As a disabled Vietnam veteran in April, May and June 2012 in Vacaville I heard all of the rumors and claims about VA loans you are probably hearing. Don't believe any of it. Sure some agents and sellers don't like the VA process because, IMHO, the VA and the VA appraiser will not gurantee a loan for more for a house than it appraises at, or allow you to overpay on a property. For someone who works on a commission the fact that the VA looks out for the vet makes VA loans a problem. Don't forget it ... A good honest agent will have no problem putting you in a home. If they DO have a problem then you should probably fire them.
A VA guaranteed loan is not useful in a short sale situation. But so what? Most "as is" properties start out being "money pits" anyway ... Nearly 80% of those I saw were nothing like the online advertisement ... some houses still had prior owner's belonging in them.
I found that what many brokers and sellers - even private mortgage companies - have at interest seemed to be THEIR interests first and the buyers interest second. A "sellers market" line is a way for an agent to spook you, to rush you in to a purchase which probably isn't in your interest.
The VA loan system is designed to prevent the veteran from falling prey to the many of the kinds of predatory sales and lending tactics which caused the recent real estate market collapse. And many of those tactics are still being used covertly. If someone tries to rush you with terms like "sellers markets"
or by bad mouthing the VA loan approval process fire them and get a new agent.
The VA requires a strict "pest" inspection ... so what? It is in your interest to have a thorough pest inspection. Think of it this way, the VA does not want to guarantee a loan whose value is false.
You can use a VA loan guarantee and buy a house without any more problems than other buyers (aside from the cash people only in to investment) ... I used my VA loan guarantee along with my own bank ( a well known large bank people say won't loan money) financing my mortgage in a Vacaville "sellers" market (funny that in a so called "sellers market" the appraiser had trouble finding "sold" houses for comps) and I found my house within a month ... It appraised at 5k less than the seller wanted and when the seller wouldn't budge I elected to use a VA protection to end the transaction with no bias or burden for me and very quickly the price was lowered to the appraised price + a 1k deposit = 4,000 less than fthe asking price. I was living in that house within about 45 days. My broker in Vacaville was Ann Mikalis of Kappel & Kappel - if Ann thought my loan guarantee was a prpblem I never knew it. She was very informed about the VA benefit and didn't make me feel any less capable because I wanted to use it. I joined when there was a draft, served my country and was injured. I remember getting out of the military in '75 and wouldn't admit to serving for 5 years because there was such disrespect for Veteran's back then. It makes me angry to read similar toward vets & VA loans here.
There's your so-called "sellers" market ... Be patient, insist on your VA benefit, and be thoughtful, if that bothers your agent or broker or they tell you they can't find you a property because a VA loan guarantee hobbles you don't hesitate to fire them ... an honest competent real estate agent and mortgage broker won't have any problem making the VA guarantee work. Make sure that they aren't working for the seller's interest. A good honest broker and lender can help make the VA loan guarantee benefit work as quickly as any other way to buy a house with solid protection for the buyers ... Also, whichever of you are the veteran you need to go on line and register with the VA EBenefits page. You can get any paperwork, copies of your COE, etc. directly from that site with no wait.
So contrary to what you hear here from the business side ... As a Vietnam Vet I used my VA benefit, my home bank and started looking for a house in Vacaville in May 2012. I found it in a VERY nice area, selling for about 1/2 its 2008-09 value. I did my own inspections, got a 30 year fixed at the low interest rate back then (mid 3%) and in the end felt that the VA helped me get my house as was intended by the original benefit guarantee and moved in to my new house by the end of June.
Finally, if you are in California there is a Veteran's property tax exemption nobody tells you about. It saves you a lot of money on prpperty taxes once you are a home owner. Apply for it as soon as you can and you'll see your escrow and monthly payment drop nicely in 2 to 3 months permanently. lIf you are a senior or a disabled veteran or have a qualifying income the exemption can be even larger ... VERY SIGNIFICANT! So check with your County Assesor's Office regarding veteran exemptions ... They'll fill you in.
Michael - Vacaville Property owner since 6/2012