April 12th, 2012 1:12 PM by Joan Rusco
Wow! It's been a while since we've taken time to update you on what's happening in VA lending. Let's just say it's an extraordinary time for Veterans to purchase or refinance a home using your VA benefits.
There are some real challenges in the real estate market now. Those of us who purchased homes in the 2003 to 2006 era are sometimes in a tough spot. We may have a mortgage loan in the 6% range and would love to refinance in today's rates which are sometimes below 4%! But the market is taking it's toll. Many times we've seen that homes just won't appraise for the value needed to refinance with a new VA loan in Minnesota, Wisonsin or North Dakota (although North Dakota appears in the best shape in the upper midwest).
Here's a good place for you to start just to get an idea if you're in that situation. First, how much do you owe on your current mortgage loan? Second, you need to get some idea as to the value of your home. A good place to start is with county tax records. What does the County Assessor say is the market value of your house? A word of caution here; many times we homeowners have "heard" that a neighbor not far away got his/her asking price when they were selling. Or a realtor wanted to list our house and the asking price was higher than we expected. In the first instance a homeowner who sold their house may not be honest about what they really got for their property. Maybe they sold it for $200,000 but they had to give back thousands for the buyer's closing costs. In the second instance perhaps that realtor was giving you an inflated value just because they wanted the listing. We've heard of those situations. List it for $200,000 but it won't sell so 30 days later that same agent comes back and says you need to drop your price by tens of thousands of dollars.
We mentioned rates earlier. The low rate environment seems almost unbelievable. The federal government has put hundreds of billions of dollars into the monetary system. Historically that has resulted in rising rates and price inflation. Not so this time. But we still believe that will come. If you're considering a purchase or refinance sooner may be better than later.
Let us help you if we can. If we can't we'll tell you straight up. You need to know exactly where you stand. We serve you because you have already served us.