Check out this veteran’s guide to buying and selling Texas real estate. Veterans, especially on the financing end, have (as they should) some advantages when it comes to buying and selling real estate. But sometimes they face a lot more red tape than non-veterans, too. We’d like to have a little assistance if you’re a veteran looking to purchase or sell.
Buying Real Estate
Veterans buying real estate should start by understanding VA loans (and selling real estate in Texas, too). These are veterans’ mortgage loans available and issued by private lenders, but guaranteed by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department.
VA loans provide veterans with an affordable way to purchase real estate by offering:
- No down-payment requirement
- Looser credit requirements than traditional mortgages
- No private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement
However, you need to be mindful that VA loans will be followed by servicing costs that usually are not included in regular mortgages. In 2020, for first use, this charge was 2.3 percent of the overall loan volume and 3.6 percent for additional uses. It is possible to pay upfront or roll the payments into the loan.
For veterans who do not have the cash for a down payment or have less-than-sterling credit, VA loans can be a great option. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should, only because you can get a VA loan. Some real estate pros suggest that they also look at other forms of mortgage loans. You may find that an FHA loan or a USDA loan is a better fit.
Although VA loans have looser credit standards than conventional mortgages, trying to get it as big as possible, you do need to keep an eye on your credit score. And, as is the case when applying for any other mortgage loan, you should avoid making any major transactions of credit and ensure that your employment is sustained.
And don’t forget to take into account closing costs. Though closing costs are reduced with a VA loan, they still exist.
Selling Real Estate
Veterans selling Texas real estate typically have concerns about how the funding of VA loans will affect their ability to sell. Usually, they want to know if any constraints are going to apply.
“The response to the outright selling of the property is no. And there are no limitations on who you can sell to, either. Veterans may sell their homes to non-veterans, active duty personnel may sell civilians’ homes, etc. VA homeowners who wish to sell their property can market it to any prospective buyer and accept financing of any sort.”
However, when selling real estate in Texas by letting the buyer assume the VA loan, it’s a different matter. The rules will change in this situation.
“Any VA loan closed after March 1, 1988, and then offered on the market as a loan assumption purchase requires either the lender or the Department of Veterans Affairs to have their credentials checked and accepted by the buyer-the individual assuming the VA mortgage. Usually, that means meeting the requisite credit, debt, income and other criteria to prove lenders that you are a safe bet. Furthermore, not all lenders and servicers allow for assumptions of VA loans.”
However, if the VA loan occurred before 1 March 1988, then you, the seller, would not have to contact the VA for the release of liability (as would be the case with loan origination after March 1, 1988). Still, in the case of a loan presumption, the Department of Veterans Affairs suggests contacting them and probably obtaining a waiver of responsibility regardless.
Why You Need a Veteran-Friendly Agent
One thing veterans can certainly do when buying or selling real estate in Texas is to use an experienced, veteran-friendly real estate agent.
“The journey of home-buying can be unpredictable, full of twists and turns that you do not see coming. You could also run into some major roadblocks along the way, even though you are using a Veterans Affairs loan and taking advantage of the specific advantages that come with it. That is why you need to be directed by a savvy real estate agent. And while any agent can help with a VA purchase technically, an agent who is particularly experienced with military buyers can help you manage the process better.”
So let’s see exactly how such an agent can assist you as a veteran in Texas buying or selling real estate.
UNDERSTANDING OF VETERANS’ UNIQUE NEEDS
An agent who has experience dealing with veterans will help them “find the right home, with a special eye on the particular situation of a veteran.” A VA-savvy agent, for example, can help disabled veterans find housing grants or a house with adaptive upgrades so that they can live in a barrier-free community independently.
Contact a veteran-friendly Texas agent to find out more. Only a 972-284-9713 call.
AGILITY TO HANDLE AN ACCELERATED TIMELINE
The right agent will also be able to navigate the accelerated timetable that can arise when veterans purchase or sell Texas real estate. When such orders come in, active-duty service members frequently have to relocate quickly. To satisfy their needs, a good agent will speed up the buying/selling process.
Although many lenders provide VA loans, “the special circumstances or documentation required” are not really understood by a good portion of them. If your agent has expertise in this field, she will help you navigate the process and fill in what the lender lacks knowledge and experience.
UNDERSTANDING OF THE APPRAISAL PROCESS
An experienced agent can be a blessing for veterans purchasing real estate when it comes to assessments, as well as for those selling real estate in Texas or applying for a VA loan, the house must meet a collection of VA-designated Minimum Property Criteria. While most buyers concentrate on the bells and whistles of a home, and often even brokers, a VA specialist has an eye to spot the red flags that might need to be addressed before a VA loan can close, from broken window panes and rotting exterior wood, to ripped flooring or missing light fixtures.
It should be very clear, then, that a veteran-friendly, veteran-experienced real estate agent is almost a must for veterans buying/selling real estate. And we’ve got agents that you like. So if you’re a veteran in Texas buying or selling real estate, contact us at 972-284-9713 today.