4 Ways to get your VA Loan Offer Accepted

Sometimes people encounter difficulty when shopping for a new home and using a VA Loan. However please understand that is does not have to be. The video below is something that I put together for Veterans, Active Duty and Real Estate Agents that designed to increase the likelihood that there next VA Loan Offer is accepted on the home of their dreams.

4 Ways to get a VA Loan Offer Accepted

Hi Everybody!

I wanted to take a moment to share with you 4 things that you can do to increase the chances that your next VA Loan offer gets accepted when you are writing an offer on a home.

#1 Make sure that you are working with a VA Loan Specialist.

#2 Make sure your VA Loan Specialist contacts the listing agent to introduce themselves, brag about you (the buyer) and of course speak intelligently about the VA Home Loan process.

#3 Make sure that your VA Loan specialist provides a copy of the DU or LP findings showing that you have an automated approval. This will make you stand out in a crowd. Attention to detail.

#4 Write a cover letter. Introduce yourself, tell them about your service. Tug at their heartstrings a little bit. Veterans should get preferential treatment.

Doing these 4 things on any offer, not just VA Loans can really increase the chances that your next offer is accepted on your property.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


VA Appraisal Process-Is it Really That Bad???

The VA Appraisal process is takes too long!

The VA Appraisers are more conservative than other conventional appraisers!

The VA will nit-pick the condition of the property!

These Claims are NOT True!

Throughout the last 8 years serving Veterans and Active Duty Military with all of their VA Home Financing needs I continue to encounter one reoccurring claim within the real estate community that still lingers and has a real impact on Veterans and Active Duty Military. That claim is that the VA Appraisal process is terrible.

Claims such as those listed above are what I hear pretty much on a daily basis, often times proving to have detrimental impact on the Veteran or Service Members and their families, who may ultimately be passed up by a seller afraid to accepting their offer.

Here are the Facts

Please, please, please, understand that if claims such as these were true I would probably be out of a job due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of my clients I serve are Veterans and Active Duty Military!

The VA Appraisal process takes no more than 7-10 business days and sometimes sooner.

The VA Appraisal Process uses the exact same market comparable properties just as any other appraiser would.

VA Appraisers ensure that the property is safe, and that no real safety hazards exist.

Having said that, my experience has been that those that make such claims do not fully understand the VA Appraisal process and what it is designed to do.

What the VA Loan Process is DESIGNED TO DO

First off, the VA Appraisal process is designed to protect the Veteran, ensuring that they do not overpay for a property, and in the event that they are, give them an opportunity to legally withdraw of the transaction with no recourse (sounds like a good deal to me).
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The VA Appraisal process is unlike any other appraisal process that exists which makes it (in my opinion) extremely advantageous for the Veteran and Active Duty Service Members.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

  1. First off, understand that the VA Appraiser that goes out to inspect the home does not work for the VA. The VA Appraiser is an independent contractor, licensed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, who will perform the task of appraising the property to ensure that the home meets the contracted sales price, as well as confirm that the property is safe, sanitary, and secure.
  2. Once the VA Appraiser has inspected the property he or she will then upload that VA Appraisal to the VA Website commonly referred to as the VA Portal. Once this takes place your lender will then be able to go in and retrieve a copy of your VA Appraisal once the Senior Appraisal Reviewer (SAR) issues what is called the Notice of Value (NOV). If you have made it this far that means your property has appraised with no value issues.
  3. Let’s take it a step further… Let’s say the VA Appraiser goes out to inspect the property and is having trouble meeting the contracted sales price. The VA Appraiser will then issue what is called a Tidewater Notice. The Tidewater Notice is designed to notify all parties involved in the transaction that they are having difficulty coming up with the contracted value on the home from their research.From here the Veteran or Service Member has options.

— If they feel the property should meet the agreed upon purchase price they can notify their Realtor to provide additional comparable properties that justify the value of the home.

— Or, if they choose, they can also tell their Agent to instruct the VA Appraiser to issue the appraisal at the value VA Appraiser had before reviewing the additional comps.

Here is What I Like About the VA Appraisal Process

The Veteran has options on the VA Appraisal process. In the competitive market that we are in today it’s not uncommon for sellers to aggressively price their homes. Sellers should understand that the VA Appraisal process is the only type of appraisal that will allow them to make a case for the value of their property. FHA and Conventional home loans simply issue value, and more often than not call it a day.

Bringing us home (pardon the pun), I am sure that there has been some bad apple appraisers out there in the past that have brought some negative PR to the VA Appraisal process. But honestly, it is not anywhere near as bad as many paint it out to be. The reality is that the majority of Veterans and Service Members that buy their home with a VA Home Loan have no issues at all.

Dare I say that if I were a seller I would encourage a VA Home Loan for the reasons listed above? Not to mention, the VA Appraisal process does not make you order 2 appraisals like FHA loans when purchasing a property that as been owned less than 90 days by the seller.

If you feel like you are not being explained the VA Appraisal process like you should…That’s what we are here for, to serve YOU!

Please call us at 602-908-5849 or email me at jimmy@valoansforvets.com for all of your VA Appraisal process questions.

Most of all, thank you for your service to our great country.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino

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VA Home Loan, Short Sale, Foreclosure, and Bankruptcy Waiting Periods

There are a lot of questions that Veteran home buyers have as it relates to purchasing a home with the VA Home Loan benefit. This could not be more true regarding the waiting periods after a short sale, foreclosure and bankruptcy. The reality is that many Veterans were affected by the recent recession leaving millions with no choice other than to short sale, foreclose, or file for bankruptcy . Fast forward a couple of years and things finally seem to be getting better for our nation. Veterans who may have had a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy in the past find themselves considering purchasing a home again, but are unsure of the waiting periods required. Many people are quick to cite 3 , 5, and I have even heard as many as 7 years after one of these events. So which is it? Let’s take a look at what VA Home Loan guidelines say about this.

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Short Sale- The VA Home Loan does not have a specific policy on Short Sales. Lenders are to apply prudent underwriting practices when approving these loans. If the Veteran has had a short sale less than 2 years old and your are able to prove why it happened, and why it won’t happen again, you may be eligible before the 2 year typical waiting period for foreclosures and bankruptcy.

Foreclosure- Typically a 2 year waiting period on a VA Home Loan. However, in some circumstances if you can prove that the reason behind the foreclosure was beyond the Veterans control you may be able to buy sooner. Keep in mind that the Veteran must have reestablished their credit after the event by demonstrating an on time payment history.

Bankruptcy- Same rules apply as foreclosure on a VA Home loan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy- Must document 1 year of on time payment history to the Trustee. You must also provide a letter from the Trustee stating that obtaining a new VA Home Loan will not prohibit the Veteran from continuing to make the current monthly obligation required to be paid to the Trustee.

So there you have it Veterans. If you are in the market to purchase a home and have had an event in the past that you think will hold you back from buying, think again. You may be able to get out there and purchase today. Call me today at 602-908-5849.

Thank you and may God bless you for your service to our great country!

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


More than 1 VA Home Loan at a Time? Yes, it’s True!

Many veterans have no idea they are actually able to use more than one VA home loan at a time. Yes, it’s true! A Veteran may actually have more than one home loan at a time. How can this be, you ask? It’s called VA Bonus Entitlement. Simply stated, as long as you have sufficient VA Entitlement for the VA home loan, you can have more than one at a time. There are a lot of Veterans out there today that would love to be able to purchase a new home – in a more desirable location, better school district, with more square footage – who have no idea that they really can. Let’s take a look at an example below.

A Veteran buys a home with his or her VA home loan in 2006 for $150,000 and would love to take advantage of the market that we are in today. Our Veteran can actually rent out their current home and use that rental income to offset that mortgage payment up to 75% . Most mortgage products will require you to have 25% equity in the home or you must have rented out that property for two years to do this, but not with a VA Home Looan. Our Veteran now has the ability to go out and shop for a new home with their VA Home Loan from $144,000 up to $267,000 with NO down payment! As a Veteran, you must have sufficient VA Entitlement available and the home being purchased must be owner-occupied. [This summary is based on a $350,000 loan amount, loan term of 360 months and an interest rate of 4.5%.]

Are you interested in seeing if the VA Bonus Entitlement is something that you are eligible for? Give me a call – I speak your language and I know what it means to serve.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


Top 5 VA Home Loan Myth’s

For as long as I have been serving Veterans with their VA Home Loan Benefits I have heard a number of misconceptions as it relates to our VA Home Loan Benefits. These misconceptions, or shall we say myths, can have a negative impact on us for obvious reasons. For example a Veteran may opt to go with a more expensive mortgage product like a FHA Home Loan which can end up being significantly more expensive over time. So back to the myths. What are they? Let’s take a look at the top 5 VA loan myths that heard throughout my career as a Mortgage Banker Specializing in VA Home Loans.

VA MYTH # 1. VA Home Loans take too long to close.

Not true. Many lenders quote 45-60 days to close a VA Home Loan. However, just because it may take that particular lending institution 45-60 days to close does not mean that is how long it takes to close a VA Home Loan. The VA Home Loans that we close at Goldwater Bank typically take no more than 30 days.

VA MYTH # 2. VA Appraisal Process is much more difficult.

Again, not true. The reality is I would not be in business if this were the case as90% of the Home Loans that I originate are VA. VA Home Loans have multiple steps in place to protect the Veteran from overpaying for the home.

VA MYTH # 3. VA Home Loan qualifying is much more difficult.

The VA Home Loan is the most unique home loan that exist and one of the things that I love about it is that VA has applied common sense lending practices to serve Veterans. However, it’s entirely untrue to say that it’s more difficult. The truth is that in some ways they make it much easier for a Veteran to obtain financing take for example the no down payment option.

VA MYTH # 4. You can only have 1 VA Home Loan at a time.

False. A Veteran can actually have more than 1 VA Home Loan at a time as long as they have sufficient entitlement. This allows Veterans to seek financing for another home in a more desirable location while maintaining the property they are vacating that currently has a VA Home Loan on it.

VA MYTH # 5. A Veteran can only use their VA Home Loan once.

I have heard this from a lot of Veterans that served during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. However, it’s not true. A Veteran may use his VA Home Loan as many times as they would like as long as they have sufficient entitlement.

So there you have it, the top 5 VA Home Loan myths. My hope is that you learned something about your VA Home Loan benefit after reading this. Of course, if you have any questions you may contact me me directly at my office at 602-908-5849.

Thank you and may God Bless you for your service to our great country.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


Arizona VA Home Loans

Many Veterans when searching for an Arizona VA Home Loan rarely stop and ask if the company in which they are seeking financing specializes in Arizona VA Home Loans. This is not a question that typically comes to mind when applying for a loan, however I can assure you it’s one that it should. The reality is that there are a lot of lending institutions that may be able to originate a VA Home Loan, but it does not automatically mean that they know exactly what they are doing. I see this time and time again when Veterans come to me frustrated, and feeling defeated because the lender in which they started with seems rather lost and unfamiliar with the process creating feelings of uneasiness and anxiety.

When explaining why Veterans should use a Mortgage Banker that specializes in Arizona VA Home Loans, I often times use this analogy. The United States Marine Corps is famous for every Marine being a basic rifleman. However, within the Marine Corps there are certain specialities that exist. For example you have Infantry Rifleman who trains daily for the front lines of combat, and on the other hand, you may have a Marine who’s job is to work on the electronics of an aircraft. I think it’s safe to say that you would not want the Infantry Marine working on the aircraft, and the Aircraft Marine shooting highly technical weaponry. Why is this? Each Marine has been trained in their own area of expertise and may not be 100% familiar with how each others job works. Keep in mind they are both Marines yet have 2 totally different jobs. That’s kind of like how the Mortgage industry is. Just because somebody is a Mortgage Banker or Broker does not automatically make that person qualified to originate your VA Home Loan.

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You deserve somebody who specializes in Arizona VA Home Loans. Somebody who understands your sacrifice, somebody who speaks your language and knows what it means to serve. Arizona VA Home Loans are unique to any other type of home financing loan that exist today, and you need to be working with somebody that originates VA Home Loans exclusively. So if you are in the market to purchase a home, I would be honored to serve you! Helping Veterans is my passion and purpose! So please call me, I speak your language and I know what it means to serve 602-908-5849.


The VA Home Loan Appraisal Process

Ever Wondered How the VA Home Loan Appraisal Process Really Works?

The #1 gripe that I hear about the VA Home Loan process is the VA Appraisal.

People seem to say things like the VA Appraisers are much more conservative when it comes to appraising the property that the Veteran is seeking financing for.

Please allow me to say the following…misunderstandings like these actually hurt us as Veterans because sellers become reluctant to sell their homes to VA buyers because they’re afraid that their homes won’t appraise at value.

Before we discuss the actual appraisal, let’s take a look at the process and how it works:

Understanding VA Appraisers

When a Veteran is buying a home, the appraiser that will inspect the home is NOT a employee of the VA, they are an independent appraiser (just like any other appraiser).

The appraisal is ordered through the VA who will randomly assign an appraiser who has access to the same exact information that any other appraiser would have, such as recently sold homes, recently listed properties, and any other pertinent market data.

Now it’s important to understand that every appraiser is different and all have different opinions. Some may be more conservative and others may find the value of your new home to be totally acceptable with little or no scrutiny. Now, if you find yourself in a predicament where the appraiser may not find your home to appraise for what you are purchasing it for it’s important to understand… YOU HAVE OPTIONS!

When the Appraiser is Having Difficulties

If an appraiser is having difficulty determining the value of your home the first thing that happens is that you will receive a notice called a Tidewater notice. This notice tells all parties involved on the transaction that you have 48 hours to provide additional comparable property information that supports the purchase price of your home.

Once the additional comps are submitted to the appraiser he will then formulate his final opinion of value and issue the appraisal. The Tidewater Notice may or may not rectify value, but if it does, great! If not, you still have more options.

Before we get into the other options, Veterans, Realtors, and Lenders must understand that this process is unique to VA. If you are purchasing a home with a Conventional or FHA Home Loan you do not have this option, which actually makes VA Home Loans even more competitive than any other type of Home Loan.

You Have Options

Now, if your appraiser won’t budge, and you still feel that the home should be appraising for more, you are able to request what is referred to as a ROV (Reconsideration of Value) which is where the VA will get involved. Once this happens the VA will review all information and render a final decision thus giving the Veteran yet another opportunity to satisfy the value discrepancy.

It’s worth mentioning again that the VA Home Loan Appraisal process is no more difficult than any other appraisal type for mortgage financing. In fact, it could be argued that the VA Appraisal process is actually advantageous because of the multiple streams of review that the Veteran is afforded with his/her appraisal review.

So, Veterans, if you are in the market to buy a home and you have heard that VA is more difficult because of the appraisal process and are being advised to go with other types of loans instead of using your VA benefits that you have earned, don’t believe it!

If you have questions about the VA process and you would like to speak with a Mortgage Banker that specializes in VA Home Loans, then call me today at 602-908-5849.

Thank you and may God Bless you for Your Service to our Great Country.

Semper Fidelis,
Jimmy Vercellino


The Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan..Yes, it’s True!

The Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan.
Many veterans do not understand all of the benefits that exist when it comes to their Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan. Truth be told, many lenders don’t either… so if lenders are confused, how then do we expect our veterans to know. Sadly, many don’t. This statement cannot hold more truth when it comes to the Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan. The Arizona VA Home Jumbo Loan is probably one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive Jumbo loan products that exist on the market today. Most Jumbo loans that are available today require down payments of 20% or higher. However with the Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan this is not the case. Let’s take a look at an example.

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Purchase Price: $750,000 VA Down Payment Requirement: $83,250
That’s a down payment of around 11%* . You might be wondering how I came up with that down payment amount? It’s quite simple really. VA Max Guarantee for Maricopa County is $104,250. Both lender and VA require that the loan be guaranteed by 25%. In this case the $104,250 (VA Guarantee) + $83,250 (Veterans Down Payment) = 25% of $750,000 thus giving you an insured VA Jumbo Home Loan. I can assure you that you will not find a lower down payment out there when it comes to a non-VA Jumbo Home Loan. So if you are in the market for your dream home and never considered using your VA Jumbo Home Loan, it’s time to reconsider. Feel free to call or email to see if this product is the right fit for you.

*This summary is based on a $666,750 loan amount, on a loan term of 360 months, with an interest rate of 4.25% and an annual percentage rate of 4.250%.

To see if you are qualified for your Arizona VA Jumbo Home Loan call me today at 602-908-5849!

Thank you and May God Bless you for your Service to our Great Country.
Semper Fidelis, Jimmy Vercellino