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Supporting Our Veterans and VA Loans

by Tami Heitzwebel

I just love living in Texas.  We have a long, proud tradition of supporting our military veterans and honoring the sacrifices they make for all of us.  My father was in the Air Force, which makes Memorial Day even more special to me.

As part of their service to our country, qualified veterans are eligible for VA loans.   Did you know that there are over 21 million veterans that have access to this program?  There are several reasons to choose a VA loan if you are eligible:

  • No down payment – possible 100% financing
  • FICO (credit scores) don’t have to be perfect – although most lenders prefer a score of at least 620
  • Loans are not subject to monthly mortgage insurance – a plus that could save a buyer a couple hundred dollars a month
  • A seller or someone else (like a parent) can make gifts or contribute toward closing costs
  • Loans can be fully assumable by a qualified buyer – and the buyer does not have to be a veteran

I know that when I mention VA loans to other agents in my building, they tend to make a face.  There is a common misconception that VA loans take longer to close.  That may have been the case several years ago, but technology changes have greatly streamlined the process.   One thing to keep in mind is that VA loans are intended for primary residences only – they cannot be used for investment properties.  Another sticking point may be earnest money deposits.  If a VA loan applicant qualifies for 100% financing, some real estate agents will still insist on getting earnest money to protect their clients.  An experienced real estate agent (like me) can help you work through this process.  A final misconception about VA loans is that they are actually processed by the Veterans Administration.  Not true – the loan processing is still handled by a bank or mortgage broker.  If you are thinking of using your VA benefits to buy a house, give me a call.  I would be proud to help you make your home ownership dreams come true.

Looking to score? Check your credit.

by Tami Heitzwebel

If you are getting ready to buy a home, you have probably been tracking mortgage rates.  If you want a good rate, you should also be tracking your credit score.

Almost all lenders use FICO® Scores to analyze whether you are an excellent, good or poor credit risk.  The Fair Isaac Corporation developed their credit rating system back in 1956, and it has become the gold standard in assessing credit worthiness.

Following is a quick summary of what your score translates to as far as creditworthiness:  

Not everyone has exceptional credit, and let’s face it, things happen in life that can adversely affect your score.  If this has happened to you, it doesn’t mean your dream of home ownership is that—only a dream.  I work with lenders who have access to special programs and grants geared toward first-time home buyers, as well as loans for buyers with lower credit scores.   One of the biggest decisions you can make in buying a home is finding a lender who can work with you.  I can help you with that—give me a call and let Team Heitz make your home ownership dreams come true. 

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Tami Heitzwebel
RE/MAX Associates Northeast
2940 Oak St.
Kingwood TX 77339-5525
281-361-2245