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Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Veteran and Military Homes

Military Mother and Family

As you wind down your service to the country, there’s one thing you’re likely mulling: buying a house when retiring from the military. It’s actually an excellent choice given the many perks veterans such as yourself can receive. 

Before you go house-hunting, however, be sure to take heed of these military home buying tips.

Not knowing your VA benefits

The country’s best and bravest enjoy a slew of home buying benefits, but about one-third of servicemen don’t even know about them. You could be missing out on massive perks like the ability to buy a home without a down payment, preferential mortgage rates, lower credit score requirements, and a waiver for mortgage insurance. Not only can these benefits fast-track your journey to homeownership, they can also save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. 

Not working with the right agent

Any agent can help you buy a home, but certain agents can help you maximize your benefits as a military personnel. These professionals know the ins and outs of applying for a VA home loan and therefore boost your chances of getting approved. When interviewing agents, ask what they know about the VA mortgage application process, loan limits, property appraisals, and the like. With a VA-savvy agent in your corner, you can secure your loan without any worries or fears.

Not readying your finances

You may not have to make a down payment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have any upfront costs. As with all home purchases, you have to pay closing costs, which can cost up to 6% of a property’s value. Moreover, you’ll also have to cover the cost of having a house appraised and inspected. On a related note, you’ll also want to avoid charging any big purchases on your credit card when applying for a mortgage; the lower your credit utilization is, the higher your chances of getting approved.

Not taking advantage of veteran moving discounts

Of course, buying a house isn’t the only thing that costs money—moving does, too. Luckily, the military can sponsor your relocation costs if you request a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. There are two ways to get financial assistance through a PCS move. First, the military can pay for a relocation specialist to help with your move. Second, you can do what’s called a personally procured move (PPM), wherein you shoulder the relocation costs and seek reimbursement afterward. The military will return up to 95% of what it would have spent otherwise, but if your costs turn out to be less than that, you get to keep the difference.

Not asking about disability grants

If you sustained permanent injuries in the line of duty, you’ll likely have to modify your house to accommodate your disability—a not insignificant cost. The good news is the military offers what’s called the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program, which you can use to finance upgrades to your home. These can include things like widening your doorways, installing ramps, or adding grab bars throughout the house. For 2021, you can receive an SAH grant of up to $100,896.

Ready to buy military homes for sale? Let Aeris House Properties be your trusted partner. Simply call 602.671.2343 or send an email to info(at)aerishouse(dotted)com so our team can lend its expertise on VA mortgages.