VA Loan Seminars Now Also Offered For Realtors
VA Loans Hawaii President Tony Dias said the free educational seminars he launched just two years ago have become so popular that he has continued to increase their frequency and add special programs for Realtors. He now conducts five seminars a month at various locations on Oahu as well as on the Neighbor Islands. In addition to the ongoing series for active and inactive military personnel, seminars sponsored by Old Republic Title & Escrow are also offered periodically for Realtors to bring them up to date on current requirements affecting their military clients. A Realtor seminar is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
“On our second anniversary in March, we reached the 1,000 mark in number of attendees who had signed up for our seminars,” said Dias, the manager of Platinum Mortgage Partners in Wahiawa. “We are one of a number of Veterans Administration approved brokers, but those who attend our seminars are welcome to work with the lender of their choice. The seminars are free and offered with no obligation. Our sole mission is to educate military personnel and their families on the excellent terms of VA Loans, clearly the best deal available for those who qualify.”
Dias noted that both real estate agents and home buyers need to be kept up to date on changing guidelines for loan programs, which, for conventional loans, can vary almost daily.
“VA Loan terms are much more stable than those of conventional loans, where guidelines can be altered to the extent that a loan that’s in process may not be able to go forward. However, there are still many myths and misconceptions about VA loans that we need to dispel. Even though both consumers and the public may know that VA rates are low, they may not realize they can go just as low as the conventional loans that have dropped to four and a half percent. We’ve also found that some real estate agents aren’t aware of just how flexible the guidelines can be.
“It’s assumed that you can only use your VA benefit once, or that you can have only one VA loan at a time, neither of which are so. For example, on Oahu the VA loan limit is $783,750…so a qualified military buyer could actually have purchased a condo for $250,000 with enough remaining to buy another condo or single family home. Another point we make about VA loan programs is that the one time funding fee is a much better deal than paying mortgage insurance, a recurring monthly fee, which will add up to more than the VA funding fee over time.
“We’re found that many veterans and Realtors are unaware that through VA you can streamline, or refinance, a loan with no appraisal, no income verification, no asset verification, and, once you fulfill your mortgage obligation, the property doesn’t need to be your primary residence and you could be renting it out. In VA language, this is called an IRRRL, or Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, and it allows the borrower to roll closing costs into the mortgage. If the borrower is comfortable with the existing monthly payment, we show them how much time they can shave off the term of the mortgage.”
Dias, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, said he and his staff are energized and gratified by the feedback they have received from seminar attendees. “So many military families have told us that they would probably not be home owners today without the information and inspiration provided by our VA Loan seminars.”
Dias is also receiving encouraging feedback from the Realtors who have been attending the seminars. Kelly Laa (RA), e-PRO of Century 21 Kailua Beach Realty wrote:
Recently, I attended an extremely informative class taught by Tony Dias of VA Loans Hawaii at the Honolulu Board of Realtors. This ongoing class provides Realtors with an incredible amount of useful and helpful information, and it is taught with such finesse and professionalism. Tony was able to clarify and quantify the options that our honorable veterans can benefit from in a relatively short amount of time. Any veteran who is in the market to buy or sell truly needs to take the time to attend this important program. VA Loans Hawaii has been there to answer all my clients’ questions, quickly, correctly, and with aloha. I have been so impressed with this company’s service that I have added their links to all my open house fact sheets!