“We’ve been in an active theater of engagement almost continually since 1991. So we have more veterans,” says Keith Baker, Mortgage Banking Program coordinator and faculty at North Lake College. “And as they successfully re-enter civilian society, they often become household creators.”.
In 2017, Gulf War vets became the largest single group of veterans in the United States. Most of these men and women are in their twenties and thirties now, which also happens to be the largest group of first-time home buyers. Later, the housing crisis in the early 2000’s made it much tougher to qualify for a conventional loan – the ripples of which are still felt in 2020. But the VA makes it easier for a qualified applicant to buy the home of their dreams. After a bit of research, many vets begin looking to the VA Home Loan. It makes sense; the VA Home Loan offers some of the most attractive benefits of any other home loan.
The VA Home Loan:
Requires no down payment.
Requires no private mortgage insurance.
Has no maximum amount.
Has no income limit.
Has a low minimum credit score requirement of 640.
Has up to 4% seller paid costs limit.
10% of the existing mortgage market is comprised of VA Home Loans, and 41% of loans are issued to first-time home buyers. With their extremely competitive marks, veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members, reservists, and surviving spouses utilize the VA Home Loan more and more frequently in the purchase of their dream homes.
With the change in 2020 to removing the maximum loan limit, more expensive housing markets will likely start seeing an increase in the number of homes purchased using the VA Home Loan. The Bay Area is just one such market. It has been consistently in the top ten most-competitive, most expensive real estate markets in the country (and sometimes even the world), but until recently the maximum loan amount a veteran could qualify for in bay area counties was $727,525, despite the median home price of $996,000. This often priced vets out of the local market, or would require they take out a different kind of loan. These facts meant real estate agents in the San Francisco Bay Area very rarely – if ever – encountered a home buyer utilizing the VA Home Loan. There are a handful of key differences and restrictions placed upon buyers utilizing this loan, and most Agents simply didn’t need to understand how to work with one.
Unfortunately, these sticking points meant most bay area Agents were not as willing to work with a VA Home Loan buyer as they were with others – often declining offers or simply refusing to entertain any offer from these buyers. This conclusion is what drove the creation of GI Joe Homes – we want to ensure you get the same level of service and care that every other buyer receives, to help Seller Agents understand what the VA Home Loan buyer can bring to the table, and to ensure you get the representation you deserve in the bay area real estate market. We also want to educate our VA Home Loan buyers, as well as existing Veteran home owners in our service areas that decide they want to sell.