As recent as 10 years ago in the peak of the mortgage crisis, the one loan that seemed elusive was the government-insured VA loan. Mortgage loan officers looked at VA loans as some mysterious and byzantine process, often serving up FHA loans in lieu of.
Today, lenders are focusing more on the features of VA loans and how the housing market can benefit from a VA buyer. Not only are the loans government-guaranteed, but they offer 0-ZERO down payment, and often times less underwriting overlays and higher debt ratios than FHA.
I’ve in fact received approvals on debt ratios as high as 66% (debt ratios are usually capped at 56% for FHA loans). As long as the real estate agent is educated and knows to reinforce the strength of a VA buyer, these unique features will allow for better chances of winning bids when placing offers for new home purchases by military buyers.
Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, one of the nation’s senior financial institutions, offers training and classes that will independently certify real estate agents who have completed the educational courses on the features and benefits of VA financing. I myself have participated in these training courses and have given presentations to multiple Berkshire Hathaway sales agents in their regional offices.
This type of participation and education from a lender or bank was scarce to virtually non-existent in years past. Probably because a decade ago most lenders and LO’s were stuck staring at the Implode-O-Meter hoping they weren’t next.
If you’re military, you have a cornucopia of non-profits, such as Homes for Hero’s, that can help place you with the right lender, offer grants and cash for moving expenses, as well as incentives that piggyback with a VA loan. This collective support can really hold your hand through the sometimes labyrinthine process of financing a home purchase.
More and more brokers and mortgage lending branches are starting to expand their VA mortgage marketing presence by co-branding through social media outlets and live entertainment events, as well as venturing into venues such as ski resorts, sporting arena and concert festivals.
This makes great marketing sense, due to anecdotal data, because these demographics have average incomes of $60,000.00 annually and above. Chances are if you’re at a ski resort, you spent a pretty penny to get there, so you’re most likely owning, or going to own a home in the near future.
If you have your VA Certificate of Eligibility and your ready to purchase a home, either as a first time use, or any subsequent use for your entitlement, there has never been a better time then now.
With the number of lenders jumping on the VA bandwagon, and non-profits eager to assist, if you just utter the two magical letters “VA” you can expect to have waited on hand and foot.
From 2001-2005 Hampton was a part of the refi boom of the early 2000’s, closing an average of 50 mortgage loans monthly leading him to a member of the Ditech.com Presidents Club. This tempo of loan originations empowered and fueled his mortgage knowledge early on.
In 2005 Hampton joined Lenox Financial Mortgage in Costa Mesa CA. Shortly thereafter he became sales manager of the internet loan originations division and grew that department to 33 mortgage loan officers with a total monthly funding of over twenty million in gross revenue. His role in management broadened his knowledge of the mortgage industry from compliance, to secondary markets, to customer service retail and wholesale. His 13-year tenure at Lenox Financial Mortgage was instrumental to his mortgage lending prowess during a kaleidoscopic financial era.
Currently Paul Hampton is Vice President for The Money Branch, The Temecula Branch of Geneva Financial specializing in VA and government loans, as well as FHA, FNMA, FHLMC, USDA, and Non-QM.