For many consumers, including military homebuyers, purchasing a first home is often a time filled with many questions and doubts. To assist with the decision process, here are 6 tips for military homebuyers that will help make the possibility of homeownership a reality from the first thought to the closing date.
1. Know your financial situation
While everyone may want to own a home, not everyone is able to do so. The best way to prepare for homeownership is to know your financial situation. Are you able to comfortably pay your bills each month and on a timely basis? Homeownership brings with it additional expenses which you should prepare for in advance. By taking an honest look at your financial situation and seeing if you are financially stable, you will be in a better position to know if you are ready for a VA home purchase.
2. Check your credit report
It is always a good idea to check your credit report to see where you stand. Have errors that are showing up corrected as soon as possible. Take a look at your total debts to see where there is room for improvement. Try to pay off as much debt as possible in order to make more cash available for other expenses each month. Keep away from incurring more debt while paying current debt on time.
3. Create a savings plan
Homeownership is a financial responsibility for all people. If you are a potential military homebuyer, begin to create a savings plan as soon as possible. Even though it is possible to get a VA loan with 100% financing, money will be needed for other expenses, such as moving and setting up utilities. When owning a home, there are unexpected expenses that may occur due to repairs and maintenance. A first time military homeowner may also have to make purchases indirectly related to the homeownership, such as the purchase of lawn equipment.
4. Get your paperwork in order
Military homebuyers have specific paperwork needs that are not necessary for other homebuyers. It is never too early to get your Certificate of Eligibility and, if needed, your DD214, current statement of service, pay stubs, etc.; all that are needed for the VA loan process. This will familiarize you with getting these documents quickly when they are required for a loan application.
5. Contact a VA loan specialist
Today, it is easier than ever to contact a VA loan specialist online or by phone. There is no need to actually meet them face to face any more. It is never too early to make contact so that you can ask questions and find out how much money you can borrow. If you are ready to make a VA home purchase, you can apply for a pre-approval which will make home hunting easier. With a pre-approval, both the realtor and home seller will know that you are serious about a home purchase.
6. Contact a realtor
Once you are ready to search for a home, it is time to contact a realtor who will direct you to homes that are within your budget.
These 6 tips for both first time and repeat military homebuyers are the building blocks to successful homeownership. Each step is a lesson towards a goal – a VA home purchase. This is the time to take advantage of the resources available and the knowledge of a VA lender so that, when the time comes, the entire transaction moves as smooth and quickly as possible.
Feel free at any time to contact me for more information about a VA home loan and the possibility of 100% financing.
My loan process was very easy and quick. Not to mention a great loan rate. I couldn't be happier!
Capt Sam T. - US Army
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