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VA Center

This page will concisely go over the necessities of the VA loan process, lenders, the VA loan, rates and fees, key points, VA calculator, BAH Calculator, useful tools and much more for proper knowledge and guidance.


You have 13 days to shop lenders to get the best rates and service and qualify the lender best suited for you.


Process #1: Connect with us to guide you through the entire process.

Process #2: Knowledge – learn about the VA loan, below we put together a few pointers.

Process #3: Pre-approve with local Lenders who know the VA loan well. You have 13 days to shop as much as you want and local lenders know our market and often outperform national lenders.


Shop Lenders to get the best rates

  • Mortgage lenders are required to provide a Good Faith Estimate (GFE), which lists the costs associated with obtaining a mortgage loan, within three days of the completion of a loan application. This way you can compare them side by side for the best options.
  • The Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) requires all lenders to disclose total financing costs for their loans and also the loan’s annual percentage rate, or APR.
  • The APR incorporates both the interest rate and lender fees into its calculations and expresses this number as an annual rate to make comparing loans with different pricing structures easier for consumers.

Stay Local

It is so very important you understand local lenders from regional lenders. Loans also get sold no matter who you are with so don’t be clouded by brand loyalty. Ask and compare fee structures, not just rates. National lenders will often have loan origination points (% of loan) typically 1%. while our lenders will charge a flat fee of 0-$1000, often thousands less than national guys. ex.$300,000 house will likely cost you around $3000.

Incentives: : Often national lenders offer incentives to use their lender and real estate agent of choice. Do your research and ask questions. The truth is the incentive comes from somewhere. Often it comes from you, the agent, or both. They often offer lower interest rates upfront but in small writing, they have a buy down rate or forced buy down rate (see below on buy downs). Most national and local lenders will match each other. Where the difference lies in the fees, or points being charged. Be sure to ask for a good faith estimate and compare them to a local lender. However, these can change when you lock you rate. Realtors assigned not chosen by you sign referral agreements to pay upwards of 50% of their commission to go back to the referring company from which you only get a fraction of and the loan institution to keep the rest. These assigned agents are not often veterans or trained properly to handle and negotiate the complexity of VA deals or incentive to give you full service at a discount that you are unaware of.

Key points of a VA Loan

  • $0 money down payment
  • 0% Mortgage Insurance
  • Reusable
  • No debt to income ratios (lenders do however)
  • Lower interest rates and fees than other loans
  • Can be used more than once and for investments (learn more)
  • No max loan limits. However VA does limit Guaranty
  • First-time use of VA funding fee is 2.3% and 0% with disability
  • Average 30 days to close on a VA loan
  • The appraiser has 10 business days in Pierce County
  • Cannot pay real estate commissions
  • Closing cost and debt can be paid by seller
  • VA renovation loans are available
  • VA does not provide the loan, lenders do. VA guaranties the loan.
  • VA can Help if you struggle with payments

Credit: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

For more information about the VA loan directly from the VA go to

Review: Cyrus Bonnet has opened my eyes to the difference between using a local lender and using a national lender. This being my first time buying a house I was more inclined to using a bank or lender that I already use for other things or that I’ve heard of. The problem with that is that when I need to get ahold of them or needed something done right away that would affect my offer it was like jumping through hoops to try and get ahold of them and get it done. So I decided to stop using my lenders I was comfortable with and tried a local lender he suggested and it was like a whole other experience. When I needed something from them they were there and no matter the time or how small or big the situation was. They have made the house buying process so easy and have and still are helping me along the way. They went out of their way to get what I have needed done and assisted me the whole time. Even the rates that gave me were better and they had the customer service to back it up. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are scared or unsure on if you should use a national or local lender based on my experience I would say the local lender. Adrian

Pre-Approve Lenders

Here are the top local VA lenders based on experience, number of VA loans, lower fee structures, capability of closing on time, help with negotiations, understanding the market, and overall clients satisfaction.

Jaimie Garett’s Team
Jaimie Garett’s Team

NMLS# 262292


Mark Jaime’s Team
Mark Jaime’s Team

NMLS# 262292


Cornerstone Home Mortgage
Tim Barlow President

NMLS# 47795


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