Are Veterans Being Discriminated Against in the Housing Market?

Around the country, veterans fear they are being shut out of the housing market. The reason?

Home sellers are becoming wary of Veteran Home Loans.

VA loans feature a number of benefits for home buyers; however, they also include additional seller’s fees. In addition, some real estate brokers fear the VA home loan program is sadly misunderstood.

Pat Brewer, a broker employed at Coldwell Banker Bain, believes that some agents are giving sellers bad advice.

“I think some sellers are becoming discriminatory on the advice of their agents,” Brewer told The News Tribune, a newspaper in Tacoma, Washington.

And unlike more traditional forms of housing discrimination, such as race, disability, or national origin, a VA loan is able to be discriminated against, according to Brooke Villano, a branch manager at Veterans Lending Group.

“No agent wants to say they are discriminating against a VA offer, but that’s potentially what’s happening. Choosing a conventional offer over a VA offer is not considered discrimination.”

As a result, The News Tribune reports that many veterans feel like they’re being dismissed from the bidding war for new homes. These veterans are both previous homeowners and first-time buyers.

Josh Williamson is one of the veterans that was trying to bid on a home to no avail.

“We realized we were being rejected every time,” Williamson said.

Nathan Kent and his wife ran into the same problem.

“We were looking for a home all through summer 2015, and we had put in several offers at different homes,” he said.

Some sellers also believe VA home inspectors are overly picky, which can delay the sale process.

“When you have multiple offers coming in and you have people doing bids at the front door for the house due to the shortage that we’ve had, you can’t wait 90 days for an appraisal,” said.

Since its inception in 1944, the VA Home Loan has helped more than 22 million veterans achieve homeownership, and that number is still expected to grow despite these difficulties.

As the housing market recovers, the number of veterans seeking these no down payment loans has been on the rise — a trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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