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VA home loans hit record highs, but some veterans report discrimination

VA home loans hit record highs, but some veterans report discrimination
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Virginia home loans are up 15% last year and are being used in record numbers. But many veterans say they face discrimination with their use of home purchases.

Veterans Affairs loans are guaranteed by the government, and enable veterans to purchase homes with zero or low down payments. But in this hot real estate market, many veterans say some sellers are closing the doors on them.

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“We had our daughter, so we thought it was time to start finding a real home,” said Mark Miller, a Navy veteran.

Miller says the VA Home loan enabled his family to purchase their first home.

“There’s no private mortgage insurance, and it’s a huge amount of money, and that keeps my principals down,” Miller said.

But he says some doors are closed in their faces.

“Our realtor has been very open with us, and there are going to be some people who don’t even want to deal with your VA loan,” he said.

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He said some offers were turned down.

“My wife and I have had moments like this, unfortunately,” Miller said. “We really love this place, and now we don’t get this place.”

“Some homeowners in some markets list a home and say you can make a traditional offer, you can make a cash offer. That’s it. Don’t send me a VA offer,” said Chris Burke of Veterans United Home Loans.

Burke says some sellers won’t even consider VA home loan offers.

“There is a sense that because this is a mortgage product with no value at all, the veteran may be less likely to close. Or they will need a lot of help closing,” Burke said.

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But Burke says the VA loans closed at a similar rate. ICE Mortgage Technology’s June 2021 report showed that over the previous 90-day period, 75% of VA loans closed, compared to 76.9% of conventional loans.

Burke says some sellers also don’t want to meet the more stringent requirements of a VA home appraisal, which is meant to make sure the home being purchased is safe.

“There is a feeling that with VA loans, the house has to be in pristine shape. If there’s a railing on the back deck that needs to be installed, there’s peeling paint on the outside of an old house, and things automatically kill the deal,” Burke said. .

Despite these challenges, the Virginia Home Loan Program supported a record 1.4 million loans in 2021 for home purchases.

“Just realize there’s going to be more on the market,” Miller said. “You’ll find something. You’ll find something you like.”

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