Home Buying Advice from the Cleveland VA Regional Loan Center
From time to time, we like to pass along VA loan advice and house hunting tips from VA regional loan centers (RLCs for short).
These agencies have plenty of useful information to pass on about issues unique to the local markets they serve, and VA loan applicants who live in a give regional loan center’s jurisdiction could find a great deal of help from their RLC.
The Cleveland VA Regional Loan Center offers some excellent advice about getting pre-approved for a VA home loan. Why is it a good idea to find a lender before you begin the house hunt?
According to the Cleveland RLC official site, “Home buyers may want to contact a lender even before they sign a contract for a home, so that they can be pre-approved to determine their maximum mortgage amount.” Doing so insures the borrower doesn’t waste time looking at properties they don’t have the budget or an approved loan amount to consider.
But what happens when the borrower gets pre-approved, finds a home worth making an offer on, and wants to move forward? The Cleveland RLC official site advises borrowers to “make sure that the sales contract includes a phrase, sometimes called a financing contingency, making the contract subject to approval for a VA guaranteed loan. Lenders verify and review past and present job and credit history of home applicants, and compare it with VA loan approval guidelines.”
“If the documents with the loan request cannot be approved, then additional written information must be presented to the lender or the VA for further consideration.”
At this stage, some are wondering what the pre-approval process was for if such a clause is necessary. But it’s important to remember that pre-approval does not constitute loan approval for that particular property. The loan could be denied if the home doesn’t meet VA minimum property requirements, for example. This would not end the borrower’s prospects to buy a home with a VA loan, but it may require the borrower to look elsewhere for a suitable property.
Before taking any of this advice, the Cleveland RLC urges buyers to make an informed choice when it comes to the lender. “…Compare lending terms among several lenders in order to find the best combination of interest rates, discount points, and other negotiable costs for a VA guaranteed loan”
Find the VA Regional Loan Center for your area at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp