Why getting Pre-Approved for a VA Loan should be your first step

hungry dogWhy is VA Loan Pre-Approval an important step in the home buying process?

Markets across the country, and undeniably in Southern California, report that the number of buyers on the hunt for a home largely out number the amount of homes currently for sale. In our highly competitive Orange County real estate market we find ourselves in today, getting pre-approved for a VA loan has become an essential component of making an offer on a home. Buying a home in Orange County is not an unobtainable dream for Veterans, but something special is needed to separate them from other house hunters. Being pre-approved by an Orange County VA lender has the power to separate your offer from any others submitted. It’s important to demonstrate to the seller that you are serious about buying, and have been thoroughly vetted to show that you are a responsible candidate. This is an essential step that must be completed prior to shopping for a home. Pre-Approval not only qualifies you for a VA  mortgage, but approves you for the highest loan amount you can acquire with the lender. This gives you a legitimate handle on what you can reasonably afford while simultaneously instilling the confidence needed to stand out and win in the home buying process.

How does getting Pre-Approved work?

To begin the VA loan pre-approval process you’ll need to select an Orange County Loan Officer who specializes in VA financing that you trust to give you a fair deal. Once you’ve found the right fit, you’ll need to complete their loan application and provide them with what Freddie Mac calls the 4 C’s that will assist in the analysis of your situation:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments (income, job history, employment verification)
  2. Capital or Cash Reserves: the money, savings and/or investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash (bank statements)
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase (where you would like to buy, in proportion to what is in your price range)
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time (credit pulled, debts considered, lates’ recorded, ect.)

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”-Freddie Mac’s “My Home” section of website

Once the information is received and reviewed, your VA Loan pre-approval letter will be issued. The letter will show the highest VA loan amount you have been approved to receive from the lender. Your real estate agent can use this to show you homes at or below the amount then use it further when submitting an offer.

cloudy house poster

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers who are Veterans overestimate the down payment ($0 down to $679,650) and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. Getting Pre-Approved will give you peace of mind and a clear path to buy the home of your dreams!


Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County, CA Loan Officer specializing in VA Loans. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289. My direct line is 714-478-3049. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios that will be matched up to your financial goals, both long and short-term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.