How to Leverage Your VA Loan to Build Wealth With Erin Ward

Erin Ward has spent the last 21 years in and around the military community. Erin swiftly adjusted to life as a military spouse despite having no prior military experience. Erin moved frequently more than once at each duty location during her 16 PCS’s. She has a thorough understanding of the nuances of relocating, locating a house, and acclimating to a new location.

She currently has positions on the boards of directors for The Milspo Project, the Military Family Advisory Network, and the Hampton Roads Military Employment Group.

How to Leverage Your VA Loan to Build Wealth with Erin Ward

VA loans are mortgages that can be obtained under a program established by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. With little to no down payment required, no private mortgage insurance, and often competitive interest rates, veterans, active service personnel, and the surviving spouses of these people can get VA loans to buy homes.

In comparison to traditional mortgages, VA loans operate somewhat differently. Although it does not create or originate loans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) backs a portion of each one against default. This support, or guarantee, offers private lenders the assurance to offer lending with no money down and favorable rates and conditions.

With a few exceptions, VA loans function somewhat similarly to the majority of other mortgage alternatives from a procedural standpoint. A typical VA loan process works something like this:

  1. Get Prequalified
  2. Get Preapproved
  3. Put in an Offer
  4. Go Through the VA Appraisal and Underwriting
  5. Closing

Erin Ward has spent the last 21 years in and around the military community. Erin swiftly adjusted to life as a military spouse despite having no prior military experience. Erin moved frequently more than once at each duty location during her 16 PCS’s. She has a thorough understanding of the nuances of relocating, locating a house, and acclimating to a new location. She currently has positions on the boards of directors for The Milspo Project, the Military Family Advisory Network, and the Hampton Roads Military Employment Group.

Erin joins The Entrepreneurial Agent to discuss how she has helped her clients both buy and sell their property, do interest rates matter? And her background as a military spouse and how she started in real estate.

00:00 Introduction

0:46 Introducing Erin Ward

1:15 Erin’s background as a military spouse and how she started in real estate

4:21 The importance of the educational role of real estate agents

8:21 Erin’s educational approach working with clients

11:05 Real estate as part of an investment portfolio

19:15 Some interesting real estate transactions made by Erin

23:02 How Erin help her clients both buy and sell their property

25:04 Do interest rates matter?

Connect with Paul

Website: https://vantagepointresidential.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-neal-47b8478/

Connect with Erin Ward

Website: https://erin.hrvahomes.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hrvahomes

Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/hrvahomes

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0CEFNTjEJgd1Dt9lBe80aQ

Full Transcript

Paul Neal: [00:00:00] Hi, welcome listeners. Today I have the the pleasure and honor of speaking with Erin Ward, who’s currently the owner and CEO of RVA Homes Keller Williams Real Estate here in Norfolk, Virginia. She’s been a real estate agent, active and growing for, for quite a number of years, and totally immersed in the community and the military network, the family network, and wanna hear all about that.

So welcome to the show today. 

Erin Ward: Yeah. Thanks so much. I’m excited. I love 

Paul Neal: this. Yeah. Great, great. So first off I have to ask you tell, tell me a little about your background, how you got involved in real estate. Normally it’s not something that people jump right into like right after 

Erin Ward: college, right?

Yeah, no, for sure. That’s not my path at all. So I started out as a military spouse. Moved around a ton. Actually made about 19 moves as a military spouse. Yeah. And so some of those were local. Right. Some of those were land, you know, we were renting and landlords say, Hey, I wanna sell get out Right?

Or just really bad military housing situations, which [00:01:00] is kind of a big known thing these days. And so moved a whole bunch. And then when we, you know, really got bad information about the VA loan, you know, just to use it once, those kind of things. So we really hadn’t looked into buying until we hit Virginia.

And then we had a really bad experience with a real estate. It just wasn’t, there wasn’t a lot of education, still a lot of VA myths that we believed, that were invested as I like to think. And overall the customer service and what we were looking for just wasn’t there. And it just kind of came across that time.

Of course, this was like, 2009 when nobody should be getting into real estate. Right? , That’s what I kept being told. So I went to work for one of the top real estate agents in the area as an admin. In previous, before that I had worked in the d o D and data analytics. I had been on radio as a morning radio show host.

So just a little bit of everything that some of us military spouses have these wild resumes. And so I kind of dipp my toe in for a little bit and then I was offered a really great opportunity. Within the Veteran [00:02:00] Service Organization nonprofit space. So I stepped away from real estate and the admin sense.

About a decade. And as nonprofit does, I got burned out. Wasn’t getting paid a whole lot as a coo, and decided, Hey, let me get back involved into this real estate gig. I had some girlfriends, some other great military spouses that I kept telling my friends to go talk to, and they said, Erin, we could pay you right as an agent if you were licensed for referrals.

So I thought, Okay, well I can do that easy enough. So I got a license to be a referral. But next thing you know, I’m selling real estate and it took off and it was great. And I really found a passion for it. In particular education, right? Especially for our military buyers and sellers. I mean, that is really our passion.

And I learned so much about things I didn’t know and things I wish I had known, especially when it comes to leveraging your VA loan to build wealth. And so now we get to do that for our living and it’s really great. I love. 

Paul Neal: Wow. That’s, that’s boy, there’s a lot of, a lot of points [00:03:00] in there I’d like to dive into.

That’s great. Yeah. So I’m, we’re gonna get into this, this VA and leveraging your VA loan for wealth building. I think that’s that’s a fascinating concept, but it, it’s interesting how you talk about how you. , Gosh, you’ve moved so many times in the military and you know, I have lots of military friends and neighbors and I see that, and now it hits close to home because my daughter is in the, the Air Force ROTC out in, in Virginia Tech, and she’s gonna fly and be in the military there.

And so I think about all the time she’s gonna move and. And whatnot, but, but your, but your experience, like when you bought that, your first home and your bad experience with a real estate agent. That reminds me when I, I did my first loan and, and I got in the mortgage business in 1998 because I had a bad experience when I bought my first home.

And I thought, Wow, if that Yoyo can do this, then Exactly. I could do it better. Right. 

Erin Ward: Yeah. I mean, like, surely. You have the skills to do this better. Right. And I, and I say that all the time, you know, somebody could get licensed [00:04:00] tomorrow and be a better real estate agent than I am. Mm-hmm. just based on the service provided.

You know, and I think that’s something we sometimes miss, is this is a relationship business and it’s a business that you’re building. Clients for life, right? And so that’s where you really, really have to be so passionate and so dedicated to the community that you’re serving that I think, you know, sometimes that gets a lost a little bit too.

Paul Neal: Yeah, well, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot that goes into a real estate transaction, right? So, I mean, you, you know, when you think about like, from your position you’re serving, you’re serving these, this family that’s, that’s looking to buy a home, maybe selling home, maybe doing both, You know, what do they say?

It’s one of the most stressful events in your life, right? Is right or selling right. And so, and as a professional, you know, all the, all the mine fields that are out there, you, you know, you know what could go wrong, you know, in, in the, in your clients. You’re just trying to, you know, manage all this. And so [00:05:00] on top of that with multiple clients you’re dealing with and just trying to.

You know, look beyond just this one transaction mm-hmm. , but how do I, how do I really help these people in the long run? Right. Right. I mean, that’s where the, where the joy comes from. 

Erin Ward: Yeah. And that’s where the wealth building comes from. Right. So, I mean, I think back now when I, I mean, I first became a military spouse in 1995.

If we had been given the correct information, Right, the information that you can use your VA. As many times as, as you’re eligible to use it, Right, Right. As much entitlement as you have, as you free it up and, and do the smart things through refinance and, and maybe talk about burgers and things like that.

If I think about that very first duty station, which was Fort Hood, Texas back in 1995, and where that market just outside of Austin, Texas has gone and had, we have purchased even a moderately small, teeny tiny home in 1995, where would the wealth had. You know, where would we have started building that wealth?

And at that time, I [00:06:00] mean, we were very young. Do not get me wrong. I don’t know that I would’ve suggested I bought a house, buy a house. We weren’t very responsible kids. Right. But I see, you know, these days you know, the, the folks that we work with as young as 22 buying their first homes, you know, in, in some cases even younger we’ve worked with.

And it’s so impressive to me because now we have the opportunity to say, Hey, let learn from what we’re. Right. What we didn’t do right, and let me show you the numbers and the data’s there, right, Paul? I mean, that’s where the data’s there. So we can show them the average appreciation year over year in a traditional market that really leverages them and launches them into that wealth building and showing them how to, maybe let’s not use all of your VA entitlement on this purchase right here.

Like maybe we use a little bit. You know, let’s work for a year or so in that house. Build the equity up and then let’s move on to the next house utilizing your same entitlement. Rent that one out cuz we already know what the rental rates look [00:07:00] like. Your, your cash flowing, even if you’re cash flowing, 200 to $300 a month.

Now we’re rolling into the next house. Maybe that house is a little bit bigger. Maybe it’s the size, same size, but now you are building. That generational wealth in building that va, you know, back really wealth and, and utilizing that earned benefit, right, to build wealth, which is wild to me that you, you know, through your service, you could easily become a billionaire easily.

Paul Neal: Yeah, it, it, it’s crazy because I tell people all the time that the, Yeah, that VA program is just the most amazing loan program that that’s out there. You know, I mean, you’ve got, you’ve got no down payment, right? I mean, so the opportunity to leverage that over and over again, you know? Mm-hmm. , no, no mortgage insurance, and it’s just, and you know, from a rate spectrum, they’re always, always in, you know, better than the, the rest of the world.

So it’s what a great tool and opportunity, so, So you’re taking this concept, I want you to [00:08:00] unpack it a little bit more because it sounds like to me, Erin, you’re, you’re, you’re really strategic about this and maybe educating your clients on, Hey, let’s look beyond just this home, you know, for you and your two children, or maybe your brand new couple or whatnot.

But let’s look, 5, 10, 20 years downstream. 

Erin Ward: That’s exactly it. So we’re working backwards, right? What is, you know, exactly, let’s look at what’s this end goal look like? So, you know, we, we dig in with our clients. It goes beyond, Hey, what are you looking for in a house? Right? Like, that can’t be the conversation.

Even more so with our military families, right? Because they are cyclical. I mean, luckily here in Hampton Roads, we see them stay a little bit longer. Because we have so many different installation opportunities, but generally they’re, you know, they’re moving every, you know, three to four years, sometimes less.

And so we have to sit down with them and we have to really know what that long term end game looks like. And once we have that, we can work backwards from there. And a lot of times, you know, let’s be real. It’s the [00:09:00] HGTV that gets in my. Right. Like, you’re not gonna get the mc mansion today because we’re gonna work towards the best mc mansion down the road, right?

And so we kind of work backwards from there so that we can create a picture of wealth long term so that when you get to the mc mansion, all your little houses are paying for the mc mansion, right? Mm-hmm. . Now you’ve built a retirement scenario and really in the military community, They’ve changed the retirement game too, right?

So now they have what’s called a blended retirement system where you can actually, for once now get outta the military and actually have some sort of retirement without having to serve 20 years. And so we’re, we’re talking with our clients to say what are their goals? Are they a 20 year lifer? And what if you’re not?

What if a life circumstance comes up? Right? Right. So we’re talking through those. We’re really long term planning with these people. And I think also too, They understand that we care enough to sit down and have those conversations with them and [00:10:00] show them, And by the way, Not everybody wants to wealth build, right?

Some people just wanna buy a house. But I think it’s important we still have these conversations, right? And they, I’ve never had anybody say to me, Erin, Man, I wish you had never had that wealth building, convers, . You know, so, Right. Yeah. So I think there’s value in that, right? And not, And even if it’s not something that works for them, When they’re out in their community or they’re on their ship or they’re at their base or they’re deployed and they’re talking to their friends, they’re like, you know, Hey, get ahold of Erin.

If this is what you’re into. You know, you’re reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad talk. This is who you need to talk to so you can leverage that VA loan. Did you know, I didn’t know you could do this. And they’re sharing that information out to get rid of those VA miss. Right. We’re just, yeah, giving education that they can take back out into the community.


Paul Neal: that’s a, that’s awesome. Because yeah, I think more and more people are catching onto the idea, you know, of, of real estate as an integral part of your wealth [00:11:00] portfolio. You know, and I’m not a, you know, registered advi investment advisor or any stretch, but you know, the, you know, the stock market, I’ve long felt like, you know, that that’s kind of a rig sport, right?

Yeah. Because there’s big money in there, there’s hedge funds, and Yeah, all those guys get the, they get the data. You know, sometimes seconds before everyone else, and that’s all that matters. Right? Right. But with real estate, you’ve got a physical asset that you know, it’s living and breathing. I, I think, I have a friend that does a podcast.

He talks about packaged commodities. Mm-hmm. , you know, you’ve got all this value that’s put together and it’s real and it’s tangible and hey, people have to live somewhere. Right? Right. So, you know, so why not have a piece of that action? And as there, there’s a limited amount of land and as we both know, the supply situation of, of real estate particularly.

You know, we talk about, you know, normal appreciation. You, you alluded that earlier. Obviously the last couple years have been abnormal. Yeah. But that’s also created with, you know, like historically, [00:12:00] I mean literally historically low rates that we’ve never seen and we’ll never see again in non, And they were nonsense.

It was nonsense. Yeah. But that, but, but what that did was that took a lot of people, you know, the people that have homes in the, I think it’s 25 or 30% of all mortgages that are out there, or they’re under 3%, you know? Yeah. So nobody’s gonna sell that home unless they absolutely have to. Right. Right. Right.

So, so that that whole sector of the market is gone, you’re that’s not gonna come on the market. Yeah. You know? Right. And so you’ve got all these millennials and, and younger families that are that huge swath of population that’s moving into, you know, the family creation stage of their life and wanting real estate.

And and I think, I think that’s phenomenal that you’re at least educating them that, hey, because like you and I, I think I did hear that when I was young, but I think I sort of ignored it when I was. 

Erin Ward: Yeah. You know? Oh for sure. I was totally irresponsible and I’m seeing more responsibility now, you know, than of a younger sex people that are more interested in it [00:13:00] now than.

I ever saw before, I think, which is, which is exciting to me, allows me to do what I love to do. And you know, and, and late, and as you were saying, you know, I think about the people who have had money in the bank for the last year. I just heard again, I’m not a financial advisor as well, but you know, I, I just heard somebody I know who’s incredibly wealthy, was in town and I sat in a class with him the other day and he said, You know, if you had your money in the bank and nowhere else for the last year, you lost 8%.

Of your funds, 8% just gone because you left it in the bank. Whereas putting it in an appreciating asset such as real estate. Right, makes sense. And nobody can deny, especially in our local community that real estate went held. Builds wealth, period. I mean, there’s just, and that is why so many wealthy people own so much real estate, not to mention the tax advantages, right?

Let’s be real. There’s some great, there’s some really great advantages into of, of purchasing real estate, and if you [00:14:00] are utilizing the VA loan to interest rates, as long as the numbers make sense, it nothing matters. , as long as the numbers make sense, it doesn’t matter what the interest rate. Right. Like at the end of the day, especially when we’re leveraging it from a wealth building stand.

Paul Neal: Well, yeah, and I mean that, that’s a huge subject because you know, and compared to what, So if you look at a VA loan as a tool versus we do a lot of investment business and a lot of commercial, and generally in those world, you’re putting 20% down. Yeah. So you’re taking, you’re taking, you know, a significant amount of capital that you’re putting into this property, and your return is based on what you’re putting into the property.

Well, the VA loan, you’re putting zero into the property. Right. Yeah. And, and so your return is if you’re making anything on it at all as infinite, essentially, 

Erin Ward: Right? Right. Well, and the reality is, I mean, this is what we say all the time, right? So if you’re active duty service member and you’re getting housing loans from the US government, right?

So not only are you buying a house at zero down, [00:15:00] so typically, right, let’s say what are your costs, right? Your, your couple upfront costs of your earnest money deposit. In our area, a home inspection and appraisal. Then on closing day, you got closing costs. Should they not be covered or negotiated to be handled right.

No big deal. Right? Right. Still far less than any other loan type. And then as you mentioned, if you’re purchasing into a property that is within your housing, allow, well now that’s part of your earned benefit that’s being paid for. So let’s say you’re here for three years, right? And you hold onto that property and you move onto the next duty station and you’ve held onto that property and somebody else is paying that mortgage for the next 27.

You’ve just got into that property at about 3%. Mm-hmm. at around 3%. Should nobody be paying your closing costs? Right? Right, right. And so what the heck, in 30 years, Uncle Sam paid the three years of your mortgage and the tenants paid the other 27 years, and you’ve done some maintenance and upkeep. And if you bought in a smart location with rental appreciation or equity appreciation, you’re [00:16:00] doing.

30 years from now, it’s all gravy and somebody else has paid that entire 

Paul Neal: mortgage. That’s right. And so if you, if you did that once every three years for your career, you’d have a 10, 10 of them right? In this cash flow and this asset. And it’s just, I mean, even just with that, 

Erin Ward: Yeah, it just, it makes no sense not to do it.

I don’t care what the interest rate is as long as the numbers make sense. I think the only issue is getting out of your own head of what the type of house is that you should be buying because it is not your forever home. It is a wealth building tool. And that’s all it needs to be looked at initially is an asset because you’re not settling to this house.

That’s the difference. When I was told, you know, when, when, when I was a young military spouse and we were told not to use our VA loan until we got to our final, you know, our final retirement home. Right. Wow. Well, really what I wanna say is don’t worry about using your VA loan for the perfect house until you get to your retirement home.

Let’s use that VA loan for the wealth building [00:17:00] tools until. 

Paul Neal: Yeah. No, that, that’s, that’s absolutely awesome. I think you mentioned HGTV early. I think in one way they, they, they benefit you, but another way they, they probably set you up for a conversation that we have to have a, a reality check here on, you know, it’s, it’s like, yeah, you’re probably not gonna get your, you know, MTV crib on your 

Erin Ward: first home.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. There’s always one spouse who wants shiplap and the other wants to do all the. Right. Like, so we, we, we juggle that a lot in our, in our, in our, with our spouse situations. And That’s fine. I get it. I get it. Cause I’m the, we, I have the same dynamic of my own relationship, so. 

Paul Neal: Yeah. Yeah.

Well, no, that’s, that’s okay. That’s fun. But somebody has to, somebody has to quarterback that. And, and at that would be you, right? The third party. Like, Yeah, 

Erin Ward: let’s, Well, and if you look at the long term goals, right? Going back to the goal, going back to the pick, you know, conversation we just had, I just met with.

About a week ago, and it was like, you know, hey, we really want this Barndominium at a hundred years from now, not a hundred years, right? They’re about 15, 20 [00:18:00] years out, right? We wanna be in this barndominium in Texas where we’re from, and it’s gonna be X number of dollars, by the way, super affordable. right at this time, but I’m like, Hey, you can, you can triple that, right?

We can triple X that by building wealth or we can figure out a way and starting today, you guys can pay cash for that and, and not even touch your VA loan should you want to, or touch your VA loan and have all that cash sitting there to build it in other ways because now you’re in retirement land.

Right. So, so many different options. 

Paul Neal: Wow. Yeah, so just having the conversation and bringing it out and knowing what their goals are long term. Mm-hmm. , and then the tools, because as you say, most people I talk to have no clue about the VA and what they do. Well, I 

Erin Ward: mean, honestly, who, this is my job all day, every day.

So of course I’m thinking right along those lines. I don’t think my clients should be thinking along those lines until they start getting into this. Right. So I think you. You always, I think when you’re in the civilian [00:19:00] sector, Right? Not in the real estate. Right. You’re not in the industry. So I call it everybody is civilian at that point.

Right, Right, right. And when you, You don’t know what you don’t know, and there’s always this like, I don’t know where to start or what to do. Start asking the questions and making sure that you’re asking the questions and working with someone that’s gonna dig in deep at a deep level with you. Mm-hmm.

because it goes beyond this transaction right here, right. As 

Paul Neal: you said. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No doubt. I appreciate that. Yeah. Begin with the end of mind, I think you said. Mm-hmm. , that was a, a famous Jim Collins quote. Yeah. From good to Great. And that’s, that’s it’s so true cuz you can get buried in the moment and lose sight of the, of the, of what’s really important.

All right. Tell me this, just to kind of shift gears a little bit. Tell me about some one or two of the most interesting transactions that you’ve had. Interesting or funny or like, Oh my gosh, . 

Erin Ward: So I had one, this was a couple years ago. Really good friends of mine. Also a military family. Wanted to buy a pretty cool house.

It was a pretty cool house, kind of getting in that, you know, forever [00:20:00] home territory at this point. He was on his way to retire. And we found this, this really neat home. Not quite historic, but it had a lot going on for it. And we went in there and it, and the owners of the home had, you know, passed along, passed on.

And so their heirs were were selling home for them. And as we got closer to closing, our title search came back and it turned out that the father had a secret family. With about four or five other, hes that also had to bless off on the property. It was a very wild ride. We did get it closed. It took about an extra 60, maybe 90 days to get it closed.

But this is why title insurance is so important, right? . But yeah, so we went through that. That was pretty interesting. Very cool house. I love that house to this day. They’ve done some really. Stuff to it. It’s a, it’s a very cool property. But that was a very interesting, [00:21:00] like, who’s gonna deliver the news to these kids that they have siblings?

I mean, and they’re all grown adults at this point. But yeah, that was pretty, that was pretty interesting. And we. You know, I would say we close about 150 transactions a year on average, and about 70% of that is sighting just by the nature of being so military heavy. And most of our clients are not here and cannot fly back and forth to house hunt.

Mm-hmm. . And so We’ve had some really fun times. You know, I lose sleep before they get here saying, I hope they like the house we picked out for them . And so we’ve had some, I actually had one of our, one of my favorite clients of ours, she reached out to me yesterday, and that is you, you mentioned it’s such a stressful time just buying and selling a house, but buying and selling a house and moving your family across country or doing this all while your service member is deployed.

Or whatever the case may be, I mean, is is even more stressful. And so sometimes they get here in the exhaustion of all that, coupled with [00:22:00] buying this house you’ve never seen can be really overwhelming. And so we did have this dear client of ours who just came in and she was like, I don’t like the house at all.

And I was like, Okay, well let’s sit down and talk for a little bit . And we talked and she was like, You’re right. I’m just overwhelmed. And she actually just yesterday sent me a message. She’s like, I’m so glad you talked me off that ledge, cuz I love this house. And so, you know, those kinda things kinda, they’ve only happened maybe once or twice and six years for us.

But you know, it’s, it’s always an interesting ride to do these site unseen transactions. But again, that’s where we go in with such an investment minded focus. So, and that helps quite a bit. 

Paul Neal: Wow, that’s, So you were, you were ahead of the head of the Covid curve, right? Oh yeah. That didn’t, So many, You’re like, you Zoom and all this you’ve been doing for years.

Erin Ward: Yeah. We do it a little bit differently. We don’t do Zoom. We have another program that we kind of use so that they can watch it over and over again. They can communicate with us while we’re there, but then it saves it and they’re, they can invite their friends and family to come and watch it too. At the same time, it’s.

So [00:23:00] it’s kind of a neat idea to do it that way cuz, I mean, we saw a lot of like FaceTime tours. Well, what are you gonna do? They’re not gonna remember what happened afterwards. Right. So we kind of switched things up a little bit years ago. I mean this probably five years ago. Mm-hmm. . And so we knew right away that had to be like a huge part just from the nature of my, you know, life as a military’s spouse and all my friends live everywhere.

We knew that was gonna. Big part of what we do. And it’s 70% of what we do now, so a lot. 

Paul Neal: Well that’s nice about being in a, in a military community from a real estate standpoint. Right. Cuz you do have a lot of turnover. I mean, sort of stable as you mentioned cuz we have a lot of facilities here, but, but maybe more so than a lot of military areas, but but you do get sort of a turnover, new, new clients in Yeah, and a lot of referrals and and for those that aren’t, Keeping the home for that long term investment portfolio.

I imagine you’re helping them sell the property too 

Erin Ward: when they do. Yeah. You know, that’s what, when you get into real estate, they’re always like, list to last is what they tell real estate agents. Right. You have to become listing heavy. I did not do that. We we are [00:24:00] pretty listing heavy right now, but initially and for years we’ve been buyer heavy.

But where do buyers. Or where does seller start? Excuse me. They all start as buyers, right? So at some point we knew as long as we hung in there, gave great service and stayed in communication with them, we’re able to work with ’em. But that’s the other reason why it’s so important to us to make sure that they’re making those smart investments is because.

We’re probably gonna have to sell that at some point. So whether they decide to keep it or not, we need to make sure that the resale value’s gonna be there. And we do, you know, we do naturally get clients that didn’t purchase with us that probably purchase in areas that aren’t gonna, if you looked at the numbers, would not in a traditional market gain an appreciation enough for them to sell in three years.

And that’s tough, right? So again, you know, in our market, We’re blessed, right? Because we are such a military heavy market that utilizing a VA loan isn’t difficult like it is in so many other markets. But it’s also tough because you need to make sure that you’re looking at the data with your agent [00:25:00] that you’re purchasing in an area that shows.

Ongoing appreciation in traditional market sense because if you need to pull out, even if you’re, you know, in, in a perfect world, I want you to buy the home and hold it, right? Like I always say I’m the worst real estate agent ever, cuz I don’t want you to sell it. I want you to buy it and hold it. Right?

But everybody needs an exit strategy. Every good investor has an exit strategy. Yeah. So regardless, you need to be able to pull out should you need to from the market and, and have some sort of appreciation. To the best of our abilities. Right. We don’t know when the next go’s gonna come. Right. We’re like, What’s gonna happen?

Paul Neal: Yeah. Yeah. If we had a crystal ball that we probably wouldn’t be doing these jobs. 

Erin Ward: Right. Yeah. for sure. For sure. Yeah, absolutely. 

Paul Neal: Your morning radio show would’ve been something like, I don’t know, CNBC or Fox. Business or something. Yeah. From your yacht, . Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Let’s get Erin from the, the bow of her, you know, 82 foot yacht there.

She talks about what’s to happen. We don’t have a different 

Erin Ward: world. Yeah. Well, and that’s, you know, that’s like we say, you know, everybody who didn’t wanna dip their toe in last year because, [00:26:00] you know, they didn’t wanna compete with 30, 40 different buyers, you know, on every house. Well, this is the market for you and that market.

where you don’t wanna compete is never gonna be a a, a sub four or even a four and a half sub, you know, four and a half below interest rate market. That’s not gonna, you’re gonna be in a competitive market in those interest rates. So if you don’t wanna compete, With the 30, 40 other buyers on each and every house, then you’re gonna be playing in an in a little bit of a higher interest rate market, but you’re keeping more cash in your pocket.

Generally. You’ve got more negotiation power generally. So again, I go back to do the numbers make sense? Then pull the trigger. 

Paul Neal: Yeah. And, and you know, and interest rates are, they go up and they go down. Yeah. Right? Yeah. So if you get in at the higher end of the market, then, you know, in a year or two when the market, you know, the rates come down, you just refinance that 

Erin Ward: out.

It’s not, Yeah, it’s not a life sentence. This is in person. It’s just an interest rate. Right. Like, I don’t know anybody who’s ever kept an interest rate for 30 years. [00:27:00] Never. Like, 

Paul Neal: that’s not a thing. Oh, the funniest thing, Erin, is everyone wants a long term fixed interest rate. Yeah. You know, 30 years. And in all my experience, we used to laugh because yeah, the average person refinances, oh, over a 20 year period of time, they move three or four times.

They refinance about you know, about in between each time. At least one. So it’s about seven transactions in 20 years. Like, you really don’t need a 30 year loan. Yeah. But you know, you know, if that makes you feel 

Erin Ward: good. There’s some good arms out there right now that I’m not kicking, you know, I’m not kicking out the door myself.

Yeah. Even looking at myself and as an investor, I mean, some of my, some of these interest rates personally that I look at, or one I even took not that long ago. I mean, I think anybody else, if I was talking to my clients, say, What a gag. But the numbers made sense. It didn’t make a difference. Yeah. 

Paul Neal: Well, and it’s, and at the end of the day it’s, it’s, you know, there’s been an adjustment, I think, of expectations.

Yeah. Because, you know, you and I both know the history of this thing. I mean, when I got my first home, I think our rate was in the sevens. [00:28:00] Yeah. And you know, and that was kind of normal for a long time. And you know, and then fives and sixes has kind of become normal. And then we had this covid thing, which.

which is abnormal, and once in a lifetime, you know, once in a century, never happen again. And so I think as people adjust, their expectations sort of get used to it. And we’re gonna see in the, in the late fall and probably early first quarter, we’re gonna see rates come down. Yeah. With the yield curve and all that.

So it, you know, well guess 

Erin Ward: what’s not gonna come down? That’s right. Is we still have an inventory shortage. So if you look at Yeah, you know, inventory market, our inventory market here locally, and most of my friends across the country, honestly, it’s still a seller’s market. Right. Because inventory’s not here.

And as you mentioned, people aren’t selling because they love their sweet interest rates. Right? Yeah. And what did we stop doing in 2008, 2009? Building new construction, right? Yeah, housing started, stopped. They, I’ve read studies that say it’s gonna take a decade or more to start to replace the new construction that stopped.

[00:29:00] So the, they may not, I mean, housing costs may not be going like this, but they’re still going like this. So I would take a 6% now to refinance in six, seven months when they come back down again all day. All day long. I would, I would love to stay here at this market here with these housing prices here and not here, and not reenter when they come down again in a competitive market.

And now I’m 

Paul Neal: fighting 30, 40 other people. Right, right. Sit on the sideline, , 

Erin Ward: I mean it’s, it is one of those things where, I love everybody I talk to about real estate, but when you don’t wanna get in the market, cuz you don’t wanna compete with everybody or pay $40,000 more, but you like that sweet interest rate and you held off and now the interest rate is like this.

You, if you want the perfect market as a buyer, now today, this is it. Hold the trigger. Absolutely. Don’t wait. 

Paul Neal: Absolutely. Well, on that note, we’re, we’re about out of time, so tell us, tell everyone, Erin, how everyone can reach you and your 

Erin Ward: team. Sure. Yeah. So we’re easy to find. So we’re HR VA homes, so that’s Hampton Roads, Virginia, [00:30:00] that’s the name of our local area here.

And you can find at HR v Homes on Facebook, add HR v Homes on Instagram and hr v homes.com. We’re all over the place and we. We do a lot of fun stuff on our Instagram and our Facebook, so I would definitely suggest taking a look at that. 

Paul Neal: We didn’t get into what you do for fun. We’ll have to go to the Instagram, Facebook page 

Erin Ward: to love all that.

Yeah. Well, there’s a little, there’s a little office dog barking outside my door right now. There’s a pretty fun video on our Instagram about his first first birthday. I suggest checking out. 

Paul Neal: Sweet. That sounds like fun. I love dogs. So we’ll check that out. So Erin it’s been great catching up here today.

Great. Having a conversation. I love the, what we talked about the, the building wealth with the VA loan and just every, and your passion for the military community and really educating, you know that community on their opportunity that they have for now and into the future. So thank thanks for being part of the show.

Oh, it’s my 

Erin Ward: pleasure. I loved it. Thank you. Bet.