When is a New Build Not a New Build? When USAA is Involved in the Process

Suddenly, it all makes sense … the emphasis on protecting the relationship, being supportive of the program no matter what, the ever-present big picture.

Once upon a time, back during my time at Century 21 I was a member of USAA’s Movers Advantage program. It was something I couldn’t mention unless someone told me they were a USAA client and proceeded to engage in the super-secret 14-stage handshake known only to USAA members and Movers Advantage agents.

Why? Because those were USAA’s rules. God forbid an agent in some way manage to profit from paid membership in Movers Advantage. Wait, did I just mention we paid?

Similarly, I couldn’t tell one of these folks using USAA for their mortgage when USAA had screwed the pooch on a transaction lest I damage the relationship – whether it was my company’s relationship with USAA or the clients’ with USAA wasn’t quite clear, but that’s another story for another day.

So when I would run across a situation like the one I’m dealing with today, when USAA has managed to bungle a closing by making the unique decision to require a termite inspection on a spec home, and by not mentioning this fact until 1 p.m. on the closing date I couldn’t tell the client “USAA screwed the pooch.”

Luckily, I’m under no such distasteful dictate at the moment.

Spec homes and new homes come with soil reports that verify that the soil has been treated for critters. This usually is sufficient, unless of course you’re USAA, the same company that has spent three days trying to figure out the math of the 10% tolerance on page 3 of the new HUD-1 statement.

(Hint: when the Good Faith Estimate shows an appraisal is $305 and the actual bill is for $450 – a roughly 50% increase – you’re not going to make the 10 percent tolerance.)

Here’s the dilemma, at least in my mind … USAA’s base clientele is the military and, at least in theory, USAA bends over backwards to serve that clientele knowing the sacrifices made by their members on behalf of the rest of us.

But when the company can’t seem to get out of its own way to handle a simple VA loan, doesn’t it make it really, really difficult to recommend them in the future?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. After all, there always are Movers Advantage agents mindful of the big picture who’ll do what they’re told to get a green light on their scoresheet at the corporate office, logical or not.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.