It’s no secret I work with a lot of veterans, the VA Home loan program is a great benefit for those who served. But one of the biggest complaints I hear is from members of the armed service who didn't qualify. Or felt they should have qualified but their original lender didn't know why or didn't explain why. I’ll be honest you can call the VA and likely half of the people who answer the phone won’t be able to explain either.
So everything you need to know is on your DD-214, it was issued to you as separation papers or Cert of release or discharge from active duty. If you don’t have your DD-214, it’s the first thing any lender is going to ask for. For most, it is the happiest day when you get a hold of your DD-214, it’s like a warm safe blanket that no officer can penetrate. But it also gives you access to all the Veteran Benefits your recruiter sold you on. You should have had an exit interview, the main focus of this is to make sure all of you service records are correct, If you are being released with disabilities it would have been part of this interview, think of it as a AAR for your career. (Here is the kicker, most of the time a solider gets a choice, “You want a personal exit interview in 3 hours or a group interview now and you can head out”, Guess which one most pick) Also if you were in the selected services you may have several DD-214's.
As a veteran you want to make sure field 3 is correct SS#, you would think this is a given…Well I have a client that had 2 separate SS#, one for active deployment and a transposed one for reserve time. He was a Marine, so it is understandable! Next look at field 12, check this one closely. If you are an 88A (That’s 88 Alpha if you’re a civilian, but you were not supposed to read this post), and have never seen a boat, then you likely shouldn't have sea service.
“I’m still in the National Guard (or Reserve Unit)”, well then you won’t have a DD-214 for you selective service. (At least not a single one). I would start by suggesting you get a “Statement of Service” from your commander or Unit Admin. There is no Form for this but it should contain certain information. Feel free to call me with question or print this requirements of needs to be in the statement.
Once we have the required time in placee can ask for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This opens the doors for your VA loan. Get this in place first, before ever writing a contract to buy a home! Your Certs don’t expire so get them as early as possible!
Next up is do you qualify, well that depends on time in, when you served, how you were discharged, why you were discharged. If you were discharged during the 90’s then you must qualify during that time period.
The rest of this post is the nuts and bolts of qualification, and about as boring as you would expect. But it is why you are reading this post. You will have questions and every VA Loan is different. I would suggest calling me with specific questions. 225.819.7670
More Details on VA Home Loan Eligibility
There are many ways in which you may be eligible for a VA home loan. To be completely sure that you are eligible, call 225 288 6570 or complete a short contact request form and a licensed loan officer will answer your questions.
Here are more ways that you may be eligible:
If you enlisted and service began on or BEFORE September 7, 1980 or you were an officer and service began on or BEFORE October 16, 1980 you are eligible if you served honorably for:
90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime or
181 continuous days or more during peacetime
If you enlisted and service began AFTER September 7, 1980 or you were an officer and service began AFTER October 16, 1980, you may be eligible if you served honorably for:
24 continuous months or more or the full period for which ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime)
Member of the National Guard or Reserves for a minimum of 6 years (see below for more information)
The Vietnam Era begins on Feb 28, ’61 for individuals who served in the Republic of Vietnam
You may also be determined eligible if you:
The above information does not cover every situation. To find out if you are eligible for a VA loan, call 225 288 6570 to speak with a licensed lender who can help you with your specific needs, or contact us here to get a VA loan rate quote and verify your eligibility.
Active Duty Service Personnel
If you are now on active duty, you are eligible after having served on continuous active status for at least 90 days. When an ending date is established for Persian Gulf War service, a minimum of 181 days of continuous active duty will be required for persons who did not have wartime service.
Members of the Selected Reserve
“Selected Reserve” means the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of any of the Reserve components which consists of units and individuals who participate actively in paid training periods and serve on paid active duty for training each year. This includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves as well as Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
6-Year Requirement: A veteran, who is not otherwise eligible, who completes a total of 6 years as a member of the Selected Reserve (need not be ordered to active duty) is eligible if he or she either:
The 6 years service need not be continuous nor in the same Reserve or National Guard unit. However, active duty regular military service cannot be combined with Reserve service to reach the 6 year requirement.
The VA home loan program is an excellent deal for active duty military personnel and non-active duty veterans. Take advantage of your benefits.
Existing home sales for September fell by 1.90 percent from August’s revised reading of 5.39 million sales to 5.29 million sales. Economists had expected 5.30 million sales for September, so a slow-down in existing home sales had been anticipated.The National Association of REALTORS cited higher home prices and mortgage rates as factors contributing to fewer sales of previously owned homes.Home Prices Easily Outpaced Income GrowthAccording to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, home prices ”easily outpaced income growth.” Consequently, affordability has fallen to a five-year low. Mr. Yun also indicated that a government shutdown was expected to affect home sales in October. NAR also cited a ”notable increase” in federal flood insurance premiums as a deterrent to homebuyers in flood zones. The premium increase was set for October 1. There is some good news. The NAR reported that existing home sales had increased from 4.78 million in September 2012. As compared to the reading for September 2013, this was an annual increase of 10.70 percent in existing home sales.This increase represented the 27th consecutive month for increasing sales of existing homes on a year-over-year basis.
Higher National Median Home PriceAccording to the NAR report, the national median home price increased by 11.70 percent to $199,200 as compared to one year ago. This was the 10th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases in existing home prices.NAR estimated that it would take five months to sell the 2.21 million previously owned homes currently available, which indicates that available existing homes remain in short supply.Sales of distressed properties rose to 14.00 percent share of existing home sales, up from August’s share of 12.00 percent. August’s level was the lowest share of distressed properties sold since NAR began tracking monthly sales of distressed properties in October 2008. Sales of distressed properties during September included 9.00 percent foreclosed properties and 5.00 percent short sales.Distressed properties typically sell for less than market value; fewer distressed properties included in existing homes for sale would contribute to higher prices. September’s percentage of distressed sales is down by 10 percent year-over-year.
There are several reasons for selling your
house yourself. Some that make sense; some that don’t make sense. I’ve even taken
this route myself, with mixed results. I am a do-it-yourselfer, so I understand
that too, maybe that’s a driving force for you. Well, let me give you a few
Note: I thought I would dash off 10 tips
and be done with it. That didn’t work. There were too many thoughts; too many
experiences. 10 tips turned to 15, then 20. There are more, but you have to
Sale By Owner
This is 1 of 3 articles written to Help FSBO
Part 1: Tips for
Baton Rouge FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner)
Part 2: My
Experiences with FSBO’s. Tales of Woe and Tales of
Part 3: What
happens after the contract is signed!
Don’t take your neighbors word on what things sold for. Don’t use other
people’s asking price for setting your price. Find out solid info on modern
sales. Practically same square footage, beds, baths, degree of updates, etc.
Don’t fudge here. Today’s buyers know prices, you can’t overprice.
Realtors for their knowledge, they know what properties in certain areas are
selling for, some might want up to $150 for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
or use one of my Realtors for FREE!
§ Decide if
you will work with Realtors. You are allowed to negotiate commissions!
While you wouldn’t offer the full commission, there are realtors who will bring
you homebuyers for a reduced Commission (2% is common, but it is up to you).
Just be sure it is set beforehand.
callers if they are pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. Don’t waste your
time on “lookers.” You can always have them call me 225 819
§ Make a
great flyer. Possible buyers may scribble down your number, but they won’t
remember what it was for by the time they get home.
§ Make it
easy for buyers to reach you – phone and email. Get the “house for sale”
on the Internet.
§ It Must be
on the net. Make a video (use Animoto). Post it on FSBOBR.com, YouTube.com,
CraigsList.com, even Facebook. These group network sites are the rage now.
Google loves them and gives priority ranking to them.
§ Consider opening
a Gmail account specific to the house (1234Oakdr@gmail.com) You don’t want to miss an
opportunity because an interested buyer got lost in all the Macy sale emails!
Plus once you sell the property you can delete the account.
your phone! Buyers Won’t call back. Make it easy for homebuyers to reach
you, not difficult.
§ Make it
ready to see. “I can only show from 2-4 on Saturday” won’t work. Do you want to
sell it or not?
§ Don’t be
vague and hesitant. Know what price you want and either you will do owner
finance or not. Know what closing costs are. Know lender requirements, interest
rates, down payment required. If you are going to be a Realtor, be a
knowledgeable one. Find a lender who will help you. Have agreement forms ready.
§ If your
home qualifies for special programs ADVERTISE IT, this could be the difference
between someone picking your property over another.
§ Do capture
phone numbers for follow up later.
§ Have your
Disclosure forms filled out and ready for homebuyers.
§ Don’t fib
on those disclosure forms. There are some cases where these are not necessary,
but in general, you must furnish them. (Estate sales, foreclosures are 2
§ Make that
house sparkle! Get the family out. Buyers will feel like they are intruding if
your family is there.
§ Never show
the house alone, have a spouse friend or neighbor with you. Yes we want to sell
the house but let’s keep safety in mind.
§ Follow up
with possible buyers. They say they will call you back…they won’t! You call
them! Decide on a time period.
§ If your
house is vacant, try open houses. This is a low-key way for people to see your
Well, that’s my guidance – my top 20 or so tips for
helping For-Sale-By-Owners. I wrote it swiftly and didn’t cover everything,
but hopefully it’s helpful. I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business
and your buyer’s business. I have both sold and purchased homes through FSBO
websites, and made more mistakes than I would like to admit. But hopefully my
mistakes will benefit you. If I can answer any questions, or help market your
home please give me a call.