Pam Coggins-Robles doesn’t remember the day that she met her spouse, Arleen Coggins-Robles, at work 12 years ago, but she does remember how she felt around her.
“Through the course of the first few weeks, she was just kind to me,” Pam said.
Now, the couple has started a new journey together. They’re buying a home in the hottest real estate market in the entire country, Vallejo, Calif. Reatlor.com ranked the city No. 1 for the months of May and June.
“It’s really diverse. It’s got great weather. It’s centrally located,” said Cathy Rojas, ReMax real estate agent. “We have the ferry to and from the city in the evening during the day, and I think people come here just because it’s affordable.”
Cathy helped Pam and Arleen find a new home, but it wasn’t without surprises, positive ones.
“We were a little reluctant at first because we weren’t sure if we would get pre-approved for a loan or how hard that process is going to be,” Pam said. “We don’t have perfect credit.”
But Pam said the Navy Federal Credit Union approved their loan. Within a week, they made an offer on a new home, and the sellers accepted.
Arleen served 20 years in the Navy, and she was able to take advantage of a Veterans Affairs loan. Cathy said some veterans don’t use VA loans because of the misinformation surrounding them.
“Unfortunately VA buyers get the short end of the stick because sellers are not educated on what their loans are all about,” Cathy said.
Cathy said that many sellers don’t like to accept VA loans because of stipulations like Section 1 and Section 2 pest clearances. In a seller’s market, that puts veterans at a disadvantage, but Cathy also uses that as a teaching moment.
“It’s our duty as selling agents to educate our buyers and sit down with them before you start taking them and looking at property because they have to know what it entails,” she said.
According to the Solano Association of Realtors, 2,640 homes were sold in the county from January to June. That figure consisted of 314 homes purchased with VA loans and 1,729 bought with conventional or Federal Housing Administration loans.
For Pam and Arleen, they found a home on the east side of the city that they like. The couple is excited that they’ll have a driveway to park their RV, a garden to grow herbs and an updated kitchen so that they can cook.
“It means a lot to us, and then to have it happen so easily, and to get such a beautiful, beautiful house, like you said, it’s hard to believe,” Pam said.
And now, the couple has a lot of planning to do. Arleen said she plans to sage the home when they first arrive, and then they’ll have a barbecue.