Whether retired military personnel or an active-duty service member, nothing is more rewarding than providing your family with a home with your hard-earned VA loan benefits. Government-backed, VA loans are flexible and forgiving, allowing veterans to escape mortgage premiums and a heft down payment. VA loans in Los Angeles aren’t hard to come by but securing them is a different story. Secure your VA loan by studying these helpful tips.
Tips to Secure a VA Loan
- Review Your Eligibility. VA purchase loans are more in-demand with every fiscal year. Still, not every family eligible for one will end up securing it. Why? Failing to secure a VA loan may come at the fault of your credit score, income, and plans. Knowing exactly what lenders are looking for in potential VA loan candidates can make a tremendous difference for prospective homebuyers.
- Don’t Waste Time Securing Your COE. Though you’ll need it eventually, you won’t need your certificate of eligibility to kick-start the VA home loan process. Instead, lenders will take care of processing these documents during the pre-approval process. If you feel more secure having it handy on the onset, you can contact your nearest VA Regional Loan Center or request it via the Benefits portal.
- Study Your Credit Reports. You won’t need perfect credit to qualify for a VA loan, but it doesn’t mean lenders will skim over your credit report. Scour your account for any potential errors or discrepancies, requesting adjustments before applying for a mortgage. Note that higher credit scores will help you land an excellent rate.
- Know How to Use a VA Loan. With a VA loan, veterans can purchase a new home or refinance an existing one. You can choose to work on a single-family residence, modular home, condominium, or new construction. VA loans won’t help your case if you’re after a vacation home, investment property, or other income-generating real estates.
- Understand Occupancy Requirements. Along with VA’s focus on primary residences are occupancy requirements. If purchasing a home with a VA loan, you’ll have to move in within 60 days of closing or have a spouse fulfil the process on your behalf. For single-service members, deployment can pose a severe problem. Bring up potential occupancy issues with your lender in advance—you may be able to work out an arrangement.
- Have a Reliable Income. Your reliable income one day can’t be unstable the next. You’ll have to present an acceptable debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a VA loan, to begin with—somewhere below 41%. Residual income guidelines will depend on your location and family size.
- Get Pre-Approved. Loan pre-approval will give you a better sense of your purchasing power. Thus, you’ll waste less time shopping options you likely won’t be able to afford. It also demonstrates to lenders that you’re a serious buyer—one that they’re keen to consider.
- Hire a VA-Savvy Real Estate Agent. A real estate agent isn’t an all-in-one resource. Despite their apparent expertise, VA loans may not be one of them. Your real estate agent should be familiar with the specific needs of military homebuyers and be well in-the-know about VA rules and guidelines to help inform your decision.
VA Loans in Los Angeles with Shannon Christenot
VA loans are insured and less risky to approve. However, you can’t secure one on a whim. And with any loan product, a little bit of preparation is critical.
To guarantee your VA loan, work with us at Shannon Christenot, the best mortgage company in Los Angeles. With us, you can move into the city without a down payment and, if you’re lucky, not have to pay any closing costs! Give us a call at (818) 601-2231 to get started.