Veteran and first time home buyer looking to move July 2013, where do I start??

Asked by Roxanne P Mojica, San Antonio, TX Thu Jan 24, 2013

First time home buyer returning home to San Antonio after being stationed in Fort Lewis, WA past 4 years. Looking for a single family home 4 bedrooms, 2 bath; ready to move this summer!! I have my COE, but not sure where to start.

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Melissa Wiggans’ answer
Melissa Wigg…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Fri Jan 25, 2013
Hi Roxanne,

It sounds like you are familiar with the area and probably have an idea of where you would like to buy. Before you start to look at houses, the first step would be to speak with a lender and determine for how much you qualify. If you need help finding a lender there are a few lenders I work with regularly and I can give you their contact information.

The next step would be for you to put together your wish list. Where do you want to live? How many bedrooms/bathrooms are important? Does the house need to have a yard? And so on...After I have this information I can set up an automatic search for you on the MLS, so you receive listings as they go on the market.

Then you would select the homes from this list that you would like to see in person and we would set up a time for me to show them to you. Once you find your dream home we would write an offer and go through negotiations, home inspection, etc. We could discuss the transaction in more detail when the time comes because it can be a little overwhelming for some first time buyers.

If you'd like to discuss your move in more detail or if you have any additional questions about the home buying process, please feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to set up a search for you today!

Melissa Wiggans
Real Estate Muses
0 votes
Bartholomew…, Home Owner, Richmond, VA
Fri Feb 1, 2013
I would stay in a rental place for starts, then I would get in on the classifieds and check where there are property auctions listed. I am not sure what is in Texas because I live here in New York. I got my place at auction. No mortgage. If you are high speed like me, who is willing to live in a tent for 3 months while building your house on a vacant lot, then you are a true american just like me. I will never get a Mortgage because you never get it paid brother. It is a scam. Rates are constantly changing and they, the Bankers hold the interest in the property, but only until a Judge signs the parcels, then you have the power to really own the American dream. Think about it. I spent many cold nights at Fort Drum thinking about owning my own home, and I built it. Good Luck. Voice of the Mountain.
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Chappaqua, NY
Fri Jan 25, 2013
Roxanne, If you are returning home to San Antonio than you probably know people in the area. Trulia is a great site where agents can promote themselves while helping others, but that is not always an indication of how good they are as an agent. If you know people in the area, call them and ask if they can refer an agent they've had a good experience with or if they know someone who recently purchased a home in the area you could talk to. A good agent can also refer you to a good mortgage broker they've had experience with. There are many agents on this site who spend money for a pro designation, but that doesn't mean they didn't get their licensed yesterday. It's a bit misleading. In my own opinion it also goes for those agents who have an ABR designation. To get an Accredited Buyer's Representative designation means you took a 2 day course and represented 5 buyers in a transaction since you got your real estate license. That doesn't make you a great agent in my book. Call the people you know in the area and chances our you'll end up with a great agent.

Good luck and thanks for your service to our country. By the way, my brother in law recently retired while stationed at Ft Hood and now lives in Kileen, TX.

Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
0 votes
Valley Prope…, Other Pro, Las Vegas, NV
Fri Jan 25, 2013
First, Thank you for your service. And, the answers are correct but I would also advise having a home inspection, especially being a first time buyer. If you go with a VA loan, a VA inspector will perform an inspection. You will most likely not see or have access to this report and it may not provide you with all of the information about the property.
I would suggest finding a reputable home inspector in San Antonio that will "educate" you about the home. There are items or functionality that you may not readily notice that an inspector should catch and point out to you.
I am licensed in Texas but I do not serve the SA area. If you have any questions about inspections feel free to contact me.
Lee Taylor
0 votes
Denise Sheph…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hello Roxanne:
First step:
Is to get in contact with a lender that specializes in Texas Vet Loans or VA loans.
I would be glad to help you.
I have some lenders that I work with.
Second step:
After that we will know for how much you qualify.
Third step:
We will have a long conversation, so I can know you. That way I will recommend what area of San Antonio suits you better, also where are you going to be transfer (Fort Sam or Lackland?)
Fourth step:
I would be sending via email listings in the areas you select and
Fifth step:
As soon as you are here we can go and view them.
Final Step:
I would help you in all the transaction, so it would go clean and smooth
San Antonio in a wonderful place to live in!!
Feel free to call me or email me
Denise Shepherd
0 votes
Val J. Aranda, Agent, Helotes, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hello Roxanne!

There's a long "yellow brick road" that'll lead you to your new home. Where do you start? Find a partner who will guide you through your journey.

There are hundreds of REALTORS® in the San Antonio market. A first-time home buyer should take just as much care into picking an Agent as they do picking a home. Since San Antonio is your home, you probably have friends/family who have bought homes here recently. Start by asking your friends/family who they'd recommend as a REALTOR®. Find out what they liked and didn't like about the process. You'll be surprised how much you will learn from your peers.

Once you find the REALTOR® who is right for you; one that will meet your needs and expectations, he/she will introduce you to the team of people who will help navigate you through the home buying process. You'll tour homes, learn about making strong offers, meet inspectors, meet loan officers, etc... By the time you find the home of your dreams, you'll feel confident about your next move!

San Antonio welcomes you home. Thank you for your service, Roxanne!

P.S. If you want to ask more questions, you have access to a wealth of information using this forum. If you're interested in learning how I can be of service to you, feel free to call/email/text. I'm ALWAYS on-call, even after "normal" business hours.

Val J Aranda, Texas REALTOR®
Metro Realty - San Antonio

Call/Text: 210-378-5987 or see what I'm up to at:

"Coaching 1st-Time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers" - I can't guarantee a 100% stress-free experience, but I can guarantee I'll find a solution for any issue that worries you.
Web Reference:
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Jose Novelo, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Start receiving my Thanks! for serving our Great Nation. Then find your next Home at it is free and Up to Date.
I know All the programs you can benefit from and my 37 years or experience will help you to find, negotiate and achieve you Real Estate goals.
Welcome to the Alamo City.
Jose L. Novelo
0 votes
Jana Halvers…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hello Roxanne,

RE/MAX Associates in San Antonio has a program that exceeds the mover's advantage program which will credit some assistance to you at closing. By using RE/MAX Associates you will also receive experienced professional service.

I would love to share with you testimonials from my clients.

Jana Halverson
0 votes
Tabitha King, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Roxanne,

You can call Popi Winters at United Lending 210-269-1067 and get qualified. She does VA loans.
Then you can have me or another Realtor start working with you on where you want to be in San Antonio and what kind of home you would like.

I'm a full time Realtor and work with lots of Veterans moving or have moved to San Antonio. You can call, email or text me anytime.

Web Reference:
0 votes
Susan Casas, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hello Roxanne,

First step us get get you pre qualified. I have a great lender, she had been in this business for over 20 years. My husband is retired Air Force. Call me anytime and we will get you started. Thank you for reading.

Susan Casas
0 votes
Bill and Jul…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hello Roxanne,

The first place to start is a lender who can help you get pre-qualified for a loan. I know of a couple of really great lenders. Both my husband and I are Realtors and we both are retired Air Force. We would love to earn your business. Please give us a call or email anytime and we can discuss your situation and start finding you a new home here in San Antonio.

Bill and Julie Schlip
Simmonds Real Estate
210-445-7861 or 210-317-5287
0 votes
Meghan Pelley, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Roxanne, First thing is to make sure you've got all your other ducks in a row for your VA eligibility with regards to financing. I can help you with that if you'd like. The second step is to locate a local expert (such as myself) to assist you in finding the perfect house. The process is pretty simple when you've got a good team on your side. If you'd like to go into more detail my contact information is 210-232-3666 or
0 votes
Michael Clut…, , Oklahoma City, OK
Thu Jan 24, 2013
First of all I would like to thank you for your service.

The first thing you need to do is get pre approved with a mortgage lender. I suggest you go to your bank first and get a quote from them on a VA loan. Personally, I like to be able to walk in to someone's office as oppose to doing things online. Get a copy of the Good Faith Estimate and Truth in Lending disclosure. In today's market you should be able to get a VA loan at around 3.25% interest. Closing costs are probably around $3k. Prepaids (taxes, insurance and days of interest) should be somewhere around $2000 to $2500 becuase property taxes in Texas are so high. These costs are typically negotiated to be paid by the seller if you have a real estate agent that is any good. You can get 2 or 3 quotes from different lenders if you want. After the lender qualifies you he/she will give you a pre approval letter. Take that letter to an agent and start shopping!! Good luck!!
0 votes
Roland Gonza…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Roxanne, as Royce mentioned, first thing is getting with loan officer and have him get your VA certificate. If you do not have a lender that you are comfortable, call me and I can recommend someone that is familiar with VA and the Texas Vet program.

The city of San Antonio does have a program to assist first time home buyers. They do have income limits and other buyer orientations requirements - so call me for details.

The State of Texas also has a first-time homebuyer program that provides down-payment assistance. Contact Paige Omohundro with TSAHC at (512) 475-3561 for details. After that call, give me a call for assistance in finding a home.

Good Luck and Thanks for your Service

Roland Gonzales, ABR, GRI, CRS, CDPE
Retired Army (CW5)
0 votes
Karen Watson, , San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013

Thanks for your service and congratulations on moving back to San Antonio. I can help you with all aspects of your home purchase starting with your VA loan and benefits ending with keys to your new home. I am a full time, full service agent here in San Antonio

Call me and we can discuss your needs more.

Karen Watson, Realtor
Exit I-10 Realty
0 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
The process is very easy actually.

First I will send you to the very best lender in the entire state of Texas. Especially for VA and Texas but loans. Go here:

Next, shoot me a text or an email, or give me a call. I will send you all of the homes that fit exactly what you're looking for in the area that you would like to focus on.

Then I will keep that list updated between now and July so that you know which ones you like to see before you get here.

Easy as pie!

Jason C Campbell
Platinum top 50 finalist
Option one real estate
0 votes
Terri Saari, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013

I, too, am a veteran, 22 years Air Force so thank you for your service. The first place to start is with a lender who understands and specializes in VA and TX Vet loans. It is always best to get prequalified with a loan so you know how much you qualify for and can afford to spend on a home. I have a couple of great lenders I can refer you. I work a lot with first time home buyers and military members since I am retired AF and would be happy to assist you.

Please feel free to contact me and I will point you in the right direction. We have plenty of time to find you the home you are looking for this summer.

Terri Saari
Terri Saari, Realtor®
Certified Relocation Specialist
Retired United States Air Force
Kimberly Howell Properties
21252 Gathering Oak, Ste 100, San Antonio TX 78260
210-887-3477 Cell
210-493-6888 Office
210-493-7002 Fax
Texas' FIVE STAR Realtor 2012 and 2011 as seen in Texas Monthly
Platinum Top 50 Award Winner 2011/2012
0 votes
Gregory Touc…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
i have worked with many Veterans and I am working with a Vietnam Navy Vet at the moment. If you plan on financing as most people do, we need to get you connected to a lender who has worked Veteran loans before.

Then we can get down a list of your needs in a home in order to narrow things down to just the homes that will work for you so we don't waste your time or gas.

If you need referrals from my previous clients I will be happy to forward their contact information.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE ! !... It would be an honor to be of service to YOU!

Gregory Touchstone
Keller Williams
0 votes
David Marne, Agent, Shavano Park, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013

If you are interested in saving thousands on your home purchase, the best place to start is to call Half Priced Real Estate, (210) 281-1604.
0 votes
Royce Simmon…, Agent, Cibolo, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
Should start by getting pre-approved by a mortgage professional who understands VA and Texas Vet financing programs and then find a Realtor who will begin walking you and your family down the road to home ownership. If you need help with a mortgage professional and your real estate requirements, give me a call or email.

Royce Simmonds, Broker-Owner, Simmonds Real Estate Inc.
1-866-651-9300 Toll Free or (210) 651-9300 Office

36 Years Air Force Service (15 enlisted/21 officer)
0 votes
Narce Pena, , San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2013
I would be happy to assist you and helping you find that special place called Home.

Feel free to email me so I can provide you with more personalized details.

Narce Pena
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
Bradfield Properties
(210) 861-8837
0 votes
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