It seems our poor Veterans are getting hit from all sides these days. From long waits to receive urgent medical care, to decreased retirement benefits, to cutbacks on funding for new recruits, Veterans are among the least appreciated members of our society. And this appalling neglect seems to extend to home buying as well.
Here, unfortunately, is a typical example of a wonderful young couple and their frustrating quest to buy a Las Vegas home using their VA benefits. Our wonderfully tenacious agent, Judy Campbell, was finally able to help them realize their dream, but only after they went through several Realtors and lost out on a lot of houses first. As told by Judy:
"Steve and Mary (not their real names) are a younger couple in their mid to late 30s. They started looking for a house after they were married, just over a year ago, excited and eager to move into their first home together. They were using Steve's VA benefits to save on down payment and closing costs.
For more than a year, Steve and Mary tried to get to get an offer accepted. But, in their price range, most of the properties had multiple offers on them. The sellers (or their listing agents) were more inclined to take an FHA or conventional buyer because of the additional costs associated with a VA loan, the longer time to process a VA loan, and the VA's more stringent appraisals. On top of that, experienced listing agents also knew that a VA buyer could cancel a transaction at the last minute for any reason and still be entitled to get their earnest deposit back. Just another reason for a seller to reject a VA buyer.
Finally, Steve and Mary found our website at www.GreatLasVegasHomes.com, and I was asked to assist them. Even after they got to me, we lost two offers before we were successful. We made those offers aggressively, agreeing to release the buyer's earnest deposit up front as non- refundable if the seller would just please PLEASE accept our offer - but to no avail. Both listing agents admitted that the offers were rejected because of the VA mortgage loan.
That was when I got even more determined, and I promised them I wouldn’t give up if they didn’t. Steve’s a Veteran who served in the humanitarian venue with the military. Now he’s a highway patrolman. They were SO down hearted, and thought they would never find anything. It broke my heart that we owe so much to him, and he couldn’t get even get a house for his new bride!
Then we found another home they fell in love with. I begged and pleaded with the listing agent, and promised to do whatever they asked, including increasing the sales price and using their lender. I also wrote a long heartfelt letter about Steve and Mary so that the sellers could get to know them personally and see what a wonderful couple they were.
Well, finally pleading and begging worked, and the 3rd time was the charm! Even when the appraisal came back under the agreed upon sales price, the seller was willing to reduce the price $5k down to the original asking price.
The entire transaction when beautifully from start to finish…..mainly because Steve and Mary were SO cooperative and grateful. They had only negative expectations after their previous experiences, so everything about this house was a joy for them and nothing asked of them was too much bother. The house is fabulous – it has a pool and had been newly renovated, and is in a beautiful gated northwest Las Vegas community. They are so happy now!"
But how sad that our VA buyers have to go through such an arduous process and multiple rejections because of the cost and terms of a VA loan. Steve and Mary's story is all too common, and it truly is a crime. If anything, the government should be making it easier for these uassuming modern day heroes.
Judy suggested that Sellers should get small bonus or tax credit from the federal government for giving VA buyers a priority, and I heartily concur. We need to support the men and women who risked their lives for us so that we can remain the land of the free and the home of the brave. (Or we would be the home of the brave if only the brave could get a home!) Write your Congressmen and Senators now, so we can help more Veterans get into homes.
Team Leader, The Tonnesen Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada
3185 St Rose Pkwy #100 Henderson, NV 89052
With over 30 years of experience helping families call Las Vegas "home!"
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