VA Loan and Veteran Home Buying Process with Jim Franklin

Gain some major insight from the latest Home-and-Seek Podcast brought to you by our CEO Eric Criner and seasoned real estate agent, Jim Franklin. 

May 3rd Home-and-Seek Podcast


Eric Criner: All right, good morning, everybody. We're, we're super excited to have Jim Franklin from all the way out in Denver, Colorado, on our show this morning. We're excited to have him on the show. And uh you know, he's, he's been with the program for about 4.5 years.

He's a big user of it. He's a veteran, so we're excited to have him on the show and give him a chance to share some of his experience out there. So, Jim, good, good morning. Great to have you on the show, buddy.

Jim Franklin: Good morning, Eric. Thank you very much. I really appreciate this opportunity to share some great things that are happening out here in Denver.

Eric Criner: All right. Well, I appreciate that. Well, I, I guess, you know, um I, I'd like to start out by saying that, that he's in the Denver, Colorado area, and he can kind of define that area a little bit more. But, um he's with a firm called RE/MAX™ Alliance. They're a big power player out there. Uh, Colorado, Denver is a home to RE/MAX™ corporate as well. So it's kind of like RE/MAX™ country out there.

Um, but he's out there and he's a team leader for a team called the uh Colorado Dream team. Um, So I'll let him talk about that in a minute. Um, but, but we also, you know, wanna hear a little bit about your time in the army. You know, you've got to be a great guy if you served in the army. I mean, you know, that's, that's clear to me. So I want to hear a little bit about that as well.

Jim Franklin: Thank you, Eric. I really appreciate it. I had, I had a great time in the military when I served, um, actually served in the Cold War over in Germany. I missed the wall coming down by nine days. So I was ETS in and came home, and the wall came down, but it was a great time. Uh, we had great relationships with the German folks over there, and just spent my time there.

Eric Criner: Awesome. Yeah, Germany was a great place to be assigned back then. I, I spent a few years there, and I will tell you what, it was a blast going over the border to different places. Belgium, Holland, France. It was quite an experience for a young man.

Jim Franklin: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So, um, yeah, I loved it. Uh, I was a military police officer, so I was a road cop. Um, so it was, it was a lot of fun, and like I said, we worked with the German Police over there. So it was really a good time with that. Built those really long-lasting relationships.

Eric Criner: Nice,  So tell, tell us a little bit about what's going out in that Denver, Colorado market, how, how things look out there right? Right now.

Jim Franklin: So really, uh things are looking good for sellers right now. Um We're, we're back into a multiple-offer situation. Um but that shouldn't scare your buyers away because I got, I got one of my buyers who happens to be a vet um that we just literally made a very attractive offer and very aggressive, but it was only $5000 over the list price.

So it's not like, you know, 100,000 or anything like that, but the average days on the market right now are about 11 days now; just to give you an example, in January, it was 38 days.

Eric Criner: Ok. So, things are definitely speeding up out there. Um, you're definitely in a hot market because there are quite a few markets right now that aren't seeing the multiple offer scenarios. But as you said, that really should scare you, but it really comes back to getting nature that knows what they're doing

Jim Franklin: Exactly. Looking to see what their specialty is and if they have any designations, um I, I got a few designations and that just means that I furthered my education a little bit further just so I can be a better negotiator and I can be a better rep for the military personnel.

Eric Criner: Yeah. Now that's exactly right. And, not all agents are created the same, not all agents have the same work ethic background and, and the public sometimes think, well, if you're a real estate agent that you're, you know, that you're the same as agent A, B , and C and that's not the case. Um It's, it's like going to a brain surgeon. They didn't all go to the same medical school; they haven't been doing as, as much brain surgery.

Um, so, so, so you need to find a great agent. Um, you know, I, I do, I do want to talk just for a second because, you know, I want to clear the air about now is a good time to buy a home. I mean, we understand that rates are higher than what they were a year ago. But they're not gonna stay high.

You have the ability to refinance in the future, but right now, the inventory is not bad, and you don't have as many buyers beating on the doors of your sellers as you did, you know, a year ago. So I'm, I mean, that kind of what you understand as well.

Jim Franklin: Oh, yeah, 100%.  Eric, I mean, now is a great time to buy; you wanna marry the house you want, you want the house that you need for you, you and your family and your loved ones, but you're not married to the rate, um, where you want to marry that house, and you want to be happy in

Eric Criner: The house, right? Exactly. Right. And it's better; I think to go after when you have the inventory. Um, and, and have the selection so that you can marry the right house so you can be in there for a while. Um, and you gotta love it. Um, if you dislike your home, that's a bad way to start.

Jim Franklin: Yep. Exactly. So know the location, and make sure you love the neighborhood, the commute, everything. Look at that and marry the house, the rate, you're just dating the rate, you're just making sure that everything's gonna be ok. So, yes, sum it up. This is a phenomenal time. We got some inventory out there. We're starting to see those numbers increase day by day, and we're excited about it.

Eric Criner: Nice. Nice. Well, you know, the good thing about a VA loan is that you, you, you can actually do a streamlined refinance. They call them an oral. Um, but, but it's really an interest rate reduction. Um, and it's very, very easy to do, with very few fees. You don't need a new, a new appraisal.

You don't get to go; you don't have to go through all the same qualifications. It's very, very streamlined and, and, and as the rates be reduced as long as there's a net gain to the veteran. You can reduce that rate through your lender and you can do it very easily.

Jim Franklin: Yes, most definitely. Um, Some people are worried about, well, should my sellers take this va buyer? And I try to talk to them, and I'm like, I do my own house in the va I, I love the benefits of it, but also I educate the other side and say, hey, this is a solid offer. Don't worry about the appraiser because we can take care of little things very easily, and I'll even help them say, hey, we need a wall play on here. That's it. You know, little things to take care of it.

Eric Criner: Yeah. And, and, and for those who have watched our podcast or seen our blogs, I mean, one of the biggest things that we preach is getting an agent like Jim that understands veterans and understands VA loans because, unfortunately, there are agents out there that try to talk veterans out of using their VA loan entitlement, which I think is criminal. Um, And for a whole host of reasons. Um, but get a veteran that understands it because often the listing agent, the one representing the seller, doesn't understand VA loans, and they're scared of it when you don't understand something, you're scared of it. So, they shy away and tell their seller, well, you know, you, you need to take that conventional deal over that veteran deal because those va loans are tough. So, you need a guy like Jim in your corner, that can go in and swing in. Understands it explains it, and really educates the listing agent and the seller.

Jim Franklin: 100%. So uh, there's nothing to be afraid of. This is what I talk to my buyers. There's nothing to be afraid of when we're going out there and looking for a house. But more importantly, I talked to that to my sellers day one before I ever put the for sale sign that, hey, we may have a be a buyer that comes, and I educate my listing, uh people so that they understand that this is going to happen and it's ok. It's nothing to be nervous about. Right.  Exactly. I mean, are there any other insights or, advice you can give veterans buying with the VA loan?

Jim Franklin: You know, the biggest, the biggest thing is getting your paperwork and your, all your paperwork in order. Right. I mean, we're all from the military. We all have a file, and we all do things a certain way, make sure that everything's ready to go and then get, get that lender. Most likely, your Realtor® is already partnered with a VA powerhouse. Uh mine, she actually served in the military for nine years.

So her and I just work really, really well together. So make sure that whoever the wonder is, they really understand and dive into that va so then you got all your paperwork in order when you go out there and start kicking dirt with your realtor, um, it is, it's a piece of cake. We put in an order, put in a, uh, offer and we just go for it and we can still close under 30 days.

Eric Criner: Right. Right. Exactly. And to clarify, you know, the network has a lot of lenders that understand veterans understand va loans. Um, so, so we can also help as well. But, but Jim's advice is very clear that you got to get that certificate, eligibility, you gotta get, you know, understand your entitlement and get a lender to make sure that that's all straight before you go make an offer because the last thing you wanna do is make an offer and find out your eligibility is all hacked up and it's gonna take 90 to 100 and 20 days to fix it because now what you just did is you just lost the house. No one's gonna sit on it that long. You've ticked the agent off. So you probably lost the agent, you know, so on and on and on. So get your stuff done upfront. We can help with that. The agent can guide you in the process as well. Um, but that's super important to get your, you know, the eligibility lined up. In place and understand it upfront.

Jim Franklin: Yeah, 100%. I love it when they, they have all the ducks in row. And the lender calls me up and says, hey, Jim, they're ready to go shop. I'm like, right on. Let's go, let's go kick some tires.

Eric Criner: Right. And that's, and that, that's the best place to be because I have found over the years is that buyers that are comfortable with their numbers. And when I say by that I'm talking about, they understand sales price, what they can afford are much more comfortable and can look at a house more objectively than sitting there worrying about. Can I afford what I'm standing?

You know, so I, I think that's human nature. No one wants to be embarrassed and you don't want to be standing in front of your wife or husband and then not knowing if you can afford the house and have your wife or husband going. This is the house I want, I love it, Jim, make this happen and then find out you can't afford it. That's, that's, that's not a good position to be in.

Jim Franklin: Yeah, it's not a good feeling for everybody. It's, it's kind of awkward. Right. So having all of our information, having the intel backed up, ready to go, signed sealed, and delivered, then we can make that attractive offer and really go out to the home of your dreams.

Eric Criner: Right. That's exactly right. So, so Jim and I both agreed combined. We probably have 10,000 years of real estate together. I mean, we, we're that old. But the point is is is that you gotta get in front of a lender, you gotta get your numbers straight, you gotta get them to pull your credit, get your income documents, get your sales price nailed down, but also get your va entitlements and get that all lined up so that when you hit the street, and you find that perfect

house, hey, you're standing in a house you can afford and you're comfortable with the payment. I think that most importantly and, and secondly, you can pull the trigger and a guy like Jim can make that happen and get it closed in 30 days and then you can actually close in the house that you want and not, not have to restart a few times.

Jim Franklin: Yeah, exactly. I think that's the best advice for any buyers out there. Uh And I'm, I'm just gonna throw something out there. Eric, because I think it's important, you know, when we're listing houses that we're having the conversation with our clients saying listen, we may have a VA loan come in.

I don't want you guys to be scared. We need to educate the sellers too. So yes, we do a lot for the buyers 100% but we need to educate those sellers that may not be veterans that hey, we may get a veteran offer.

Eric Criner: Yeah, that's exactly right. And, and I don't think as a real estate industry, we do that enough because a lot of agents don't understand B A loans and, and they can't have that discussion with their seller. Um But, but, but part of our mission at REB is really to educate agents. That's why we have that course that we have our agents to attend um or, or take so that they can have those discussions because ultimately it's a seller that makes the decision, it's not

the other agent, the other agent advises. But if the sell is working off of bad advice, then they're gonna make a bad decision. I mean, that's just, you know, that's, that's,

Jim Franklin: Yeah, I, I love that course you guys put together Eric, I mean, that is phenomenal.

Eric Criner: I appreciate that and we, and, and, and we make every agent that is not a veteran or has attended one of the other national courses that attend that course only because we want them to understand veterans, we want them to understand their loan programs and, and really be able to explain it. So I, I think, you know, we're, we're constantly on that mission. But yeah, listing agents have to do a better job, you know, explain the sellers va loan.

I mean, I don't know how many times I've heard sellers push back. Well, I don't want to take a va loan because they're too, too hard to work with, I mean, they're no different than any other loan, you know, I mean, so it's, it, it just doesn't make sense but it takes an agent that can push back and, and explain why that's not the case and not be shy and go, oh, you're right. You know, so, well, the

Jim Franklin: Biggest aspect of that Eric is just like I said, educating the sellers, right? But just saying, hey, these are benefits that these service members are given from, to our, from our country to you and we should honor that.

Eric Criner: Exactly. It. And so, so, so I think if it's explained like that, it makes a lot of sense for the vast majority of sellers, you know, it's, it's not a freebie, they're not asking for a favor that, that they've actually served our country and earned it and now they're trying to use it, you know, I mean, they've defended the house you've lived in essentially and now they're asking to use their va loan and they're not asking you for a favor, you know.

So yeah, I think, I think those are all good points but uh, you know, we really appreciate your time on the show and uh, you know, I pulled up your account. I took a look at your reviews, man. Your reviews are off the chart. I mean, the veterans love this guy. You know, I think it's because he's baldheaded actually.

I think that's why they like him so much but, but, but I might be partial on that. But, but, uh, you know, your reviews are off the chart, takes great care of his clients. Um, he runs a team, uh, Colorado dream team. Jim. What, what, what's a good way for veterans to get in touch with you out there and,

Jim Franklin: You know, I have a team, uh, number out there. It's (720) 371-0212. But you can also Google me, Jim Franklin Colorado dream team and you will, you will find me on there all over the place.

Eric Criner: Yeah he's all over the internet. You can Google him, you can also reach out to and we know how to reach out to Jim as well. But he really is the go to guy for veterans in that Denver market and that's a pretty big market. I mean, that encompasses a lot of area out there.

Um But it's a beautiful country. Um And, and, and so he's a great guy to reach out to. Jim Franklin RE/MAX™ Alliance, he's out in the Denver, Colorado market. you can Google Jim Franklin, you know, the Colorado Dream team or you can also reach out to We appreciate you, you're listening, look forward to work with everybody in the future. And as always, if you have questions, you have concerns about

your entitlement, you're not sure where to go, reach out to us. We've got a team of agents like Jim all over the country. We've got a team of lenders that will sit down, run your numbers, make sure you're all straight and, and kind of put you on the right path. And we, we also have some free courses that you take as well as that do so, but I appreciate it, Jim. Thanks, thanks for being in on the show, and we look forward to working with you here in the future. One-stop shop for Veteran certified agents, VA loan entitlements, or solid veteran lender visit the Veterans Real Estate Benefits Program and Agent Network at

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