Real Estate Real Estate Blog

  • Jump Your VA Appraisal Hurdles in 7 Steps

    Jump Your VA Appraisal Hurdles in 7 Steps

    One of the most dreaded responses a loan officer or real estate agent can receive from an appraiser is that the home requires repair to pass the VA’s minimum property requirements (MPRs). While the purpose of MPRs is to protect the buyer and ensure the home is safe, structurally sound and sanitary, there’s no doubt that this news can be frustrating. The best way to prepare your clients is to be a VA-savvy age…

  • Private Water Sources and the VA Loan

    The VA pays special attention to private water sources and you should, too. They aren't regulated by the federal government so the VA created specific criteria these water sources must meet in order to be deemed safe. Wells are one of the most common private water sources, but depending on your location you may also encounter springs, cisterns or rainwater catchment systems in use. Wells If your buyer goes…

  • How to Challenge a Low VA Appraisal Value: The Reconsideration of Value

    Military buyers wait on pins and needles for the results of the VA appraisal. A low appraisal value sends a stinging message to would-be homebuyers: This deal might not fly. Don’t toss that transaction out the window just yet. A fighting chance remains for those buyers who can show that a VA appraisal value is erroneously lower than the asking price. Let’s talk about the VA’s Reconsideration of Value. …

  • 4 Tips for Buying Distressed Properties With VA Loans

    What military buyer wouldn’t want to shave more than a third off the price of a home? Distressed properties sold at an almost 37 percent discount in March 2017, according to RealtyTrac. Fortunately for cash-conscious military buyers, VA loans can be used to purchase foreclosure or short sale properties if the property meets the VA home loan guidelines set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But as expe…

  • Sellers: Is Your Home VA Loan Compliant?

    VA home loans are low-cost, flexible and borrower-friendly. And they’re soaring in popularity. It's no wonder that eager sellers want to tap into the VA buyer market. What’s the first step toward that goal? Ensuring that properties meet VA appraisal guidelines. In truth, whether or not homes meet guidelines is often a hard determination to make. VA appraisal guidelines leave much to the individual a…

  • Cheat Sheet: VA Appraisal Timelines By State

    A required step along the path to VA loan approval, the VA appraisal takes place shortly after contract acceptance. The appraisal helps lenders calculate a home’s reasonable market value and ensures the property measures up to the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). It’s a tall order for a VA appraiser. Compiling these detailed reports takes careful analysis, supporting documentation, and most importa…

  • An Overview of Property Types Eligible for VA Loans

    Apartments, condos, manufactured homes, co-ops, single-family homes — modern real estate has come a long way since the days of the one-room shack. The current market offers a wide variety of homes to satisfy any buyer’s desires. But VA loan buyers will need to focus on certain types of properties to win final loan approval. Knowing how VA loans work is the first step toward getting the home of your drea…

  • How Long Does it Take to Close a VA Loan?

    How Long Does it Take to Close a VA Loan?

    It’s an extremely common question for many first-time homebuyers: "How long will it take to buy a home with a VA loan?” And it’s a tough one to answer. Buying a home is a multi-step process, and everyone's homebuying journey is different. But there's a lingering myth that VA loans take forever to close. And that's simply not the case. Most VA loans close in 40 to 50 days, which is standard for the mortgag…

  • The Importance of Being Earnest: All About Earnest Money Deposits

    The meaning of earnest money is in the name -- it’s a deposit of good faith on a home loan from buyer to seller. An earnest money deposit will set your offer apart from other applicants, and it's generally an accepted part of the VA loan process. Buyer Protection Breaking out the checkbook and presenting an earnest money check to the seller shows that you’re a serious contender, and it helps your offer …

  • Why VA Loans Don't Require a Down Payment

    Why VA Loans Don’t Require a Down Payment

    It’s far and away one of the most notable VA loan benefits: VA loans don't require a down payment. But it’s also a perk that arouses skepticism. “What’s the catch?” “How much is that going to cost me?” Let’s put those suspicions to rest with a thorough discussion of the VA loan program, and an explanation of some why some VA borrowers can get a VA loan with a $0 down payment. All About the VA L…