Monday, July 21, 2014

Using Your Veterans Benefit To Buy A Home

Using Your Veterans Benefit To Buy A Home
Using Your Veterans Benefit to Buy A Home.   Probably one of the most talked about GI benefits is the VA Home Loan.   You've  heard about it, but have you thought of it using it?   
What is the benefit?            How can it help you?              What's the process?  
If you have been following my blog for awhile, it is pretty clear that Veterans are near and dear to my heart.   Al and I are proud members of families with strong ties to the US Military.    Being a veteran myself, I take great pride in helping others obtain their housing needs.   Using the VA home loan is one of those benefits that can help many.    US Veteran
Experience tells me that in our area, this is an under used tool by many real estate agents and loan officers.    Why?   Because like anything with the government, there are a few internal twists.  But fear not!   If you hire an experienced agent and have the right loan officer, you don't have to even think of these.       
What's the Benefit?  For purposes of today's blog, we're talking about the VA home loan.   The loan is available through private lenders to Service members, Veterans, and qualifying surviving spouses.   In a nutshell the VA stands behind the loan, guaranteeing a portion of it, eliminating the need for a 20% down payment or in lieu of that, costly private mortgage insurance.    It can be used to buy, build, or refi a primary  residence. 
(There are other housing related programs that will help assist in repairing, retaining, or adapting a personal home.   Stay tuned for future blog.)

How Can It Help You?
  • Limited or Zero Down payment
  • No Mortgage Insurance (there is a one time funding fee)
  • Re-Usable & Assumable

What's the Process?   The first question to ask is, do you qualify?   In other words are you you a Service member, Veterans, and qualifying surviving spouse?   If the answer is yes:
  • Hire a Realtor experienced  working with and negotiating VA transactions.
  • Get financially pre-qualified by a lender that does VA backed loans.   (Not all banks do.)
  • You will need a COE (Certificate of Eligibility)   The lender can help you with this.
  • Find Your Home
  • Negotiate the terms of your transaction
  • Apply for your loan
  • Closing
In my 26 year real estate career, I am proud to say that have helped many veterans find and sell homes.    Some take advantage of their benefits.   All should at least look into them.     
I have experience in negotiating home sales including new construction using the VA home loan.  
If you are a vet looking for a home give me a call!   
I promise to go the extra mile for you! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Being Single and Buying or Selling A Home

Being Single and Buying or Selling A Home

There is no question about it.   Buying or Selling a home in any circumstance is emotionally charged.   There are ways to help manage the "single" stress. 

Over the years, I have come to realize that buying or selling a home is much different for single folks than it is for couples.    In fact, I can speak from experience!    Not just from being a Realtor, but from having been a single person in the real estate arena.
Without another person who's financial hat is also in the ring, a real estate transaction can be a lonely, exaggerated, and overwhelming process.  

Buyer's/Seller's Remorse.    Everyone experiences this joy of an emotion, BUT, it typically hits at different times in the process.  For example, one might experience after an offer is accepted, while another experiences it just prior to the closing.

The good news is this emotion doesn't last for long.  The big difference here is obvious.    In a partnership transaction, there is someone to lean on while waiting for this lovely emotion to pass.  

Making the Decision.   There are lots and lots of BIG & little decisions to make when buying or selling a home.   From choosing where to live or marketing strategy,    It's always easier to have someone to bounce things off of.   But, here is the big thing.   It is easier to make a decision,and more comforting too, when that decision is being made by more than one who's feet are in the water.  

Doing the Legwork.   Sharing the work load is always easier, especially if you have a full time life!    There are a lot of moving pieces in a transaction.    Facing the laundry list of the large and small can be daunting.   Couples can share in this but the single buyer/seller is has the disadvantage of fitting it all on his/her plate.  

Strengths and Weaknesses.   Yin and Yang, what ever you want to call it.   I can handle this, you can handle that.   What seems to you a big deal may not be to your partner and the other way around.  

So, what can you do to make it easier if you are single?   

  • Hire a competent, understanding Realtor.  One that communicates well and has the experience to project ahead and has resources for you.
  • Make a list of what's important and what isn't.   
  • Pick a person to lean on for decisions.   One.  Not many.   Too many opinions and well meaning intentions will become overwhelming. 
  • Know the steps of the transaction.    Knowing in advance,will help with the pieces of the puzzle as they present them self.      
  •  Hire professionals to help manage the work load.   Attorneys, Movers, etc.  Don't expect to do this all on your own!
  • Anticipate Buyers or Sellers Remorse.   Second guessing ourselves is human nature.  Know that this emotion happens to everyone and it will go away.   
  • Ask for Help.      You might need help getting that paperwork from here to there or letting the movers into the house.   It's probably the hardest thing for any of us to do, but you have to ask. 

Looking to Buy, Sell, Rent or Invest?   

Put my 26 years of experience to work for you!   

 Call or contact me by phone 508-494-9061 or email to