VA Financing is an opportunity to thank someone who serves
Veteran’s Day offers all of us an opportunity to thank those who serve. Simply picking up the phone and saying thank you is always special. But today, I want to share why VA financing is so important for military service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses. In real estate, VA financing is an opportunity to say thank you to those who serve our country.
A day in the life of many veteran home buyers
Very recently, Veteran Affairs (VA) added new building requirements for new construction homes. This simply means builders of new construction homes must sign forms stating they used sound building techniques during construction. While acting as a Buyer’s Agent for a veteran, I submitted a purchase offer on his behalf. The Seller’s Agent made a point to say the builder “supports veterans” but conforming to VA standards was essentially too much trouble. My client’s offer would be considered if another financing option was used. VA financing was my client’s best option, so we kept looking.
I served in the military, as did my husband, my brother and my father. Half or more of my clients are veterans. Add to that all the friends I served with and the roughly five hundred thousand men and women currently wearing a military uniform today. So needless to say, I was beyond disappointed with this response. Sadly, this happens more often than you might think.
VA financing exists for important reasons
Veterans and active duty service members are the only ones who qualify for VA financing. It exists because veterans face additional challenges to homeownership than the general populations for more reasons than I will attempt to explain here. Moving multiple times if not extensively over time makes a home purchase difficult. And those who do purchase often lose money when they have to sell three or four short years later to accommodate the needs of the military. So many have to wait until after they leave military service to purchase a home. Many Veterans also struggle to transfer their military skills to civilian employment and income. Not helpful when trying to buy a home.
VA financing is specifically designed to help service members and veterans overcome those and many other challenges so they can purchase a home and grow their biggest financial investment just like everyone else. Yes, the VA requires more steps for sellers, real estate agents, lenders and apparently home builders. But all those requirements are in the best interest of the veterans and their families. And frankly, every home buyer would benefit from them. When both the real estate agent and lender are experienced in VA financing, the usual 30-45 day to close period is realistic. For more on VA home loans, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/.
VA financing is an opportunity to say thank you to someone who serves
I choose to work with veterans because I understand from personal experience the challenges are real and want to help them succeed. I earned the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) Military Relocation Professional® Certification https://sckyrealestate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/dawn-long-realtor-mrp-brochure.pdf to stay on top of changes and make my very best effort.
Yes it takes a bit more time and effort sometimes – but not always. And yes they may have special needs as a result of a service related disability – but not always. And yes I may make less commission if my veteran client works with a national lender who specializes in VA financing – but not always. I don’t see that as a problem or extra work. I see that as an opportunity to say thank you in a meaningful way and help a fellow veteran succeed.
That builder missed an opportunity to say thank you to veteran when he declined my client’s offer.
A call to action on Veteran’s Day
So on this Veteran’s Day, I ask everyone in the real estate industry who aren’t already to support our veterans’ decision to use VA financing. In doing so, you’re helping them play catch up for lost time and income and invest in a successful future.
And if you’re not in the real estate industry, I ask you to find a way to use your business, talent or resources to say “Thank you for your service.” We all have something to contribute!
The need and opportunity are all around us
Thankfully our homeless veteran population has decreased a little bit in recent years. But we still have so many who struggle after leaving military service and need assistance. To understand why veterans are at higher risk for homelessness than the general population, visit National Coalition for Homeless Veterans at http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics.
And then visit one of these local organizations. I’m sure they can share an opportunity to thank a veteran who could really use the help.
- The American Legion Post 23 at facebook.com/American-Legion-Post-23
- The Good Deeds Club at facebook.com/gooddeedsclub
- The Kentucky Veteran’s Brigade Community Outreach at facebook.com/kentuckyveteransbrigade
- Bowling Green VA Clinic at https://www.tennesseevalley.va.gov/locations/Bowling_Green.asp