
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    hi, my husband is a veteran, and we haven’t had much of an issue with va loans, up until a few days ago, as the final underwriting process finished up. they came back with an conditional approval because his name was found on the vasir report. in which he paid off the delinquent debt. and showed them that he did, yet his name has not came off the list. for them to submit the final approval…and this is 1 week before us closing on our house..anyone know of how we can get this removed, we have tried to call and speak w/ a supervisor but nobody has called us back yet. how was this not pulled up when they did the preapproval?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted May 30, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Dehlia,
      I haven’t been able to locate a file associated with your name/email address with this page’s sponsor, Veterans United Home Loans. If you are working with them, call the Client Advocate team at 800-212-5200 to speak directly with management about what’s been going on with your file, or email more information to ClientAdvocate@vu.com
      Samantha

  26. Dehlia
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    sorry Its the caivrs report not vasir report

  27. Rowan
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    A comment on Roberts question. I live in the Sacramento area and was ignored by a lender and Cal Vet (lender through VA) I found an agent that has worked on numerous VA loans and is a vet himself and recommends a lender who works on VA Loans. They have been great in many ways. Getting things done ahead of time and knowing what to look for/issues, ect with these loans. You have to find a realtor who is experienced and a lender they recommend, they will usually have one that has worked on VA Loans with them. A week and a half later after finding a house the loan app will be going to the VA. Wish you the best. R

  28. dehlia
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Can a Caivrs report clearance be made a post- closing requirement, if the applicant has made payment in full, can provide proof that money has been taken out of account by us treasury? but is waiting for removal of name off of list? which apparently only happens every 45 days?

  29. Tiffany Bond
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    My husband is a veteran and we have been under contract for or very first home since march. Or loan was approved through the VA. Or appraisal order was put in and it has already been one month and still no appraisal. The home is in Stuarts draft Virginia! We have already had to change the closing date on the contract the new date is now June 20th and still nothing. What might the problem be?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted June 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tiffany,
      Typically they are supposed to get the appraisal back to you in approximately 2 weeks. I’d suggest having your loan officer contact the appraiser to determine when they intend to do your appraisal.
      This is very unusual except for situations where a home is being purchased in a remote location and an agent has to travel several hours to get there.
      Samantha

  30. Suzette
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    My husband is a veteran and our file is at the “initial underwriting” stage as of 6-10-14. Does anyone know what that means?

    Also, an error was found on my tax return. I had to do an amended tax, which i filed on June 5th. The IRS states it takes 3 weeks for the transcript to show up in the system, meaning around June 26. If this is the case, will we not be closing on June 30?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted June 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Suzette,
      I’d suggest asking for additional clarification from your loan officer as they will have the best knowledge of your specific set of circumstances.
      Samantha

  31. Suzette
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I asked but didnt get a direct answer, basically said wait and see!!

    Thanks for replying Samantha.

  32. Lauren
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Our loan documents were sent to the VA for approval at the end of May. We were told it has to be approved by two different people at the VA and were given a processing window of 5 business days. The first person approved it on May 29 and passed it on to the second (final) person. It’s now June 18 and we have not gotten the second approval. We have filed two closing date extensions. Our latest extension expires this Friday, June 20. I know everyone is getting aggrevated with this whole process. We don’t want to pay another (or would it be 5,10,15 more) months rent and the seller’s don’t want to make another mortgage payment on a house they don’t even live in. I can totally see why so many people won’t accept a VA loan offer. I definitely won’t in the future!!

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lauren,
      I’m a little confused. Is it an underwriter with your bank that is not moving quickly? I just know that there are only a few circumstances where the actual VA would be doing this type of review. But, since I don’t know the specifics of your situation, I’m unable to tell if your’s is one of those few situations.
      Can you give me a little more background so that I can help you determine why the wait is occurring and if I can give any helpful advice?
      Samantha

  33. Travis
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Why does it take so long to contact people at the Atlanta Regional Office? I finally hung up after being on hold 1.5hrs and the reason I am calling was the VA screwed up my COE and forgot to put my exemption beause of my 70% disibilities on it. Now my bank will have to wait another 10-15 days to try and update the COE so I can be exempt from the funding fee…..

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted June 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Hi Travis,
      I’ve heard that some regional offices are trying to get caught up on COE requests, and as a result have less time to answer calls. I know this isn’t ideal, but I believe they are doing the best they can right now.
      I’m not sure if your bank is using the eligibility portal already, but if not, it may help speed things along, although I obviously can’t guarantee it.
      Samantha

  34. Suzette
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    My husband is a Veteran. We’re suppose to close on our house Monday, June 30, and I just found out that my tax transcript won’t be available until July 3rd. Will that prevent us from closing because of the missing document? Or does it depend on the underwriter?

  35. Scott
    Posted July 19, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I am purchasing my second VA home. I have everything done with the mortgage company and I have a full committed loan with approval for the mortgage with no contingencies. Everything is done and if I wasn’t doing a VA loan I could have closed. I have found out that the townhouse I am purchasing is not VA approved. I have received all of the documents from the HOA that my mortgage VA processing center said we would need to get the approval. My mortgage company feels that even though this Townhouse Assoc isn’t VA approved it has the proper requirements for VA approval. Can the VA approve this regardless if the association is not currently approved? I know they are FHA approved and am just worried that after all of this it could fall apart. I have to move out my family from our current home because we have people moving in and the children will be displaced. Is there any information that would help us be able to follow up with the VA once our mortgage company submits the final paperwork? Is there a way to track and get information once it is all submitted to you? Can an Association not allow us to purchase this townhouse even though we are more than qualified and the Association meets the VA requirements? Can and will the VA override their decision if this is the case?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Scott,
      It sounds like they’ve submitted the documents to the VA for approval. It is definitely possible for a condo that hasn’t been previously approved to get approved during the loan process. I would rely on your loan officer to follow up with the VA for you. I’m unaware of whether the VA has a tracking system for following the information. Check with your loan officer and they can check with the VA on that one.
      Samantha

  36. Matt
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    We received our pre-approval fro Veterans United back in May 2014. After being turned down numerous times because the sellers didn’t want to deal with a VA Loan we have finally found a seller willing to work with us. We received the contract today and our Realtor contacted our Loan Officer to tell him that the seller is requesting to close by August 29th as this is the last Friday of the month. The seller doesn’t want to go into September and my wife and I don’t want to lose this house. Our Loan Officer told my Realtor that this wouldn’t be possible. What I want to know is why can’t the process work for us? This is exactly why sellers don’t want to work with a VA Loan. While other lenders are able to close under 30 days, our Loan Officer at your company has stated numerous times that it will take at least 45 days….no less. Well this is going to leave a lot of Veterans losing the house that they really like, of course this is our 5th choice of houses because of the fact that the VA Loan has a bad rep and there is absolutely no movement by those in charge to streamline the process, of course they are living in their homes so they have no urgency to fix this mess.
    I am so disappointed in this process and had I know that Veterans United would be this slow and unwilling to help I would have gone with my bank USAA.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Matt,

      Our management team reviewed your feedback and took a look into your file along with your loan officer. We understand the frustration from sellers being wary of the VA, but in this case, it’s not that it is a VA home loan that is putting your recommended contract length at 45 days.

      Your file has some credit issues that means it must be a manual underwrite, which takes more time than if you had a stronger file able to get Automated Underwriting System approval. It is entirely possible to close VA home loans in 30 days, but your loan in particular requires extra underwriting scrutiny and more verification paperwork in order to get to approval.

      Like you said, your loan officer stated multiple times that 45 days is needed. Ultimately, this expectation is set to protect you, the buyer. In the situation that 30 days is just not enough time to approve your manual underwrite file, already the sellers, agents, and you have sunk time, money, and effort into the transaction. If the deal were to fall apart due to missing the closing date, you’d be left holding the bag for any inspections you are responsible for, the appraisal, and possibly lose your earnest money deposit. Those three things alone can add up quickly into a couple thousand dollars.

      If you’d like to discuss your experience and any feedback regarding your file, you can always call our Client Advocate team toll-free at 1-800-212-5200, or email at ClientAdvocate@vu.com. Veterans United Home Loans has industry-leading underwriting turntimes, and we are still available to help you qualify as quickly as is possible within reason. Just let us know if you would like to try again.
      Samantha

  37. John Pelfrey
    Posted July 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I’ve been trying to close on a newly built home using my va benefits. I am 100% and my wife is my fiduciary. Things keep getting stalled and the latest word from my lender is that the regional loan office (va) has to review everything since i have a fiduciary. My lender says it’s to make sure I’m aware a loan is being taken out under my name.So now a packet of paper work has to be sent to them and delays things further.My lease is up in two weeks and we were lead believe we would be moved in this week. Does this really happen and its there anything i can do to speed things up? Thanks

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Hi John,
      Yes, the VA does typically review the documentation when there is a fiduciary involved. Regarding speeding up the process, I don’t have much advice here unfortunately, other than have your loan officer keeping you apprised of the process.
      Samantha

  38. Alex
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I was supposed to close on july 18. Now the 24 and still waiting VA, underwriter. I fought it was supposed to take about 3it business days well everything was submitted on july 11. My loan officer keeps inquiring about VA underwriting via email and fax and he gets no answer.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Alex,
      I’m a little confused because typically the underwriter works for the lender so they should have communication. Is it possibly the appraisal you are waiting on from the VA, or do you have a special circumstance that required VA file review?
      Samantha

  39. John Pelfrey
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The builder has a rule about after they get a certificate of occupancy,we have ten days to close. Every day delayed after that there’s a fifty dollar fine. That could add up quick. Since it’s the va holding things up could that be waived? I can’t get a straight answer from them. Thanks

  40. James Gohn
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I Put my home into escrow almost two month ago with a July 31 2014 closing, pre approval was done, received word from V A that final approval was in. then 3 days before close was told loan has been flagged due buyers incompetent rating, this is after pre approval, appraisal,inspection, repairs and me buying another home and paying out the same for that house with no strings attached assuming my house was sold when told approval was in, this may cost me thousands besides keeping my house off the market for two months,what is the procedure and timeline for a flagged application?

  41. Adam mccracken
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I have been under contract for nearly 2 months. I have moved out a month ago with anticipation of closing. The lender is apparently waiting on notice of value from va. Is this common. I am now paying rent on an apartment and my mortgage. The buyer is ready to go as am I. I’m worried the buyer will back out if this continues to drag out… Any advice?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Adam,
      The notice of value should follow the receipt of the appraisal fairly quickly. Do you know when the appraisal was submitted? I’d question your lender about the timeframe. If there were repairs or issues with the appraisal, this could be part of the delay.
      Samantha

  42. Adam mccracken
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The appraisal was submitted about 3 weeks ago. There were a few repairs the va appraiser wanted done, and they got done.

  43. kathrine
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    We found our house the first week of June and our offer was accepted the next days. We were set to.close July 15 and now we are almost a month past that. The sellers are ready to bow out because we cant get any clarity on the status of our VA loan. Is there anyone we can talk to with the VA directly? I feel as though our lender is in the dark as well

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted August 7, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Hi Katherine,
      What specifically is holding up the process? Is it an appraisal, underwriting, or something else?
      Samantha

  44. James
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    My original question was # 40 still waiting 14 days after C.o.e date for VA to approve buyers loan.I’m feel like i am done waiting if not completed in the next couple of days.i have given 15 day extension, but because of me still having to pay house payment ,taxes insurance,H.o.a fees on a house i don’t live in, i must find another buyer as I’m losing faith that this will ever get done. but before i do this could i ask for a extension with buyer paying a daily per- Diem to cover my cost?

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted August 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      James,
      I think it’s worth proposing.
      Samantha

  45. Phuong Nguyen
    Posted October 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    My name is Phuong Nguyen and I am 8 years US Army veteran. I never use my VA home loan until now (September 2014).

    So far I got the run around. Talked to the realtor who showed me 18 homes and they were not even VA approved condos after I told him that I am using VA loan. Wasted my entire weekend running around looking for properties, gas, time away from my kid, and got rejected because the seller do not want VA loan.

    I got pre-approved letter up to $300K from the bank and no seller wants to touch the VA loan.

    So I tried again. I called antoher realtor who swore up and down that he knows VA. He asked me to provide him a list of VA approved condos in the area that I like to purchase, and he will whow me the properties and negotiate the buying term for me. I laughed and told him “If I knew that I would not be asking you to help me”.

    So I tried again, and I called another realtor who said she has helped many veterans in the past and very successful in closing VA loan. She told me that I had to put down 3% of the loan amount for the earnest money upfront to show the seller that I am serious to make an offer. This money will then go into escrow she explained. And if things do not go well with the VA within 17 days, then I will loose my $7000 dollars. She assured me that because I am working with her, she will make sure I will not lose my 7K. What a scary thought, to put my kids and my family hard earn money over to someone whom I barely met or knew. Escrow or not I should not be losing money trying to purhcase a home period.

    Well, I am glad she told me that I could lose money if the VA does not have their act together. And after reading all these posts on this website both from sellers and from fellow veterans, it looks like VA still does not have their act together.

    I did not use VA loan when I got out of the army in 2003 because I heard the same nightmare and now 11 years later we are in 2014 and VA loan process still has not improved. Sellers do not want to work with VA. I found this to be true after I made 4 offers and got nothing. The pre-approved letter means nothing.

    As a US veteran, I found this VA loan process to be more hassle then a real benefit to our veterans.

    It is so SAD to see so many veterans coming homes to find out that the benefits they thought was great turned out to be the biggest time wasting for both the buyer and seller.

    Very dissapointed US veteran.

    I will just go with the conventional loan. Thanks VA for nothing.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Phuong,
      A few thoughts in response to your message. First, it sounds like your main issue is not with the VA loan but with the real estate agent.
      You can easily search condos within a specific area to determine which ones are VA approved: https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/VBAHome/condopudsearch
      Second, there is no requirement for the amount of money you put down for earnest money. I’m not sure where the 3% figure came from, but that amount isn’t required. I’ve seen some buyers offer zero in earnest money ranging to others who put down a few thousand. Also, there are ways to craft contingencies to protect your earnest money.

      Regarding sellers not accepting your offers – there will be some sellers out there who refuse to accept VA offers due to misinformation on the VA loan requirements. Others reject them because they receive cash offers or other reasons. I can’t say why your offers weren’t accepted.

      The VA loan isn’t the right choice for every veteran homebuyer, but it is for many. If you’d like me to connect you with a VA mortgage specialist or a VA knowledgeable real estate agent, I’d be happy to do so. Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have throughout the process.
      Samantha
      samantha@vu.com

  46. Phuong Nguyen
    Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you so much for your email. Yes, I agree with you, the VA loan is not for veteran homebuyer. Have a great day!

  47. Carolyn
    Posted October 9, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    We are buying a home using the VA loan and we are waiting on approval from the bank. They had to verify future employment to give us the loan. Our real estate agent emailed us last night and said the loan is being processed so I was wondering how he might know that? Does the bank contact the real estate agent when the loan is approved and being processed? Thank you!

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 9, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Carolyn,
      The best way to find out would be to ask your agent how they know that.
      There are times when agents will call your lender asking for updates. It’s possible that this was the case, but I can’t say with any certainty.
      Samantha

  48. Holly
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Hello
    We are in the process of buying a home. We have already been preapproved and underwriters have also approved us. Our closing date is December 1st. I was just wondering between now and then can we still be denied the loan even tho it had already been approved by the underwriter?
    Thank you

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 13, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Holly,
      It depends on what you mean by approved by the underwriter. Typically an underwriter will issue a Clear to Close (CTC) with certain prior to funding conditions in a situation like this one. The only way to answer your question with 100% certainty is to ask your loan officer because they are going to have that access to the underwriter to ask for clarification. If you’ve received a CTC the prior to finding conditions will have to be met before the lender wires the money (funds the loan). In a situation like yours where you aren’t closing for several months, they could ask for things like a confirmation from your employer the day of closing that you are still employed and making the same or more than when they issued the CTC. They may also want updated bank statements or an updated credit report (if the old one expires before you close). But the only way you will know for sure what they want is by asking your loan officer.
      Samantha

  49. Jeremy Belfiore
    Posted October 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to take a minute to comment in this section. Reading through all the posts I have to say I was very skeptical and nervous about using my VA loan benefits on purchasing a new home because of all the horror stories on here and many people’s resistance to accepting a VA home loan offer. My wife and I found a home we loved and after some back and forth the offer was accepted. With everyone saying they had so much difficulty with the approval process ours was completely opposite. I worked with a realtor and my loan officer that are very well versed with VA loans. I was pre-approved and once the offer was accepted my loan officer needed a bunch of documents which I provided any information he requested within 2 hours of him asking. The appraisal was done within 4 business days. We have received final approval and from the time our offer was accepted to us receiving docs was less than 35 days. We are all set to close later this month and could even close sooner if the seller agrees. My advice to anyone applying for a VA loan is, first make sure you use only an experienced realtor and loan officer that understands VA loans, 2nd when your loan officer asks you for documents be prompt and get them to he/she as quickly as possible, and be patient. We had a wonderful experience and don’t foresee any issues as we received final approval yesterday. Just wanted to post my experience as it seems many others have had nightmares with VA loans and ours was totally opposite.

  50. Ryan
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The VA loan appraisal takes FOREVER to complete. They put you throw the ringer and just are lazy when it comes to approving the loan. It’s just annoying.

  51. Cindy
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Hello, I am also having a problem with the VA Loan, actually it’s more with the VA appraiser. My VA loan has already been processed and everything is ready for signatures – except the fact that the appraisal hasn’t been done yet. There is only 5 days left before closing day, but my loan officer inormed me the VA appraisal report still hasn’t been received yet. My loan officer submitted the appraisal request on 10/7/14…so it has well been over 10 days, even the 2 weeks that was mentioned earlier. My loan officer called the appraiser last week, and again earlier this week but still no word. I also do not live in a rural area, so that isn’t the problem. At this point, I feel that the VA appraiser is deliberately holding up the process which is causing stress for me since my rent at the current place is ending soon. It seems like the VA appraiser is working against this veteran and making it harder for me to get the house I want. It seems like the appraiser doesn’t give a sh*t and is purposely not doing the inspection due to sheer laziness. If I lose this house because of the VA appraise being ignorant and lazy, I will definitely never go through the VA loan program again and will not recommend it to my friends, too. It will be especially easy to rant about these VA appraisers on a lot of the social media sites – will definitely spread the word quicker, too!

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 27, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Cindy,
      Has the loan officer been able to pin down a date for the appraiser to get out to the home? I’d lean on your loan officer here and see what else they can do.
      Samantha

  52. John
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    My frustration with the VA loan process has been it seems like the lender will only do 1 thing per week. They ask for a document on a Monday, I get them what they have asked for before close of business on that same Monday and the following week we move on to something else. I am 6 months into the process of buying a home for $95,000 which is not much money. (My annual income is $135,000) I am at a loss for why it takes this long when I am asking for lees than I make in a year. My debt to income ratio is 26% No looking for an answer, I have come to expect there isn’t one. I believe lenders do not want to do VA loans as their profit is from other loans where they can charge more fees and do less paperwork. Just my opinion.

    • Samantha Reeves
      Posted October 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      John,
      Working with a VA specialized lender can help alleviate some of this stress, but there are times when an underwriter will request documentation once and then request follow-up information based on new questions they have about the newly provided documents.
      Samantha

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Samantha Reeves

Samantha Reeves maintains the Veterans United Realty blog for Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's leading VA-approved lender. As a prior loan officer, Samantha brings her vast experience dealing with the VA home loan all the way from initial application, to loan funding. She knows how the system works and brings you information and tips on how to make your VA home loan transaction go as smoothly as possible.


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