A collection of local VA Home Buying industry experts recently gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Cherryland in Traverse City, MI. The experts were a local Loan Officer, Realtor, Home Inspector Appraiser, and Title Officer. Each provided great informative information and advice for military veterans looking to buy a home. Each expert works in concert of one another to maximize the best possible outcome for each VA Guaranteed Home Loan veteran.
Charity Anderson, Caliber Home Loans in Traverse City, MI emphasized the ease and convenience of using a VA Guaranteed Home Loan – compared to just 5-10 years ago. Many qualified military veterans using a VA Loan are seeing loans closing in the same amount of time – and in some cases – sooner than conventional loans and other government backed loans. Many sellers have a common misconception, when receiving an offer from a veteran using VA loan, of a long closing process as well as overwhelming requirements needed from the homeowner prior to closing. Many of those misconceptions are a thing of the past. Listing Realtors should be encouraged to receive an offer backed by the VA and provide his/her seller the confidence in a VA Loan. A buyer’s agent and a buyer should also be prepared when applying for a VA Loan as well. Charity encourages veterans to present copy of their DD214 or the VA Certificate of eligibility when requesting a preapproval letter.
Once a veteran has been preapproved by a lender, provide a copy of the Pre-Approval Letter to your Realtor you have interviewed and developed trust. When searching for a Realtor, specializing working with veterans and utilizing a VA Guaranteed Home Loan, take your time and interview, research their past sales and developed a comfortable trust with the agent. An initial search for a specialize Realtor working with Veterans, has qualifying certifications, volume of past transactions/sales with VA Guaranteed Home Loans, and the knowledge of the local neighborhoods. One of the most recognized Realtor’s certifications for VA buyers is Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification. A military veteran who is also a Realtor is a bonus as well. Your trusted Realtor will be a vital part of finding your next home and negotiating the purchase – knowing your needs and the requirements unique to VA Loans as well as knowing the items a home inspector and a VA Appraiser will be looking for to secure your Loan. This is key before spending money on a home inspector and a VA Appraiser.
Jerry Endres at WIN Home Inspections in Traverse City, MI encourages Realtors and buyers to take the time and review the home before calling in a home inspection. Simply starting with looking at the roof for damage shingles, “cupping” of the shingle tabs, loss of granules on the shingle tabs – items easily seen for the ground level view. Also, look at the age and condition of the mechanicals – furnace, water heater, and AC. When walking a basement, take the time to look at the uncovered basement foundation walls. Cracks larger than a ¼” or displacements could be an indicator of larger issues. Also, a VA Appraiser will be observing a home for similar Life-Safety concerns.
The VA Appraiser will take the time looking for smoke detectors, cracked windows, missing handrails, and missing balusters on stair cases; just to name a few. John Timm with Aerie Appraisal highly recommends having known issues, discovered during a home inspection, to be resolved during the home inspection phase. If a VA appraiser discover Life-Safety issues, the lender will require the appraiser to make a second visit to verify the items have been satisfactorily completed. A second visit by an appraiser will generate a trip charge. And the second visit fee will be the buyer’s responsibility to pay for prior to the return trip. After the appraisal process has been satisfied and your future home appraised, the lender will proceed and submit your loan package to their underwriter. At this time, your Realtor should be requesting a closing date based on the purchase agreement or the date then lender feels comfortable meeting. If there is a conflict between the two dates, an addendum to extend the closing date will be necessary.
The title company will be responsible for collecting the paperwork from the lender, the title paperwork, ensuring all fines, fees, assessments, or breaks in the title have been resolved prior to closing. Michelle Winoweicki with Woodland Title cannot overstate enough the importance of routine follow-up and updates during the closing process between the buyers, Realtor, lender, and inspectors. Active involvement throughout minimizes significant delays as the closing date approaches.
To learn more about the VA Guaranteed Home Loan, Home buying process or general real estates issues, please feel free to check us out at. www.LakeLifeRealEstate.com