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Posted: 9/12/2021 11:49:29 AM EDT
Hello,

I'm getting ready to retire from the military (currently stationed in Maryland).  With terminal leave, I'll stop playing Army games but continue getting paid until March 31 of 2022.  

I have a civilian job lined up that I'll start in November.  It's a job that requires me to travel, but it also allows me to live wherever I desire.  The paycheck from the new career, plus .mil retirement, plus anticipated VA disability, will keep my income very close to what I'm making now (likely a slightly increase).

The wife and I have honed in on East Texas for where we'd like to settle in to, and would like to get pre-approved for a house loan and start house hunting.  We have some (modest savings), so I could put a little down, but I'd like to pursue a zero down VA loan to avoid depleting our emergency fund.

A couple of questions:
1) Any recommendations for a mortgage broker to utilize?
2) Any recommendations for banks / companies to stay away from (that load you up with additional fees after luring you in with a low advertised VA rate)?
3) Any recommendations for a good realtor in East Texas.  Specifically, looking in the area just over the LA/TX line west of Shreveport.
Link Posted: 9/12/2021 1:19:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tReznr:
Hello,

I'm getting ready to retire from the military (currently stationed in Maryland).  With terminal leave, I'll stop playing Army games but continue getting paid until March 31 of 2022.  

I have a civilian job lined up that I'll start in November.  It's a job that requires me to travel, but it also allows me to live wherever I desire.  The paycheck from the new career, plus .mil retirement, plus anticipated VA disability, will keep my income very close to what I'm making now (likely a slightly increase).

The wife and I have honed in on East Texas for where we'd like to settle in to, and would like to get pre-approved for a house loan and start house hunting.  We have some (modest savings), so I could put a little down, but I'd like to pursue a zero down VA loan to avoid depleting our emergency fund.

A couple of questions:
1) Any recommendations for a mortgage broker to utilize?
2) Any recommendations for banks / companies to stay away from (that load you up with additional fees after luring you in with a low advertised VA rate)?
3) Any recommendations for a good realtor in East Texas.  Specifically, looking in the area just over the LA/TX line west of Shreveport.
View Quote


You're in my backyard. Welcome!! I would need to know WHAT you want to build before I could give recos. We used a fellow out of Nacogdoches as Deep East Texas is NOT a hotbed of residential construction. I know a great Banker. Lots of land available. Aerobic septic systems work great out here. It's hot and humid in June-Sept. Winters are fantastic. Tons of lakes for fishing and boating. DO NO GO TO SHREVEPORT. DANGER ZONE ON STEROIDS. It is our closest "big" town and we haven't been there in years. Longview, Nacogdoches and Lufkin will have everything you need. Being retired is great out here. Cost of living is quite low. Land is cheap. Lots of wildlife. Great BBQ abounds. If you need any questions answered I'll do my best.
Link Posted: 9/12/2021 2:01:09 PM EDT
I second the NACO area.  Nice.  

Personally I don't think the bank or realtor matters.  Or, even the bank.  It's all your credit rating and the VA loan system anyway.   VA loans are their own 'system' are they not ?

Pick a loan type which I assume is VA.  Nothing down, and in many cases no closing costs.  Get pre approved then hit the realtor.com style website and contact the realtor listing the house and let the games begin.
Link Posted: 9/12/2021 2:01:46 PM EDT
ACEB36TC, thanks for the response.

Probably not looking to build a house right now.  Ideally I'd like to find a house in an area with enough acreage to shoot on my own property.  Obviously that entails being out of the city, but I'll need something that's within 40-50 minutes of an airport with regularly scheduled commercial flights.

I have a couple of high school aged kids, so another consideration is the educational system in the area.
Link Posted: 9/12/2021 2:09:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
I second the NACO area.  Nice.  
View Quote


Excellent.  Expanding my search area.
Link Posted: 9/13/2021 9:11:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2021 9:12:22 PM EDT by ACEB36TC]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tReznr:
ACEB36TC, thanks for the response.

Probably not looking to build a house right now.  Ideally I'd like to find a house in an area with enough acreage to shoot on my own property.  Obviously that entails being out of the city, but I'll need something that's within 40-50 minutes of an airport with regularly scheduled commercial flights.

I have a couple of high school aged kids, so another consideration is the educational system in the area.
View Quote



Flying out of Shreveport is a nogo for us. The flights are all "commuter" type meaning there are no direct flights to anywhere. I haven't looked in a long time but most flights are to Dallas or Houston IIRC. We live about one hour due south of I-20 and barely inside Texas for reference sake. When we DO fly we just drive to Houston. Assuming that you want to live near I-20 and barely inside Texas your closest big airport will be DFW. It's easily a four hour drive. Now you certainly CAN fly out of Shreveport but your travel costs will essentially double.
Link Posted: 9/14/2021 7:35:09 AM EDT
Shreveport aint like Detroit or Philly or Oakland, but if you go there dont stray off the interstate till you get to Bossier. The VA is terrible in my opinion there too, so seek the VA In Dallas, except it is near Oakliff, which is pretty rough too. As far as places, I don't prefer anything till you start to get to the Longview area all the way to Canton. New Diana alot of people live but no industry or anything, country style living. Henderson is ok, but ehh whatever . Tatum, Waskom, East Mountain, Winonna (I wouldnt live near there) are speed trap towns. Marshall is just weird. Tyler is terrible on traffic and Longview is ok north of hwy 80. Predominantly look north of Longview or Springhill community area. Pinetree community in Longview, i dont think you will be happy. White Oak is a closed off town that has a bunch of clicks. Kilgore aint bad, except its smaller than Longview and Tyler. White House west of tyler I thing is better around there. Lindale, i think is ok, but dont know anyone from there.
Link Posted: 9/14/2021 5:38:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2021 5:39:36 PM EDT by grapenutsrobot]
Originally Posted By tReznr:
I have a civilian job lined up that I'll start in November.  It's a job that requires me to travel, but it also allows me to live wherever I desire.  The paycheck from the new career, plus .mil retirement, plus anticipated VA disability, will keep my income very close to what I'm making now (likely a slightly increase).
View Quote


You are selling yourself short and I’d be looking elsewhere for work if your new employer thinks so little of you.  It’s a trap many retirees make to just want to be whole again and have the same standard of living. It mostly happens when folks go work for defense related companies that low ball compensation since they know you are already receiving income and more than likely never negotiated salary.
Link Posted: 9/23/2021 7:25:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2021 7:26:35 PM EDT by JLA]
I'm a Realtor in Dallas (Rockwall) and work as far east as the Tyler area, but I can refer you to a good agent further east (or anywhere you want, I have a pretty vast network I work with). Feel free to PM me or reach out through my website- https://2arealtygroup.com/
Link Posted: 9/23/2021 11:49:55 PM EDT
I am afraid you are in for a rude surprise trying to use VA financing.  The housing and raw land markets in most of Texas are crazy right now.  Sale prices are outpacing appraisals and houses are under contract within a couple of days of going on the market.  

VA financing on a purchase offer almost guarantees your offers will be rejected, even if you are over asking price.   VA takes too long and their inspection\appraisal process is too stringent.  Buyers do not want to waste 2 months, only to have the deal fall through due to inability  to get loan approval and/or repair demands that are unreasonable in our current market.  

We sold our home earlier this year...we had multiple all cash offers within 48 hrs, all above the listing price.   The one we accepted had no option period, no inspection, no appraisal and could close in 2 weeks.  It made no sense for us to consider offers with VA financing, knowing the offer would fall apart due when the VA appraisal came back  $20K - $30K below the sale price.


I know two guys that have been battling this trying to buy a home with VA financing. One has made 5 offers, one of which was $10,000 above the next highest offer.  He has given up on VA financing and is trying to pull together a 10% down payment before they look at any more homes.

IF  you are trying to buy raw land, I understand the VA land program is quite a bit better and many buyers are willing to consider it.
Link Posted: 9/24/2021 12:45:53 AM EDT
What are you looking for? Just a home in the burbs or a home with land?
Link Posted: 9/24/2021 10:01:02 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NAK:
 It made no sense for us to consider offers with VA financing, knowing the offer would fall apart due when the VA appraisal came back  $20K - $30K below the sale price.


View Quote



I'm not absolutely certain, but I can check on it Sunday during a friend's real estate live stream.  If the VA does an appraisal on a property the seller is stuck with that appraisal for 6 months.  


mm
Link Posted: 9/24/2021 10:13:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2021 10:18:22 AM EDT by NAK]
Clarify the airport requirement a little.

I used to travel a lot and thought I would be OK near a small regional airport, with a handful of puddle jumper flights to a major airports.  I could get where I needed to go, but in the long run, it was a huge PITA.   From a practical standpoint, it seemed to almost half day to the travel time each way.   It was almost impossible to do a  'Day Trip" flying in/out of a regional airport and I could not get anywhere before noon.  The same PITA occurred trying to get back home.

When considering areas, I suggest you spend some time on the airline websites and explore what frequent or likely destinations would look like flying from the local airport.

I think you will find its better to be a two hour drive from a major airport instead of a 30 - 45 min drive from a regional.
Link Posted: 9/24/2021 11:13:27 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NAK:
Clarify the airport requirement a little.

I used to travel a lot and thought I would be OK near a small regional airport, with a handful of puddle jumper flights to a major airports.  I could get where I needed to go, but in the long run, it was a huge PITA.   From a practical standpoint, it seemed to almost half day to the travel time each way.   It was almost impossible to do a  'Day Trip" flying in/out of a regional airport and I could not get anywhere before noon.  The same PITA occurred trying to get back home.

When considering areas, I suggest you spend some time on the airline websites and explore what frequent or likely destinations would look like flying from the local airport.

I think you will find its better to be a two hour drive from a major airport instead of a 30 - 45 min drive from a regional.
View Quote


Bingo.   If you travel alot in the areas served by SWA, OK to live near a smaller, regional SWA airport.   If not, then its the other major airlines, your choices are to live much closer to Houston, or much closer to Dallas/Ft.Worth.  

If you travel alot, but go via car for business, whole different deal.  

But, keep in mind, DFW is a decent ways from the eastern Dallas city line.   Same with Houston.  Hobby is on the South side of Houston.  Round numbers, its close to an hour with traffic from Hobby to Bush/Intercontinental.

Tons of beautiful places within 2 hours of DFW.  SE, S, and SW.  

Tons of beautiful places within 2 hours of Houston, NW, N, and NE.  

Also think health care.   If you need the VA, select a place kinda sorta near a good VA hospital.  

The Waco/Temple area has tons of military retirees.
Link Posted: 9/24/2021 11:39:35 AM EDT
I don't live in East Texas but I just purchased 40 acres in Burkeville which is just east of Jasper. I wouldn't mind retiring to my property in a heartbeat.

The only issue with VA financing right now is that many sellers won't even consider taking those offers. There are simply to many conventional loan or cash buyers right now to deal with FHA or VA buyers. That might put you at a disadvantage. Good luck in your search.
Link Posted: 9/26/2021 5:16:54 PM EDT
I just checked....VA and FHA appraisals are assigned a case number.  The case number stays with the property for 90 days or when a more recent VA or FHA appraisal is done.


mm
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