Mission Possible: VA Success in San Francisco

If you’re a home buyer in San Francisco and you’re working with a lender, you are already looking at an uphill battle. In a market where many homes sell to all-cash offers, buyers who need loans to close feel forced to make offers with accelerated closing time frames that feature no appraisal or loan contingency in order to compete. Add the complexities of a VA loan to the mix and the chances of your offer getting accepted drop to near zero.

This is incredibly unfortunate because the VA loan is there to reward and protect those who have sacrificed for this country. VA loans feature very little down payment, no mortgage insurance and excellent interest rates for veterans who qualify. One restriction, which is there to protect the veteran, is the need to clear any “section 1” items in the home inspection. This generally covers live organisms like termites, rodents, mold, and fungus. Many homes for sale have some type of Section 1 issue but these items are generally dealt with by the buyer after close of escrow.

In a sellers market like the Bay Area where inventory is tight and buyers outnumber properties for sale, many sellers would rather not deal with the complexities of accepting a VA offer. This was the challenge faced by super-agent Lynn Finnegan of Pacific Union in San Francisco when she took on the challenge of finding a home for a couple who had recently relocated to San Francisco from the East Coast.

I had the good fortune of being introduced to this great couple through a mutual acquaintance and we began working together. It became immediately apparent that in order for them to be able to get the right home in the right neighborhood, they were going to have to use a VA loan to maximize their buying power. We worked with them to gather all of the necessary documentation and fully underwrote their file prior to issuing their pre-approval. This put them in a position to close quickly and to make the most compelling offer possible. Nevertheless, the fact that we were using a VA loan presented a huge challenge for Lynn, but she was up to the task.

After some unsuccessful bids in highly competitive situations, Lynn’s diligence and persistence resulted in an accepted offer, VA loan and all. With great teamwork, we were able to be in a position to close in a matter of weeks. The transaction was fully wrapped up and closed in under 30 days and our clients are now excitedly packing boxes and getting ready for their big move.

If you’re a veteran who has been discouraged from using a VA loan because of the tight market, do not lose hope. If you are not getting the kind of support and service that you should be getting, we would love to work with you and welcome the opportunity to assist you in fulfilling your home ownership dreams. If you are a realtor with a listing and you encounter an offer from a veteran using a VA loan, please consider it as you would any other offer. There is no reason to penalize veterans just because you may not have experience with this type of loan. Call the lender and talk through it with them to get agood understanding of what is and is not possible. If you still have questions, I would be happy to answer any questions regarding VA loans, regardless of whether we are working with the buyer or not.

Don’t forget that VA loans are very possible….even in San Francisco!!

FM – text – 415-377-1147 / email – fmz@commercemtg.com