Monday, December 5, 2016

Purchasing a Home with a VA Loan- Challenges and Opportunities

VA loans are hands down the best loans out there for opening doors with low purchase costs and payments.  You can purchase a home with no down payment. If your Realtor writes the contract correctly, you can often get a credit for closing costs also. So there is the opportunity.

Here are the challenges...The VA will only guarantee loans for homes that are in very good condition. Forget about fixer uppers. The way this works is that the VA appraiser "calls out" condition items that are not acceptable. Either the seller pays for repairs or the sale cancels. If the repairs are minimal, sellers are often prepared to pay. Unfortunately if the repairs are significant, sellers will often look for a buyer with conventional financing. This eliminates the need for repairs to satisfy the lender (with some exceptions).  So in a situation with a new listing or a multiple offer scenario, it can be difficult to buy an older home with a VA loan.

Here is my advice (from over 35 years as a Real Estate Broker). You and your Realtor can first look at available homes in good condition. After that, take a second look at homes in okay condition that have been on the market for over 40 days or so. The sellers of those homes may be more flexible about repairs once their home has been on the market for awhile. I recently closed a sale for a VA buyer under just such a scenario. The seller was resistant to making repairs however time on the market caused her to choose that path. I have also been involved in purchases where the sellers specifically selected an offer with a VA buyer. That's a rewarding transaction, when Veterans are acknowledged for their service with a true Welcome Home statement like that!

If you are a Veteran, you should definitely look into getting your Certificate of Eligibility so you can purchase a home. A local lender who specializes in VA loans can assist you in getting the certificate. It can save you some time. It's a good idea for you to check eligibility though. Here is that information on the eBenefits website

If you do not yet have a Realtor, consider looking for a Military Relocation Professional. Here is a web page where you can search for your Realtor - Military Relocation Professionals-find-mrp

If you are looking for a Military relocation Professional or just a great Realtor in the greater Sacramento area, please contact me! (916) 837-4500 or

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Little Known VA Benefit for Active Duty Veterans and Their Widows / Widowers called Aid and Attendance

The VA offers a little known benefit for Active Duty Veterans and their
widows/widowers called 
Aid & Attendance. If you are in this situation, or have a friend or relative who is, the following information may be important and helpful.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.
Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

It’s worth checking into if you think that you, a friend or a relative may meet the qualifications. Here is a link to the VA web page about the programs and the application process:
Here is a link for Information and Instructions for Completing the Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension:
If you are interested in the Reno Nevada area, I am familiar with a warm and wonderful Memory Care Community - The Arbors. If you, or someone you know, has the Aid and Attendance Benefit and needs a memory care community, you might check to see if this is a good fit. Here is  a link to their website and they get credit for the photos that follow (which were taken there): The Arbors Memory Care

Courtesy of The Arbors Memory Care