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5 tips for first-time military homebuyers

Buying a home can be a challenging task for military homebuyers – but it doesn’t have to be. From hiring an experienced real estate agent to getting the right loan, here are some tips to help you buy your first home:

  1. Hire a military-friendly real estate agent
  2. As a military homebuyer, you have unique needs that normal homebuyers don’t. That’s why you must work with a real estate agent who has experience with military clients. Working with them helps to smooth out the entire process, making it easier and faster for you to close in on a home. From filing for a VA loan to finding a property with strong resale value, theymake sure everything is done right. They can also give you access to their network of professionals, as well as represent you duringtough negotiations.

  3. Find the right lender
  4. VA loans and other military homebuyer programs offer special benefits to military homebuyers, but few lenders know a lot about them. So apart from working with a military-friendly real estate agent, you should also hire a lender who specializes in military-exclusive programs. They can inform you about all the options available to you so that you can make the right decisions. These include letting you know what you need to get approved and what fees you will have to pay.

  5. Understand the VA loan benefits and its associated costs
  6. With a VA loan, some of the benefits you get include:

    • No down payment unless required by the lender or if the sale price is higher than the home’s value
    • No monthly mortgage insurance payments
    • No penalties for loans paid early
    • Limited closing costs

    However, the VA loan comes with a funding fee, which is a percentage of your loan amount based on things like military status and loan type. You can waive this fee if you’re a veteran receiving VA compensation for a service-related disability or are eligible for one.

  7. Know the requirements for a VA loan
  8. There are some requirements you must meet to qualify for a VA loan. These include:

    • A good credit score
    • Adequate income
    • VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility
    • Military service records like DD214 and DD215
    • Certification that you will live in the home
    • Other required documents
  9. Shop around for other loans
  10. VA loans aren’t the only option for military homebuyers, so shop around to see which one works best for you. If you have to move as part of your duty, one good alternative is to get short sale assistance through the Federal Housing Finance Agency. You could also avail of other government-funded loans through the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration. Ask your real estate agent or lender about other worthwhile options.

Work with a military-friendly real estate agent

If you are a military homebuyer, our team of real estate professionals at Stephanie Clark Real Estate can help you find the perfect home. We can even tell you about all the benefits you have for the service you have done for our country. Reach out to us today for more information.