Is using a VA loan making it harder for a Rockford veteran to buy a house?

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — For months, many people wanting to purchase a home in the Rockford area have been bidden against other buyers for the same property in a hot real estate market.

Vietnam veteran Michael Perteet believes using a Veterans Affairs loan has made the home buying process even more difficult.

“I was pretty shocked that I was able to get into the program, really. You know, I wasn’t aware too much about it,” he said.

Perteet was born and raised in Rockford and has rented in the Forest City for more than 20 years.

Now that he and his wife are ready to buy a home, with the help of a VA loan. The loan allows Perteet to buy a house with no money down and guarantees the retired service member a portion of the loan.

But, he says house hunting has been anything but smooth sailing.

“One time, we offered like $35,000 over the asking price, and for some reason we still didn’t get the bid. Something about that VA loan, which I do not understand, buyers are kind of reluctant. They kind of stay away from it or something,” Purteet said.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor David Dale Johnson said, “It had a cash buyer certificate with it and yet, we were still getting shut down. And I am certain its because of the misunderstanding that sellers have, and in often cases real estate agents, have about the VA loan process.”

Johnson is, himself, an Air Force veteran. He says some sellers and real estate agents have outdated views on VA loans that can prevent veterans from putting down roots.

“Veterans earned the right to have a VA guaranteed loan,” Johnson said. “The Veteran Administration is guaranteeing to the bank that they will cover 20% of the value of that loan, in the event that the veteran forecloses.”

After several failed bids, Purteet said he even considered building a home, until record-high lumber prices shot down his American Dream once again.

Eventually, he was able to find his dream home in Machesney Park.

“For us vets to come out of the service and have an opportunity to buy our own place… I mean, where else can you do that? Only in America, right? Only in America,” he said.

Purteet is set to close on the house in just a few weeks. He encourages other veterans who are struggling to make a deal to find a real estate agent who understands their needs.

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