? Re: VA Loans — The Bump
Military Families

? Re: VA Loans

Please help!

AD, have the COE, do I need to get us pre-approved first or find a house first? VA said to find our own lenders...

Also, please recommend your lender? 

Any suggestions/advice, would be really helpful. DH is deployed and wants me to find a house before he comes home.

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Re: ? Re: VA Loans

  • I do have POA papers giving me full authority and I also have a letter from his command.
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  • If you have Navy Fed you can do a VA loan through them and they will do all the paperwork. The only thing you have to have is the certificate from the VA stating you are eligible for the va loan. You can go to any va and apply for it.
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  • I have the Certificate from the VA stating we are eligible. I have all the paperwork.

     I just wanted to find out from others who have personal experience, whether it is best to be pre-approved or to find the house first?

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  • We found our house first and then got approved for the loan.  
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  • Get pre-approved first.  That way, you'll know exactly how much the bank is willing to give you.  Plus, some Realtors will ask for a pre-approval letter before they start showing you houses.  Two of the biggest pains in the butt as a Realtor are 1. Spending a boat load of time driving people around and finding out they are just looky-lous who had no intention of buying a house.  2. Spending a boat load of time driving people around to look at houses, finding one, doing all the paperwork to put an offer in, getting it accepted and finding out they can't afford it. 

     

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  • Ditto what Tx said. Also, we went through USAA who offers a Movers Advantage program. They pay for your realtor and even write you a check to help with closing costs. They were amazing and made our experience smooth.

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    CJ 05/29/2013

  • imageBacon+lettuce+tomato:
    Ditto what Tx said. Also, we went through USAA who offers a Movers Advantage program. They pay for your realtor and even write you a check to help with closing costs. They were amazing and made our experience smooth.

    YES! Exactly this. We went through USAA, though their mortgages are actually serviced  through GMAC. We received a bonus for using a realtor in their network and finding a house was a piece of cake. They were great about answering questions and working with us when any issues came up. 

    We use USAA for anything and everything we can. I have nothing but good things to say about them. 

    Definitely get pre-approved first. Nothing would be worse than finding a house you love and then not being able to afford it.  

  • imageBacon+lettuce+tomato:
    Also, we went through USAA who offers a Movers Advantage program. They pay for your realtor

    If you're buying, you don't need anyone to pay for your realtor. The seller pays for that. 

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • We are currently buying our first home with a VA loan.  We were pre-approved through USAA, but after hearing awful things about their mortgage department we're going with a local lender.

    We've had our home inspection, land survey will be submitted tomorrow, and are waiting on the VA appraisal to be scheduled.  Hopefully the appraisal won't be as tedious as I think it's going to be and DH and I will start sleeping again, LOL!

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  • We've always gone ahead and gotten the pre-approval letter when house hunting.  Our mortgages are through Wells Fargo and Century 21 and we've never had an issue with either.

    I will say, we're trying to sell one of our houses now, and a prospective buyer made an offer, but then her financing fell through even though she had a pre-approval letter.  It's all so confusing.

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  • Get a pre approval first. I have used USAA for many things (including mortgages) and their mortgage department has been great. I know with their growth that they've experienced some growing pains. 

    Being in Mortgage Banking I will say this, Go with a bank (not a local broker or correspondent lender). Look them up first.

    When you get your pre approval just use sense when looking at it. You're approved off of your gross income NOT your take home. So look at your take home pay (net), consider all of your current bills (minus rent) and be realistic. I have always gotten approved for WAY more than I can afford (even with today's tightened guidelines).

    I work for a bank and have worked for correspondent lenders in the past and have audited many banks and other mortgage entities. Please PM me if you have any questions. I've known too many people that have done things and asked me after the fact when it's too late to fix anything. Also, make sure which ever banker you chose you feel comfortable with them and their knowledge base. This is one of the few positions in the financial industry that do not require much for credentials to write loans. Very few have any college education and many tell you things without verifying the guidelines or just to get you in the door to pay for the appraisal because they know many ppl don't like to shell out money and then lose it to go to another bank. Be firm in whatever choices you make. 

     

    Good Luck!! 

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  • I purchased our home last year while DH was deployed using a POA. I wasn?t pre approved before looking for homes, but we have an excellent credit rating. I first found a realtor who was recommend to us by friends who had a lot of experience working with military. He walked me through the whole process and actually made home buying really easy. We decided to use a local lending company to make things easier since I was using the POA. I was nice to be working with a small group of local people. We were approved either the same or the next day for the loan. If I remember correctly, we had even picked out the home before the loan was approved. My best piece of advice would be to find a trusted realtor with military home buying experience to help you through the process.

  • imageLeahCK:


    Being in Mortgage Banking I will say this, Go with a bank (not a local broker or correspondent lender). Look them up first.


    Also, let me clarify, go with ANY bank (Small or large) just not a broker or correspondent lender. I do like local small banks. Just make sure they're a brick and mortar bank that have savings and checking accounts with customers. 

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  • I would get pre-approved first, but also have an idea in your head what you feel comfortable with as far as a payment once taxes, insurance, etc are added in. We used USAA for movers advantage we received about 1k at closing which was great, but did go with a local agent for the financing. We got approved then found our house and things moved pretty quickly. Right now it is a buyers market lots to chose from. 
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