The housing market is red hot, and buying a home can seem impossible. However, veterans have access to benefits that can make the homebuying process easier. As such, 2022 may be the right time for veterans to invest in homes.
Plan ahead before you enter the housing market. Then, you can review the tools and resources available to veterans interested in buying houses. You can next determine the best course of action to make your homebuying dream come true.
How the Homebuying Process for Veterans Works
To begin, a veteran should map out the home buying process. At this point, it helps to consider the following factors:
1. The Locale
Conduct research into any cities and towns where you want to live. As you perform research, there are several things you'll want to learn about:
- Job market: Check out local businesses and see what companies are on the lookout for talent.
- Hospitals: Look at the number of hospitals in the area, along with the quality of the services and support they provide.
- Noise and activity levels: Walk around a neighborhood to get a good idea about the amount of noise and activity surrounding a house.
- Veteran-friendly activities and events: Find out where the nearest Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) facilities are located and if it hosts community activities and events throughout the year.
You may discover better military discounts in big cities. Meanwhile, small towns can provide quiet, relaxing environments.
It can be beneficial to list a locale's attributes and rank them. For instance, if you want to reside in a community close to family and friends, you can rank this at or near the top of your list. Or, if it is less important to live in a neighborhood with a thriving job market, you may want to put this attribute at or near the bottom of your list.
2. Type of Home
You can choose from townhomes, condos, apartments, and single-family residences. Regardless of which type of home you choose, you'll want to ensure it meets your expectations now and in the future.
Some of the factors to consider as you analyze different types of homes include:
- Accessibility: Identify a home that you can easily access and navigate.
- Boundaries: Select a home where that gives you adequate personal space.
- Fees: Keep in mind that condos often have association fees you'll need to pay in addition to your mortgage. On the other hand, you'll need to pay 100% of the upkeep costs for a home.
If you want a custom home, you can always build one. This requires extensive planning and effort. Conversely, it gives you the flexibility to construct a home that aligns with your requirements.
3. Cost of Living and Mortgage
Each city and town has its own cost of living. Yet the cost of living in a city or town should not deter you from pursuing a house in this area.
To figure out how much it will cost to live in a certain area, look at the following factors:
- Home prices
- Gas prices
- Auto insurance costs
- Price of goods and services
Assess these factors in combination with your finances. Next, you can determine what you can afford and tailor your home search accordingly.
Make a budget for buying a home. Consider how much money is available and save. Review the following factors relating to your finances and your ability to purchase a home:
- Projected income
- Credit score
- Estimated mortgage payment and closing costs
Of course, if you have your heart set on living in an area with a cost of living that falls outside your homebuying budget, don't stress. You can pursue a VA loan that allows you to buy a home with up to four units without making a down payment.
A VA loan gives you a low interest rate and helps you save on monthly mortgage payments. As a result, it can open the door to new homebuying opportunities across the United States.
4. The Transition Period
Give yourself plenty of time to relocate from your current location to a new home. It helps to make a moving plan so you can ensure your relocation is seamless.
A moving plan can include the following information:
- When you can move into your new home
- What you'll need to remove from your current residence
- If storage is necessary for items during your relocation (and if so, where you'll store these items)
- How long it will take you to relocate to your new home
- Any tools and supplies you'll need as you get ready for your move
The more time you have to prepare for your move, the more likely it becomes that your relocation will go according to plan. With careful planning and attention to detail, you're well-equipped to avoid problems as you move to your new residence.
5. Civilian Life
You have proudly served your country and want to enjoy civilian life. Once you buy a home, you can start integrating yourself into your new community. But doing so can be challenging for some veterans.
It is important to establish a support system and maintain it as you buy a home and relocate. During this time, keep the lines of communication open with family members and friends. They can offer guidance and support while you transition into civilian life.
If you feel stressed or anxious about civilian life, the VA offers mental health services. You can reach out to the VA to learn about these services and connect with mental health professionals.
Also, it helps to find your purpose within your new community. For instance, you can look for a job at a local business before you move. Additionally, you can plan to engage with community members and explore volunteer opportunities.
Community engagement can make a world of difference for veterans transitioning into civilian life. As you get comfortable in your new community, you can expand your network of family and friends. This can help you make the most of your time at your new home.
Start Your Home Search Today
Veterans can enter the housing market and start looking for their ideal home right away. This allows you to find a residence that suits you perfectly. It also ensures that you can discover a home where you can settle down and enjoy life to the fullest extent.
Kick off your search for your first home today. Once you do, you can bring your homebuying dream to life.