A military spouse tends to have a uniquely rewarding, albeit challenging role at times. When marrying someone in the military, moving will be a huge part of your life. It really depends on where your partner will be assigned next. Fortunately, we have prepared the best tips that all military spouses should know before buying their first home.
The first thing you may be wondering is whether you should even buy a home or not. Like with every family, you must weigh the pros and cons. It really depends on the phase of your life vis-à-vis your career, family, and income. Even though there is a higher chance for military families to move, it is still possible for you to purchase your own home because there are several benefits that you can receive through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Tips That Military Spouses Should Know Before Buying Their First Home
We have simplified the tips that all military spouses should know before buying their first home.
- VA Loan – As a military spouse, you can qualify for unique benefits, such as a home loan from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The VA loan is specified for military households only, wherein you can buy a new home using this loan benefit. You can also refinance your existing property through this loan.The great thing about VA loans is that there is usually zero to the low down payment, as the Department of Veteran Affairs will vet it. This also means that you can negotiate lower rates and fees. It is just important that you fulfill the eligibility requirements to receive this benefit. Fortunately, as the spouse, you can still receive this certificate of eligibility (COE).
- Ability to Purchase without a Military Partner – Many couples do wonder if they can purchase a home without their partner, and the answer is yes. While making such a huge decision on your own may be stressful, there are ways to simplify the process. Organize your financial information and paperwork even before you start house hunting. It would be great if you could prepare this before your partner leaves overseas so that you can ensure that you have all the joint documents ready. The following are the most important documents that you will need for pre-approval for your home loan: credit score information, bank statements, W-2s, statement of service, DD-214 or Reserve/Guard point statements, and driver’s license/government identification.Once you have gathered all these, the approval process should be faster.
- House Preferences & Requirements – Prepare a checklist of what you need: moved-in-ready house, backyard, suburb/rural/urban area, etc. These are just some of the things to consider, but make sure to keep your budget in mind.
- Mortgage Lenders – Once you have decided on the house that you want, you should compare mortgage lenders. Make sure to research and perform due diligence to find the right lender for you. When comparing your lenders, look at the following items: rates, fees, monthly payments, and closing costs.
- Experience Real Estate Agent – The most helpful advice is to choose a real estate agent who has worked with military families before. They will understand what type of properties will be eligible for the VA home loan.
These are the top 5 things that all military spouses should know before buying their first home, so don’t get overwhelmed!