Understanding VA Home Loan Requirements

Serviceman and son

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees loans made by qualified lenders, such as Navy Federal Credit Union, for the benefit of servicemembers, veterans and their families. Meeting VA home loan requirements can help you buy, build or renovate your home with no down payment. Because the VA backs a portion of each loan in their VA Home Loan Guaranty Program, lenders can offer more favorable terms for new home purchases and refinancing.

Your path to buying a home with a VA Loan:

The process can be very easy for acquiring a VA Loan. See the steps below, explore whether you meet VA home loan requirements and find the answers to questions you may have along the way.

  1. Get pre-qualified for a loan. Receive a pre-qualification and begin the home-buying process.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This certificate from the VA confirms your military service and verifies you meet VA home loan requirements and are eligible to receive a VA-guaranteed loan. Your lender can establish eligibility and obtain a COE for you. You can also apply online at the VA for this document.
  3. Shop for a home. Work with a trusted real estate agent to find a home that meets your needs and fits your budget.
  4. Sign a home purchase agreement. Make sure the purchase agreement that your real estate agent drafts has a VA option clause. This clause states that you aren’t legally bound to purchase a home if the VA appraisal amount is lower than the seller’s asking price.
  5. Get a VA appraisal. A VA-certified appraiser determines the home’s fair market value and looks for obviously needed repairs to ensure the property meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs).
  6. Have the home inspected. Hire a professional home inspector to check the home’s structure for defects and to inspect items like electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems.
  7. Sign the closing documents. After the home closing, it’s official! Congratulations on your new home.

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VA Loan Home Ownership