Due to an ongoing shift within the real estate market, Washington home buyers using VA loans might have an easier time in 2024.
Numerous reports have shown that the real estate market has cooled somewhat. This is due to high home prices and soaring mortgage interest rates.
For various reasons, sellers be more willing to accept offers with government-backed mortgage loans, such as FHA and VA.
The Challenges of a Hot Real Estate Market
During the second half of 2020 and all throughout 2021, home buyers across the state of Washington had to deal with fierce competition from other buyers. A number of overlapping factors revved up the real estate market, pushing inventory down and home prices up. Buyers had to deal with bidding wars, inventory shortages, and a lack of negotiating ability.
As a result of these conditions, home buyers using government-backed mortgage programs (like FHA and VA) often found themselves at a disadvantage.
VA home loans provide many benefits to our brave service members and veterans. But they also have certain requirements that a conventional or “regular” mortgage loan does not. For example, any home in Washington purchased with a VA loan has to meet certain property requirements. But with a conventional mortgage loan, property inspections are optional.
In a hot market, sellers who receive multiple offers might be inclined to favor those with conventional financing.
Recently, a bipartisan group from the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs citing these challenges. The group wants to make VA loans more competitive and therefore more beneficial to home buyers, especially in a hot housing market.
In a letter sent to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, the representatives wrote:
“Historically, VA mortgage loans were appealing and competitive to sellers. Unfortunately, the current housing market and the rise in cash and conventional loans with waived contingencies can leave veterans unable to compete with other buyers. … It is imperative that veterans receive a competitive loan that provides them the opportunity to purchase a home.”
Real estate markets across the state of Washington have cooled over the past year, following a long run of overheated conditions. Homes have stayed on the market longer, and a higher percentage of sellers reduced their prices.
In short, the housing market normalized, though it’s expected to modestly pick up throughout 2024.
What does this mean for home buyers who wish to use a VA loan in 2024? Among other things, it means you’ll probably have a better chance of getting your offer accepted.
Bidding wars and multiple-offer scenarios have become increasingly rare. There are both supply and demand reasons for this. On the supply side, we’ve seen low inventory, though there may be a slight uptick in the number of homes hitting the market this year.
Sellers today are more likely to consider all reasonable offers, regardless of the mortgage type. They’re receiving fewer offers from buyers, so they don’t have the luxury of being ultra-selective as they might have in previous months. It could be easier for home buyers in Washington to use a VA loan in 2024.
From a borrower’s standpoint, there’s a lot to like about the VA home loan program. In fact, it’s arguably the best mortgage option for military members and veterans across Washington State. You won’t find another home loan product or program that offers so many advantages.
As you might already know, VA loans allow home buyers in Washington to purchase a house with no money down. Borrowers can finance up to 100% of the purchase price in most cases, eliminating the need for a down payment.
But the benefits don’t end there. This program also allows eligible home buyers to avoid paying mortgage insurance, even when they finance 100% of the purchase price.
In contrast, borrowers who use conventional loans with a small down payment usually have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). These insurance policies increase the size of the homeowner’s monthly payments.
Please contact us if you have questions about buying a home in Washington with a VA loan. Our company specializes in this program, and we’re always happy to work with military members and veterans.
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