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VA loans and Las Vegas Real EstateWhat do veterans and Las Vegas short sales have to do with each other? You’re about to find out. This post comes to you from James Kelley, an author of vabenefitblog.com and law school student at the University of Missouri.

“Las Vegas, world renowned for its wildness, is actually a home to a growing population of families and retirees looking to enjoy the amenities of the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” In fact, many veterans and active-duty service members are finding out that it’s worthwhile to shop for a home in the Las Vegas area. As an option designed expressly for military homebuyers, the VA Home Loan program couples financial benefits with other services to make for a great way to finance that home. Combined with a short sale, a Nevada VA loan can help get military homebuyers the house they always wanted at a great price.

A VA loan in Nevada can finance 100 percent of a home’s value. The VA loan limit in Nevada is $417,000, and qualified borrowers will pay 0 percent down even when earning this maximum loan. This no-money-down possibility separates the VA loan program from traditional home financing options, which often come with down payments as high as 20 percent.

For all Las Vegas homebuyers, it’s never a bad idea to look for short sales on homes. Properties that are sold short are different than those that are foreclosed, but will likely be below market value since a bank or lender agreed to take a moderate loss in the sale. Using a Nevada VA loan for a short-sale home means the homebuyer will save even more money.
An additional perk of living in Las Vegas is the close proximity to Nellis Air Force Base. Active-duty personnel can also use a Nevada VA loan to buy a home on the base; veterans who want to be close to military life can use their benefits on a home just down the road.

The down payment feature is one of many upsides to VA loans, which come with negotiable interest rates and no private mortgage insurance. These two features work together to lower monthly payments so military homebuyers can more easily pay for their home. If VA loan borrowers decide to make prepayments on the loan, they will not be penalized for doing so.

To take advantage of a Nevada VA loan’s benefits, complete a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). A COE is a simple form that confirms that you meet the initial requirements for the VA loan program. The COE is available from the VA website or from a VA-approved lender, like VA Mortgage Center or another national lending leader. Despite helping more than 19 million service members buy a home, the program is not available to all veterans and service members. Military members who may qualify tend to be in one of three groups:

-Service members who served for 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime while on active duty.
-Members of the National Guard or Reserves who served for at least six years.
-Spouses of service members who died while serving or due to a service-connected injury.”

If you would like to contact James, go to james@vabenefitblog.com.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

When it comes to selling your home, the little things count too, and they can count big, especially if you are considering a short sale in Las Vegas. A new article by Christine Haughney in The New York Times gives some pretty unbelievable examples of small changes that home owners made to increase the value of their home. Here are a few of them:

1. If your home is cluttered, subtract 5% to 15% off the asking price. Homes that are cleared out of too many books, toys, etc. generally sell faster and for up to 15% more.

2. Buy a closet full of expensive shoes. No, seriously. They will end up paying for themselves and more. Potential buyers often unknowingly want to live the life they envision a new home will provide. And if the seller is able to maintain a lifestyle that includes a closet full of expensive shoes, the buyer will want a piece of that life.

3. Get rid of any old, dirty, or worn rugs. No potential buyer wants to move into a home that they envision is dirty. Replacing a prominent, old rug with a new $400 rug can up the asking price by up to $5000.

4. Get professional lighting advice. It may cost somewhere between $100 and $200 but the pay off on a $900,000 home is an additional $32,500 on the original asking price.

5. Buy new, fresh towels and pillows. After spending $700 on both, one home’s original asking price went from $450,000 to being sold for $475,000. That’s an increase of $25,000!

Some of these ideas might sound like flukes that the home owners just happened to be lucky to benefit from. But when it comes to selling your home in Las Vegas or considering a Las Vegas short sale, it’s good to have an agent that will think outside the box to get you the best value for your home. Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process. If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

So, you’ve decided to sell your home. You have the internet and that sign in your front lawn. What could possibly go wrong? Lots. Whether you are one among many in the Las Vegas short sales market or just ready for a change of scenery, here are four tips to help you when selling your home:

1. Don’t attend your own open house.

This one is probably more difficult for some than others, but if you are selling your house, you really shouldn’t be around at the open house. All the reasons you might think your home would be great for a potential buyer might not translate. Instead allow the buyers to give unbiased, objective feedback to the agent. This will only help you in the end.

2. Do hire an agent.

What can an agent do that a for-sale-by-owner can’t? To start,  you won’t get on the multiple-listing service (MLS). That means that other agents are not going to know that your property is for sale. An agent can also show your home for you, which saves you the time of having to be home whenever a potential buyer wants to come by and take a look. Last, having an agent during the closing will help you understand all of the legal complexities.

3. Don’t pick the wrong agent.

If anything is worse than having no agent, it has to be having the wrong agent. A meeting with an agent should be like a job interview because this person is going to be working for you. It can also be helpful to meet with an agent in her office. Not only will you find out how organized the agent is, but you’ll have a better feel for the environment she works in and whether her level of professionalism is conducive to being able to do a good job for you.

4. Do explore all of your marketing options.

When you meet with your real estate agent, discuss the different marketing tools that he or she has available. This should be done in the beginning when you are setting up a contract.

Considering selling your home?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search. Or call Kathryn Bovard direct at 702-348-7191 so she can assist and navigate you through the entire process.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported that cash buyers made up 51% of all Las Vegas homes purchased in January, a first ever for Las Vegas. And this number will only be increasing due to Las Vegas’ emergence as one of the most affordable housing markets in the nation. But what is so exciting is who these cash buyers are that purchased more than half of existing home sales.  Most of them are, in fact, investors who will keep buying homes in cash as long as lending standards remain tight, prices remain at bargain levels and the availability of lower-priced, bank-owned homes is plentiful.

Paul Bell, president of the Realtors association, was recently quoted in Hubble Smith’s article in The Las Vegas Review Journal as saying, “I’d say we’re fortunate to have these buyers in our community. These smart-money buyers are voting with their pocketbooks on the future of our local housing market. It shows domestic and worldwide interest in real estate here because we’re seeing many international investors buying property here at an amazing rate.” Basically what this increasing percentage of investors as buyers tells us is that they obviously think our market is undervalued and see potential for growth. And this could translate into a wonderful opportunity to seize the market by buying a home now before the growth spurt that investors are predicting. Although many investors are buying deteriorating homes to renovate and then rent or sell them at a profit, a buyer in this market has other options too.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search. Whether buying a Las Vegas Home or renting, don’t try to go at it alone. There’s lot of resources online, and an email to a local real estate or mortgage pro can set you in the right direction.

The short answer? Well in a recent Las Vegas Sun article economist and director of the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies, Nasser Daneshvary, says he hopes so. Asked in an interview with Buck Wargo if banks were turning to short sales, Daneshvary responded, “There was good news until the end of November because short sales were increasing and foreclosure sales were declining. But December’s numbers showed foreclosures were higher. I think 2011 will be the year that short sales surpass foreclosures, but that’s optimistic.” Daneshvary recently finished a study on the effects of foreclosures and found that they have a devastating effect on neighborhoods to the tune of a 33% drop in value on homes.

But it’s not all bad news. When asked where Daneshvary sees home prices going in the future, he replies that he believes the price has bottomed out. So have we returned to 2004? Not exactly. The era that Daneshvary deems as “crazy price appreciation” is over. But buying a home is still a financially responsible move. Daneshvary goes on to state, “I think the whole attitude of households in the United States has changed. More and more people are accepting that having a house is not a quick investment. Having a house used to be called a long-term investment but even that’s gone. Having a house is a long-term savings.” And while saving may not sound as exciting as investing, it’s much less risky. In fact, with careful planning, it’s almost risk-less. It’s no secret that foreclosing on a home is bad news for the homebuyer, but Daneshvary’s recent study makes clear that when one of our neighbors goes under, we all take a hit.

If you are a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options, including a Las Vegas short sale, contact us today for a no obligation short sale consultation.

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