Veteran Smarts: How to Navigate the Real Estate Market
The following post was contributed by Cassie Steele, Real Estate Financial Expert
It’s no secret that veterans are celebrated for noble acts of service on the domestic front when it comes to housing. Yet there are times when vets need to serve themselves and join the ranks of homeownership. It’s a bustling activity – over 6 million new and existing homes were bought in 2017 – but it’s also one that can be advantageous for those that serve our country bravely, provided they know what to seek out.
Knowledge is Power
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers special home loan benefits to vets and their families. These benefits, which can range from purchasing a home without a down payment to helping you get a lower interest rate through financing, are poised to help vets save time and money while also navigating the potential pitfalls of homebuying.
However, it’s not enough that you know the ins and outs of this program. It is vital for veterans to work with a realtor that has a thorough understanding of how VA loans work. A lack of knowledge here may translate into the realtor trying to sell you on a house that doesn’t qualify for the benefit. Ask the realtor as many questions as you can about the process. If it becomes clear that they don’t have a firm grasp on how things work, look elsewhere.
Your House as an Investment
If you’re a veteran, there may come a time where you may decide to return to service. You may decide that you would rather relocate to an area in the country where you previously served. Because of this, it’s wise that you look at your house not just as your home, but also as an investment property. You may want to consider a home whose style and size may be easier to sell. You also may want to take a look at rental rates in your neighborhood if you’d prefer to turn it into a rental property.
Use Your Resources
Above all else, don’t assume you know everything when it comes to homebuying. There are a wide host of resources beyond the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that can provide you with helpful hints and solutions that can make homeownership a more attainable dream. Taking the time to check them out may save you some serious scratch.
Ultimately, using the right resources and the right people can make securing the right home for you and your family an easier process. As a veteran, you’ve given so much for others in this country. These tools allow others to return the favor.