Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

mjdeady22, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

We have just received our VA certificate and what we qualified for, where do I go from here? Do I have to have a bank accept it now?

Asked by mjdeady22, Tampa, FL Fri Jan 3, 2014

Help the community by answering this question:


As a NON- realtor. Don't spend every single penny they give you qualification for. Spend a little time with a Dave Ramsey book before you buy something. He recommends at or less than 25% of your take home pay. Believe me, a little house goes a long, long way. You can move up in house in a few years as your income grows.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014

That's great that you qualify for your VA certificate, it is a great program for our veterans. But the certificate is only the 1st step, you need to shop around and find a lender that writes VA loans and become pre qualified financially. Once you have gotten the dollar amount that you qualify for then start shopping for you new home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2014
mjdeady22, Thank you for your years of military service. Obtaining your VA certificate is the first step. You will have to work with a mortgage lender and get yourself pre approved for a mortgage.

Keep in mind that a VA mortgage is owner occupied.

Depending upon the region and neighborhood that you are seeking to buy, a VA loan for the buyer is a good opportunity however, in some markets Seller's will shy away from a VA loan which is basically 100% financed.

Ask your agent if recent sales were mostly financed or cash. In a cash market financed transactions are challenging to have accepted by Sellers especially if a multiple offer situation. For example, in east Hillsborough FHA and VA are common financing methods. However, in Sarasota county 66% of the transactions are cash.

A VA loan is a guaranteed closing. Some new home builders work with VA loans. Best to connect with an experienced agent or one certified in military clients.

Best regards,
Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
Visit http://www.brockrealty-inc.com where you can sign up for a FREE Listing book account which allows you to search the MLS in real time and receive morning reports on new listings, current pendings and recent solds.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 9, 2014
Good Afternoon,
Personally, I believe VA loans are the best type of loan out there. In regards to financing they require 0% down. Many of my clients are Veterans and have been able to recieve tremendous benefit from these loans. First off I would contact a lender that does VA loans and have them review my information so that you could attain a pre-approval letter. The lender will be able to tell you how much money you qualify for based up on your debt to income ratio. Once I have that letter I would reach out to a realtor to begin to search for your new home.
I am a Senior Loan Officer here in Tampa FL and would love assist you in getting you into the home of your dreams. Please feel free to visit my website where you can request a quote or contact me via 813-316-2172

Stephanie Adams
Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 1001484
4010 W. Boyscout Blvd. Suite 600, Tampa, FL 33607
Direct 813-316-2172 | Fax 877-813-7519 | Toll Free 800-930-7334 Ext. 1477
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2014
Number one, you need to make sure the VA Loan is the best option. I do VA loans and I used my VA benefit years ago, but would not use it twice for a few reasons.

Go to http://www.pro-option.com and then contact me so I can tell you the down side of VA loans and possible options.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2014
For off-base housing, you should try http://mfsfr.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014

The next step is to call me and I'll be happy to show you homes that fit your search criteria and budget. :-)

Jenn Cook
Bahia International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 7, 2014
your in luck i am a veteran of us army and purchased my home 2 years ago thru va. application is the same as conventional just that the va pays your lender should you default. check for lenders that do va. i used usaa. give me a call at 973-809 3966 mike hojnaski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 7, 2014
Let 34 years experience help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 6, 2014
Congrats that is a big step.

Now get in touch with a Local Realtor, many fine ones
responding to this question and then start looking for your home.

Once you find a home you like with your Realtor you will make
an Offer, accompanied by the VA Certificate.

Again congrats on getting through a tough first step and setting yourself
in the right direction by asking the right question.

Good luck
Web Reference: http://ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014

you start looking for a home in the area you want to live, using a Realtor. The Realtor can give you the names of a few mortgage lenders that do VA loans, and that the Realtor works with. Please make sure that the Realtor you are working with, is working for you, and not just a transaction broker.

Let me know if we can be of help.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' home loan guaranty program (AKA VA Loan) is possibly one of the best loan programs for eligible borrowers. It allows the eligible borrower to purchase a property without a down payment and very little money out of pocket. I have been offering VA loans since 1987, and I more than happy to review your scenario and determine how much you are qualified to borrow. I can also place you in contact with a seasoned Realtor who is familiar with VA borrowers.

We look forward to working with you on your VA home loan and thank you for your service!

Bart Gabe - Lending Since 1987



800 315 8803

NMLS# 20743 - my licensing information

http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/ - link to look up my license number
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
Yes you need a lender to assist you, I'm a mortgage broker with a lot of experience with VA buyers, I would like to assist you. Please send me your contact information and best time to reach you, to luis@dhmloans.net, as soon as I receive it I will contact you.
Kind Regards,

Luis Torres
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
As a NON- realtor. Don't spend every single penny they give you qualification for. Spend a little time with a Dave Ramsey book before you buy something. He recommends at or less than 25% of your take home pay. Believe me, a little house goes a long, long way. You can move up in house in a few years as your income grows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
Hi. Your next step is to contact a lender for loan pre-approval and a Realtor to assist in the buying process (usually at no charge to you). Many Realtors, including myself, embrace VA home loan buyers rather than avoid them as indicated in a previous post.

VA guaranteed loans allow 0 percent down payment among other advantages. The only real hurdle for VA buyers in this seller's market that is if significant closing cost concession is needed from an owner. If you can keep your request for closing cost concession to a minimum (just enough to cover closing fees that VA will not allow you to pay), successful negotiation would be more likely.

If you plan to buy in Hillsborough County, you might want to check out some of the local Government assistance allowances available for first time home buyers, and/or former and current military personnel. Review websites like https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org and https://www.hillsboroughhfa.org

Should you decide to live in nearby Pinellas County, there are several available homes purchased with Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grant funds and currently owned by the Pinellas Community Housing Foundation, Inc. Proud Ground Pinellas offers quality homes at incredible prices. The homes are part of the Pinellas Community Housing Foundation’s Land Trust.
The purchase price of a home in the Land Trust is significantly lower than market value. Homeowners enjoy the same benefits of homeownership – for less money! A modest lease fee for the land is paid to the trust and the property remains affordable for future generations to enjoy.
The homes are remodeled, many with energy efficient improvements and hurricane protection features. The sale of these homes is restricted to qualified veterans and active duty personnel (and in some cases surviving spouses) and is subject to income and land use restrictions. Please review this website for more information about Proud Ground Pinellas: https://www.pinellascounty.org/community/proudgroundpinellas.htm
The financing for eligible persons is provided through approved lenders utilizing VA home loan guaranty or FHA insured loans. Loans are offered at prevailing interest, 30 years fixed. Seller will pay up to $2,500.00 toward buyers closing costs covering pest inspection, tax service, appraisal, survey, recording fees and transfer taxes. If you have any questions about this unique program in Pinellas Counrty, please call me at 727-541-3743.

Darla Schroeder, Realtor, GRI, CIPS, e-PRO, ABR, *FMS
*Florida Military Specialist
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014

As active duty or prior service, you likely know what the 6Ps are:


As a VA buyer, you will be at a DISADVANTAGE right from the get go as sellers and listing agents will avoid selling to VA buyers, but only because of all the extra hoops and potential costs they have to deal with when selling to a buyer using a VA loan.

So....You DO NOT want to ride into ride into battle on a worn out 70 yr old donkey, swinging a butter knife with a trash can lid as a shield! You want to ride into this market in a M1 Abrams Tank, with armor piercing ammo and port and starboard 50 cals a'blazin!

Its a 2014 real estate combat zone here in this Tampa Bay market, so getting Pre Approved with a legit Pre Approval letter and knowing what all extra savings you could obtain in advance is what you need to do.

Contact me today if you'd like to talk about strategies

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 813-443-0808
nmls #204296

Prior Service: U.S. MARINE CORPS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
Are you presently working with a Realtor? Have you already picked out the home you want to purchase?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 4, 2014
I can tell you how much you qualify for. Are you free to speak tomorrow am?

Jordan Vreeland
Branch Manager
Bridgeview Bank
813 340 6223
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014
You will need to contact a lender that accepts VA to get a loan pre-qualification. Then get a Realtor to help you find a home and place an offer. Once the offer gets accepted the lender will use your VA benefit to get you a loan.

My VA lender has been closing loans from contract acceptance to closing table in 28 days. If you would like his contact info drop me a quick note at AVegaPacheco@aol.com

I personally do not work the Tampa area, I'm in the Disney/Kissimmee/Davenport side.

Tony Vega
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014

Everyone here is correct however you need to contact a mortgage broker versus going to directly to just one specific lender/bank like BOA or Wells Fargo. With a mortgage broker your credit score is checked once but they then shop the entire market to find you the best interest rate, payment options, loan terms, and so on. I would recommend Joe Andrews with New Penn Financial to do this with you. I closed over 30 properties last year and Joe was a big reason why my buyers were able to close on properties quickly.

Once you have a mortgage broker and are pre approved then the fun begins. I would recommend sitting down with you to determine what you want in a home and what areas you like. If you aren't working with a Realtor then contact me and we can get you started.

Also I can email you my mobile search app that will allow you to search on your phone and we can communicate directly through the app as well as by phone and email. Being able to communicate quickly with your Realtor and move on a property quick is key in our market since the housing supply is low.

I hope this helps point you in the right direction and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cody Powell, Realtor
J. Powell Enterprises LLC
O. 813.843.8311
C. 904.710.8057
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014
Navy Federal Credit Union is the best, competitive rates and low closing costs! Call Barbara LoBianco at 877-573-2321. She is awesome, will get you closed! Tell her Jenny Minor sent you, she can speak to my qualification here in Tampa. Then call me and we can get started finding you a home!
Good Luck!

Jenny Minor, MBA
Homeward Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014
First off congrats!! A lender will be the next stop to approve you for an amount then its off to house hunt. I work with lenders that can help you get approved with no sweat. Please give me a ring 813 625 4446. Have a good night
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014
Get pre-qualified by a lender that does VA loans to know how much you can afford, then go shopping in the Tampa area for houses!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 3, 2014
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