Advice for House Hunting and VA Home Loans

Derrick Abbott and Deonte Cole on PCS With

If only a military Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move was as simple as letting the movers pack your stuff and then unpacking it on the other end. Instead, you’ve still got a pretty big decision left on your plate: where to live.

Deonte Cole, a Marine Corps veteran and real-estate agent, and Derrick Abbott, a loan officer who has spent his career helping families access and use their VA home loans, work together in the Tampa, Florida, area. In this episode of PCS with, Derrick and Deonte share their best tips, tricks and insight on house hunting and using the VA home-loan benefit.

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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of PCS with

Amy Bushatz 0:00

Moving with the military carries with it a whole host of logistical challenges. And once you figure out the whole packing and moving process, the benefits, entitlements and payments from the military, the rules and regulations, information about your new hometown and all the logistics involved in getting there. Now, you have to figure out one more really huge detail. Where are you going to live? For most military members and families that means making one to two key decisions. Are you going to live on or off base, and if you're going off base, are you going to rent or buy a home? Today we're going to talk through that decision process and then focus on the need to knows of buying while using your VA loan benefit. And since buying a home is something for which you really want to make sure you've got expert help on hand. today's episode has not one but two Home Buying experts. Deonte Cole and Derrick Abbott. Deonte is a Marine Corps veteran and Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Tampa, Florida. And Derrick works with Dronte as a loan consultant with caliber home loans. Derrick and Deonte, welcome to PCS with

Deonte Cole 1:06

Thank you for having us.

Derrick Abbott 1:07

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Amy Bushatz 1:08

Awesome. Oh, I'm so excited because we really need the insider info on this. I am, you know, wandering around in the woods over here. I have bought a home. But gosh, I would never sit down and pretend to advise someone on how to do that. So I'm so glad you guys are, are with us. So before anything else, I want to know how often our guests on this PCS podcast have moved with or without the military, and Deonte since you're the veteran here we’ll ask you, how many times have you moved with the military?

Deonte Cole 1:41

I've moved six times. Outside of even prior to that I probably moved an additional six times. So probably 12 times in my lifetime I've made a made a move

Amy Bushatz 1:51

And you guys have moved OCONUS so you've got all the street cred coming to and from Japan.

Deonte Cole 1:58

Exactly. We've we've gone from East Coast, West Coast and overseas several times. So yes, it's it's been a journey over 20 year time period.

Amy Bushatz 2:07

Man. So we know you know what we're talking about and now you are real estate experts. So we are looking to you for that. So Deonte, after you retired from the Marine Corps, you chose to become a realtor, something you've now been doing since 2019. Right? And Derrick, you work in home loans, something you've been doing, since I think we just talked about before that crash back in 2010ish. So you've been at that since 2009?

Derrick Abbott 2:35

Yeah, actually a little before that that. So we're talking to 2006, 2007 range? Okay. been going back that far.

Amy Bushatz 2:42

Okay, and you have a special focus on VA Home Loans, which is like its own beast?

Derrick Abbott 2:47

Yes, I do. I do know that program better than any other.

Amy Bushatz 2:51

Great. So you are our guy. So I'm excited to talk to you about that. Okay, so we have a really like a few different subject lines to talk about on this. Deonte, I'm hoping you can first talk to us about the decision to live on or off base. As a Marine, you've done both, but also as a realtor, what do you tell people? How do you help them make that decision?

Deonte Cole 3:13

Well, you know, there's no one size fit all. What I would tell people is based on their circumstances, and their conditions. Of course, regardless of who you are, it takes certain requirements to be able to buy a home loan, and you have to be cognizant of their budget, I will tell them the pros and cons of doing both the pros on of living on base are, you know, it's one less thing you have to worry about the payments, the utilities, things like that are already taken care of. So, but if you have the ability to live off base, and you are planning on living off base, I would say if possible, I would say the military is giving you an amount of money for for housing already. And more often than not in a home ownership situation, your mortgage is going to be a lot of times less expensive than what you're going to pay renting a property. And it's a great long term wealth generating strategy. So if you're there for a period of time, three years, I have quite a few friends who still own their first homes that they bought when they were young military members. And that was one of their things that they were able to pay off and not have to worry about in the future or potentially sale but you know, being able to generate and have an asset, I believe is a great opportunity for military members who are receiving housing allowances.

Amy Bushatz 4:38

Do you feel like that you encounter a lot of people who are afraid of being stuck with a home that they can't pay, you know, having those two mortgages or whatever like I'm thinking about when we were stationed in Clarksville, Tennessee, we ended up being there a lot longer than we thought we would so there's you know, one check in the box -- should have bought a house. But then when we moved the market wasn't great. And now people are trying to sell their houses and they can't for, you know, they're like underwater essentially. Now they have their landlord when they didn't want to be, and so on and so forth. Do you encounter those fears a lot? And how do you address that?

Deonte Cole 5:13

Yeah, we definitely do. Of course, no one, if you were in a location for a short period of time, that does have implications as it relates to how the loan is structured, because there's a percentage associated with it. But I can give you a prime example, my neighbor right across the street from me is a is in the Army. And he just got orders up to the Pentagon. So he's been gone for about a year and we rent it any we got a property manager and right at his property out now that the market is better, his tenant is getting ready to leave, and we're going to put the house on the market for profit for him, for him to be able to sell. Not everybody wants to be a renter, to be to rent their home out. So that's a personal decision. Because you know, there are risk of, you know, property damage, things like that, and expenses that go along with it. But if if you're able to do it, you know, it's great to, if you're, if you like the area to keep up, have a home there. And like I said before, if someone else is renting it out, you potentially are getting a additional revenue, that you someone else paying towards your principal on that property, which is reducing your your, your what you owe, and you have the ability in the future, potentially, to recoup some of that in a potential sale or if you are keeping home long term. The other thing is, if you decide, you know, what I, I want to give this to make a move in I don't want to be stuck with this home, and I want to sell it now. You know, depending on where you purchase the home, it could have potentially enough equity to be able to still make a profit, I'll give you a prime example. Example I had a home my first home that I purchased, I bought it little townhome for $170,000. I spent probably about $10,000 in in the year that I lived there and renovations, you know sold that home a year later for $260,000. That isn't what always happens. But if given an opportunity to be able to make that type of change, and you know, gain that level of equity could make a significant difference on your future purchases. So it's kind of making that money work for you versus just working for it.

Amy Bushatz 7:31

Yeah. Okay, define equity. What does that mean? Like, you know, let's not assume we know what that means?

Deonte Cole 7:36

Well, it's, it's, it's basically, your ownership, right? How much cash flow that you have within the property versus value. So it could be how much you've actually paid down the property itself, or it could be the increased valuation of their property, that difference is going to be your equity, how much of that potential property, percentage of value do you have? So that could be if it's $170,000 property, you paid $20,000 off the principal, you've got $20,000 of equity, or it could be this $170,000 home, you paid 20,000 toward the principal, and the house is now worth 200,000. Now you've got $50,000 of equity in that particular particular property. So that's essentially what it is.

Amy Bushatz 8:23

Okay, so do you hear a lot from people who are sorry? Like, do you hear more from people who are sorry, that they didn't buy, or from people who are sorry that they did buy, like, I you know, one way or the other.

Deonte Cole 8:37

Sure in in a long term career, I see more people who wish they would have purchased a home. Because, you know, you don't know how long you're going to be in a lot of times, sometimes it's short, sometimes long time period. And, you know, having a home still has tax implications that are good for you, it still gives you a level of ownership when it comes to buying other things, cars, interest rates, things like that. Majority of the time, if you own a home, people are willing to give you a reduced percentage for cars or anything like that, because you have something of value that you're that you own. So using long term I see quite a bit that people say, you know, I wish I would have kept at home. I wish I would have bought a home earlier in my career because I potentially be done with it or have a lot more equity that I can transfer into a different property right.

Amy Bushatz 9:33

I think it's like one of those things that feels like a super scary risk in the moment. And while you're dealing with it day by day, especially if you start talking about renters or managing it from afar, all that stuff, but then later, you know from the tail, you know, from the end of a 20 year career for you. It feels like you know, okay, like long view it would.

Deonte Cole 9:58

I mean, it's like an investment right? Any investment I wish I had invested in, you know, Facebook, or Bitcoin? Back in 2003 or something, right?

Amy Bushatz 10:08

Yeah, I did not, you know? You and me both. Oh, man. Okay, so Derrick, give us a quick rundown on what exactly a VA home loan is, and why or how it is different from other types of home loans, talk to us, like, we don't know anything about home loans at all.

Derrick Abbott 10:32

Okay, I can do that I can take care of that. So a VA loan is a loan that is specifically tailored to veterans, or active duty military members, that's the first thing you have to have that, okay, if you were honorably discharged, you're good to go. Dishonorably discharged, you are not eligible, you do not get awarded for the benefit of you did not respect your your tenure and your role in the military.

Amy Bushatz 10:59

And other than honorable, that's sort of like that in between spot.

Derrick Abbott 11:03

So there is, but with that is on a case by case basis, because then you have to look at you know, how long were you in? What did you do? Were you just a reservists duty? There are a bunch of things that pertain to the actual military member themselves, and how they manage their career that will give us a basis of whether or not they have access to the VA loan.

Amy Bushatz 11:23

Okay, so gotta be in, gotta be a vet, got to be honorably discharged. Got it,

Derrick Abbott 11:29

Those are the basic buy ins to be able to get a VA loan. Correct. So now, the question that you asked about, well, what exactly is it, it is a backing from the VA? Okay, that is the VA saying, if something goes wrong, we're going to back you up to a certain amount. Okay. That amount does change, because you have some military members who use their eligibility more than once. So that's when I come in as a lender and I say, hey, do you own a house with a VA loan? They say, Yeah, I got one. Now, I want to keep it or I want to sell it. No problem, we can manage that. So the big difference between a VA loan and the other one besides the backing is one, there's no mortgage insurance, none. Does not matter what the loan type what the terms are, there's never going to be mortgage insurance. Okay, that's the VA is way of saying, because you served, we trust that you're going to uphold your obligation in mind is to our benefit, right. The next big thing that's a difference from majority of other loans, is there's no down payment requirement. Now, that's not to say that you can't put one down, but you are not required to you can go 100% financing immediately. Step one, once you have a VA loan. And that's really, really huge, because you think about some people getting out of the military, they might be PCSed, it might move him over there, they may not have that cash reserve waiting to be used for something else, you know, and that's big, that's really, really big. Um, and then for VA, veterans and current military members, there's actually a program out there that I can't go into too much detail right now. But with that 0% down in VA allows you, you can actually get grants or other downpayment assistance, which there's no down payment. So what does it go to it goes towards closing costs. So there's in some scenarios, you can have it set up to where you don't bring anything. So meaning loans and give a lot of benefit to their members.

Amy Bushatz 13:25

But it also comes with, correct me if I'm wrong, because, again, we are way out of my area of expertise right now. But it also comes with some rules about the home like you have to actually live there. I can't go use a VA loan to or my spouse is VA qualified VA loan to go buy a vacation home in Hawaii right now, which by the way, I would absolutely.

Derrick Abbott 13:49

So you are right about that. So the VA loan is for this and active duty members to buy a primary residence. That means you have to be living in the home. Now, there are a couple of we'll just say, nuances that go into that, right. So let's just say you know, Deonte he and his wife are married, right? Deonte is PCSed off somewhere else. But he wants to live in Florida, he wants to buy his house here in Florida where his wife is going to live in it. He can buy that primary residence here for her. Okay, even though he's PCSing somewhere else, has orders somewhere else, his wife can satisfy the occupancy guidelines on a VA loan for him. Okay, now, let's just say that, you know, she was just a girlfriend at the time, right? Um, he wouldn't be able to do that, because she is not his spouse. So there is a way that you can buy it as a primary residence and not necessarily be living there but as someone else, aka a spouse satisfy that occupancy for you

Amy Bushatz 14:51

And for how long does that have to be true? Because like, let's say you're PCSing and she wants to join you but you also want to buy this house. So there's like a cap on how long you have been there before you can vacate, right?

Derrick Abbott 15:04

No hard written rule about a cap about how long she does or does not have to be there. However, we are going to say, give a reasonable expectation of the time that she's going to be there, right. So if me as a loan officer, she calls me and says, hey, you know, he got PCSed, he's gonna be there for two years, but I don't want to uproot the kids. But the minute the kids got to middle school in a year, I'm gonna be gone, that's something we're gonna look at and say, hey, that might not work. Because essentially, you're just getting this house for this short period of time, and then you're going, you know, so we're gonna look at that on a case by case basis to see exactly what that rule of occupancy is, and how long it's going to be to be satisfied.

AB 15:41

Got it. So you're crushing my Hawaii dreams right now.

Deonte Cole 15:43

We'll talk offline, I'll get you in there, we'll figure it out.

AB 16:07

So you guys can maybe give us two or three misconceptions or things that people maybe simply don't know about the VA loan that they should like, hidden facts, myths, drama -- talk to us.

Deonte Cole 16:18

I would say the interest rate is something that a lot of people don't know about that the difference in any the credit qualification requirements, and he could probably speak to that a lot more, because there is a to get a conventional loan or a FHA loan, there are specific requirements for your credit, as well as what that interest rate is going to look like.

Derrick Abbott 16:40

Right, so let's talk about that for a minute. So, you know, a lot of people think I gotta have a 700, I got a 20% down before I can buy a house or do anything. And that's just plain not true. Now, 10 years ago, you might have been in that boat, actually say that back 10 years ago, they were doing no assets there. But 20 years ago, that was that was the case, that was the rule of where you needed to be, you know, um, now for VA loans, you can actually get into those, you know, down to 600, 580. You know, you don't have to be at that 700 is that the loan you want? No. But if that's where you are, we can find a way to help you out to get you where you need to be. So having perfect credit is not a requirement for it. And you can still get great price and get a great rate if something affordable what you want without having a 700 credit score. So that's a very big difference. From where we are, let's say compared to a conventional loan, because where the market is right now, today, conventional doesn't want you at a 700 because everything with them is risk based, right VA loan is not 100% risk based, they're giving you the benefit of a doubt to a certain extent, just because you weren't military, because you served us, right.

Deonte Cole 17:49

And that percentage of that debt to income ratio is is very different. So there's a different requirement as far as that the income that you don't have to have as low of a bit day income ratio as you would with other potential loans. Another misconception I would say is that people think that I can only get one VA loan, right? You could you can go into that one. Yeah, yeah. Good.

Derrick Abbott 18:13

So okay, so when it comes to using your eligibility, right? You don't want to get one you don't have to do yeah, you're not done. You're not done. There is a term for all the listeners out there. It's called bonus entitlement. Okay. Um, once you call me and you say, hey, Derrick, I got this house, but I want to buy another one, or I want to rent this one out, we want to move because our family grew, or we got PCSed, or something like that, I'll say, Okay, let me put your certificate of eligibility, I'll go get that. And I have a calculator that I can run to see what the minimum or maximum loan amount that you can get is based off of what you've already used. All right. And it doesn't stop there. Because now let's say that, you know, this is putting on let's say, the mass you can get based off the homes you already know. And everything is $500,000. Right? But the missus just fell in love with this $600,000 house, I mean, she fell in love with it, you can still use your VA entitlement to get it, you just have to put a down payment down on it. Now, you can still use it. You just may have to adjust what you have to bring to the table. And talking about miss about being able to use the eligibility. Let's just call it what it is, life will slap you sometimes and there's nothing you can do about it. Right -- military or not. So if something goes wrong, let's say it's a foreclosure or deed in lieu or you know, things like that, that does not 100% automatically barring you from getting a VA loan, depending on your circumstances and in terms of what happened with that. You very well may be able to use it again. There may be some limitations on how much you can use or what you have to be viewed as a minimum

Amy Bushatz 20:01

Talk to us a little bit about that funding fee. Um, that's a thing, right? I'm not making that up.

Derrick Abbott 20:08

No, that is a thing. That is definitely a thing.

So it actually it, it varies. So there are some requirements in different states where you can, where you, in most cases, you have to pay a VA funding fee. But there are some small cases where you don't one of the considerations if you're a veteran who's 100%, disabled, let's say you're here in Florida, they're waiving that VA funding fee for the veterans who are looking, who are 100% disabled, that run in front of you roughly runs about 1%, majority of time with this.

So it depends on a couple things that just I don't know what you have to say, um, when it comes down to the amount, okay, have you ever used your eligibility before, that's a, that's a big one, that's a big one, if you have, you're gonna have a slightly higher one than someone who has never used it, that first benefit, you're going to get a little bit better deal because this is your first time using it. Okay, um, depending on how much you're putting down, in some cases, that will have an impact on it. If you're not putting anything down, that's perfectly fine. You're welcome the guidelines, but if you are, that can have an impact for you as well. Okay. So normally is going to be the 1.3, or 2.4, or what you're going to see, based on this situation, there could be some other numbers that apply to that. And also what Deonte was saying about the exemption, if you are receiving any type of disability, right, 100% 10%, anything like that, nine times out of 10, you're going to be exempt from it. Okay, um, that's going to show up on your certificate of eligibility that we're going to get. So me as a lender, I know, upfront, when I'm creating your loan, and I'm building it, and I'm stretching it for you, I know within the first 30 minutes of that if you're even gonna have one. And yeah, another little tidbit about that before I forget, because this is another misconception too. Normally, that fee, that percentage will get added on to your loan amount, you'll finance it. Right, that's, that's not a lot of military members do it. But you don't have to, you can pay that upfront, if you so choose to, which would obviously decrease the amount of interest you're paying out, because now you're not paying interest on another two, or two and a half or one one and a half percent. Um, and another thing your loan balance itself is is going to be smaller, so you're going to pay less, it may not be he's different, but it is still less money that you're paying over time.

Deonte Cole 22:28

And another reason that's a good thing is if you're in a location, where your PCSing and in a short period of time, three years, let's say you're there that that that increase potentially on your principal could have an effect when you're trying to sell because in three years time period, you haven't knocked much off the principal. So if your funding fee is on top of the cost of the home as well, you may not have moved the needle at all on what the price if not, you owe in some cases more than what the property is worth within a three year time period. So if you're paying that funding fee up front, it does help you in the process. If you're leaving, let's say in three years.

Derrick Abbott 23:06

Yeah, that's an excellent point.

Amy Bushatz 23:07

Yeah, saving us money. I like it. So what are some of the biggest mistakes military members make? When they're trying to buy a house or decide to buy a house during a PCs, maybe from home loan or real estate perspective?

Deonte Cole 23:28

First one for me is they make the the assumption that if they're having any credit issues or concerns that they you know, all I have to do is clear up this, if I clear up this, I'm good. If I do these A, B, C, and D, I can pay off my car, you know, things like this, I can, I'll be fine, right? Versus sitting down with a lender, and him being able to he or she being able to look at your circumstances and tell you the things that are going to give you the most bang for your buck. As far as credit if you're paying down. If you're paying off your car people like I don't have my debt to income ratio is significantly significantly lower. But you don't have that credit history anymore. that existed for that home payment. So a lender, like it would likely tell you if you're you know, if you're paying it down great too. But if you pay it don't pay it off. If it's low enough, actually, you can almost waive the existence of that a percentage and your debt to income ratio because there's so few payments, let's say if there's like 10 or fewer payments or something like that, you can't as I was gonna say, yeah, so he can do he can they can do things like that. And some things that you pay off, let's say if it's in a collection could actually lower your credit score. So give significantly before it raises it. So I will tell anyone to sit down with your lender and an ask and allow them to look through your history tell you the things that will increase your credit score. So it's a lot smoother process for you.

Derrick Abbott 24:57

So yeah, I I agree with that 100% you never want to go into it blind or what someone told you, right? What Deonte had in the military, where he was at financially, credit wise things like that does not mean that that's where you are. Right? So even though the VA loan is for military members, we all know all military members are not the same place at the same time, right all the time, right? So be careful about saying hearing someone say, Oh, I got this, and I did this, and I did that on a VA loan, they may very well have done that. But that doesn't mean that that's where you are, right? So just kind of be careful with that. And like, you have to say, talk to your lender, time someone like me, who can say, Hey, this is your scenario. This is what we can do to make this the best loan for you individually.

Deonte Cole 25:44

And, and another one will be bringing a substantial amount of money to closing. Yes, yes, you should have some some upfront funds, you should be thinking of having a little bit of a mistake to make sure if you have to do inspections or anything like that you have that money set aside, and that you have money for posing. There are some scenarios where that can be waived. And even some cases I've had where the person came in expecting to pay close costs, and they received the check that in because it was covered through other things, my last VA home loan, they came in prepared to pay additional amounts of money. And we got them to the point where they actually received the check for about $1,000 at closing. So they were able to go build their fence for their home and other things that they wanted, because they didn't have to use that expense that they saved for it. Yeah.

Derrick Abbott 26:36

So in with that, to hit it from the other side of that, a VA loan does not mean no money. That is not what that means. There's a lot of people get the term down payment and his definition, confused a little bit right? Down payment is your buy into something to say, Hey, I'm serious about doing this, I will put some of my own money down. And I'm gonna let you help me cover the rest which are financed from me, right? That's what a down payment is. It is not, oh, I have no downpayment. So I got nothing to bring to closing, you have escrows, which is your taxes, insurance you got to include for if you buy a home that's near water, you got flood insurance. Now that goes into it. And we have to collect a certain amount of funds at closing for these things. Those are far in between from a downpayment, they're not that, not to mention closing costs, right. And I want to touch base on this closing costs and cash to close are two very different terms, they get interchanged so much that they've kind of meld it together, but they are not the same thing. Closing costs are the cost that you're going to pay a lender or a financier to be able to do the loan and finance to you. Okay, cash to close, is the total amount of funds that you are responsible to bring to the closing table. So that includes down payments, if you have one that includes your escrow payments, that includes closing costs, that is literally everything, you give that that wire or that a cashier's check to title company, you get keys, you walk out closing costs.

Deonte Cole 28:12

Yeah, that's true. People think no money down means I'm just going to walk in and get my VA loan, and I'm not going to pay anything for it and unfortunately, is not exactly how it works.

Derrick Abbott 28:22

Could it be able to go back in like 2006? Yeah, it could be?

Deonte Cole 28:25

It could be subprime. Yes. Yeah.

Derrick Abbott 28:29

Um, and I got one more, one more thing I want to say too. Um, when you talk about PCSing, deployments comes in my mind, like, instantly, right? You have some military members who get deployed, and they're not here or really available and things like that. The mortgage process is a very intense process. It's a document intensive process. Um, most military members, obviously appeal ways and things like that, before you leave that general POA, given the military cannot always be used in a mortgage transaction. Correct. So before you think that it can always check with your lender and the title company, right. And you can always use your agent as well to help coordinate that to, to make sure that the POA that you have either can be used or can't. And if you know you're going to be deploying, go ahead and get it taken care of before you leave, especially going to be buying a home and you want to or when you get back.

Deonte Cole 29:17

And it goes without saying make sure whoever you given that power to is utilizing it properly. Yes, that's a lot of power.

Amy Bushatz 29:25

Deonte I'm wondering if you can speak to a little bit like the actual picking your house mistakes. Like I remember when we moved to Fort Campbell, and we didn't buy we were just renting but we you know, we've selected a home where we thought we wanted to live and then it was not where we wanted to live, you know, but we didn't know that until a year end. Do you see people make that mistake with home buying at all? Or is it like a serious enough investment and decision that people are more careful than I was with picking a place to rent?

Deonte Cole 29:57

No, I think people still make dumb mistakes. Quite a bit, of course, I'm taking you to see a home. But the legwork to find out the quality of the schools, the legwork to find out until maybe I say it's almost like casing the neighborhood, you have to look and see how the neighborhood works throughout the day, in the evening. If it is loud, it would, it wouldn't be great to find out that right across the street is there some huge band that plays all night or something like that, or there's, you know, some weird wildlife that you weren't prepared for? That you're very close, closer to the expressway or train or something like that, that you didn't know existed. So you're closer to a flooding area that you then you then you knew so yes, it's quite a few mistakes, when it comes to picking the home and even the amount of home you're going to get. You know, the great thing about having a VA loan is there is some backing behind it, the the thing that isn't so great sometimes for everyone is just because you qualify for a certain amount of home doesn't necessarily mean you should buy that amount of home. So it you know, you don't want to end up cash poor because you bought the big home. And yes, they say you can afford it, but you really can't.

Derrick Abbott 31:13

And to help put everybody at ease, Deonte hit on some says you don't know if there's a band across the street or freeway and all that stuff, that is the importance of having a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent.

Deonte Cole 31:25

That's true.

Derrick Abbott 31:25

Because it is literally, I'm not exaggerating, it is their job, to know these things, and to educate you. So that way you don't have to the biggest thing in a mortgage transaction and you can stop, you can stop me or in the home buying process period is to pick your agent, pick your lender, and then whatever they ask you to do follow through on that. You know, you put your trust in them and for us to use our expertise to get you there we will, that's all you got to do at that point.

Deonte Cole 31:51

And those are considerations I make as a veteran myself, it's it's very important for me to from understanding what these military veterans are going through. Personally, I'm just that much more invested to ensure that they're getting as much of what they want. And I'm considering the things that they may not be thinking about at that particular time. Because it's that important.

Amy Bushatz 32:12

And yeah, you're absolutely right, the things that I didn't like about that place were not they didn't have anything to do with the home or the neighbors, you know, it was the fact that when it got really windy, it got really, really windy and the house just shook, right? That has nothing to do with the home. It was just how was I supposed to know it got really, really windy right there. You know, I've never been there before. And the other thing that like very similar to what you're saying about the band across the street, right next door was a rental home, not unlike the one we were renting, that was full of single soldiers who were all living together. And they were really loud. And it just was not the right neighborhood combination for me, and they were loud. And it was it was just, you know, a neighbor disaster. And I did not know that when we picked that house.

Deonte Cole 33:03

And I'm the realtor who knocks on the neighbor's doors and introduces myself. And before they even get to home and say, hey, you know, just to kind of be, you know, see what type people around you, you know, it's important, I always get, I get to know my neighbors. And you know, strangely in these times, people are a lot less comfortable with someone just popping up at your door, but I'm the neighbor who's going to say, Hey, I feel better if I know who lives around me, and you should feel better that I'm next door and we have some buy into each other that is something that's happening, I can have a level of trust that you, you know, come help. And I do the same. So I think it is important to get to know your neighbors. But yeah, definitely when water, all those things, I've seen properties where the, you know, foundation, the home almost slides into a hole and you know, things like that, because you don't know those things, but they're often our indicators. And unfortunately, not everybody is paying attention to the details. And you're just looking for the home of your dreams. And we have to do our due diligence to make sure you know as much as we can about what's around the property but the inside of the property as well.

Amy Bushatz 34:14

You've given us some really incredible tips this over this episode about mortgages and picking things that I never even thought of even though I own a home and I've moved a bunch of times. So I just I'm so grateful for that. Do you have maybe one or two more that you can walk us out with here? Just a couple of things we should maybe just leave with from this episode?

Deonte Cole 34:39

Hmm. I would say that the home buying process is one of the most important purchases you're going to make in your lifetime in most people's cases is the most significant purchase that you're going to make. I would tell people to take your time and to figure out what you want If you find what you really like. Don't try to shy away from putting in an offer. It's nothing worse than finding a home you love. And hesitating, and someone else puts in the offer and undercuts the property that you like, right. But I will tell a person to look at as many houses as you possibly can, because it gives you a great idea of what you're what you're getting for your for your money to give, some people walk into first home and they buy it, and then they have what they call buyer's remorse, the next house over it looks even better. And it was less, you know, so look at as many houses to see what you like, get as much value you can and get as much out of it as possible and good realtor myself, I would love to take the people around to see as many houses they want to ensure that they get what they want. And once they make a decision, we're going to do everything we can to make sure you get into the home that you want. So we appreciate their service. We appreciate the people who are in and who have served. And we we understand, personally, I understand how important it is. And you know, I do this because I love it not because I have to and I think that makes a big difference in the quality of services because they are me. Right. So we're tied.

Amy Bushatz 36:30

That's, that's great. Um, well, we know if you're in the Tampa area, who to call and for everyone else. You know, I just love your advice about finding somebody who understands your lifestyle. There's lots of veteran real estate and networks and folks specializing in VA Home Loans, and certainly available to help. So thank you guys, thank you so much for being on the PCS with podcast today. I really appreciate your time.

Deonte Cole 36:58

Thank you so much for having us.

Derrick Abbott 36:59

Thank you


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PCS VA Loan Home Ownership