What Is A VA Streamline Refinance/VA Loan?

VA loans are a special loan program designed specifically for veterans, issued by approved lenders and guaranteed by the federal government.

The VA Streamline Refinance is the most common loan type within the VA loan umbrella, and is officially known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) by the government.

The program is also known as a VA-to-VA Loan.

The VA loan’s definitive characteristic is that veterans with qualifying credit and income can purchase a home with no money down, which makes buying a home extremely attractive for those who have served in the military. In addition, VA loans also offer feature flexible requirements, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and extremely competitive mortgage rates.

In order to qualify for a VA Loan, a veteran must have served 181 days during peacetime, 90 days during war time, or 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard. You may also qualify as the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty.

Generally speaking, almost all active duty and/or honorably discharged service members are eligible for a VA purchase or streamline refinance loan. Click for today’s live VA streamline refinance rates.

Click here to read the complete story: http://themortgagereports.com/10592/va-streamline-refinance
Source: The Mortgage Reports, Dan Green, 10/22/2014


Deborah A Baisden President of the Virginia Association of REALTORS® lent a helping hand with the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS® annual business meeting and installation ceremony on November 18th. Deborah A Baisden began serving as VAR’s President this November, following the national convention.  DSC_2625 copy

Charlotte Jones, 2015 WMLS President
Deborah A Baisden, 2015 VAR President
Andrew Nelson, 2014 WAAR President
Sherry Roth-Kletzly, 2015 WAAR President
Linda R. Kinsman, Chief Executive


Only a handful of organizations get quality time with their representatives. As the largest trade association in the state, we get unparalleled access to our elected officials. That means you. YOU have a chance to influence Virginia housing policy, in person. Join your colleagues from all over the commonwealth for REALTOR® Day on the Hill — part of Get Active 2015, VAR’s annual legislative and education conference.

And while you’re there…

  • Take a few of our top-notch CE courses
  • Learn, understand, and discuss the issues the General Assembly is working on that can affect your business
  • Network with other REALTORS® from across the state

Save the dates
February 10-12, 2015
VAR’s Legislative and Education Conference
Omni Richmond Hotel
100 S 12th Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Click here to add these dates to your calendar: http://www.pratie.com/lab/icalendar/output/event-14111712374.ics


Pages from 2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers-highlights

For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, but also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area. This annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers and sellers provides insight into detailed information about their experiences with this important transaction. Here are highlights from the latest report.

  • Thirty-three percent of recent home buyers were first time buyers, which is still suppressed from the historical norm of 40 percent among primary residence buyers.
  • For 43 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties and 12 percent of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process.
  • Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process and 50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.
  • Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98 percent of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes—this is two weeks shorter than the previous year’s report.
  • Seventy percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty-four percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.

    Click here to download NAR’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.


Living Richly in a Tiny Home

The tiny houses and apartments featured on design blogs and in magazines look cute—but could you be happy in one?

In 1950, the average American home measured 983 square feet, for an average family size of 3.37 people. As family sizes drop and house size balloons, the average American now enjoys more than three times as much square footage.

But a number of people are voluntarily relinquishing the American Square Footage Dream and moving into houses that look scarcely bigger than privies. At the same time, American cities such as New York and San Francisco are considering lowering minimum legal apartment sizes to allow for super-efficient efficiency units to cater to the trend of single-person households and economic needs.

Click here to read the complete story: http://www.bestthinking.com/trendingtopics/lifestyle/real_estate/affordable_housing/living-richly-in-a-tiny-home.

Carrie Kirby, Best Thinking Lifestyle


In last week’s blog post, we shared REALTOR experiences and tips for selling a home during the holiday season from our recent holiday survey. This week, we are revealing recommendations from real estate professionals when it comes to holiday decorations, as well as holiday home staging.

When selling a home during the holidays, sellers have to consider what to do with their holiday decorations during an open house. Survey data reveals, the majority of realtors (37 percent) advise sellers to put out some non-religious holiday decorations during an open house to make a home feel inviting.

Click here for the complete story: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-staging-tips-for-selling-during-the-holidays/


When Steve Clark made the transition from musician to new real estate agent, he shaved off his beard and traded his jeans for a coat and tie. The shift wasn’t a fit. When he decided to go back to being true to who he really was, he attracted clients who were like him: artists and musicians. They would never have been comfortable with the suit-and-tie guy, but were perfectly at home with his jeans and beard.

Click here to read the story: http://www.inman.com/2014/11/03/not-every-successful-agent-is-a-suit-and-tie-guy/.

Inman (November 3, 2014)




Is the market trending in a positive direction as we head into 2015? What’s needed to transform millennials into first-time home buyers? Find out in the always informative interview with NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Lawrence oversees and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. He regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress. USA Today in 2008 listed him among the top 10 economic forecasters in the country and he has been named among the Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by INMAN News over the past several years.

Interviewed by: Nobu Hata is the National Association of REALTORS®’ Director of Digital Engagement. An industry veteran since 1996, Nobu is a student of marketing, communications trends, social media, and technology in the real estate industry.




Congress has begun its “Lame Duck” session with a big list of unfinished business items. Number one on that list for REALTORS® is an extension of “The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act.” This bipartisan legislation would extend an expired provision that has helped millions of distressed American families by allowing tax relief for homeowners when lenders forgive some portion of the mortgage debt they owe.

Take ACTION TODAY and respond!


jason panatana

Consumers are more informed about nearly any subject today as a result of an unlimited supply of information on the internet. This presents an incentive for agents to specialize in the way they interact with digital consumers to impart greater value. The goal of BeNiched: Defining Your Area of Expertise (video) is to present ideas that will assist you in defining your niche areas of service and in communicating the significance of those services to digital consumers.

In his role with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC, Jason Pantana guides real estate professionals through current and emerging trends in technology, branding, entrepreneurship, and social media.

Jason has been a featured speaker or facilitator for numerous real estate conferences, such as for the National Association of REALTORS®’ REThink initiative—an interactive and strategic workshop about the future of the real estate industry.

Interviewed by: Nobu Hata is the National Association of REALTORS®’ Director of Digital Engagement. An industry veteran since 1996, Nobu is a student of marketing, communications trends, social media, and technology in the real estate industry. (November 9, 2014)

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