Real Estate Agents Help Pre-Approved VA Loan House Hunters
I was reading a military blogger’s post about the joys of house hunting and thought I’d share some of my own thoughts here on what she wrote. Elaine Wilson’s Family Matters blog post about house hunting can teach more than a couple of things to first time house hunters, but also to real estate agents.
One of Wilson’s bits of sage advice:
“Check the school boundaries. Just because there’s a house down the street, it doesn’t mean your kids will end up there. Go on the county’s website and see if you can plug in your potential address and find out which school your kids will be attending. Or, you can call the school and ask. At the same time, you can ask about school bus routes and walker policies.”
This is one reason why it’s a great idea for first time homebuyers to get pre-approved for a VA home loan. If a buyer with kids has been looking for a new home with an eye on a particular school district, having a pre-approved loan amount could help the agent and VA loan applicant in the search. The agent had looked for houses for sale in the school district using the pre-approved loan amount as the filter.
Buyer and agent save a lot of time in the process, weeding out the properties priced outside the buyer’s budget and ignoring properties outside the boundaries of the school district.
Once a couple of likely properties have been located, the buyer is able to take more of Elaine Wilson’s advice;
“If you can, spend time in the neighborhood. This can get tough if you’re too far to commute to your new location, but if you have some time, drive around the neighborhood you’d potentially like to live in, talk to some residents and get a feel for the community involvement. This is a great way to see if the neighborhood will be a good fit for your family.”
Elaine Wilson has plenty of other excellent house hunting tips that don’t have anything to do with VA loans, mortgage payments or shopping for interest rates…it’s great stuff for house hunters.
**UPDATE** I’m told in some areas agents aren’t allowed to comment on neighborhoods to avoid violating state laws or possibly even the Fair Housing Act. But would that extend to letting the client know if the house for sale is near any kid-oriented facilities, public parks or places good for family night out? I’m not suggesting agents comment in the negative..RE agents, I’d love to get some more perspective on this in the comments section. What do you think?