Real Estate Real Estate Blog

  • Cheat Sheet: VA Appraisal Timelines By State

    A required step along the path to VA loan approval, the VA appraisal takes place shortly after contract acceptance. The appraisal helps lenders calculate a home’s reasonable market value and ensures the property measures up to the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). It’s a tall order for a VA appraiser. Compiling these detailed reports takes careful analysis, supporting documentation, and most importa…

  • An Overview of Property Types Eligible for VA Loans

    Apartments, condos, manufactured homes, co-ops, single-family homes — modern real estate has come a long way since the days of the one-room shack. The current market offers a wide variety of homes to satisfy any buyer’s desires. But VA loan buyers will need to focus on certain types of properties to win final loan approval. Knowing how VA loans work is the first step toward getting the home of your drea…

  • How Long Does it Take to Close a VA Loan?

    How Long Does it Take to Close a VA Loan?

    It’s an extremely common question for many first-time homebuyers: "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 everyone's homebuying journey is different. But there's a lingering myth that VA loans take forever to close. And that's simply not the case. Most VA loans close in 40 to 50 days, which is standard for the mortgag…

  • The Importance of Being Earnest: All About Earnest Money Deposits

    The meaning of earnest money is in the name -- it’s a deposit of good faith on a home loan from buyer to seller. An earnest money deposit will set your offer apart from other applicants, and it's generally an accepted part of the VA loan process. Buyer Protection Breaking out the checkbook and presenting an earnest money check to the seller shows that you’re a serious contender, and it helps your offer …

  • Why VA Loans Don't Require a Down Payment

    Why VA Loans Don’t Require a Down Payment

    It’s far and away one of the most notable VA loan benefits: VA loans don't require a down payment. But it’s also a perk that arouses skepticism. “What’s the catch?” “How much is that going to cost me?” Let’s put those suspicions to rest with a thorough discussion of the VA loan program, and an explanation of some why some VA borrowers can get a VA loan with a $0 down payment. All About the VA L…

  • VA Loan Basics: What is the Certificate of Eligibility?

    Lenders are required to get proof of a veteran’s service during the VA loan process. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) serves as that proof, and tells a lender that an applicant has officially met the minimum service requirement. There is more than one way to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, and while it’s a short and simple document, it can stir up a lot of confusion. Let’s clear up the mayhem a…

  • VA Loans and Credit Score Minimums: What All Buyers Need to Know

    VA Loans and Credit Score Minimums: What All Buyers Need to Know

    A good credit score is an excellent starting point for anyone considering a VA loan. But what exactly is a good credit score? Does the VA have a credit score minimum? How do VA credit requirements stack up against other mortgage options? One of the best benefits of the VA loan program is its relaxed credit requirements. Potential borrowers don't have to possess blemish-free credit reports and elite credit scores to secure VA financing. The VA loan program seeks to accommodate as many military…

  • 8 Things You Must Know About VA Appraisals

    8 Things You Must Know About VA Appraisals

    The VA appraisal is a unique evaluation of properties financed with VA loans in order to determine a fair market value of the property you wish to purchase. The VA appraisal is mandatory for every VA loan; home inspections are not. And with its unique guidelines, the VA appraisal is worth careful study by buyers and agents alike. Need a study guide along the way? Let’s take a look at eight things buyers and agen…

  • How Much Can I Borrow With a VA Loan?

    Once service members start thinking about a home purchase, a common question arises: "How much can I borrow with a VA Loan?" It’s a simple question. The answer? A bit more complex. Here’s a look at five factors that will determine how much VA loan you can get: Factor #1: The VA Guaranty The VA loan program doesn't employ a loan maximum. But there's a limit above which buyers need to make a down pa…

  • How VA Appraisers Determine a Home’s Value

    Contract? Signed. Movers? Hired. Appraisal value? $20,000 low. Uh-oh. Buying a home isn’t as simple as signing a purchase contract and packing a few boxes. All parties to the transaction must be fully on board with the purchase. And a VA lender will refuse to step on-board if a property’s value falls short of the loan amount. Should the VA appraisal value fall below the desired loan amount, buyers mus…