The VA loan program is a cause for concern

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Navy Federal Credit Union: 60% of active and about 40% of veterans believe the VA loan will take longer to process and delay the home buying process

NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Buying a home isn’t easy, especially in a competitive market, but misconceptions about the VA loan program pose challenges for military members on their home ownership journey.

VA loans come with little to no down payment, lower interest rates, and make home ownership within reach of veterans. But a credit expert said veterans are having trouble buying homes and he’s seeing offer after offer being turned down.

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“In today’s market it is very difficult for anyone to get a house under contract. But it’s especially difficult for the veterans, who are often told by the wrong people to tell sellers not to accept offers that are backed by a VA loan or an FHA loan,” said Scott Hastings, loan officer, HomeBridge -Financial Services.

Hastings has been in the industry for 20 years helping people like US Air Force veteran Andre Lima and his family who are back in search of their dream home.

“It’s the next step in life to actually create our place where our family can come together and spend time together,” Lima said. “Whether it’s hanging out in the garden or eating, whatever it is, it’s going to be our home and it’s going to be something we can make our own. So it is very important to us.”

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They hope to take advantage of the VA loan program.

“This benefit allows veterans to snag a home without having cash upfront,” Lima said.

However, they are skeptical about the challenges that can come with using the loan.

“VA loans are going to take a little longer and require a little more legwork on the seller’s part… and may not look as hot compared to cash offers or traditional loans,” he said.

One of the many misconceptions Hastings said is that service members are discouraged from taking advantage of their hard-earned benefits and that some sellers overlook their offers.

“They think there’s an additional cost to sellers, which isn’t true,” Scott Hastings said. “The new VA loan has no cost to sellers. They also believe appraisers will be overly harsh on properties, which is also not true.”

In a new report, the Navy Federal Credit Union found many veterans are confused about using the loan. Their data found that nearly 60% of active and about 40% of veterans believe the VA loan will take longer to process and delay the home buying process.

Hastings said that wasn’t the case and it wasn’t the only combat veteran face. You fight for the competition.

“You’re just going to get beaten by people with traditional financing, and especially people who are bidding way above asking price,” Hastings explained.

His message to sellers; Think twice before you put VA loan offers at the bottom of your stack. He adds the program helps those who have served this country achieve the dream of buying their own home.

Meanwhile, Lima and his family remain hopeful.

“Now that our budgets are a little higher, we’re looking at some houses that are a little more finished. I’m optimistic,” Lima said.

Hasting recommends that veterans work with experienced real estate agents with years of experience to guide the process. He also urges veterans and housing industry workers to learn more about the program and its benefits.

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