VA Loan

What is a VA loan and how do I qualify?

The VA loan represents the clearest and most cost effective way to home ownership for the average service member. The VA loan is simply a promise.  As a way to thank those whose served our country, the government pledges to stand behind VA borrowers in the form of a financial guaranty.

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To find out whether you are eligible for a VA loan, how it works and to get pre-approved, fill out the form below and one of our experienced VA lenders will contact you. You may also call our office at 619-248-5484.



Not so fast Navy Federal Credit Union

Future military home owners looking to get a VA loan should read this article in its entirety before making a decision on a lender. If you’ve already purchased your home perhaps you can relate to what I am about to say.

I was “ordered” if you will, to write this blog from a service member who felt it was important to share his story. He shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons.

When a Naval officer got the exciting news that he was transferring to San Diego on PCS orders from the east coast, he immediately took one look at the housing market and decided to buy instead of rent. At that time, he owned two properties and felt confident hiring me as his real estate agent. I quickly found a property and got his offer accepted in a very competitive sellers market.  We got into escrow without the buyer setting foot on the property. So far, so good.

Then, the service member decided to use Navy Federal as the lender for the purchase out of a “sense of loyalty.” It was against my advice because we had a closing deadline to meet. The buyer wanted to relocate from out of state and move directly or thereabouts into his new home.

Within a week of opening escrow with Navy Federal, the problems started. The appraisal took what seemed like forever to get ordered and things went down hill from there. The constant delays, high fees and internal company red tape caused my buyer almost daily anger and frustration. His breaking point came when Navy Federal made it a condition of the loan that his wife open an account with the credit union. Now the situation became really personal. My client wrote a scathing email to Navy Federal threatening to take his business elsewhere. Make no mistake, he was serious and was even ready to cancel the whole deal.

Hearing from my client the words, “You were right, I should have gone with another lender,” somehow offered no sense of satisfaction whatsoever because it came with a lot of disappointment. It wasn’t until the day of closing that I finally understood the overwhelming betrayal my client was feeling.

While taking a moment to look back at when we started the journey over a bowl of yogurt, my buyer shared with me his experience of serving in Afghanistan. I could hear the sacrifice that he and so many have given for our country. His bravery was unquestionable as he talked about looking over his shoulder every second and doing what it took to stay alive and come home. It’s simple. All our men and women want that have served, is for our country to understand and acknowledge their sacrifice. My client believed that Navy Federal more than any other lender would provide a service that adequately met his needs and more importantly understood his sacrifice to our great nation.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, please heed the advice of my military homeowner – you owe it to yourself to compare and find the VA lender that best meets your needs.

Lorraine Santirosa is a San Diego real estate agentand advocate for military families.


What is a VA loan? – Veteran Administration (VA) Guaranteed loans are made by private lenders to eligible Veterans for the purchase or refinance of a home.

It’s important to know that the VA is not a bank. The VA does not loan the money, fund the loan, or service the loan. What the VA does is guarantee the loan by providing protection to the lender against loss if the Veteran fails to repay the loan.

The VA loan began in 1944 through the original Servicemen’s  Readjustment Act also known as the GI Bill of Rights. This program was intended for Veterans and their families to realize the dream of homeownership by offering access to lower cost financing. The VA announced in October 2012 that the Dept. had guaranteed it’s 20 millionth home since the program’s inception in 1944. At the time of the historic announcement at total of 540,000 homes were guaranteed by VA in 2012. (VA press release Oct. 26. 2012)

Important features of the VA Home Loan:

1. Must be for Veteran’s own personal occupancy.

2. Max guaranty is up to 25% of the Freddie Mac maximum conforming limit

3. NO down payment required – up to 100% financing ****

4. Ability to finance the VA Funding Fee

5. One Fixed or ARM option loan – fully amortizable – NO interest only options

6. Flexible Credit Standards

7. No mortgage insurance premiums

8. An assumable mortgage

9. No prepayment penalties

10. VA offers assistance to borrowers in default

11. Lenders control the pace of the transaction

12. VA home loan can be used more than once by a veteran

Interested to learn more about the VA home loan benefit and to get approved? Call Lorraine at 619-248-5484.

Lorraine Santirosa is San Diego VApro Agent Helping Veteran’s Achieve The American Dream. Lorraine is taking her expertise in
Real Estate and VA Purchasing to serve those who serve us, our Veterans.
As a VApro designated agent, Lorraine has the inside knowledge and
expertise to get VA purchases closed and to help Veteran’s use the
benefits they may not even know they have.