The VA loan allows a Veteran to utilize his/her VA loan multiple times with various combinations depending on military history, service connected disability, down payment, and prior VA loan history. I must preface my topic: "Why put 5% down on a VA home loan?"  with a basic answer to another question: What is a VA funding fee?

Robin Conrad is not in Iraq yet, but is currently serving at Fort Poke, LA in preparation for going over to Iraq later on this month. In a phone conversation  with him the other day, he talked about doing a five mile run before most of our alarm clocks even went off. He said it has been pretty interesting so far and he has enjoyed everything he has been able to do.

The Federal homebuyer's tax credit is coming to an end Nov. 30. Will it be continued, or not? That is the big question. Most economists predict that the government will give a four to six month extension, but it is hard to predict whether the dollar amount will go up or not, due to the added debt load to the federal deficit. The incentive has worked, though, creating a larger amount of people who were first-time homebuyers this year.

Portland's overall housing market has been one of the strongest in the nation as far as  home prices holding steady.  The majority of places int he country have dropped dramatically from 2000 numbers.

Robin Conrad, serving as a VA real estate agent in Vancouver, WA, and greater  Clark County since 1992, has left us for the next 18 months, going to aid the war effort in Iraq. He originally joined the 104th and was activated. He needed only a few more years to get his retirement.  Robin was not upset about being activated; he looked at it as an opportunity to serve his country.

We have had an increasing number of clients moving to Longview and buying homes with VA loans. Longview is a great place to live, especially if you're coming from Oregon. Property taxes are much lower than in Oregon, and if you are receiving any retirement income from the state of Oregon, that income is not taxable once you move to Washington.

While Robin Conrad is gone serving the country, Ron Hambright, also from Century 21 Realty, will take over all of Robin's clients while he  is out of the country. Ron has been in real estate since April 2005. He is a former military service member in the Army Special Forces. He served in both the 6th and 8th Special Forces Groups from 1968 to 1971.

The $8,000 federal tax rebate is not just for first time homebuyers. Anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years is eligible too!

This tax rebate is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The best part about it is the money does not have to be repaid back as long as the home you purchase is your primary residence for the next three years.

Clark County Fair--here we come! Our loan specialists and processing team are excited to join in on the Clark County Fair this year. Between August 7 and August 16, we will have a booth set up in the large Exhibition hall at the Clark County Fairgrounds. Stop by for some great giveaways, a free drawing for gift certificates, get more information on the $8,000 tax rebate, and ask questions about VA, FHA USDA, and Conventional home mortgages.

Gone are the days of $450 appraisals. If an individual wants to purchase a home or refinance, they now have to pay $500 for an appraisal of a property. Alas, the VA could no longer hold off an increase in the VA appraisal fee amid the toxic loans and shrinking market values.