To be clear, the current housing market is tough for any potential home buyer to navigate right now. Multiple all-cash offers coming in tens of thousands of dollars above asking price is commonplace and homes are often only on the market for a matter of days before they are gone. There is very little shopping around as a prospective buyer has to pretty much go with what’s available on the market on any given weekend, because the home is gone by Monday. Now, for the longest time in American society, the VA loan that you rightfully earned was a prized tool that allowed you to purchase a home with little to no money down. You get to avoid the PMI that can jack up the monthly payment and it seemed fitting that those who fought to defend this land should have the opportunity to own a piece of it. However, in this current market, the VA loan is seen as a liability. If you deserve a disability rating, but have been denied, your situation now goes from bad to worse as a veteran buyer. With your permission, I’d like to take a few minutes and share with you why obtaining the right disability rating just might be the difference maker in helping you navigate this red hot housing market.
Being Denied A Rating Can Cost You Big Money
When most veterans are pursuing a VA disability rating, they are doing so for all the right reasons. As it pertains to myself, I am a Marine veteran of Iraq who suffers from lower lumbar arthritis. It took 17 years of progressive back pain before I finally swallowed my pride and filed a claim. I wasn’t chasing a particular rating and nor was I looking for any amount of monthly disability payment. I just wanted help with my back as I got older, because I was only in my early 40’s and was dealing 10 out of 10 pain on some days.
That’s why I was extremely disappointed to have that pain considered non-service related. I’m filing the appeal as it seems to be denied on a technicality, but that’s not the point of this article. In filing the claim and going through the various questions with an excellent service officer, I was able to receive a 10% disability claim for unspecified insomnia. I didn’t think much about it at the time and I’d trade everything I
was given just for the promise of medical help with my back.
What I didn’t know at the time was that the 10% rating would be the difference between owning a house to finish raising my family or paying insane rents to the detriment of my family. You see, a simple 10% rating allows the VA funding fee to be waived when purchasing a home and with the prices of homes today, that was the difference between home ownership and renting. So, let’s break down how that works for you.
Purchasing a Home As A Veteran Is Hard In This Market
In the current market, all-cash offers rule the day. This is terrible news to veterans who have long depended on the zero down benefit of a VA loan. The VA loan comes with a few strings attached to include a VA appraisal that will require the selling to fix a host of petty problems. The VA appraisal is enough to undo any contract and as a result, sellers don’t even want to consider the VA loan. Why would they when they have an all-cash offer that can close in as little as a week?
Not to mention, the VA will only loan you the amount that the home is worth. So, if the VA appraisal says the house is worth $400,000, that’s all they are going to loan you. Again, this is terrible news for veterans when houses are going for tens of thousands of dollars above asking price and appraisal value. In the case of my recent home purchase, we found a home without multiple bidders. This was likely because the home was priced on the higher end of potential appraisal value.
While the home was far from our dream home, I saw the opportunity to grab a home using the VA loan by paying the asking price. The seller accepted the offer and now we just had to wait for the dreaded VA appraisal. After a month’s delay, which could have caused the seller to walk, the appraisal was done. The appraisal came in at exactly the asking price and offer. To the dollar, with no room to spare. Had the VA funding fee not been waived, I would have needed an extra $20,000 that the bank would not have loaned me because the house wasn’t worth it. That 10% disability rating is why my family is moving into our new home next week.
You Must Fight For Every Ounce Of Benefits You Deserve
Just because I didn’t know I could get a 10% rating, doesn’t mean I didn’t deserve it. I had come to accept that lack of sleep was just what life was like since my return from Iraq and I’ve likely doubled the stock value of the makers of ZZZquil and Whiskey as a result. When I understood the reason for that insomnia, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Unfortunately shoulders that sit on top of a still very bad back, but weight lifted nonetheless.
Understanding how that 10% rating allowed my family to purchase a home using a VA loan in this crazy market has me thanking divine providence and no one else. My friends, just because you do not know exactly what the military did to you or why, doesn’t mean you are not entitled by similar providence to your benefits. You must fight for those benefits and sometimes, you need to call in a little help on your side.
Valor 4 Vet Leaves Nothing To Chance
Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of Valor 4 Vet while I was going through my disability claim. However, because of my claim, when I found out what they were doing for veterans, I knew that writing for them would be a righteous mission. I knew that there were other veterans out there like me who needed the help. I know that right now in this hot housing market, there is a family who deserves a home, but will come up short because of the VA loan process.
This isn’t just about you. If I must suffer with debilitating back pain for the rest of my days, I can live with that so long as my family doesn’t suffer as a result. Arthritis and all, I would do it all over again as being a Marine is very much a part of my entire identity. But my kids deserve a home and seeing them move from place to place would be a pain too much to bear.
You can’t leave anything on the table when it comes to fighting for your benefits. I understand that you don’t want to come across as needy or entitled. That’s the pride that kept me from filing a claim for over 17 years. I understand that you may want to play nice, but you cannot coexist with a VA benefits system that is out to deny you health and a home. You have to take the fight back to them and let them know that you will be no easy target for denial. The men and women at Valor 4 Vet understand that and they will fight for every right that you deserve.
Don’t let pride hold you back. Don’t let pride keep you from the health benefits you deserve. As would have been the case with me, don’t let pride hinder your ability to provide a home for your family.
Reach out to Valor 4 Vet and get them into the fight on your behalf.
To all my fellow veterans out there still struggling to find a home in this insane market, keep the faith and keep fighting for what is rightfully yours.