Scott Dow: Former Coast Guard Officer Capitalizes on VA Entitlement
Charleston, S.C. — Scott Dow knows a few things about VA loans.
That's mostly because the former Coast Guard officer and Reservist is on his fourth one.
"I would not have been able to purchase a home without a VA loan," said Scott, who first used his VA loan entitlement in 1996. "Most people don't realize, especially younger people and first time-homebuyers, what a benefit it is."
Scott's work with the Coast Guard took him from Oregon to southern California before he moved to Charleston in 2004. He took an apartment upon relocating but quickly soured on the renter's life.
He started scouting potential neighborhoods and was drawn to a townhouse with a "For Sale By Owner" sign in the yard. On a rainy Sunday, Scott dialed the number on the sign and spoke to the owner. He toured the house that afternoon and felt ready to make a move.
Scott rushed home and hopped online in search of a lender. He found the website for Veterans United Home Loans and filled out a basic form. A loan officer called him on a weekend, which surprised him.
"It was like having your own personal banker," Scott joked.
He hoped to complete the purchase within a few weeks to avoid paying another month's rent. Scott's loan officer, Gardell Powell, who is now the company's chief production officer, embraced the tight deadline and immediately sprang into action. Scott closed within a month.
But he didn't stay long.
With the Charleston housing market still booming, Scott saw an opportunity to trade up. He put the townhouse on the market six months after buying it. It sold within days, and Scott made a sizable profit.
Pivoting once again, Scott started another home search. Selling the townhome allowed him to fully restore his VA loan entitlement. He called Gardell and got to work on another loan preapproval.
This time, it was a 1,600-square-foot, two-story home that captured Scott's attention.
After a little back-and-forth with the seller, Scott agreed to terms on a $231,000 home purchase. The underwriting and closing process went smoothly again, and he avoided paying the VA Funding Fee because of his service-connected disability.
"I think in the regular world they wouldn't have moved as briskly and have gone the extra mile for me like you guys did," Scott said. "You realize people who are in the military world have a lot on our plate."
Scott and his wife, Jackie, settled into their new home.
But Scott wasn't quite finished with Gardell.
Over the next few years, Scott refinanced his mortgage twice, once to extract cash from the home's equity on a Cash-Out Refinance and again on a VA Streamline to simply capitalize on lower interest rates.
Through it all, Scott's become an even bigger proponent of VA loans — and of Veterans United.
"They honor the veteran's service and experience," Scott said. "If you have an interest in buying a home, don't wait. It really is a buyer's market."
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