Battling for what’s right has been a mission for Home Team Leading Branch Manager Stephen Swarner since his days in the United States Navy. Now, in the home mortgage industry, he’s battling a different issue – misconceptions about VA Home Loans, and opening the door to even bigger challenges on the horizon.

Tell readers a bit about yourself and how you and your family came to be in Palm Coast.

My Family and I originally came from Nashville, Tn. We love the beach and wanted something different, so we uprooted and came down. We were NOT looking at Palm Coast at all, however our realtor Cathy Heighter and my wife Brittney hit it off real good and after searching for 3 days and over 50 houses, our last stop was PC and bought the first house we saw.

As a veteran, what made you decide to join the mortgage industry? 

As a veteran, sometimes you don’t know what you want to do in life. I was in marketing and ran a few small businesses, and I have always been a social butterfly. After meeting Cathy I thought we would make a Great team. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to help vets get their dream home.

You’ve been battling misconceptions about VA loans. What is the perception versus reality of obtaining a VA loan? 

Some Sellers, and realtors don’t want to fool with VA financing because there are some myths that cause people to not want to “hassle” with the GOVERNMENT BACKED loans.


  • VA Loans are too expensive…… Not true, they don’t require Mortgage insurance and usually have better rates than Conventional.

  • VA Loan Quals are too strict…… VA is way more lenient than conventional, and has a no down payment option.

  • VA Loans are not available while serving abroad……Not true, a qualifying dependent can assume the house before you get back from deployment.

  • VA Loan appraisals are a hassle…… As long as the house is in good living condition, you should not have an issue, so no fixer upper.

  • VA Loans take too long to close…. Maybe with an uneducated lender. Should take no longer than a conventional.

Why is this an important issue for you? 

It’s important to destroy false narrative so that people have a clear understanding. I believe that the VA Loan process is as easy as you allow it to be. My only wish is that some real estate agents would encourage sellers to let more VA Loans enter these bidding wars for homes. These Vets deserve it. Who’s to say any of us would even have a place to call home if it were not for our vets. I’m here to help my community in any way that I can. I have four amazing young boys, and I want them to be raised in a community where Love and trust is at every turn.

You’ve also recently made a decision to enter public service. How do you feel you can make a difference in the community this way? 

LOL Danielle you left the best for last!!! As I have said in the last response, I have 4 kids “all boys”. I want them to live in the best community ever. I know there are many times where people disagree on opinions, which I believe can be solved when people can have decent conversations with each other without ripping each other’s heads off. Like I told you at the “Remembering Vets Fall Festival” on Saturday. Forget Making America Great Again, let’s “MAKE AMERICA UNITED AGAIN”. That starts right here, in our home of Palm Coast. I love this town. When I take the seat in District 4, I will ask my constituents what they want. I won’t make a vote based on my opinion of what I want. It’s the people’s vote, majority rules.  I want to keep PC safe, keep education at the top, and as a community I would love to GROW, but we have got to GROW RESPONSIBLY.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here