Veteran Home Loan Program-Helping Our Veterans Prosper & Build Wealth

In Loan Programs, Mortgage Loans & Rates by Jo Garner0 Comments

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe we are going to dispel some myths about Veteran Home Loans that have caused our valued veterans to miss out on getting the home they want.  I will be covering little known ways you can use the Veteran Home Loan to get started building wealth.  Tom King, our expert appraiser will be sharing some great information about how to appeal a low real estate appraisal.   We have a special guest, retired U.S. Navy line commander Peggy Lau who tells of her experience with the VA Home Loan program  and some tips for veterans and real estate professionals.  

Welcome to Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe! Let’s stay connected.   Subscribe by emailing me at .  I will send you a notice of our weekly podcasts and show notes and inform you of changes that can help you take advantage of an opportunity or avoid a pitfall.

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer & Radio Talk Show Host for Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe

(901) 482-0354


Good morning, Memphis!  Welcome to our listeners across the 50 states! You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  You can connect with me at   Our general topic is “VETERAN HOME LOANS-HELPING OUR MILITARY VETERANS PROSPER & BUILD WEALTH.”

If you have a question or comment and you’re on Twitter, make them to #JoGarner or call me directly off the show at (901) 482-0354.  You can call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 or outside the Memphis area (800) 474-9732 Today May 27th, 2017.

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe we are going to dispel some myths about Veteran Home Loans that have caused our valued veterans to miss out on getting the home they want.  I will be covering little known ways you can use the Veteran Home Loan to get started building wealth.  Tom King, our expert appraiser will be sharing some great information about what to expect on a real estate appraisal.   We have a special guest, retired U.S. Navy line commander Peggy Lau with some stories and a business tip for our real estate professionals.  

Back in his normal seat at the microphone is Tom King, appraiser with Bill King company.  Tom has been appraising homes in the Mid-South for over 40 years.  He even worked on the appraisal of Elvis Presley’s home.  Tom, I think you have a virtual GPS , Google maps and Chandler Real Estate Report all built into one app inside your head.   If you ask Tom, he can tell you about YOUR house AND your NEIGHBOR’s house anywhere, anytime. (Tom introduces himself and what he does)

(Jo) Also, joining us around the table we have retired U.S. Navy line commander, Peggy Lau.   Peggy serves as Executive Officer of Talk Shoppe, helping to make education and networking  free to the Memphis area business community.  (Peggy introduces herself and talks about what she did in the U.S. Navy and what she does in the travel business with World Ventures)

(Jo)  Needless to say, all of us at this table are passionate about what we do.  What is it that YOU enjoy doing so much that, if you could, you would do it for free? Most of our listeners know who I am that I love what I do, getting my clients in the right mortgage program with a great rate and terms they can brag about. Susan and the rest of those on our team make it possible to do the other thing I love to do and that is to spend time with my mortgage clients and the people who refer them to me. This week and next we are helping our past clients appeal their Shelby County TN real estate property taxes.  So if you got your postcard from me with the note that says “Call Me,” then call me or email me.  (901) 482-0354 (901) 482-0354 JO@JOGARNER.COM  

(Peggy make short comments about the importance of being passionate about your business)

(Jo) Rates are very favorable if your plans include building wealth buying real estate. Mortgage rates had hit their lowest in over 7 months last week.  They have inched back up but are still great at about 4% to 4.25% on the 30 year conventional loan program, low to mid 3’s on the 15 year fixed rate and the Veteran loans coming in around that range too—maybe  a little lower.  30YR FIXED – 4.00%; FHA/VA – 3.75%; 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.25%.

(Tom King talks about the market as he sees it. Tom reminds homebuyers and sellers that and your tax assessment value is accurate much of the time.   A good appraiser can find the most current, and the most comparable sales to use to find a true value for your home.)

(Jo) Since we are talking about Veteran Home Loans and how military veterans can build wealth buying real estate, I want to share a story about one of my star veteran real estate investors.  When John first started out he bought a house in the city where he was stationed using a 100% veteran loan.  He put together a plan to get wealthy during his military career moving from station to station buying a house each move and keeping the other homes for rental income.

The challenge that threatened to shoot holes in his life plan was the fact that the more property he bought, the more specialized mortgage products he needed since his VA eligibility was limited to one or two properties. He needed an experienced mortgage loan officer who could continue to come up with additional mortgage loan programs that fit each situation, so he could continue buying properties at terms that would allow him to make money.  

It has been a joy and inspiration getting to work with John as his mortgage officer.  John continues to build his real estate portfolio.    Since he has done so well with his rental properties, many of his houses are paid off and he no longer has to work.  He is finishing up a long military career.  Now I see pictures on Facebook of John and his wife regularly on a Carribbean Cruise, on a beach, in the mountains and other exotic places. Thank you, John, for your service to our country.   Kudos! to you for making your plan, working your plan, and when the deal worked for you, you did it.

(Peggy says it has been frustrating in the past trying to work with lenders who are not familiar with all of the Veteran Home Loan program.  It is refreshing to work with someone who is familiar with the VA loan program. )

(Jo) My star veteran real estate investor client knew how to break past common myths a lot of veterans get stuck believing, not realizing the gold mine close at hand.   But the VA loan is not the only gold mine available.   My veteran customer, John, used the low down payment FHA loan, and different one example of myth variations of the conventional loan product—even cash.   

Here’s some myths veterans believe about the Veteran Home Loan program that can cause them to miss opportunities.

  1. You can use your VA mortgage eligibility more than once.  
  2. You can have more than one VA loan
  3. The VA mortgage can be used to by single-family homes, duplexes, tri-plexes and quadraplexes as long as the veteran lives in one of the units
  4. The VA loan can be assumed by another party subject to the lender’s approval

We will cover more on the myth busters in more detail later in the show.



It’s time to talk shop with Talk Shoppe’s Business Tip For  Real Estate Professionals. Talk Shoppe is a marketing company offering free education and networking to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk  Shoppe is made possible by the financial support of its sponsors and advertisers. For more about Talk Shoppe, go to (shoppe)  For our Talk Shoppe Business Tip today we have Talk Shoppe advertiser, Peggy Lau, independent representative for World Ventures -DreamTrips.  Peggy is living my dream, earning free, first-class vacations and getting to enjoy them with a one-of-a-kind travel community that helps make you money. Peggy can show you how to earn money AND get free, first-class vacations alone or with a fun group of people.  Peggy, What is our Talk Shoppe Business Tip for Real Estate Professionals today?  (Peggy shares some tips for success from The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John Mann from the book   tip    (Jo says, “Thanks, Peggy. How do we contact you?  (901) 289-0747


  • How did the transition happen between you leaving the military and going into the travel business? .  



  • What type of appraisals do you do where people can hire you directly?
  1. Estate appraisals
  2. Divorce Settlements
  3. Cash home purchase deals
  •   How do you appeal a low real estate appraisal?
  1. Look for amenities in your subject property that exceed those in the houses used in the comparable sales analysis to determine the value on your subject property home.
  2. If the home for sale appraises lower than the asking price, the buyer could offer to pay extra money down over and above the percentage of the lower appraisal value they agreed to pay on the contract. The buyer would have the option to walk away from the deal or the seller could lower the price down to the low appraisal value.  It is negotiating time again.

For example, if the sales price was $105,000 but the home appraised for only $100,000, if the buyer was using a Veteran Administration loan with zero down, he could opt pay $5,000 down to make up the difference from the sales price and the low appraised value.   The seller might opt, instead to lower the price to the lower appraised value, or everyone could walk away from the transaction.   



  • Myth:  The VA mortgage can only be used once in a lifetime. /Wrong- you can get a loan up to 4 times the amount of whatever VA eligibility you have left on your Certificate Of Eligibility. For example if you show $36,000 eligibility, then you are able to get up to $144,000 and if your income-to-debt ratios are acceptable enough, your eligibility can be expanded so you can get a loan up to $424,100 with zero down payment.   But if you have only used $15,000 of your eligibility to buy your first home at $60,000, then you still have some eligibility to buy another home later when you are ready to move from the old home to the new home.


  1. You can have more than one VA loan.  Just like the example above.  If you have not used up all of your eligibility, you might be able to qualify for another VA mortgage.  VA mortgages are for veterans planning to use the home as their primary residence.
  2. The VA mortgage can be used to by single-family homes, duplexes, tri-plexes and quadraplexes as long as the veteran lives in one of the units.  You can buy a multi-unit property, live in one unit and rent the other units to tenants.   In many cases the rent from the other tenants can more than cover YOUR payment.    With the rent income from the other tenants in the building, you may find it easy to pay off the mortgage early, saving tens of thousands of dollars.
  3. The VA loan can be assumed by another party subject to the lender’s approval
  4. You can refinance a VA loan on a streamline program without having to get an appraisal.
  5. Currently Evolve Bank (the mortgage department) is paying for the Veterans VA closing fees. This helps the veteran by making their offer to purchase a home more competitive than someone else bidding on the same house. Who is that veteran YOU know that I can help?  You can help a veteran today.  Email me their contact information at and let’s love them back.  
  6. Veterans getting disability compensation for  service-related medical issues are exempt from having to pay the VA funding fee that is normally added to the loan amount.   Also, surviving spouses of veterans who died in the service or from a service related disability are also exempt from having to pay the VA funding fee and can, on a case-by-case basis, get a VA loan.
  7. The maximum loan amount for VA loans is $424,100 for a single family, but the veteran can pay the difference between a higher home price and the maximum loan amount.  The maximum loan amount is higher for 2 to 4 unit properties.
  8. For more information about the Veteran Mortgage Program:


  • Let’s you and I talk about YOUR plans to save on your mortgage costs or your plans to build your real estate portfolio. But you have to talk with me personally so I can work with you.  You can connect with me at or call me directly at (901) 482-0354. MAKE YOUR PLAN, LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY!




REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Peggy Lau shares a tip to veterans to get with a VA benefits expert and get clear on all the benefits due so that there is no money left lying on the table unused.)  



  1. Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT at Nova Copy Conference Center 7251 Appling Farms Parkway Memphis, TN.    This Wednesday May 31st 2017 Talk Shoppe  presents: “Mastermind Principle: based on the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill”   For more about Talk Shoppe go to  
  2. Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to sponsors/advertisers/supporters  like Diane Neal of US Health Advisors. Diane can help small business owners and others get good health insurance at a fair price. Contact Diane at (901) 606-9091.
  3.  Talk Shoppe invites you to meet some of us at our Expo table June 1st, June 2nd and June 3rd 2017          at the Intro To Paris Celebrity Fashion Show here in Memphis.  For more information about the Intro to Paris Celebrity Fashion Show go to
  4.  Thank you to all of our veterans. You served us.  Its our turn to serve YOU.
  7. Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe reminds you that MAKE YOUR PLAN, LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY!.



  • Lynn and Troy McDonald, Insurance Agents with Erin McDonald Insurance Agency (901) 849-7101
  • Terri Murphy,   Murphy On Real Estate –success coaching for realtors and mortgage lenders.   Active in the Forever Home for Veterans
  • Frank Guido Construction, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 262-767-1942



Born & grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  – Graduated from Wayne State University with a BS in Education

– Nationally rated basketball referee. Officiated the women’s Final Four and championship games

– Taught at Durfee Junior High School

– Played on a World Championship softball team

– First woman to Graduate from the Detroit Fire Fighter Academy

– Joined the U.S. Navy.  Hospital Corpsman, Pharmacy Tech, and retired Line Commander

– Graduated from San Diego State University with a Master’s in Education Training, Leadership, and Management

– Played on the All-Navy softball and racquetball teams

– Played on the All-Armed Forces softball team

– Senior Research Analyst Contractor for the USN’s Retention website

– Contractor, Senior Program Manager with oversight for 6 IT contracts

– WorldVentures member and Independent Representative

Peggy Lau is currently serving as Executive Officer of Talk Shoppe, helping make networking and education free to the local Memphis business community.



Tom King

Tom is a well- respected and sought after appraiser in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is a second generation appraiser with 40 years of experience.  He has been elected to the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Board of Directors three times.  

Tom is a certified residential appraiser in Tennessee.  He have appraised over 20,000 homes in his career.  A graduate from the University of Tennessee with a degree in real estate, Tom is also a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP).  Tom also has vast experience in dealing with the county and state boards of equalization and in valuations of property for tax appeal purposes. (901) 487-6989


About Jo Garner

cell: (901) 482 0354


  Twitter: @jogarner

Jo describes her job description: As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to give my client the benefits they want from their financing terms– listening to my client and determine what’s of the most value to THEM–  What is their comfort level on a house payment, how much are they comfortable paying down, what type of financing do they need to get the house they want to buy or refinance. Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income. Whatever their personal priorities are, my job is to put together a mortgage with comfortable terms that will help them achieve their goals.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases.  

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.   

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 20 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge. 

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 20 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner  is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis.  Jo is host of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe  and currently publishes on her blog

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