• VA purchase loans increased 19 percent in fiscal year 2015.
  • Agents should review veteran population data for their state.
  • Agents might increase their business by informing buyers of VA loan benefits.

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans offer hard-earned benefits to the buyer and, with flexible credit and underwriting standards, make the dream of homeownership a reality for many who couldn’t otherwise qualify.

The VA fiscal year runs from October through September, and each year the VA provides data on closed VA loans. The 2015 fiscal year wrapped up in September 2015, and the VA recently released its new numbers.

Purchase loans made up 51 percent of the total, an increase of 19 percent from fiscal 2014; 631,142 total VA loans closed in fiscal 2015 totaling $153.4 billion in VA lending. That’s an average loan amount of $243,000, which will get you a nice home in many parts of the country.

Many agents will be surprised when they look at the estimated number of veterans in their state. Below is a chart outlining the estimated veteran population and number of VA loans closed per state in FY2015.

VA_state_chartREV

Looking at the numbers, you’ll notice two things. First, there are a large number of veterans in every state. Second, there’s a huge opportunity here.

So how do agents start identifying veterans and service members? A great way to start the conversation occurs during your initial consultation. Let every buyer you meet with know there are VA home loan benefits available to those who’ve served.

Adding VA loan knowledge to your portfolio and educating every buyer who has served about its possibilities is good for both you and your buyer.

Your buyer might be able to purchase a home they couldn’t otherwise purchase without their benefits. You have the opportunity to increase your closings. It’s a win-win situation.

Samantha Reeves is the senior real estate and homebuying expert for Veterans United Home Loans and the agent education director for Did You Serve? LLC. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Samantha Reeves.

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