Not so fast Navy Federal Credit Union - Future military home owners looking to get a VA loan should read this article in its entirety before making a decision on a lender. If you've already purchased your home perhaps you can relate to what I am about to say.
I was "ordered" if you will, to write this blog from a service member who felt it was important to share his story. He shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
When a Naval officer got the exciting news that he was transferring to San Diego on PCS orders from the east coast, he immediately took one look at the housing market and decided to buy instead of rent. At that time, he owned two properties and felt confident hiring me as his real estate agent. I quickly found a property and got his offer accepted in a very competitive sellers market. We got into escrow without the buyer setting foot on the property. So far, so good.
Then, the service member decided to use Navy Federal as the lender for the purchase out of a "sense of loyalty." It was against my advice because we had a closing deadline to meet. The buyer wanted to relocate from out of state and move directly or thereabouts into his new home.
Within a week of opening escrow with Navy Federal, the problems started. The appraisal took what seemed like forever to get ordered and things went down hill from there. The constant delays, high fees and internal company red tape caused my buyer almost daily anger and frustration. His breaking point came when Navy Federal made it a condition of the loan that his wife open an account with the credit union. Now the situation became really personal. My client wrote a scathing email to Navy Federal threatening to take his business elsewhere. Make no mistake, he was serious and was even ready to cancel the whole deal.
Hearing from my client the words, "You were right, I should have gone with another lender," somehow offered no sense of satisfaction whatsoever because it came with a lot of disappointment. It wasn't until the day of closing that I finally understood the overwhelming betrayal my client was feeling.
While taking a moment to look back at when we started the journey over a bowl of yogurt, my buyer shared with me his experience of serving in Afghanistan. I could hear the sacrifice that he and so many have given for our country. His bravery was unquestionable as he talked about looking over his shoulder every second and doing what it took to stay alive and come home. It's simple. All our service men and women want, is for our country to understand and acknowledge their sacrifice. My client believed that Navy Federal more than any other lender would provide a service that adequately met his needs and more importantly understood his sacrifice to our great nation.
If you're thinking of buying a home, please heed the advice of my military homeowner - you owe it to yourself to compare and find the VA lender that best meets your needs.
Lorraine Santirosa is a San Diego real estate agent and advocate for military families.
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