I Want YOU to Read About VA Loans (and Downton Abbey)

I hear they’re reading my blog in Iraq. That all the troops crowd around this one computer in an Army tent and laugh their heads off at my mortgage wit. They’re all, “Good job disarming that car bomb today! Oh and hey – did you read Just the Assistant’s newest post?”

Or I mean, that’s probably what will happen after today. Today, dear readers, we need to talk about the lovely people who serve our country. It’s time we learn about Veterans Affairs Loans. You may be tempted to stop reading now, thinking What do VA Loans have to do with me? But stay with me, because I’ve got funny pictures.

To get the full scoop, I’ve cornered Christina Gobe. Gobe is one of our mortgage bankers here and she knows what’s up with VA loans. She also knows what’s up with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Downton Abbey and House Hunters International, but the Bosses wouldn’t let me interview her about those things.

I Want YOU to Get a VA Loan!

I Want YOU to Get a VA Loan

An interview with Gossip Blog Reader Mortgage Banker Christina Gobe

Just the Assistant: First things first, Gobe. What’s the latest Hollywood gossip?

Christina Gobe: I keep reading about that South African Olympian who killed his girlfriend. Isn’t that horrible?

JTA: Uh, yeah, it is horrible. Anything less sad?

Gobe: Did you see his girlfriend? She was a model…

JTA (realizing this interview is headed in the wrong direction): Let’s move on to loans before we send our readers into a depression. Now, I hear you are an expert on VA loans. What the heck is a VA loan?

Christina Gobe: A VA loan is a government loan designed for active, retired or reserved military.

JTA: Does being a veteran mean you were in a war? Whenever I hear “vet” I think of people who were on the front lines.

Gobe:  No, you could have a desk job in the military and still get a VA loan.

JTA: What if you were in the military, but broke your leg on the first day out in the field and had to come home? Can you get a VA loan?

Gobe: You have to have served a certain amount of time in the military. It depends on whether you’re in the reserves or active duty. In general, you must have been in active duty for over 181 days. If you are in the military during times of war, then the time served is reduced to 90 days.  If you’re a reservist during peace time it is a cumulative time of 6 years.  I had one client who had been called into service twice and only served 180 days both times. He was so frustrated because he wasn’t eligible for a VA loan.

JTA: Bet he loved you anyway though. Do you think the following Glamour Shot from when I was ten will qualify me for this loan? Please note the US Navy hat.

How's this for proof of service?

How’s this for proof of service?

Gobe: Nice, I doubt it.

JTA: What’s so great about VA loans anyway?

Gobe: First of all, you can finance 100%, meaning no down payment is required. And on top of that, there is no mortgage insurance.

[Note: the reason the mortgage insurance (MI) thing is a big deal is because for most loans, if you put down less than 20% for a down payment, you have to pay MI. More on that here.)

JTA: Do veterans get better interest rates with these loans?

Gobe: Yes, interest rates tend to be lower than Conventional Loans.

JTA: Do you think it would be a good idea to join the military in order to secure a VA loan?

Gobe: Uh, not necessarily to secure a VA loan. But if you do, you should use it because it’s a great loan.

JTA: Are you like an expert on VA loans?

[Note: Gobe never talks herself up. So before I give you her answer, I’m going to give you my answer for her: Yes, she’s an expert, not just on VA loans but on regular loans, too. (And realtors love her.)]

Gobe: I’ve done a lot of them. A lot of mortgage bankers shy away from doing them because there are more steps involved in the financing.

[Translation: I’m bad to the bone good at these babies.]

JTA: Anything our realtor readers should know?

Gobe: Yes. When you get an appraisal for a home with a VA loan, the VA orders the appraisal from their list of appraisers, not the lender like with other loans. Also, there are certain fees the buyers can’t pay. Either the seller will pay it, or it gets financed into the interest rate.

Gobe Tells Us What's Up

Just The Assistant (losing interest): I’m already asleep. How about we tell realtors to contact you for the rest of the scoop? Now go answer all those phone calls!

If you would like to chat with Gobe about her extensive knowledge concerning all things mortgages and Hollywood, contact her today: 713.725.7475 cgobe@envoymortgage.com. If you would like to chat with me about Glamour Shots or Glamour Magazine, tell Gobe to pass the phone over the cube when y’all are finished talking.

Lastly, I have a realtor giveaway. If you are a realtor, subscribe to my blog this week and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a Kindle Fire (and nobody ever enters my drawings so you’ll probably win). You subscribe on the right, and I’m off to track down that Navy hat.

Gossip About Chad (and a winner)

Houston, we have a winner! Thanks to all of you who shared my blog. A wonderful reader named Ali has won, and if you would like to convince her to invite you along to dine at Shade, her phone number and e-mail address are. . .

Oh kidding. Congrats, Ali! Call my ole Bosses to buy or refinance your home now, okay?

Now then.

Last week the ole Bosses hosted a lovely gathering in which they invited a few of their referral partners to drink wine and eat cupcakes. My job was to laugh really loudly at jokes made by anyone who refers business to us. Nobody assigned me that role, but I thought it was a good plan.

During  a lull in which people were generally ignoring me, I overheard a conversation between two realtors. The first realtor, who we’ll call Helen, was talking about how her client was simply floored when she learned how great Chad’s pricing really was. See, this client had found another mortgage banker who was going to give her the same rate as Chad was offering, but you know what? That other stinky ole mortgage banker had fees through the roof! And the client told Helen all about it and how happy she was that she’d stuck with Chad.

Then get this. The client had a friend who was buying a house, too. The unfortunate friend used another lender – cue failure music. After buying her house, the friend told Helen’s client what interest rate she’d received and what fees she’d paid. Well, she got the same interest rate as Helen’s client (Chad’s client, that is), but paid, get ready, $4,000 more in closing costs. Do you know what I could do with four grand?

I realize that’s a confusing story since I didn’t know anyone’s name. But the point is, some poor lady paid $4,000 more for a loan that she could have gotten with Chad Helmcamp. And she would have gotten better service too. It’s true.

I’m so proud of my ole Boss!

Moments after the compliments when Chad’s head was extremely swollen.

I had only heard snippets of the conversation so I had to get Chad to fill me in. He’s so busy with loans right now (yay!) that I actually  had to interview him in his car between appointments.

He thinks he’s so cool.

So remember, an interest rate is very important, but so is the amount of money in closing costs you will pay. Always compare apples to apples, or save yourself loads of trouble and just use my ole Bosses for all your mortgage needs. I’m tellin’ ya, they’re the best.

Subscribe on the right and make my weekend! Or, you know, just call us for a loan and make my whole year.

Off to help Chad fit his head through his new office door!