A Grandma’s Love


Kathy moved to Michigan to be near her son and granddaughter. She had been living with her son since her arrival but finally decided that she needed her own place. She had very few requirements: she drove her granddaughter to school every day and watched her in the afternoons, so she needed to be nearby; she worked from home and needed room for a home office; and she preferred to not have to do a lot of maintenance.

Kathy is a veteran of the United States Air Force and wanted to take advantage of the VA Home Loan Program which allows veterans to purchase homes with very small down payments. I started my search by looking at the usual criteria of area, bedrooms, bathrooms, size, etc., and I added the additional criteria of VA financing eligibility.

I sent Kathy the list of homes, and she picked a few for us to see. We saw some single family homes, but everything that fell into her price range needed quite a bit of work. She did not have a lot of available cash for repairs, so I suggested that a condo might be better. In our area, there are not many condominium complexes (only two in the whole county, in fact) that have completed the requirements for inclusion into the VA program, so our choices were extremely limited. I prepared Kathy for a potentially long wait for something to open up. In the meantime, I set my focus on the condo communities.

A few days later, a great end unit in a condo development near Kathy’s granddaughter’s school hit the market, and we jumped at the chance to see it. Kathy liked the unit very much but wanted to see another unit in the complex just to be sure. The second unit did not initially show up on our radar, since the agent did not note the possibility of VA financing. It was not an end unit, and it didn’t have the same light and airy feel the end unit did. We submitted an offer for the end unit, received a counter offer and negotiated a final price.

The inspections revealed some surprises, and the seller wasn’t happy, but he agreed to our request for a closing credit to cover the repairs. The property appraised for the sale price and the lender beat the contracted closing deadline, allowing us to close a week early. Kathy could not be happier in her new home. She has room for her office and her granddaughter, and even a pond behind the building where they can walk and watch the ducks together.