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How Long Does the VA Loan Process Take in California?

How long does the VA loan closing process take in California? How long does it take to get approved for a loan, once you’ve submitted an application?

These are common questions among home buyers and homeowners considering a VA loan in California. Today, we’ll examine the different steps that occur during the mortgage application, underwriting and closing process.

At a glance: Surveys have shown the VA loan process takes an average of 66 days. That’s the average “time to close” between the application and the actual funding of the loan. But it can happen much faster than that in some cases, especially if you work with a company that specializes in VA loans (like us).

The VA Loan Process: Start to Finish

A VA loan is simply a home mortgage loan that receives government backing. They are originated by private-sector banks and lenders, just like “regular” home loans. But they’re guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This government backing is what sets VA loans apart from conventional or regular mortgages.

But let’s get back to the loan approval process, and how it works. The process can vary depending on whether you are buying or refinancing a home. Here, we will focus on home buying, since it also covers many of the loan-related steps needed to refinance.

While the VA mortgage process can vary slightly from one borrower to the next, it usually looks like this:

  • The borrower obtains a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA.
  • The borrower submits a loan application and gets pre-approved for an amount.
  • The borrower / buyer finds a home and makes an offer to buy it.
  • The lender has the home appraised, in accordance with VA requirements.
  • The loan moves into the underwriting stage for a more thorough review.
  • The buyer “closes” on the house by signing documents and paying closing costs.

Again, this is for purchases. The VA loan refinancing process includes some of these same steps, but without the home-buying portions.

How Long Does It Take to Close?

So, how long does the VA loan process take in California? The short answer is that it varies. In some cases, the borrower can move from the application stage to the final closing in two or three weeks. Other times, it might take longer.

A report published last year by ICE Mortgage Technology showed the average “time to close” for different loan types, including conventional, FHA and VA. In this context, the time to close was defined as the length of time from (A) the initial application to (B) the actual funding of the loan.

In short: the “time to close” shows how long the basic mortgage process takes, on average, for the different types of home loans.

According that report, the average time to close for VA loans was 66 days. Again, that’s from the application all the way through to the closing and funding. The average among conventional mortgage loans (that are not backed by the government) was 57 days.

This report, and others like it, show that the VA loan process can take a little longer than the process for a conventional mortgage product. At least on average. But we’re not talking about a huge difference, in the grand scheme of things. A well-experienced mortgage team can close loans faster than average.

Also, we have to remember the major advantages a California VA loan can offers. Home buyers who use this program to buy a house can do so without making a down payment. That’s a major benefit, especially for those who have limited funds saved up for their home purchase.

Your California VA Mortgage Specialist

As a borrower, you could potentially shorten the time from application to closing by working with an experienced lender. And Bridgepoint Funding is a great place to start.

We’ve been helping California home buyers and homeowners meet their financing needs for nearly 20 years. We specialize in the VA loan program and take pride in helping military service members, veterans, and their families.

With our help, you’ll be able to navigate the VA mortgage process with ease. Please contact our team if you have questions about this program, or if you’d like to start the application process.

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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