Choose a Real Estate Professional
Find a real estate professional that is knowledgeable of the VA home loan process. Natalie Terry and the team at Terry Realty Group have the experience and resources to assist active duty Service Members and Veterans with their real estate needs. Natalie is proud to be an U.S. Army Veteran and is a certified at a Military Relocation Professional (MRP).
During this meeting, we will talk about the options and choices you have in the “Working with Real Estate Agents” brochure and how an exclusive buyer’s agent works for you in protecting your interests throughout the home buying process.
Obtain your COE
The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) verifies for the lender that you meet the eligibility requirements for a VA loan. Learn more about the evidence you submit and how to apply for a COE.
Find a VA Lender
Locate a lending institution that participates in the VA program and get “pre-qualified.” Knowing how much you can borrow is essential to targeting right houses when it’s time to find the perfect home. Lenders set their own interest rates, discount points and fees, so you may want to shop around. We can recommend several lenders that we have experience with and know the VA lending process.
Needs and Wants List
Although this list is very basic, it is designed to help us work as a team in determining your wants and needs in a property. It a starting point to finding your home.
Finding Your Home
You should set aside 2-3 hours to view approximately 4-5 homes at a time. Take notes!
The Offer to Purchase and Contract & VA Amendatory Clause
This is the legal contract used in purchasing your home. You should consider making an offer that you will be happy with and that will encourage the sellers to move. There is often negotiation that occurs during this portion of the process. As our client, we will guide you in the fine points of how we will negotiate the terms to best suit your wants and needs in buying your home. We will ensure that your offer includes the VA Amendatory Clause that allows you to not incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money or otherwise be obligated to complete the transaction, if the contract purchase price or cost exceeds the appraised value of the property.
The inspection is perhaps one of the most important aspects of purchasing a home. This is the time for you to walk along-side the inspector and discover the items that may need repair. We will work as a team to schedule the inspection for an available time that best suits your schedule. I will attend inspections with you and assist you in asking the right questions along the way.
Finalize Your Mortgage
In the initial meeting with your lender, you will receive a list of items your lender will need to process your loan. Although this list includes most items they will need, the loan is accepted by an “underwriter.” It is not unusual for an underwriter to request additional documents. Be prepared for this in the event it should come up.
The appraisal is an estimate of value of your new home. It is ordered by your lender and will be completed by a VA approved appraiser. You need not be present for this event. It is the lending institutions’ way of ensuring that they are not loaning you more funds in a mortgage than the house is worth. Remember that your Offer to Purchase included a VA Amendatory Clause should the appraised value be less than the sales price.
Although the survey is usually an optional item, we strongly recommend that you obtain one. If you are purchasing a new home, you will receive a completed survey at closing. If you are purchasing an existing home, please notify our Closing Coordinator if you would like a survey and we will notify the closing attorney, following the inspections.
Homeowner Insurance Policy
Within 1-2 weeks prior to closing, we will notify you that you should obtain a homeowners insurance policy. If your current auto insurance carrier provides homeowners’ insurance you should obtain a rate quote from them. Most insurance carriers will provide a multi-policy discount. Once you have chosen your insurance provider, please contact our Closing Coordinator with a company name, contact name,and phone number for the insurance company.
Loan Commitment Letter
The loan commitment letter is a letter that states that your loan has been approved by the lender and that the underwriter has signed off on the loan. Our team will keep in close contact with your lender throughout the mortgage process to ensure that things are on schedule for your anticipated closing.
A few days before closing, the seller will notify the utility companies that there will be either discontinued service or a name change to the current service. We will notify you that this has occurred. You should then contact them to begin your service. It is recommended that you begin your service on your closing date.
Prepare for Closing
Usually the day before closing, we will receive a settlement statement from the closing attorney. We will review the information for accuracy and advise you of your funds needed to close. You will need to obtain a certified check for that amount made to the attorneys’ office.