Home Buying in Murrieta>Question Details

Anna, Home Buyer in Murrieta, CA

Hello. My husband and I are currently stationed in Japan. We were wondering if we'd be able to purchase a home in CA.

Asked by Anna, Murrieta, CA Sat Jan 5, 2013

We plan to settle in Murrieta, CA after he retires which is in about 4 years. We have a history of a foreclosure which was in 2009. Our tour in Japan will end in 2014 and we will either stay in Japan for another 3 years or pick orders to California. We have good credit besides the foreclosure with my credit score currently at 704. We would like to use the VA to purchase with. Is there any chance we can purchase a home now even though we are not living in CA and with the foreclosure history? Thanks for any info!

Help the community by answering this question:



VA loans are fine with a foreclosure which is over 2 years ago, so yours being 3 years ago wouldn't pose a problem for VA financing unless you've had negative marks on your credit since the foreclosure occurred. If you do have negative marks since the foreclosure occurred, usually underwriters will want to wait another 2 years from the most recent negative item.

http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/pam26_7.asp is where you can find full guidelines on VA mortgages and http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/resources_circulars.asp are updates/misc. information that apply to VA loans called "Circulars". The guidelines are updated pretty often now though, but it's always good to check the circulars.

Anna & Cindy,

In Chapter 3 of the guidelines you can find details on occupancy requirements.

The law requires a veteran obtaining a VA-guaranteed loan to certify that he or she intends to personally occupy the property as his or her home. As of the date of certification, the veteran must either:
• personally live in the property as his or her home, or
• intend, upon completion of the loan and acquisition of the dwelling, to personally move into the property and use it as his or her home within a reasonable time.

Occupancy within a “reasonable time" means within 60 days after the loan closing. More than 60 days may be considered reasonable if both of the following conditions are met:
• the veteran certifies that he or she will personally occupy the property as his or her home at a specific date after loan closing, and
• there is a particular future event that will make it possible for the veteran to personally occupy the property as his or her home on a specific future date.

Occupancy at a date beyond 12 months after loan closing generally cannot be considered reasonable by VA.

Occupancy (or intent to occupy) by the spouse or dependent child satisfies the occupancy requirement for a veteran who is on active duty and cannot personally occupy the dwelling within a reasonable time. Occupancy by the spouse may also satisfy the requirement if the veteran cannot personally occupy the dwelling within a reasonable time due to distant employment other than military service.

Single or married servicemembers, while deployed from their permanent duty station, are considered to be in a temporary duty status and able to meet the occupancy requirement. This is true without regard to whether or not a spouse will be available to occupy the property prior to the veteran’s return from deployment.

If the veteran states that he or she will retire within 12 months and wants a loan to purchase a home in the retirement location:
• Verify the veteran’s eligibility for retirement on the specified date.
- Include a copy of the veteran’s application for retirement submitted to his or her employer.
• Carefully consider the applicant’s income after retirement.
- If retirement income alone is insufficient, obtain firm commitments from an employer.

Note: Only retirement on a specific date within 12 months qualifies. Retirement “within the next few years” or “in the near future” is not sufficient.

Anna, are you both in the military and is your permanent duty station in Japan, or is your permanent duty station in the Murrieta area?

If you are both in the military and permanently stationed in Japan, and won't require for another 4 years, and your dependent children won't be moving into the home within a reasonable period of time, then it doesn't sound like you could use VA financing to purchase a home at this time... and at this time you'd need to purchase it with conventional financing. The most common form of conventional financing, with is conforming financing (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac), require 7 years from a foreclosure. 3 years from a foreclosure can be acceptable if the foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances, but in that situation only a purchase of a primary residence with a 10% down payment would be permissible - and to purchase a primary residence Fannie/Freddie require you occupy the home within 60 days of closing.

If you would be moving back stateside within 12 months, or one of your dependent children would be moving, then VA financing could be an option.

You can also call or email VA directly for special situations. VA has regional loan centers (RLC's) that cover the US, and the one that covers California is the Phoenix RLC at http://www.benefits.va.gov/ROPHOENIX/Phoenix_Regional_Office…

Hope this information has helped. Feel free to ask more questions.

Shane Milne | Lending in all 50 states | NMLS #81195
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
This is a great question. As I read the answers below, most are correct. VA may or may not be the correct or only option for you. I specialize in VA, FHA, HomePath, Conventional loans. Call me so that we may discuss your options with no obligations.

I work for a direct lender headquartered in Irvine, California. Feel free to look me up at the following websites.

Thank you for looking. I look forward to hearing from you.

Eddie W. de Leon
NMLS #238369
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
Kon ban wa. As already stated, the VA loan is intended for your primary residence. If your intention is to move back here at the end of your tour, you may be able to do it. However, if extending your overseas tour, you may want to cosider another loan. VA is nice, but its not the only show in town. I'm guessing you are wanting to take advantage of current market rates coupled with the low home prices before they rise again. Its a good call on your part. I'd recommend contacting this lender, Laurie Allen, her email is laurieallen2@yahoo.com She knows her way with VA and does a good job helping my buyers strategize for optimum benefit.
Best regards,
Chris Francis
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
You are welcome Anna. A 2 year employment history is usually needed, but it doesn't all have to be at the same employer and it doesn't have to be continuous either. So if you can piece together a 2 year employment history along with the 14 months you've currently been on your job for then that would work out. Education/college can substitute for the 2 year employment history as well. Even if there is no prior 2 years of employment history, if you are on a salaried, career-oriented job, often underwriters will accept it if you've been employed for at least a year. It's definitely something you'd want to be reviewed by an underwriter as part of the pre-approval process before making an offer on a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Thank you all for providing answers to our question. We truly appreciate any help. My other question is concerning my job history. I have been working for about 14 months (federal job). I would like to know if I will be able to include this in our mortgage application. I also have VA disability benefits which I know will definitely be included as well. I am aware that 2 years minimum is required for a job to qualify. Can someone please let us know if there's a way around this? Thank you so much for any info!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
I as well can accept 14 months employment history.

Valli Lopez - NMLS 980530 - 619.916.9595 Cell - Valli@thebrikhogroup.com
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Anna, yes, we can accept your employment history.
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Anna,

First of all - Thank you for your service!

You should consult with a lender to confirm your eligibility, but one thing to keep in mind is that VA typically requires you to occupy the home.

Best of luck with your search - Please let me know if we can help in any way!

Kevin McLaughlin, Broker Owner
Berkshire West Realty
Murrieta, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2013
Hello Ana,
A Big Thank You to you and your Husband for both of your services to our country! I am a Realtor and certified military housing specialist.
So Southern California be his PCS in 2014 or sooner? In today's market, you will need to be pre qualified prior to making an offer on a home. Do you have access to a state-side lender so that you can get the information you need to move forward?

If I can help further please do not hesitate to contact me.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
Hi Anna
Thank you for your inquiry...
You would be fine with the foreclosure being over 3 years.
I think VA is a great way to go...
If you need the name of a great lender I can give that to you...you would want to go to them 1st and find out just what you can afford before starting your search.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you...
By the way...how do you like living in Japan???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2013
Hi Anna,
Since it has been more than 3 years since your foreclosure, you should be able to buy now. My advice for you is to speak to a good direct lender (I can refer a couple to you), who can get you pre-approved for your purchase. If you are planning to use your VA, you will need your eligibility certificate first...the lender can assist you with that also.

Hope that helps!
Diane Vaughn
Oak Tree Realty Group
Murrieta, Ca
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hi Anna,
I actually just sold a home to my client's "the Tiuseco's" who were also stationed in Okinawa. Her husband had a few trainings in Palm Springs but was never actually able to go home shopping with me. What we did was I would send her listings and she'd pick what she liked, then I would go view and take video and photos of the places with accurate descriptions of each one. After writing a few offers, we got the hang of what they liked and I was able to narrow it down. We found the perfect home and they got their offer accepted, still never seeing the home. I was able to use their California BAH expected pay for financing and qualifying. We signed their loan documents on base in Okinawa. We did the home inspection, repairs and everything they wanted to have done to the house. They were more than pleased, when they arrived, they settled in and called thanking me, even writing a short recommendation for me. I was proud of this transaction and would be happy to offer you the same service. I understand the military and your concerns as a buyer.

I hope to hear from you,

Valli Lopez
CA DRE 01810641
619.916.9595 cell
Web Reference: http://www.ValliLopez.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hi Valli. Thank you for your reply. We were wondering if your clients were able to include the COLA benefit into their income qualifications? It sounds like they were fortunate enough to be able to purchase their home in the midst of being far away. Thank you for any info you may provide.
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Anna,

Shane gave you the most accurate information regarding occupancy etc....

I specialize in helping buyers purchase again after foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. Buying after an event like that can make the qualifying/buying process more challenging in some instances.

Due to the large number of people in the area who have foreclosed/short sold in the area, I've gained a lot of experience dealing with and correcting how and when the lender reports the foreclosure on credit.

I have found many buyers will not receive the automated approval that 90% of lenders require to approve a person who has had a foreclosure. Fortunately, I am able to do a manual underwrite on any VA loan and overcome those obstacles where most lenders dent the loan.

I'm local here in the Temecula/Murrieta area if you are interested in talking. You can call me direct (951) 215-6119.
Web Reference: http://homeloanartist.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
All answers are point on. I agree with Cindy Davis about the process being challenging. Another challenge you may encounter as well is that VA borrowers seem to have a much tougher time getting their offers accepted in this current market. You will be competing against a multitude of buyers/investors. If possible, I strongly recommend trying to get approved for at least an FHA loan. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
Yes please contact me to help you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
You are good to go.. . Let me know how I can asisst...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
You certainly don't need to live in California to buy a home in California. If this is what you want to do, contact the VA and start your pre-approval application.

That said, I think that buying a home when you are thousands of miles away is challenging at best. Do you have any relatives or trusted friends that can help see the properties?

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
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