Pushing For Change - To improve the VA loan process -The San Diego housing market is now at an all time high when it comes to affordability. This is great news especially for first time homebuyers. Low sales price and historically low interest rates have created this perfect storm for buyers. As an agent that represents many VA homebuyers, I'm seeing certain issues that can affect appraisals and in some cases, kill a deal.
I knew I had to do something, when another escrow involving a VA buyer fell apart due to a low appraisal back in December 2011 that took seventeen days to complete. Neither buyer nor seller could bridge the gap between the appraisal value and offer price. The potential Veteran buyer was left without a home to move his family into and was out of pocket the cost of a home inspection and appraisal fee.
In January 2012, I contacted my local Congressman Bob Filner who is the former chairman and now the highest-ranking member of the US House Veterans Affairs committee to see about making key changes.
Last week, I met with the Congressman in his office and video conferenced a meeting with The Under Secretary for Benefits, Deputy Director -US Dept. Of Veterans Affairs Loan Guaranty Service, Congressional Relations officer-Congressional and Legislative Affiairs and Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs.
The following issues were discussed:
1) Shortening the appraisal process from 10 business days to 5 business days.
2) Providing more local area appraisers to meet the growing demand for appraisals.
Why is this important?
Both requests that I presented are intended to help make the Veteran buyer MORE competitive in the current housing market that is experiencing multiple offers. As the housing inventory is at a four year low, sellers typically prefer to accept offers from buyers in the following financing order: cash, conventional, FHA, and VA. It’s clear that the VA buyer will likely be squeezed out and changes in the VA appraisal guidelines would go a long way to increase the competitiveness in a multiple offer situation.
The VA loan is an awesome benefit for our armed forces and retirees. The benefit will lose its value if the Veteran cannot get his/her offer accepted. I'm simply trying to make the process of getting a VA loan, better and easier.
If you'd like to learn more about my efforts to change the VA appraisal guidelines or know of someone that is looking to buy or sell their home, please give me a call. Interest rates are still below 4%.
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Lorraine Santirosa is a former Navy spouse, San Diego Realtor and a big supporter of the military community.