In the end, the home will be yours.
But until the sale is complete and closing papers get signed, a host of people will help you use your VA home loan benefits to purchase a home.
Here’s a breakdown of some important folks who will guide you through the home-buying process.
Real estate agent
This home expert has insight about houses, neighborhoods and details that matter to your family, such as nearby schools or distance from military installations. Your real estate agent negotiates with the seller’s agent when you want to make an offer.
Trained loan officers are experts in the mortgage field. They check out your credit, financial and employment background to determine if you prequalify for a VA loan and what kind of purchasing power you have. At Veterans United, loan officers guide customers through the process from start to finish. Often, that isn’t the case with many lenders.
Before your loan application goes to the underwriter, the loan processor preps it. Future military homeowners may need to help the loan processor by providing necessary paperwork like tax returns and pay stubs. Usually it’s information about your monthly expenses, savings, income and employment. Once all the documents are in order and calculations checked, the loan processor sends the application to the underwriter.
Real estate appraiser
Appraisers examine the property you wish to buy and decide how much it’s worth by looking at comparable home sales, or what are often referred to as “comps.” The VA uses independent appraisers who will also help determine whether the home meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements.
Hiring a home inspector to meticulously examine the property is highly recommended, although not required. It’s important to note that appraisals and inspections are not the same thing. Home inspectors may uncover problems that could cost you thousands of dollars in the future or allow you to renegotiate the purchase agreement.
Mortgage underwriters are the ultimate gatekeepers for your loan application. Underwriters accept or reject applications based on your entire loan file. They check to make sure the borrower meets both the VA’s requirements and those set by the lender.
At the end of the homebuying process, you’ll be part of a closing meeting. Closing representatives settle the sale of the home by making a record of the closing documents and distributing money to the proper recipients. You’ll usually get a set of keys and the official right to call the property home.
Photo courtesy of “seekingthomas” on Flickr.