How To Purchase A Home In California With A VA Loan

If you want to buy a California home with your VA Loan Benefit, it’s as easy as with any other financing. And there are many more benefits to you when you use your VA Home Loan Benefit...

Purchasing a home with a VA loan may seem like a daunting task at first glance, but it is actually pretty straightforward.

The basic process is as follows:
  1. Find a lender that not only can do VA loans in California, but is a California VA Home Loan Specialist (subtle details of the VA loan are so much easier to navigate if you’re working with someone show is proficient at the VA Home Loan process).
  2. A VA Certificate of Eligibility is required to determine if you have eligibility for the VA Home Loan benefit. A California VA Home Loan Specialist can get this easily—and much more quickly than you doing it yourself—directly from the VA. All that’s needed is a copy of your DD214 (if you don’t have this, you can get a copy easily from the VA eBenefits website at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal
  3. Your VA lender will collect income, asset and credit information from you and determine the maximum price of home you’re qualified to buy and issue a Pre-Approval letter to you and your Realtor®. Remember when deciding the price of home you want to not have a payment that’s so high that it eats into all your monthly income. You may want to spend some money fixing up your home or getting furniture, etc. And, you want to have enough money left—after making your house payment each month—to enjoy time with your family and other fun things.
  4. Use a California Realtor® that’s familiar with VA Home Loan Financing and find the property you would like to buy. Your Realtor® helps you negotiate terms with the seller.  You'll then sign a purchase contract.
  5. The VA Lender contacts the VA who sends out a VA appraiser/inspector. The VA appraiser does a more thorough inspection of the property than with conventional financing. The goal being not only to determine that the home has the value of the agreed purchase price, but also to make sure that there are no issues with the property. Their job is to protect the Veteran. Some Realtors® will also advise getting a home inspection.
  6. When the appraisal is complete and acceptable to the underwriting department, the underwriter determines that your loan application meets the VA loan requirements, and your VA home loan is approved.
  7. You (and co-borrower, if applicable) will then attend the loan closing and sign the related papers. The closing escrow agent or attorney will explain loan terms and requirements and monthly payment details.

In California, after all parties have signed their respective paperwork, the funds for your new loan are sent to escrow, the loan “closes” and you get the keys to your new home.

Please note that when the VA receives report of the loan, the Certificate of Eligibility is adjusted to reflect use of entitlement and is then returned to the veteran.

No further actions are required to get your COE back, which just makes the overall process easier for veterans.

A common question we get is, “How long does the VA loan approval process actually take?” The overall period of time it takes for a VA mortgage approval varies depending on the amount of volume the lender has at that moment. It also depends on how quickly the VA borrower is able to respond to documentation requests.

There are some things you can do to ensure your loan process is as quick as possible, such as sending requested documents as soon as possible, working with a knowledgeable California VA Home Loan Specialist, and making your hours of availability as flexible as you can.

For further advice on how to make sure your loan process goes as fast and smoothly as possible, please read our article titled VA Mortgage Approval – How Long Does It Take?

California's VA
Home Loan Specialist

Andrew is a Senior Mortgage Banker with years of experience with residential home mortgages. Andrew is proud to specialize in VA Home Loans to help active-duty and retired military personnel realize the dream of home ownership. Andrew and his team are also skilled in Conventional and FHA financing to help homeowners decide on the loan program that suits their needs.

Andrew Vierra
NMLS #230799
Branch Manager
(916) 932-7160
Licensed in CA

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