Buying a New Home? VA Loan Basics You Should Understand

One of the incentives offered to military members is access to home financing through the VA home loan program. VA loans are guaranteed by Veteran's Affairs, allowing lenders greater confidence in the borrower and the lender's ability to recoup their money. This incentive is available to prior and current military members, including National Guard members, as well as surviving spouses of military members in some cases. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what the VA loan program does. Before you dismiss a VA loan as a financing option for buying your home, there are some things you should know. Here are some key facts about VA loans to help you see how this type of home loan can help you.

VA Loans Are Available For Most Veterans

Many people rule out VA loans because they are concerned that they won't be eligible. Some believe that VA loans are only available to those veterans who have served in combat during active wartime. However, this isn't the case.

Serving during an active combat time shortens your eligibility period, but isn't a necessary qualifier. For those who haven't served in combat, 6 months of active service is sufficient for VA loan eligibility. Additionally, many who are in the National Guard can qualify, but they must serve for a longer period of time before being eligible.

You Can Obtain Your Loan From Your Lender Of Choice

If you're getting ready to buy a home, you might hesitate to consider a VA loan out of concern that working with the VA to secure the loan could be a challenge. The fact is, the VA doesn't issue your loan, it merely guarantees it. 

You only need to get a certificate of eligibility from the VA, then you can work with any lender you prefer that offers VA loans. That means that you have nearly as many choices for a VA loan lender as you do for a conventional home loan.

VA Loans Don't Take Longer Than Conventional Loans

In the past, VA loans were processed, underwritten, and approved by the VA. As a result, it sometimes took months from the application time to the purchase. However, that is no longer the case. Now that the VA only has to provide a certificate of eligibility, you aren't subject to VA processing delays when you're ready to buy your home. 

In fact, once you have the certificate of eligibility, your loan is typically processed the same way other loans are. That means you can be in your new home much sooner than you might think, even with a VA loan for your mortgage.

If you're a veteran or current service member looking for a new home, consider these basics and talk with a local lender, such as Dominion Capital Mortgage, about your potential VA loan eligibility.