- More about the Sakatah Challenge, and why it’s important
- Special VA Loan option for injured veterans
- Why you need a second opinion on your VA Loan
- Carrie’s plea to sellers
Tim Murphy: Today we’re with Carrie Guerrero and I know this is one of her favorite topics. Absolutely, and what’s even better about this topic is that it’s actually Red Friday, red Friday. I love Friday. And what’s so awesome about red Friday.
Carrie Guarrero: Remember everyone deployed where your red get your read on. I know. I love raise awareness.
Tim Murphy: I love it. So I’m pumped because today we are going to be talking about why veterans need a second opinion when it comes to va financing, which I definitely think is the case when you think about all these veterans that are coming back, everything they’ve done and you know what they’re looking for a place to live. So we’re definitely in talking about that today. But the first thing I want to kick off with is the Sakatah Challenge.
Carrie Guarrero: So excited for this Sakatah Challenge.
Tim Murphy: Yeah, I mean this is cool. This is what a 5k, 10k race that kind of cut put into your lap, Carrie, lots of things. Get put into your lap.
Carrie Guarrero: Well I was invited. I was invited for it to be put into my lap. It’s actually just a little bit more than a five k, a little bit more than a 10 k and a little bit more than an 11 mile bike ride because our veterans, they give just a little bit more than is required. Right. So the, it’s a five point. They always go the extra mile. They do, it’s a five point six, 10 point five and 11 point six mile bike run. Uh, so annual race that I ended up getting the range to about three years ago. This is actually, this is the third year, Sakatah Challenge has been going on for 20 plus years. Wow. Yeah, a long time. Wonderful local woman ran, organized the race for those years and it actually came before her, so I don’t know. And she didn’t either, I think the full length, but more than 20 years and her time has come where she said, you know what, I just really want to turn, I want to pass the torch on to somebody else. And so I was asked because they knew that I was a runner and that I was passionate about running and I thought, all right,
Tim Murphy: oh, what the heck I’ll take on something else. Can do that. It was a community. Yeah.
Carrie Guarrero: Ben, it’s, it always occurred during our annual bullhead days festival and it was just a community event and they wanted to make it a little bit bigger but needed some new energy to get involved. So, um, so I did and then two years passed and it’s a lot of work to organize. I understood why it was that she was wanting, desiring to pass that torch because there’s a lot of heavy lifting that goes on there. Right. And anytime that I examine my life and where there’s heavy lifting required, I have to look at, Hey, what am I, what am I doing this for and what is the purpose and what, what’s going to light me up about it to be, to have the passion and the energy that I need to, to go the extra mile to go the extra mile and a. So last year we started promoting it as an American warrior initiative event. Tim, that’s cool. Which is giving back to our veterans and it still continues to also give back to a local scholarship for a graduating senior here in Waterville who has a veteran or first responder that’s impacted their life from their family. So
Tim Murphy: that’s awesome. That’s so awesome. Well, I mean, I know, I mean, why are veterans so close to you? Yeah,
Carrie Guarrero: well, um, I can start from present or I can go way back. My grandparents were veterans, including my grandmother, so back in a time when women weren’t actively involved in a whole lot of stuff. She, she was a marine. My grandfather in the navy, my other grandfather in the army, I have brothers in army, marines, Navy. So I never knew it went back that far. Absolutely, absolutely. And my ex husband was in the army. Now my son joined the army. In fact he’ll, he’s joined when he was 17. He’ll be 20 this fall, so I’m an army mom so it’s, it’s near and dear to my heart and it is in my blood. Yeah. So,
Tim Murphy: so when it comes to the financing piece, you know, what, what are you coming across, like what are you seeing with veterans that are, whether they’re coming back or they’ve been veterans of World War II, what are, what are you seeing with veterans and trying to get housing and financing and all those things. You
Carrie Guarrero: know, one of the things that prompted me to suggest, hey, let’s talk about this issue, was that I got a phone call about a month ago from a guy named Jay. Jay said, Hey Carrie, I was told to call you because I’m buying house from this builder and my real estate agent said, you’re the preferred lender and you might be able to get me some discounts that I can’t get through my current lender. So conversation, a lot of my conversations start out that way because I work with a number of builders, right? No problem. We start down our conversation about who he is and what he does. I always asked my loan applicants if they’ve served in the military because military, um, military folks have benefits, right? And they don’t always know what those benefits are. So I think it’s important as a loan officer to ask, have you served in the military so that you know, whether that’s a benefit you should discuss with them.
Carrie Guarrero: Right. So I did. And he said yes. As a matter of fact, I have and I actually have some disability income. I said, so now I know I’m dealing with a disabled vet, right? Which is a big difference, which is a big difference because in a va loan situation, um, there are funding fees and va loans, right? If they’re a disabled vet, that funding fee ends at being waived. Okay. So how big financial difference, probably it varies depending on the type of service they had, et Cetera, but it can be thousands of dollars, right? Thousands. And, uh, he, I knew immediately at that stage and the conversation that he wouldn’t be charged that fee. And I said, well, have you considered va financing? And he said, well, yeah, but my current loan officer that I’m approved with told me that a conventional loan was better for me.
Carrie Guarrero: And I was like, well, hang on, let’s talk about that. And so we went down the path of conversation that led us to the reality that a va loan, because he’s a disabled vet and he doesn’t need to pay a funding fee, carried a lower interest rate by 3/8’s of a percent. So what, what does that mean? I mean, 3/8’s of a percent. 3/8’s of a percent to him meant more than $60 a month in monthly payment times 30 years times as long as he’s in that property, so the reality of that situation is that that loan officer didn’t know va financing well enough or ask the right questions or maybe they didn’t offer it and they wanted to just put them into what was easy for them. I hate to think that they just did it based on what was easy for them, but what I do know is that veterans don’t understand their own benefits.
Carrie Guarrero: He didn’t know that because he was a disabled vet. He wouldn’t need to pay a funding fee. He didn’t know what questions to ask in order to get him those benefits, and that’s. I wish that that were the exception. I wish that Jay, we’re the exception to the rule. He’s not. I come from a long line of veterans and highly intelligent ones to add that I a long line a smart guys in my life and ladies too, right? But the benefits that they have honestly can be overwhelming and you don’t want to gets complicated. It does, but you know what, there are benefits that if you’re talking to a lender who actually cares about veterans and is going to research them for you and tell you what the options are so that you can make an educated decision, it’s worth getting a second opinion to. Yeah. No, I totally agree with that. Um,
Tim Murphy: well, you know, how long have you been doing va financing and when you say you’ve done the research, what exactly does the research mean? I mean, tell me about that, you know.
Carrie Guarrero: Sure. I would tell you that I’ve been doing va loans since the day I started in the business. So we’re going on 22 years now and I’ve been doing va loans since the beginning. Um, that passion, you know, my mother was clearly the mother of sons and the daughter of parents that were in the military and so that was something that she was passionate about as well. She certainly passed that onto me and um, it just, I just got more experience in life as I married into that gave birth to my own children. But, um, I would tell you that there’s a certain level of expertise that comes along with knowing va financing. Not all lenders are equal in this, right? There are lenders that invest the time and the energy to learn products and programs.
Tim Murphy: Are we talking like you’re going to classes like extra curricular. I mean, you know, because how am I supposed to know if a lender knows va or doesn’t? I mean they could tell me. I have no clue.
Carrie Guarrero: I’m talking about about designations and earning are going, yes, absolutely. Going to classes and saying, Hey, I’m a military mortgage specialists. I have attended this class. I know what it takes in order to be a lender who specializes in va financing fairways, done a phenomenal job with the American warrior initiative and going throughout the nation and educating realtors and loan officers on what it takes to serve the veteran community. So to be able to say, Hey, I’ve taken aside time and I’ve done the work and not only that, but I have experience serving hundreds of veterans throughout my career. I think that that separates us.
Tim Murphy: Are there any other things? Obviously the disability is one key thing, but is there any other things that maybe you know, maybe even real estate agents wouldn’t even know that veteran loans offer better load? Okay.
Carrie Guarrero: Things that that realtors don’t know that va loans offer, but here’s the number one thing that I think that realtors and sellers alike need to hear today about veterans in the market that we’re in, in the environment that we’re in, as competitive as it is out there with low inventory and lots of buyers vying for single properties. Sellers need to remember that these people lay down their lives, they stand out there and put themselves in harm’s way to sacrifice for you and for me and when they’re submitting an offer and it’s a zero down va loan, they earned that. They earned that right? It is a benefited as an entitlement that they deserve and I think that instead of just looking at it like, oh, it’s a zero down offer instead of this guy over there, they should look at it like, you know what? I’m more likely to accept this offer because that person laid their life down for me. That’s what I want sellers in real estate agents to you here today. That’s cool. That’s really cool.
Tim Murphy: We’ll carry. You know what? It’s awesome to hear your passion for veterans. I think a lot of people in America have a great passion for veterans and go Red Friday. Amen.