Buying

House Hunting for Service Members

Whether you’re an active duty service member or a veteran, house hunting can be a different experience from civilians. Military benefits, such as temporary on-base housing or the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) can impact your home search journey along with other factors including location, your schedule, and the size of your family. To make the home search easier for service members, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most important tips you should know before starting that home buying (or renting) journey.

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Whether you’re an active duty service member or a veteran, house hunting can be a different experience from civilians. Military benefits, such as temporary on-base housing or the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) can impact your home search journey along with other factors including location, your schedule, and the size of your family. To make the home search easier for service members, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most important tips you should know before starting that home buying (or renting) journey.

Tip 1: Pre-approved Mortgages

Before making the big move, consider getting your mortgage pre-approved. Proactively securing your finances strengthens your stance as a potential buyer for both sellers and local agents. The pre-approval process can be lengthy, with multiple documents needed prior to making your decision. Make sure you have these documents assembled and ready to send to the VA’s office prior to starting the application. You can find a list of documents needed and other factors that may determine the status of your pre-approval on the Veterans United Website.

Veterans Affairs Loans

VA lending has surged since the housing crisis of 2008, with five of the last seven years witnessing record-breaking volume. The VA market represented about 2% of all mortgage originations leading up to the Great Recession. Today, VA market share is about 12%, a substantial increase for a decade.

A key part of that growth is the rise of Veterans United Home Loans, now the country’s largest VA lender. Over the last five years, this specialized, full-service lender has continued to gain market share and widen the gap between themselves and other major VA lenders.

Veterans United as an Ally in Your Home Search

More veterans chose Veterans United than any other VA lender in both Fiscal Year 2019 and 2018, and the company has been the country’s No. 1 VA purchase lender since 2016.

Veterans United didn’t intend to become the nation’s largest VA lender. Their success is attributed to their laser-like focus on serving veterans and military families, their use of user-friendly technology and automation that meets VA borrowers where they are, and their relentless commitment to creating an exceptional customer experience.

Key statistics:

  • VA purchase loans increased in FY19 for the eighth straight year
  • Millennial and Generation Z veterans are driving the growth, accounting for nearly half of all purchase loans in FY19
  • Veterans United’s share of the VA purchase market increased to 12 percent in FY19 from 10.6 percent in FY18
  • As the nation’s No. 1 VA lender, Veterans United closed 15,000 more VA loans than their nearest competitor in FY19 (Quicken Loans)

For additional VA loan data, please visit Benefits.va.gov 

Tip 2: Find a Realtor or Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

If you don’t have the time or access to visit the location that you’ve been assigned, then it’s important to have someone you trust who can assist you. Whether it’s a Realtor or real estate agent, research the area you’ll be moving to for someone who specializes in the relocation of service members. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they have knowledge about VA loans or other military clauses.

Tip 3: Take Your Time

It might be tempting to rush the process of finding a place to call your next home, give yourself as much time as possible to account for any hiccups that may arise during your home search process. Stay organized and keep track of the homes that best suit your needs.

 

 

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Audrey is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Homes.com, with a master's degree in strategic communication. A lifelong arts aficionado, she's also a part-time dance teacher in Virginia Beach. Wife to aerospace engineer Ryan and fur-mom to rescue pup Lucy, she's the self-declared World's Greatest Pizza Lover who lives for chocolate and a sunshine-filled day at the beach.

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