Buying a new home is both exciting and stressful. However, being a Veteran or Service Member means that you can take advantage of financial programs and loan services that aren’t available for the general public.
Veterans and Active Service Members are some of the hardest working people you will ever meet and are well respected among their fellow Americans. Their service helps to protect our country and VA loans are just one way that we help give back to our military.
We want to help talk about VA home loans, appraisals, and VA appraisal fees so that you have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to buying a home as a Veteran or Active Service Member.
VA Home Loans
To start, let’s discuss the basic information you need to know about VA home loans. There are a variety of VA loans that military members can use for a variety of different reasons.
Home loans are one of the most common types of VA loans (obviously everyone needs somewhere to live). The VA home loan is used to help members of our military who are either returning home from active duty or retired to purchase a home.
What makes a VA loan different is that, unlike standard home loans, a VA loan does not require a down payment when purchasing the home and doesn’t discriminate against those with poor credit.
Not to mention you have no PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) that you need to worry about.
Nowadays, great credit is something that a lot of Americans want. Unfortunately, many Americans (no matter their class or status) have some sort of debt that is affecting their credit negatively.
This is one of the reasons why VA loans are so important and more and more military members, active or retired, are taking advantage of them.
Veteran Home Loan Process/Requirements
When applying for a VA home loan the very first step is to apply for a COE (Certificate of Eligibility). The COE is important for your mortgage lender.
The COE verifies to your lender that you are a certified Military Member or Veteran and will also provide your lender with the necessary entitlement code you will need to be eligible for a VA loan.
Then you will need to talk with your lender. This is usually the time in which your lender will look for a VA appraisal to be done on the house you want a loan for.
The appraisal will be used to look at the current market value of the home. This is to ensure your mortgage lender does not approve a loan amount that is too high or too low.
There are also certain requirements that you will need to fit to be eligible for a VA home loan. The requirements will also vary depending on what military status you have as well as other factors.
If you aren’t already familiar with the requirements you might want to check out the eligibility requirements for a VA home loan on the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs website.
Home Loans, VA Appraisal, and Inspections
A VA appraisal is very similar to a standard home appraisal with just a few differences. First, your appraisal expert needs to be a VA-approved appraiser. The reason for this is because any home that is purchased with a VA loan has to meet certain standards.
Overall the general requirements are things such as:
- Safety standards
- Structural integrity
- Running water
- Working bathrooms
- Sturdy roof with no issues
- And other standards of safe and healthy living requirements
If you want to take a look at the full list of all the requirements in detail here is a free PDF that you can look over to learn more.
This is why you need to use a VA-approved home appraiser if you want to be approved for your VA home loan.
Now, for single-family homes, VA appraisal fees are usually around $400 – $900 depending on various factors.
You will most likely want to have a home inspection done on the property. Inspections are pretty typical when it comes to purchasing a home.
There is one big difference between an inspection and a VA appraisal. A VA appraisal is required to qualify for a VA home loan. An inspection, however, is not a requirement to be eligible for a VA home loan.
Some states do require inspections for specific and potential problems with the home. But that is not a requirement as far as a VA home loan is concerned.
Options for Veterans and Active Duty Military
What if a VA home loan isn’t right for you? Maybe you aren’t eligible for one reason or another, however, you still need to find a home and a mortgage loan that will work for you.
We can help you. If you want to find out more about what options you have as far as buying or selling a home or if you just have questions about an appraisal, give us a call today.
Here at R.E. Appraisal Associates, we care about our community and everyone living in it. So if you want to learn more, we would be happy to help answer questions, schedule an appointment, or whatever else you may need. Just give us a call at (941) 743-3700.