Buying a home will probably be your largest life purchase. If you think back to your biggest milestones, like having a baby, getting married or purchasing your first automobile, you likely didn’t make decisions around them without a great deal of consideration.
Buying a house is no different. But while home buyers often spend a lot of time searching for the ideal structure, they don’t spend nearly enough or often any time deciding what lender to use for their VA home loan.
When you make the largest investment in your life, you should shop around and find a mortgage lender that will get to know you and your family goals, educate you on the purchase and be your partner through the complete process and beyond.
Good VA home loan lenders see their reputations as the foundation of their company. They can recite most regulations faster than their kids’ names, but are willing to admit when they need to go back and consult the guidelines. They know in making sure anyone they come across in the market for a mortgage is confident and prepared for what’s coming.
Getting a mortgage, including a VA home loan, often comes down to “you don’t know what you don’t know.” And in such a technical field as mortgage lending, what you don’t know is often quite a lot.
And that’s why crucial not to just go with the first VA home loan lender you find. Take time to shop around for someone who knows you and the VA home loan process.
What questions should you ask when searching for the ideal lender match? Here are some suggestions.
What is your loan officer’s knowledge with the VA loan?
You’re not just searching for the dollar amount they’ve processed, but their total of closed transactions per year. If your loan officer is just starting out in the company, inquire as to their branch manager or trainer’s numbers.
What is your average “clear to close” time frame?
This is the amount of time it takes from the day they sign a sales contract to the day the sign the papers making the home theirs. A great time frame is between 25 and 30 days. Ask about your loan provider track record, and if a closing is missed, who is going to ensure that your rate lock doesn’t expire. Pro tip: smaller lenders usually have much quicker turnaround time.