Home Buying in Atlanta>Question Details

Dedric Forem…, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

I'm currenltly in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in Iraq and am interested in retiring soon in the Atlanta area

Asked by Dedric Foreman, San Diego, CA Fri Jul 11, 2008

With the market the way it is, I'm a little concerned about using the VA to finance a home. I'm a first time home buyer and I'm concerned about the perception of government sponsored loans through organizations like Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, and the VA. Are my concerns legitimate? Should I look else-where? I'm looking to purchase a new single family home in the Cobb County or Dunwoody area. I hear they have great schools. My price range is $275k-385k. Any insight?

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Cobb county is certainly a great place to live, schools are always rated high, and property values seems to continue to go up and a lot of it is due to the great schools they have. If you need help buying a home in cobb county, here is a website that will help you a lot with you home search. http://www.kstrealty.com
Web Reference: http://www.kstrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 21, 2008
Thank you for serving our great country. As a retired Army Officer's wife I appreciate the price that you and your family are paying for our freedom. My family was pleased to have the opportunity to be stationed on a Marine Base for a wonderful tour. I also work with a retied Marine and between the two of us I know we can find just the right home for you and your family.

I would be glad to assist you with finding your retirement home. My husband also retired to the Atlanta area. I was in the Cobb County School District for over 7 years and know Cobb County very well. I am also a native Georgian and can asssist you with the entire Atlanta metro area.

You should not have any problems using your VA. However, there are other types of financing you might like. Prudential has a relationship with Sun Trust and therefore we have a mortgage rep available to give you quick and up to date information. It is best now to be pre-qualified with a lender so that you preview homes in your price range and then have the qualified letter to submitt with your offer to purchase. This saves time and lets the seller know you are a truly qualified buyer.

Did you know that the two major Army bases in Atlanta are due to close by 2012. Dobbins Air Reserve will remain open. Dobbins only offers a small PX , class six shoppete and has no commissary. Rumor has it that both commissaries at Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem will close in 2012. Columbus and Augusta will then be the nearest commissaries. On a better note there is plenty of health care in the Atlanta area that accepts Tricare and Tricare Prime.

Register on my website. You can view the homes available in the Atlanta area and e-mail me any specific questions you might have. Best of luck to you and your family. I look forward to having the opportunity to serve you http://.www.jimmierooks.prudentialgeorgia.com, 678-525-8951
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
Hi Dedric and thank you so much for your service!!!!
A great school website resource for you to review is: http://www.greatschools.net and I have to agree with Lee in reference to the lender situation, find a reputable one, your REALTOR should be able to guide you in this respect and the VA loan could certainly be in your best interest but know there are other options as well and your lender will go over these with you. Best of luck and thank you again for service, we are so thankful.
Web Reference: http://www.torilawson.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Thank you for serving your country.

If good government schools are important to you, then East Cobb is about as good as you can get in Georgia for the price. If you are making a sound, long term commitment to this property, then stretch now.

And stretch with the VA's help - their loan limits serve you well, and the rates could be very favorable. Shop around, and be careful to work with excellent people in the mortage business - check references and be open to a lot of choices, including VA.

Welcome back almost!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Thank you for all your service and the sacrifices your family has made. I spent 20 years, from 17-37, in the Navy. 8 years into my naval career I received my commission and then spent the remaining 12 years of my naval career stationed with the Marine Corps as a Medical Service Officers Officer.

I understand your concerns and there are a lot of factors you should consider. We work with a few fine agents in the Atlanta area who we trust and we would love to help you with your search. Please consider emailing me at terry@marianschaffer.com.

With the existing market conditions, your VA benefits and your retirement income, you should be able to do very well in either area.

Again, congratulations and thank you

Terry Molnar
The Schaffer Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Here is the link to see al the hoems for rent in Atlanta GA http://www.kstrealty.com
Web Reference: http://www.kstrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Hi Dedric,
Thank you for your Sacrifice & Service to our country, I have family and friends that where/are in the Marines. I agree with the good answers about your loan concerns. I've lived in Cobb County and I would welcome the opportunity to assist you in finding a home that best fits your needs and wants. Don't hesitate to contact me for your real estate needs and concerns.

Tracy L. Oreus
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Classic
(404) 433-1202
Web Reference: http://www.tracyoreus.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Correction, you need to find a SELLER that is willing to pay your non-allowable expenses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Dedric, if I were you, I would not have any reservations about using a VA loan. I've just finished working with two buyers that used VA loans. You will need to make sure that you find a buyer who is willing to pay your non-allowable expenses. Plus, be sure that you get everything squared away with your lender first. That will pave the way for smoother proceedings down the line. I think, if anything, that a VA loan would be viewed favorably as opposed to any other type of loan because of the guarantee from the gov't.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are government chartered and sponsored entities, they don't actually make loans... Here's an explanation:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, which are congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned companies that buy mortgages, package them into securities and sell them to investors. The two companies also hold mortgages in their own portfolios. ...
Fannie and Freddie don't make home loans. But they provide stability and liquidity to the mortgage market by guaranteeing that investors who buy mortgage securities will receive timely payments of principal and interest. The two companies currently own or guarantee about $5 trillion of mortgages, or nearly half of all U.S. home-mortgage debt outstanding.

Anyway, bottom line, don't be afraid of using a VA loan if you have the means, as a matter of fact, I would say do it provided the rate is a competitive one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Dedric, Thanks for inquiring about government loans...VA loans are one of the benefits you receive for being a Marine. It allows you to get into a home with a small down payment, market interest rates, and an assumable loan. All of these items are benefits to you! Over the past year I have had clients buy homes with a VA loan and sellers sell where the loan was a VA loan. All the transactions were smooth because knowledgable lenders were used.

From you price range you will have numerous options of homes in Cobb County and school are great as you hear. In Dunwoody, there will not be as many choices of homes plus location and schools will be more of a consideration. To learn more about Atlanta and homes available visit our web site. If I can answer any other questions, please feel free to email off line.

Kathy Seger
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008

Thank you for your service to our country. We are grateful for your sacrifice.

My niece's husband served 2 tours in Afghanistan with the Marines. They purchased a home through me in early 2007, in Cobb County. VA financing. No problems. Don't worry about government loans. They're fine.

I am a resident of Cobb County. In fact, your price range would fit my North Cobb neighborhood (Chestnut Hill), which runs from about $250K to $400K. You're right to consider Cobb County. Excellent schools...and a great place to raise kids.

I'm sure you have many questions, so if you'd care to contact me directly, I'll be pleased to assist you in any way I can.

Thanks again for your service. Stay safe!

Bob Engert
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
Web Reference: http://www.BobEngert.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
I also echo Gina's comments regarding your service to our country. God Bless America!

I live in Dunwoody, but sorry to say you will probably not find a new home for your price range in the Dunwoody area unless you are willing to go the townhome route. There are plenty of resales, however, that have been renovated to look like new, and these can be found in your price range. Excellent schools.

I also work Cobb County, have sold many homes there. I can help you anywhere in that area.

As for loans, the first two comments cover the situation pretty well. You can get a VA, FHA, or standard loan pretty easily by shopping around. Lenders are plentiful and hungry for business so don't take their first offer. Negotiate! Just like you do when you buy a house.

Suntrust is excellent and in my office (Perimeter North) we have one of the most experienced loan officers in the whole company, Tenley Stephens. Go to my web site to get more information http://www.edfrancell.prudentialga.com

Ed Francell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Hi Dedric. First and most importantly, Thank You For Your Service!!! There is no ill perception toward government sponsored loans and I would be privileged to assist you with purchasing a home in the Atlanta Area. Feel free to contact me with your criteria and I will start working for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Firstly, thank you for serving our great nation.

You need to speak with a lender who can tell you all of the pros/cons of going VA, Conventional or FHA. Realtors may try to tell you what you should do, but really the expert is a lender. SunTrust is #1 in GA. They are NOT a broker and loan their own money. Secure loans and a fantastic company.

You will love Cobb County!! I'm 3rd generation. At the price point you are looking in, you would be very happy with what you can get for your money in West Cobb. You will get a bit less for your $ in East Cobb. Stay away from South Cobb (schools are iffy). In KNOWAtlanta's 2008/09 Guide to Education quote "Cobb County School System is known for it's high academic achievements...". Cobb has always been known for the best schools in Metro ATL.

Good luck and let me know if I can put you in touch with a reputable lender!

Gina Weeks
Prudential GA Realty

PS. Closing on a home next week for some folks moving from San Diego- not military though..
Web Reference: http://www.teamweeks.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
Hello: There are a number of options as a first time buyer for you. The VA loan process is coming back into favor now and it is a solid program to go through. The only challenge is the paperwork process to go through but it can be done and there are mainline lenders such as Suntrust that do those. Also if you need to go the FHA route they are coming back into favor and lenders are well versed in these programs and can easily assist you in those. It really comes down to the amount you have to put down and credit score factors.

As for your location choices you are exactly right in that there are great locations for schools. Both Dunwoody and Cobb have strong school districts, are located in great areas and offer a good quality of life. In addition you can find homes easily in those price ranges. Actually I am working with a buyer looking in that range in the Dunwoody area.

I would be more than glad to help you in your search or answer any questions you may have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
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