CRESTVIEW — After being denied twice for a VA mortgage loan before moving 500 miles away, Anthony, Meghan and their son Caiden Simme have finally moved into their home in Crestview.
Anthony is an active duty special operations soldier at 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
The Simme family, previously stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, found a home in Baker. They put in an offer for the home and decided to apply for a VA mortgage loan.
The same day they were closing on the house, the bank lender denied the approval because their debt to income ratio was too high.
"He had the loan for two months. It was ridiculous," Meghan said. "We got a call last minute after we had paid for the inspection and put our deposit down. It was just a mess."
Meghan then put an extension on the Baker home and went to another lender — same result.
"I was like, 'Okay, I give up'," Meghan said.
Although renting was an option, the Simmes prefer buying instead of renting. Meghan said she likes to make the home her own.
"I feel like we're putting our roots down," she said.
With less than a week before their move, Meghan was browsing Facebook and noticed the BBMC Mortgage "We've got your six" sweepstakes, in which the winner could receive one year of mortgage paid by BBMC Mortgage.
Meghan entered the contest on Sep. 1 and said a few minutes later, she got a phone call from Patton Gade, a West Point graduate and veteran who runs the BBMC Mortgage office in Phoenix.
At first, Meghan said she thought the whole thing was a scam.
"(Gade) called me, and by the time we ended our conversation, he told me that he had been stationed at Fort Campbell," Meghan said. "...He kind of gave me enough facts to make me realize it's real."
Meghan told Gade about the issues she had faced with various lenders denying the VA mortgage loan.
After hearing Meghan's story, Gade contacted his underwriter and had them underwritten by Tuesday.
Meghan said her realtor, Jamie Vargas, was able to show her a home in Crestview on short notice. They found one they liked and closed on the home Friday, Sep. 7.
Having been a military spouse since she was 17, Meghan, 22, had been through the process of moving locations a few times before. However, this time, she learned a few lessons.
"You don't have to use a local lender. I didn't know that," Meghan said. "... You need to make sure you find a realtor who has enough time for you. I would say just find a good support team...find people that are educated to help you."
Meghan hopes other military families will see her story and know that they have many options when buying a home.
"As military families, we are so lucky that we have all these perks, and we don't even take advantage of them," Meghan said.