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Housing opportunities many for veterans

Veterans who buy real estate with what is known as a “VA loan” can get some real bargains.

They save on closing costs and other fees and generally do not have to come up with a down payment. The loan is not actually made by the VA — the VA guarantees the loan that is then made by a bank or mortgage company. If the veteran should default, the VA is left to pay the bank. It’s a good deal all around.

While any licensed and knowledgeable real estate agent can assist with a VA loan, several years ago a group of Realtors organized to specialize in such finances. It’s called VAREP, which stands for Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals. Pronounced “Vah-Rep,” the non-profit group reports it is dedicated to increasing sustainable homeownership, financial literacy, education VA loan awareness and economic opportunity for the active-military and veteran communities.

As a non-profit for veterans as well as a HUD-approved counseling affiliate, they provide a number of services including credit, budget and financial counseling, VA loan and foreclosure prevention discussions and rental information. A spokesperson said, “Once a veteran is ready to realize the American Dream, they have a network of veteran-friendly real estate lenders and other housing specialists to help them be on the path to homeownership.”

VA loans are often a perfect method for veterans who are first-time buyers to purchase a home. Full disclosure, I purchased my first home many years ago with a VA loan. While many families from California as well as other states are moving to Boulder City and other Nevada locations, USA Today recently published a list from realtor.com of what it says are the best seven markets for first-time buyers. I can’t believe that Boulder City — or anywhere else in Nevada — is not on the list! But here it is: Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cheektowaga, NY; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Newington, Conn.; Benton, Ark.; Winterset, Iowa; and Irondequoit, NY. The list takes into consideration such things as price and affordability, ample housing inventories, shorter commutes and lively culture, among other items. (The list neglected to mention season-long freezing cold winters, high heating bills, numerous snow-packed icy roads, high property tax rates, state income taxes and few employment opportunities!)

So, any veterans in Boulder City ready to move to anyplace on the above list? I don’t think so.

A story of reconciliation amidst division

I keep going into the week when it is time for me to write a column with an idea that I know I want to write about but events keep pushing that idea further out into the future.

Who did more for veterans?

Did President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump do more for America’s veterans? It all depends how one keeps score: Introduce laws? Pass laws? Do large things, or many small things? Important things, or things that were not so important?Below are two examples according to Military.com.

Holy smokes!

Two weeks ago on June 25, I received messages from panicked individuals at the Elks Lodge RV Park stating that the Boulder City Fire Department had been conducting a controlled burn that had gotten out of control.

July is PR Month

For nearly 40 years, the nation has celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

July 4 safety and awareness checklist

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“Be Kind, Be Boulder” this Fourth of July

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Ensuring fire safety at Lake Mead

At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, our mission extends beyond preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Independence Day in Boulder City

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Nothing to fear

A June 13 letter by Norma Vally claimed Pride Month in Boulder City is an example of identity politics that will cause divisiveness in our safe, kind, and welcoming town. I cannot disagree more.

Save me some confetti eggs

In last week’s edition, I wrote a preview of the upcoming July 4 celebration and described Boulder City’s biggest day of the year as if a Norman Rockwell painting had come alive and jumped off the canvas. I had a few people praise me for that description, saying it’s the perfect way to do so.