Home Buying in Alameda>Question Details

cmamluna, Home Buyer in Alameda, CA

We qualify for a VA loan and we are 1st time home buyers. Where do we start, a bank, a realtor? Would like to be in Fernside or Bay Farm Island.?

Asked by cmamluna, Alameda, CA Sun Jul 8, 2012

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Jean Powers, CRS, e-PRO, SFR, HAFA certified, Broker, Alameda, CA

Good Morning. I am a native Alamedan who has been a Broker here for over 26 years as well as being a Director for the California Association of Realtors, the largest trade association in the U.S., since 1993.

I have handled VA loans here and everyone's advice to you is correct. Get approved by a good Mortgage Consultant such as Claudia Gravelle, who is very knowlegable in VA loans. This is the very first step for you to take in order to proceed in purchasing a home. It is a competetive market right now but that doesn't mean you cannot purchase a home.

Please contact me if you are not working with a Realtor if you need any other help and good luck to you in finding your future home.

DRE 00878902............Homes@JeanPowers.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
I would suggest that you start with a specialized VA lender, who can then introduce you to a military-friendly real estate professional. It's hard to believe, but many folks in the real estate industry don't understand the VA loan process and actually may try to steer their VA eligible clients away from the benefits they've earned because of misconceptions about VA loans taking too long to close or having too much red tape. Check out this video that shows how one VA borrower had to actually fight his realtor to ensure he got to use his VA home loan benefits! http://youtu.be/pwLKuRfptrQ Good luck! @vahomeloanguru
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
I would start with due both in Tandem. I have recently represented a Navy Veteran and successfully completed the transaction. The loan is a different animal and your Realtor will need to know everything involved that is required by the SELLER in order for the loan to be approved.
It doesn't take much to get qualified but you need a lender and a Realtor who have completed these types of transactions so you and your family are not disappointed because no one knew what they were doing.

Please email me if you like to discuss in detail. I am in DC right now but will be back Tuesday.

Thank you for your service and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
The first place to start is always with a mortgage lender. Since you're VA, you will need to apply for your eligibility of certificate. I believe a mortgage person can help you with that, and/or you can do that online through the VA site.

Once you have that certificate and a pre-approval, it's time to hire a Realtor who can help you locate the right house for you.

Good luck and thank you for your service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Hello cmamluna...congratulations on deciding to buy your first home! You can start by contacting a lender or a realtor. It is really up to you. I recommend that you start with a Realtor. Your Realtor will be able to set you up with a few lender referrals so that you can get pre-approved. Plus your Realtor will be able to start streamlining your search. I am interested in helping you with your next steps and think I would be a great fit for your needs. I grew up in Bay Farm Island and I am very familiar with the area's you prefer to buy in. Bay Farm and Fernside are both great areas to buy in. I specialize in working with first time home buyers and pride myself on providing my clients with knowledge, support and guidance throughout. I am currently working with another couple that are also first time buyers and financing their new home with a VA loan as well. If you are ready to start working with a Realtor, please give me a call at 510-712-3911.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
As a realtor, my first advice is for you to speak with a mortgage broker who does VA loans to see how much you qualify for before you start looking at properties.

I live in Alameda and very much in tune with our market. Do note that in many cases, if the property shows well, is in good condition and priced properly, it will receive multiple offers, and probably even over-bidding.

Having a VA loan may put you in a certain disadvantage because of the stringent rules of VA lenders and the length of time it may take to close escrow. VA lenders (like FHA) have many requirements such as fixing certain things that sellers may not be inclined to do. Other buyers may have more aggressive terms (higher down payment, shorter time periods, AS IS purchase) that are attractive to sellers.

Talk with Garrick Werdmuller with First Priority Financial, 510 282 5456 Info@Garrick.biz. He can help you with your VA loan.

Call me if you have questions. 510 205 2992

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
The first thing to do is to get yourself PreAPPROVED.
This way you know exactly how much home the price of the home you search for should be.
Make certain that you have your DD214 (or access to it).
Make contact with a local (I am in Fremont) lender who knows VA mortgages (me!) and have them get your loan set up and ready to go.
Once in place, about a week, its time to find that real estate agent you trust to find the home of your dreams!
Happy House Hunting!!

PS: VA has no minimum credit score.
And youcan get into the home with zero down payment!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
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