Strategies to Navigate the Real Estate Market as a Military Veteran
Published | Written by Jerry Newman
Home purchasing is a significant and often emotional life event for most people. For military veterans who have spent years moving from post to base, having a permanent residence might be a dream come true. And even though veteran homebuyers have access to a wide variety of programs and discounts designed to make the process less stressful and more manageable, the process of buying a home as a veteran is slightly different. It comes with its own set of unique challenges. So if you’re a veteran in the market for a new San Antonio home, it’s essential to know how to navigate the real estate market as a veteran, and that’s exactly what we’ll help you with here.
How to easily navigate the real estate market as a veteran?
Military Veterans, especially those interested in obtaining a VA loan, face some distinctive challenges when it comes to the home-buying process. For instance, not all properties are eligible for VA loans, and not all lenders are conversant with the VA loan process. That’s why it’s important to do thorough research before even start browsing homes online.
Because it can be difficult to navigate the real estate market as a veteran, we’ve consulted experts in military real estate and gathered useful strategies that will help you have a seamless and smooth experience. Now let’s get to work!
#1 Have an experienced military real estate professional by your side
It’s never a good idea to go house hunting on your own, even if you have some experience in it. An excellent real estate agent can help you navigate buying a home, from finding properties that meet your needs and budget to negotiating the purchase price and closing the deal.
Working with a real estate expert is a strategy you don’t want to avoid, especially since you’re a veteran and the home-buying process comes with some specifics. That’s why it’s vital to hire an agent who has worked with veterans and has extensive knowledge of military real estate. Working with a professional familiar with the VA loan procedure is highly recommended because of the significant differences between VA loans and conventional mortgages.
Having this in mind, it’s important not to rush your decision but thoroughly research San Antonio real estate agents and focus on the ones who specialize in working with veterans. Make sure to check out their client testimonials and schedule a meeting with at least a few before making your final decision. It’s also a good idea to ask some of your former coworkers if they have someone to recommend.
#2 Set a realistic budget
Another important thing you should do is get your finances in order and determine your budget. It’s always a good idea to know how much you can afford before researching San Antonio listings online. This way, you can avoid potential disappointments, especially if you like the property and it turns out you can’t afford it.
Also, remember that there are plenty of other costs related to buying a home. The purchase price is just one of them. Don’t forget the closing costs, and since you’ll be moving in Texas, there will be fees for hiring moving services, too. Why would you risk your safety or waste time when experts can handle everything at a very reasonable cost?
#3 Understand the VA home loans
Access to VA loans is the main difference between military real estate and standard one. Therefore, it’s important to understand what VA home loans are and how you can make the most of them. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees a certain percentage of the loans made by private lenders to eligible veterans. In a nutshell, VA loans are government-backed mortgage loans that offer competitive interest rates and do not require a down payment.
If this is your first time buying a home, you can benefit greatly from VA financing. This type of mortgage has more lenient credit standards than a conventional mortgage, which is great news for folks who lack a lengthy credit history. Also, with a VA loan, you won’t have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is often required for people who don’t have a 20% down payment.
Using your military benefits and familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of a VA home loan are only small parts of the larger mortgage procedure. That’s why you should consult a professional mortgage lender to figure out how to get the most out of your loan. Talk to your real estate agent, too, as they’ll have plenty of useful information to share, too.
#4 Don’t neglect your credit score
Although the credit standards for a VA loan are less stringent than those for a conventional mortgage, veterans should nonetheless pay close attention to this factor. Potential homeowners must have a positive credit history with more positive indicators than negative ones. It’s important to keep tabs on your credit score to make sure your recent actions are helping rather than damaging your standing. Simply visit AnnualCreditReport.com once in a while, and you’ll be able to get a free copy of your credit report.
#5 Stabile employment status is crucial
Stability, work, and income are crucial factors for qualifying for any mortgage, including a VA loan because they indicate to the lender how much house you can buy. Therefore, try not to let your job situation change while trying to buy a home. Lenders will view your decision to leave a solid career, even if you have another one lined up, with suspicion. If this is the case, your salary might not be sufficient to meet the specific loan requirements. In fact, even after you sign the paperwork, there are no guarantees you’re getting it. So, your loan eligibility could be revoked at any time if you make a career change.
We hope that the strategies and tips we’ve prepared in this article help you navigate the real estate market as a veteran. However, there is no number of articles you can read or YouTube videos you can watch that can truly prepare you for the chaos that the real estate market can sometimes be. That’s why it’s crucial to contact San Antonio experts in military real estate who have extensive experience in working with veterans. This is the key to a successful and much less stressful home-buying process.
It can be challenging to navigate the real estate market as a veteran, and that’s why we’ve consulted experts and prepared tips for you.