Purchasing a new home is a thrilling, satisfying, yet stressful process. Therefore, it's crucial for first-time home buyers to engage with a real estate agent or REALTOR® who is aware of their unique needs. Agents can ease their clients' worry by guiding them through the home-buying process.
This is much more important for military personnel who want to buy a new house. Military personnel moves around a lot more frequently than the typical property buyer. One in three military service personnel undergoes a permanent change of station (PCS) transfer each year, according to the Department of Defense (DoD).
Additionally, compared to ordinary homebuyers, those in the military and veterans frequently have more specialized demands. For instance, many active-duty service members must move within a constrained timeframe. Therefore, they might not have the time to look for the ideal home for weeks or months. The eligibility conditions must also be met by veterans who want to use a VA loan to purchase a new house.
You've come to the right place if you're a real estate agent or REALTOR® seeking tools and advice to share with your military and veteran customers. This article covers six essential resources for active-duty service members and veterans looking to buy a home:
- Veteran and military personnel moving discounts
- Using a VA-Backed Loan to Purchase a Home
- Veteran Housing Grants for Disabled
- More Services and Support for VA Housing
- The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act safeguards (SCRA)
- Work with a real estate agent who is tolerant of veterans
- Many of these suggestions may be helpful to you even if you're a veteran without a real estate license.
- Veteran and military personnel moving discounts
When moving, active duty military personnel have the option of using a government-funded military moving company. However, they also have the option of performing a PPM, or do-it-yourself (DITY) move. Each military action is made under unique conditions. Before choosing what kind of move to make, your military client should think about these advantages of a PPM.
PPM movements have the benefit of the government paying the military service member's relocation expenses. Individuals will receive compensation that is up to 95% of what it would have cost the government to move them. It's crucial to remember that this might not always pay the full cost of the PPM move. However, if your client is a clever and effective mover, their PPM transfer may be less expensive than what the government is paying them.
If your customer spends less than the government is paying them, they keep the difference as an additional advantage of PPM moves. And after a significant shift, who doesn't prefer having a little extra cash in their pocket?
If your customer chooses to move using PPM, there are several moving firms that provide military discounts. This includes movers, truck rental firms, and short- and long-term storage facilities. For instance, Penske Truck Rental provides a 10% discount on truck rentals to active duty personnel and veterans.
You can recommend the following businesses to your military and veteran clients:
- Rent a Penske Truck
- Affordable Truck Rental
- American Self Storage
- Storage for Life
While some moving firms might not explicitly mention any discounts on their websites, they might freely provide them. So, it doesn't harm to inquire!
Using A VA-Backed Loan To Purchase A Home
Veterans can access some great housing help programs from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). One of these is a purchase loan backed by the VA.
Veterans who qualify for a VA-backed loan may obtain a loan from a private lender with partial VA backing. This makes it possible for the private lender to provide better loan terms. This could, for instance, entail the choice of no down payment or more affordable interest rates.
However, applying for and receiving a purchase loan backed by the VA is not a simple process. Veterans must first determine whether they are eligible for a VA-backed mortgage. They can then get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to show the private lender if they do. Make sure you go over the various processes listed below with your seasoned client so they will understand what to expect.
A VA-backed loan is one of the finest options for veteran house purchasers, according to seasoned real estate experts.
Real estate for sale in Christian Saunders | AgentAdvice
"Applying for a home loan sponsored by the VA is now the best thing a veteran can do. In order to qualify for a VA loan, you must:
- have 24 months of continuous service
- 181 days were served before an honorable discharge.
- or have already completed at least 90 days of service
The spouses of military members who are missing in action or prisoners of war are also qualified to qualify for a VA mortgage.
Christian Saunders is the manager and broker of record for Christian Saunders Real Estate Brokerage.
Grants For Disabled Housing For Veterans And Service Members
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) award is another fantastic VA resource for active-duty military personnel and veterans who are purchasing or already own homes. These grants may be used to upgrade a residence to accommodate a service-connected handicap. For instance, this can entail widening doorways or adding ramps to make a building more accessible for wheelchairs.
SAH grants can also be used to purchase or construct a "permanent home," or a residence where your client intends to stay for an extended period of time.
Veterans and active military personnel must fulfill the following two criteria in order to qualify for grants:
- They must be the present or upcoming owners of the residence.
- They must have a handicap brought on by their military service (see the VA website for this list)
The maximum grant award for recipients in the 2020 fiscal year is $90,364, according to the VA. However, this sum varies annually. The number of grant recipients is currently set at 30 for veterans or service members who lost one extremity after September 11, 2001.
Veterans and active military personnel can also apply for Special Home Adaptation (SHA) funding. This grant can be used to purchase, construct, or upgrade the service member's permanent residence, just like the SAH. In the fiscal year 2020, recipients of the SHA grant are eligible to receive up to $18,074. But every fiscal year sees a change in this sum.
Veterans or active duty service personnel who meet the requirements can also apply for Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants. The following two factors must be met to qualify for TRA grants:
- The person is eligible for the SAH and SHA grants.
- The person is staying temporarily in a family member's home, but it has to be upgraded to fulfill their needs.
More Services And Support For VA Housing
For many veteran house purchasers, receiving direct financial assistance in the form of VA home loans and disability housing grants is a fantastic place to start. For home buyers and owners, the VA does provide additional services and support.
Veterans who want to apply for a VA loan, for instance, can check to see if they are excluded from the VA funding charge. Military service personnel, surviving spouses, or veterans who take out a VA home loan must make a one-time funding fee payment. If a person satisfies one of the requirements listed below as stated by the VA, they may not be required to pay this fee:
- receiving VA benefits for a disability resulting from service, or
- if you are qualified for VA benefits due to a service-connected disability but are instead receiving retirement or active duty pay,
- receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) as the surviving spouse of a Veteran who passed away while serving, suffered a service-connected disability or was fully disabled, or
- before the loan closing date, a service member with a planned or memorandum rating who claims they are entitled to compensation due to a pre-discharge claim,
- a service member on active duty who demonstrates they acquired their Purple Heart before or on the loan closing date
Veterans can also use housing counselors as a VA resource. Veterans and service members who are unsure of what to do if they fall behind on their mortgage payments can get advice from counselors. Current and past service members can also get advice from the VA on what to do if a natural disaster has affected their property.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act safeguards (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act also provides a variety of other financial safeguards for military service members and veterans (SCRA). The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act was amended by the SCRA, which was passed in 2003, to include more situations (1940).
The major goal of the federal law is to give people more financial protection as they join the military on active duty. These safeguards consist of:
- Security remittances
- interest rates on mortgages
- mortgage defaults
- Rental contracts
- a rent deposit
- the civil court process
- Health and life insurance
- payment of income taxes
- Installment agreements
- Interest rates on credit cards
A handful of these is particularly important for veterans and others in the military who are purchasing homes. For instance, military personnel can choose to have their mortgage interest rates capped at 6% both during their active duty and for a year after it has ended.
Military personnel who are on active duty are likewise shielded from non-judicial foreclosures. This implies that in order to foreclose on a service member's mortgage, creditors must first get a court order. The creditor faces a fine and a year or more in jail if they break this provision of the law. Additionally, this protection continues for a further year after the military member's service is completed.
The SCRA is packed with additional, more particular financial safeguards that can apply to your customer who is a military duty member.
Work With A Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent
For everyone, the process of purchasing a new home can be stressful. However, veteran and military purchasers frequently have additional requirements and unique circumstances that might make their lives more stressful.
You have the chance to be one of their most valuable resources as their real estate agent or REALTOR® as they look for and purchase their new home. For those who are now serving in the military or have served in the past, working with an agent who genuinely understands their needs is crucial.
For instance, your customer might require a home quickly and won't have time for a personal property viewing. They could also want assistance while submitting an application for a VA home loan or a grant for housing for disabled people. When choosing a homeowners insurance provider for coverage, military customers could also find some advice helpful. Companies that provide benefits for military, veterans, and family members are frequently able to be recommended by agents who have experience working with service members or veterans.
The NAR's Military Relocation Professional (MRP) credential is an excellent tool for brokers who want to learn more about working with military clients. The certification will teach REALTORS® about the various options and processes related to military relocation. In order to better assist customers who are applying for VA financial aid, they will also learn a fundamental understanding of VA loans and other funding options.
Denise Supplee, a REALTOR®, property manager, and co-founder of SparkRental.com, highlights three crucial factors for purchasers who are active-duty military personnel or veterans:
Finding a bank, credit union, or mortgage broker with a deep understanding of the VA Mortgage is crucial.
In addition, there are numerous funds and programs available to help veterans or surviving spouses. Many programs, including the Dream Makers program, provide help with closing costs. Additionally, there are funds available to assist in making a property habitable and handicapped accessible for veterans who have any kind of impairment.
Avoid con artists and exploitative lenders at all costs. These lenders frequently push you to the edge of what constitutes a qualified mortgage. Long-term harm could result from this by raising the likelihood of foreclosure. Additionally, there are frauds involving assistance with foreclosure. Be very wary of "free housing money" scams.
Do your homework to avoid these kinds of scams. Check out every business in detail. Find out whether your realtor has heard of it. And get in touch with the VA to discover if any of these con artists are known.
Being adaptable and thinking of clever solutions to satisfy their specific demands is one of the best things a real estate agent or REALTOR® can do for their military client. Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty REALTOR® Francine Viola explains how she goes about doing this for her clients:
Coldwell Banker REALTOR Francine Viola | AgentAdvice.com
"The military buyers and sellers I've worked with are frequently under pressure to make important decisions about their houses quickly due to time restraints, and this is what motivates the type of service I offer.
When working with military customers, realtors should be well-organized, concentrated on their housing requirements, and aware that this won't be their everlasting home. Military buyers know they will likely only be in the home for a few years and simply need a safe, move-in-ready property, unlike other purchasers who are looking for that perfect home and may have the time to house hunt.
The military customer typically isn't given an option as to when they need to move; instead, they are informed of the deadline. Many active duty military families are in need of a place to call home when they are deployed. My clients have informed me that they only have 10 days after arriving in my area to find a home. Many people will purchase a home without first visiting it, but they must have confidence in their buyer's broker in order to do so.
A sizable veteran community exists here as well. One of their requirements is that they must live within a specific distance of the installation in order to access medical treatment.