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VA Loans: 5 Ways Veterans Can Avoid Problems When Buying a Home

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Our nation’s veterans deserve the best home buying experience possible, and NLC Loans works hard to make that a reality for each and every VA home loan we close. But what are some things that vets can do to prevent issues when purchasing a home?
One potential (and frustrating!) roadblock people run into when buying a home is a lengthy closing process. Veteran Affairs (VA) loans have a reputation of being notoriously difficult to close; however, the average length of time it takes to close a VA loan is very similar to that of a conventional loan (39.6 vs 38.9, respectively).

Taking the proper steps and precautions from the beginning can help Veterans avoid problems while purchasing a home. Here are a few to keep in mind:

1. Get your Certificate of Eligibility.

Many lenders will require that you have your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA office before you can start the loan process. This is an official document that proves you have met the eligibility requirements of a VA loan. You can get an automated COE through the Veterans Information Portal. Otherwise, you can fill out VA Form 26-1880, and send it to the appropriate office.

2. Get pre-approved.

When you get pre-approved, it helps speed up the loan process. A lender will check your credit and income, and if it meets the basic requirements, pre-approve you for a loan up to a certain amount. This helps eliminate the uncertainty and stress that comes from obtaining financing and is far superior to a basic VA loan pre-qualification.

Get pre-approved as soon as you can, so you can clear up any obstacles that could prevent you from buying the home of your dreams.

3. Buy a home without major problems.

All VA loan homes are required to go through a VA appraisal, which can only be done by a VA-approved appraiser. Depending on the appraiser’s findings, the home may require repairs. The home may also be valued at less than the asking price, which means the seller will need to drop the price or the buyer will need to come up with the difference in cash.

Obviously, these issues can delay the closing or cause you to start your home search all over again. It’s best to find a home that doesn’t require major repairs.

 
4. Hire a reputable home inspector with a proven track record.
 
Finding a home inspector based solely on price can be a big mistake. A home inspector who rushes the job and isn’t thorough may miss major problems that could cost you big once you move into your home.
 
Vet out home inspectors and, if possible, find one that works for your city or county, as they may have more reliable certifications and better experience than people who moonlight as home inspectors on the side of a day job. Remember, spending a little more on a good home inspector now can save you thousands of dollars in repairs later.

5. Find a knowledgeable lender like NLC Loans.

It’s crucial that you select a lender that if familiar with VA loans and has experience funding them. Lenders that already know the ins and outs of VA loans, like NLC loans, will help ensure the process goes smoothly from beginning to end.

If you’re ready to find the home of your dreams, call one of NLC Loans’ personal mortgage advisors toll-free today at 1-877-480-8050. Their knowledge of the VA loan process will help you avoid some of the potential problems Veterans face when buying a home.