Working with Military Members
by David Piatek
Hi everyone, my name is David Piatek, Senior Vice President at The Federal Savings Bank. I’m proud to announce my partnership with NVAR. Throughout the coming months we’ll be providing video blogs (like this) along with teaching and sponsoring classes. To kick things off, we’ll open up with our first video blog: Working with Military Clients.
As a currently serving military member myself, I help military families across the country utilize and leverage the VA Home Loan. My focus is VA Purchase Transactions and closing them in 21 days.
Very few people in the Real Estate industry niche themselves in the military space. Many service members reside in the DMV; and a good amount of them purchase a home when moving to the area.
VA Home Loans often get a bad reputation, making it difficult to get contracts ratified. Knowing how to serve a niche market will transform you into an expert in the topic and obtain additional revenue and brand recognition. Did you know that appraisal repair items can be paid for by the buyer and moved to post position? Meaning the buyer can close and do the repairs after they move in.
The DMV has over 48 military bases, not including National Guard and Reserve units, which translates to over 1.2 million Active-Duty, Guard/ Reserve, and Veterans! We can soundly say this is a big market that’s worth looking into and understanding.
One of the biggest perks of being a military member is the VA Home Loan. The loan allows for 100% financing and no down payment is required no matter the size of the loan as long as they are qualified and have full entitlement at the time of closing. For example, if a military member wants to buy a $1.5 million dollar property and they qualify, they can do so with 100% financing. Oftentimes, military members are sent to different military bases every three years or so, which makes them frequent purchasers, sellers, and/ or landlords.
The summer season is typically when the Permanent Change of Station - also known as PCS – kicks off. During this period, military members get their new work assignments. Often times they are under pressure to decide if they want to live on-base (which can be limited in certain areas), if they should purchase a home or rent a property. Communicating confidence, knowledge, and transparency on the matter goes a long way in these situations.
Due to the time constraints of being in the military and oftentimes away from the area where they will be moving too, virtual showings become critical.
As a Military Relocation Professional Certification (MRP) instructor and contributor of the course for the National Association of Realtors, something I have noticed in real-life situations is the presence of misinformation regarding the VA Home Lending process. The key to a smooth transaction is to order the appraisal within 24 hours of a ratified contract and make sure all the client’s documents are thoroughly reviewed prior to a lender issuing a pre-approval. The best pre-approval is one where the borrower has already gone through the underwriting process prior to looking at a home. Meaning their pre-approval is an actual MORTGAGE COMMITMENT. That’s something we offer; it’s called the Express Loan Pre-Approval.
The VA mortgage is a great product and offers huge benefits and savings to military members and their families. If you have questions about the VA Home Loan or working with military members, please give me a call at 202-875-1010. I’m happy to help.
Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions may apply. Subject to VA eligibility requirements. Property insurance is required on all loans secured by property.