Picture this, the sun setting and a full moon slowly rising over the ocean, a warm ocean breeze gently rustles the palm fronds on a palm tree above two young lovers. They watch the sun set and moon rise in tranquil silence, holding each other’s hands and both believe they will be together for as long as they live.

If you served our country in the armed forces, we thank you. It has come to our attention that many of you may not have been given guidance on your veteran benefits, or maybe you were a little too exhausted in basic training to fully grasp what they were saying. Either way, we want to help you understand one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects to the VA home loan.  

I have been asked many questions about the VA Home Loan guarantee, but none as serious as the one asked by Amanda (Name changed for privacy) regarding the use of the VA benefit to a surviving spouse. Regrettably, her husband lost his life while he served early on in Operation Enduring Freedom. Before he was deployed they were living in an apartment and had planned to buy a house.

Twenty percent for a down payment may not seem daunting until you realize that for a $200,000 house, you’d need to come up with $40,000 in cold hard cash! Not a lot of people I know have that kind of money just laying around - especially first time home buyers. But hope is not all lost.

There are several options to drop, reduce, and/or come up with your down payment.

Our country is extremely grateful for the service provided by our military men and women. As a small token of all our appreciation, the government has a loan program for United States Military Veterans.

Veterans who take advantage of this loan program get the benefits of no down payments, low interest rates, seller paid closing costs, and many others.

Monday marks 85 years since the birth of one of this nation’s most famous civil rights leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. helped pave the way for equality in legal rights.

MLK day is an opportunity to remind us of the ideals, for which King, lost his life trying to achieve.

We hosted a lunch and learn at the Veterans center at Portland State University Wednesday. It was a great opportunity to work with some Veterans on a more personal level.

Mike Frakes, Pam Conrad, and Joe Kuziel were there to represent the lending side of the mortgage industry and Steve and Devon Granmo were there to represent the real estate side.

Getting a home loan can be an intimidating process, and I know because I’m in the final stages of buying our first home. Adding one more confusing acronym to the mix doesn’t help the situation out too much either.

That’s why we’re here - to help you get a better understanding of the confusing world of mortgage and real estate.

Melvin L. Watt was sworn in Monday as the new director of the the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Recently I was presented with a question that I think few people take into consideration when talking about the VA Home loan program. The question was asked by a young woman I met at the dog park. She asked “Can I use my husband’s VA benefit to buy a house if he was killed in Iraq?”