Confirm Eligibility And Entitlement
The first step to securing a VA construction loan is to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility that proves that youve met the minimum service requirements to be eligible for a VA loan.
You can apply for your COE online through the VA eBenefits portal. If youre a veteran, youll need your DD214 discharge papers. If youre an active-duty service member, youll need a statement of service signed by your personnel officer.
Properties You Can Purchase With A Va Loan
Are you interested in a Veterans Administration home loan, but wondering if there are any restrictions on the type of property you can buy? VA loans are designed to help active duty military personnel and Veterans become homeowners at an affordable cost. There are many types of properties covered under your VA loan including single family homes, condos, manufactured homes, and even multi-unit residences.1 But before you start house hunting, youre wise to do your research, explore your options, and understand what restrictions might apply.
Usda Construction Loan Drawbacks
On the downside, these loans are difficult to find and rarely offered by lenders, according to Richie Duncan, senior loan officer with Nationwide Home Loans Group, a division of Magnolia Bank.
USDA construction loans require patience on the part of everyone involved. They take longer to close, could involve Realtors, insurance agents, city or county permitting requirements, builder approval, multiple underwrites of your credit file, appraisals, and more, Duncan notes.
And the interest rate youll be charged will likely be higher than for normal purchase and refinance loans on existing homes.
However, you might not be stuck with that higher interest rate forever.
After your home is built and after making six on-time payments, if market conditions allow you can opt for a streamline refinance or rate-and-term refinance to lower your interest rate, if possible, adds Duncan.
While there are many requirements and restrictions involved, once obtained, this is one of the best loans for a borrower to build their dream home with little to zero paid out-of-pocket, says Duncan.
As a result, you can save your liquidity, increase your landholdings, and avoid the higher 10 to 25 percent down payment requirements that other traditional lenders may stipulate with more associated risks.
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Building A Home With A Va One
The VA one-time close construction loan allows the veteran to lock in the interest rate at the time of approval before construction begins, and that rate is good until it converts to the permanent loan.
Not only is this loan program valuable for financing new construction on a traditional home for active duty, reservists, and veterans, but borrowers may also use the construction to permanent loan to finance Specialty Adaptive Housing construction projects as well. Military members with severe service-connected disabilities often need special adapted homes.
This one-time loan could be used to:
- Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
- Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
Star Usda Lender Reviews That Wow
Richie, OK… so you’ve officially done something I’ve never seen in 22+ years selling real estate. Closed a VA Loan on 224 Acres, with a Manufactured Home. CONGRATULATIONS! and THANK YOU!!! Admittedly, I was skeptical when James told me you were going to get this VA Loan completed. And I had many doubts along the way, because I’d seen so many VA Lenders fall flat on their faces, just before the Closing. BUT… You got the Job DONE! Occasionally, I find someone out there who has done an Outstanding Job, helping my Clients… and You are one of these! I’m now officially a FAN of You and Your Work. I would be honored to promote you and your services to other Agents within our company, and I intend to do so. I will call you when I’ve caught up on my work a bit… and learn more about how I can do my job better on the next VA transaction. ~Tom K. Realtor
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The Security America Difference
Expert VA construction loan lenders can help the process be exponentially less complicated. Commonly, its more difficult to get a construction loan than an existing home loan, as lenders are more cautious funding a home that doesnt exist yet. Sometimes construction stretches out longer and plans fall through, making it a higher risk investment. Because of these factors, you usually end up applying for two separate loans: one short-term construction loan and one home loan upon completion. Then, youll search for a lender who can craft a loan plan starting as a non-VA construction and ending as a typical VA home loan, merging the two, separately-applied for loans.
It sounds complex, but it doesnt have to be. Security America does things differently. We offer a single-close VA construction loan that covers every step of the process, from land purchase to finished VA home loan without money down before, during, or after construction. In actuality, construction and home loans are two separate entities. The construction loan is usually short-term around 12 months to get you through the building stage. The builder will draw money from the lender in increments, and you will make monthly loan payments, keeping in mind theyre only interest payments. When your house is finished, you stop paying the construction loan and roll over to monthly mortgage payments, which is whatevers left on the construction loan balance.
Get Your Completed Home Va
When your new home is completed, the VA will have to inspect it again to make sure it meets the government agencys Minimum Property Requirements. Since its a brand-new house, your home should pass this inspection easily, assuming the builder followed local building codes.
The VAs seal of approval means the construction process is complete. Youll now transition into a permanent loan with monthly payments At this point, your VA loan will resemble any other VA loan on a primary residence.
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Get A Certificate Of Eligibility
VA loans and VA construction loans are only available to active duty service members or veterans. And to prove that you meet these conditions, youll need to provide a COE.
Your COE proves that you meet the requirements to apply for your VA construction loan. Youre eligible for a COE if youve served at least 90 days of active service or completed 6 years of honorable service.
Hunt For The Best Possible Value
Looking for homes that are “deliverable” is a good way to find a deal. These homes are probably available because of a breakdown in the deal between the previous buyer and the builder, leaving the builder to scramble to meet their original deadline.
If you’re interested in living in a development, check out homes in developments nearing completion. The last homes to sell are often cheaper, and you’ll already have the full picture of what the neighborhood will look like. No new homes blocking your view of that picturesque lake.
The best resource for deals on newly-built houses is a local real estate agent. They know the area, and local builders. You won’t find severely marked-down homes with online searches, because builders don’t want to risk upsetting other buyers who paid full-price.
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When To Convert The Construction Loan To A Va Home Loan
Veterans United Home Loans does not provide construction loans for building new homes. Construction loans from builders or local lenders are more common, which can then be converted to permanent VA loans.
After the construction of a home, borrowers who qualify can convert that VA construction loan into a permanent VA home loan once the home is finished.
Read more about the additional VA loan options besides a new construction loan.
So What Are Va Loan Inspection Requirements
Well, there you have it. The VA loan inspection requirements are simple, but should not be taken lightly. If a property doesnt meet these requirements, you have ample opportunity to fix any issues.
If the seller isnt willing to help, chances are the home isnt right for you, so keep looking. And of course, make sure to check out our other resources on VA loans.
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The Final Word: Talk To A Lender
While the Department of Veteran Affairs sets up general requirements for VA loans, individual VA lenders may also have additional guidelines. Thatâs why itâs important to talk to your lender about your plans to sell your VA loan home. And if youâre looking to buy a new house with a VA loan, make sure to shop around and choose a lender that offers mortgage products that fit your needs. Need help finding the perfect lender? At Orchard, our Home Advisors, licensed agents, can connect you with a trusted lender â just send us a note at .
Your Draw Period And Renovations Begin
Now that youre the homeowner, renovations can begin! The first step is to start distributing draws to your contractor.
What is a draw? Its simply a withdrawal from the renovation fund which goes to pay the contractor as they start certain milestones in the plan.
Levitt says that USDA renovation homeowners working with Fairway typically hear from a draw administrator within 48 hours of closing. The draw administrator oversees your renovation fund and coordinates payments to your contractor.
The draw team works closely with your contractor throughout the renovation process to ensure they are being paid and that the work is progressing.
When you are deciding on a lender for your USDA renovation loan, ask whether they service the loan in-house or sell it to a third party. Many lenders sell loans to third-party services after they close, including renovation loans.
Levitt noted that Fairway services renovation loans in-house while the work is being done so that you are working with the same team throughout the process. If your renovation loan is sold to a servicer immediately after closing, the new company will not have context for the work youre having done or the renovation plans up to this point.
When your lender keeps the loan in-house, the draw team and the contractor should already be in contact. The draw team will also be familiar with the full scope of the project, which can prevent confusion, stress, and delays.
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How To Find A Usda Construction Loan
Although there are big potential benefits to a USDA construction loan, it can be difficult to find lenders offering them in practice.
Even the largest of lenders dont offer this program for many reasons. These include factors like longer closing time, higher risk to underwriting and investors, having to lock the rate longer, and needing to communicate with many moving parts over a long period, Duncan says.
An online search for USDA construction loan lenders should yield some lenders you can investigate.
I recommend choosing a lender that knows exactly what this process involves and has closed these loans before. You want someone transparent, upfront, and who doesnt sugarcoat or gloss over the details of what youre looking for, advises Mushlin.
Get Preapproved For A Loan
Next, you need to get preapproved for the loan. You can do that through a bank or credit union. However, not all VA loan lenders provide VA construction loans, so you may have to do some digging.
Preapproval is essential because it helps you get an idea of the type of house you can afford to build. It also shows your builder that youre committed to seeing this process through.
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One Loan At A Time: Restore Your Full Entitlement
If youve previously had a VA loan that youve already paid off, youll typically also have to sell the home to have your full entitlement restored.
However, the VA allows for a one-time restoration of full entitlement for homeowners who have paid off their VA loan but still own the property they used the loan to purchase. This can be used in circumstances where youve either finished paying off your VA loan and now own your home outright or youve refinanced your VA loan into a different loan type, such as a conventional loan.
Youll have to apply for entitlement restoration through the VA. You can only use this type of restoration once in the future, youll have to follow the standard rule of selling the property before you can have your entitlement restored.
Can You Do A Construction Loan With Va
Yes, the VA offers a construction loan with one closing. Unlike traditional construction loans, VA borrowers dont need to string together three loans for buying land, paying for building costs, and refinancing the first two into a long-term mortgage. But finding VA construction loan lenders can be difficult.
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How Much Can I Borrow With A Va Land Loan
Military borrowers have more borrowing power than ever in 2020. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 allows VA borrowers to take out a VA loan with no down payment to buy, build or refinance a home above the $765,600 conforming loan limit for high-cost areas.
One caveat: VA construction lenders may set their own guidelines, so check with your loan officer if youre building a home in a high-cost area.
Quick Highlights Of Our Fha & Va One
*Construction & Renovation Loans Not Allowed in Alaska, Hawaii, or New York, Nor Available for Manufactured Home Styles & Are Currently Suspended Until Further Notice in All Other States.
Ineligible Property Types: Steel Homes, Shomes , Barndominiums, Log Cabins, Earth Contact Homes, Geodomes, Container Homes, A-Frames, Concrete Builds, SIP or ICF Panel Homes, or any unique out-of-the-box property types. No Multi-Family, Second Homes, Investment Construction & No Self Build, or Self Contracting Allowed at this time. While we do not make the rules on these types of properties, youll be amazed at how many Modular Property Dealers have designed homes much more attractive and at a better cost. You may find what you are looking for with this option.
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Close On The Va Construction Loan
Once your initial plans have been approved, its time to close on the VA construction loan. The entire process could take 45 60 days to complete.
Unlike a typical mortgage, you wont receive the funds immediately upon closing. Instead, the funds will be dispersed depending on the timeline of your project. The remainder is deposited into an escrow account to be withdrawn on an as-needed basis.
Manufactured Homes & Va Loans
Manufactured home and mobile homes are the same, although todays manufactured homes often look more modern than the traditional single- or double-wide trailers many people imagine.
Manufactured homes are entirely built in factories and must meet building codes set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development . These homes have a permanent steel chassis, axles, and wheels, on which theyre typically towed to the home site.
Manufactured homes will have a metal identification plate on the outside of the structure. You might hear this called a HUD tag or a red tag.
They also have a data plate inside the home, often on a bedroom closet wall or inside a kitchen cabinet. The data plate is a sticker with information about the house and its specifications.
Whether its brand new or existing, manufactured homes typically need to be affixed to a permanent foundation and classified as real property in order to be eligible for a 30-year VA loan. Theyll also need to conform with the VAs Minimum Property Requirements substantially.
The challenge can be finding VA lenders willing to make loans for manufactured housing. Thats because manufactured homes rarely appreciate in value over time, and theyre often susceptible to storm damage and shorter economic lifespans.
These properties also tend to have higher default rates than traditional, stick-built homes.
Veterans United does not currently lend on manufactured homes.
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Find A Contractor And Schedule The Appraisal
After your offer is accepted, your lender will begin processing your loan and you will need to find a contractor to submit a renovation bid to your lender. You cannot do the renovations yourself with a USDA renovation loan, so start looking for good contractors in your area as soon as you decide to use one of these loans.
During this time, known as your due diligence period, your lender will schedule an appraisal of the home. They schedule the appraisal, and youll pay the appraisal fee as part of your closing costs.
The appraiser will determine the as improved value of the home, meaning its predicted value once repairs are complete. Lenders cannot approve USDA loans for more than the appraised value of the home, so this is an advantage of the renovation option.
The USDA allows lenders to approve loans based on the as-improved value, giving you more borrowing power. Another bonus is that the USDA allows you to finance your closing costs as part of the home if the appraised value is higher than the purchase price.
If the as-improved appraisal comes in higher than what you are paying to buy the home, you can use the difference to finance your closing costs. No down payment and little to no closing costs means you could buy a house with very little money upfront.