Dunedin veteran couple: home sellers turn down offers due to VA - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Dunedin veteran couple: home sellers turn down offers due to VA loan

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Like most mothers, Melanie Gearhart wants her 7-year-old son, Andrew, to grow up in their own home, with a big yard.

"He desperately wants a dog," Gearhart said of her son. "Every time at school when they have to put what they wish for, he wishes for a dog."

Gearhart and her husband, Douglas, served our country in the U.S. Army. Both served in Iraq. Now that they're looking to buy their first home, they want to use one the benefits given to veterans: the VA loan.

The government-backed loan has a lower interest rate and requires no down payment.

"It's not a money issue," Gearhart said. "We can get a loan, we can get a good house. But we can't."

The Gearharts found five houses they want to buy, but no one wants to mess with their VA loan.

"It's something fantastic for veterans, so hear that real estate agents don't like it, it was actually really shocking to me because I don't understand that," Gearhart said.

Their real estate agent, Steven Ganes, was shocked.

"We as a society need to do a better job of getting loans and homes for our veterans," he said. "I believe they deserve that."

The foreclosure rates for VA loans is actually lower than other types of loans. But mortgage brokers say their clients are still locked out.

Ryan Ford, of Interium Capital Mortgage, deals mostly in VA loans. He doesn't know why the misconceptions are getting worse

"I have Realtors tell me they don't want to accept offers because it's a VA loan, and that's not right."

Part of the reason some sellers avoid VA buyers is because these loans require an appraisal and typically take a few weeks longer to close.

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