Local vets, active military get tips on housing programs

PHOENIX - Justin and Heather Hart took notes like they were in a classroom, getting important tips from speakers on what they should know before talking with a realtor about buying a home.

“The myth is they tend to undervalue homes, which isn't true,” said Justin Hart.

Justin is on active duty with the Air Force. He knows he's eligible for VA loans that will help him buy his dream home -- a five bedroom house with enough room for him, his wife and three kids.

“Very excited to mess with the backyard, paint the kids’ rooms and have pets,” said his wife Heather.

They joined veterans, active duty military, lenders, and realtors at a veterans housing summit at the Sheraton in downtown Phoenix.

The event was put together by the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals.

The goal was to educate veterans on their housing options and connect them with professionals who understand VA loans.

They're a little different than conventional loans. They can include no down payments and cash to take care of closing costs.

“A tremendous amount of vets don't understand what their benefits are, how to deploy them, how to take advantage of them, and how to search out representation,” Said G II Varrato, an Air Force veteran who works as the head of community outreach for the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals.

Justin says today's seminar is taking them on a new road in their house search.

"It better explains the fine points of the loan because not all realtors are well versed in the VA loan,” he said.

Armed with new information, the Harts hope their dream home, in their dream neighborhood, will soon become reality.

For more information on how to get in contact with the Veteran Association of Real Estate Professionals, go to the VAREP website .

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