The Texas Veterans Land Board (TVLB) is a great resource and option for Texas vets to purchase land or a home. This is a really great program for those who do not have a lot of money to put down on property. Normally, when purchasing land, lenders require 20% down. But, the Texas Veterans Land Board affords vets the ability to purchase land with as little as 5% down.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using the TVLB as your lender:
- They are very stringent as to the condition of the property. For example, it has to have an all-weather road (if it is not located on a county road or other maintained road) AND it cannot have any trash piles or debris on the property. Those must be cleaned up.
- The property will also need to have a dedicated road or driveway to the property. It cannot be a shared road, or you’ll need to have a signed agreement that all parties affected by the common driveway agree to it.
- While you may have one person who serves as your contact, there are many departments within the TVLB and your file will be in many areas during the underwriting and appraisal process.
- The appraisal is only supposed to take 21 days to be turned in. But, be prepared for a longer wait if there are rain or other unfavorable weather conditions. Not only will your appraisal be pushed back but the hundreds of other appraisals that they are conducting as well (all over the state of Texas).
- This will be a slow process. It will not be as fast as a normal land or home purchase. This lender is the State of Texas. They deal with hundreds if not thousands of loan applications a month. And as I mentioned before they are very stringent on what they require to be done (or in some cases not done) to the property. Expect your closing to be pushed back. It could take 60-90 days to close depending on the land, the condition of the land, appraiser requirements, etc.
- Since the State of Texas is the lender, they do not purchase land “as is”. If you go with a normal bank or mortgage lender, as house or land is purchased “as is” (with the exception of a few types of loans). This means that the land may not be in pristine condition (such as brush or trash piles that need to be burned or removed), it may not sit on the road but behind another property, etc. The State requires that all requirements be met up front or the transaction will not close and you’ll need to find something else (or use another lender). Just keep that in mind.
This is not meant to scare anyone away from using the Land Board. It really is an awesome way for Texas vets to be able to purchase land and/or a home. The minimum amount to be put down can be very helpful to those who don’t have a lot of money in savings. Everyone dreams of home ownership, of owning that little piece of property (whether out in the country or a home in town). Just keep in mind that there may need to be issues that have to be resolved.
I would highly suggest you check out the Texas Veterans Land Board website. Read through their requirements. Check out their loan rates. Do your homework on this lender (or any other for that matter). It would be worth your time. And, the Land Board also has lists of houses and/or pieces of land all over Texas that would qualify for their loans.
By the way, Meredith Duke is now a participating agent with the VLB! Feel free to reach out to her at 512-228-4552 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, showings, or properties,