The 2010 VA loan limit deadline approaches and it looks like we were able to sneak one in before the December 31, 2009 drop dead date. We went from application to funding in 17 calendar days. I want to share some thoughts about how to get a VA mortgage approved quickly and help veterans (and their REALTORs) avoid some of the common deal killers:
1- The VA appraiser can be the largest stumbling block. VA appraisers have ten BUSINESS days, from the time they receive the assignment, to inspect the property and complete the valuation report. Most VA appraisers are quite helpful and will try to "push" that time frame but you have to help them. I recommend that the listing agent have 4-5 pre-arranged inspection times available for the appraiser and that the listing agent meet the appraiser at the property.
2- The appraisal still has to be underwritten by a VA-approved, LAPP underwriter who issues a Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV). That typically takes one to three business days. Some lenders opt for the VA to underwrite the appraisal; that takes 2-3 business days.
3- The good news is that the rest of the file can be submitted right before the expected appraisal upload. I recommend that the loan file be fully processed and submitted on the 6th-9th business day after the appraisal assignment. If the file spends a week in underwriting, the CRV should be issued by then.
4- Common mistakes associated with residual income analysis include:
- improper calculation of the veteran's tax obligation
- failure to account for the monthly utilities expense ($.14/square foot)
- forgetting to account for and secure a monthly child care expense statement
- not documenting the income with a Statement of Service (active service members)
5- Failure to fill out the proper forms and disclosures (VA forms are onerous).
6- Forgetting to pull a Certificate of Eligibility (usually comes with the case number assignment)
7- Forgetting to pull a CAIVRs report.
8- Securing a clear termite report, with Sections 1 AND 2 clearance, signed by both the seller and the buyer.
9- The most common funding mistake is not having a Yeoman/Quartermaster available, for deployed active duty service members, to fill out an "Alive and Well Statement".
10- The BIGGEST mistake made is forgetting to have the VA Amendatory Clause executed by the seller, buyers, and real estate agents, at contract acceptance.
VA loans are often considered to be time consuming propositions. With proper preparation, and a teamwork approach from the listing agent, selling agent, and lender, a VA loan can go from application to funding in less than three weeks.