First-time homebuying tips for military families
A place to call your own. A fresh start. A place to put down roots.
Buying a home for the first time can be—at any one time—challenging, complicated, confusing, and immensely rewarding. And when you’re in the military, those emotions can be intensified. Luckily, you don’t have to do it on your own. We’re here to help, with answers to all your first-time homebuying question for 2019.
The current homebuying market
The homebuying market in 2019 is defined by low inventory (the amount of available housing on the market) and high demand (the number of consumers looking to buy). While every local market is obviously unique, these two forces are combing to create a competitive market for many homebuyers. In addition, mortgage rates have dipped lower through the first months of 2019 after creeping higher throughout much of 2018. Many buyers are looking to buy now while rates are still relatively low, since there’s uncertainty around which way rates will move throughout the rest of the year.
Buying in a hurry
While it’s ideal to be able to take your time with your first home purchase, sometimes life has other plans in mind. For members of the military, homebuying often ramps up during permanent change of station, or PCS, season from mid-May through late August. Buying a home on a quick timeline can make the traditionally complicated experience even more so, so if you do have to buy in a rush, you’ll want to make things as easy and as simple as possible.
One helpful thing to do is to get pre-approved for home financing. Having a pre-approval letter from a qualified lender can help your offer stand out in a crowded market, and can show sellers your informed and prepared to buy.
VA loans, explained
VA loans are available to veterans, active members of the military or their families, and offer powerful benefits to homebuyers, including low or no down payment options and flexible credit standards. And with Guaranteed Rate, qualifying military homebuyers pay no lender fees (a common fee associated with most mortgages), which can save buyers up to $1290*. We also have dedicated VA loan specialists, who bring years of experience to the process and are able to answer all your questions.
The devil’s in the details
While first-time buyers might be familiar on a general level with terms like interest rates and down payments, there’s a ton of lesser-known steps to completing a home purchase. There can be hidden costs, inspections and even homeowner tasks (like changing HVAC filters, water softeners, understanding your new furnace and fuse box). We work to help demystifying the homebuying process and explain arcane-sounding things like escrow and PITI so you can make stronger, educated choices throughout the process.
Contact a loan officer today to learn more about your options
*Waived lender fee available for VA loans that have a triggered RESPA app date as of January 31, 2019 through December 31st 2019 at 11:59pm EST. ‘Triggered RESPA’ in accordance with Regulation X, is defined as lender receipt of all six pieces of information received in a secure format; applicant name, property address, home value, loan amount, income and SSN. Not all borrowers will be approved. Borrower’s interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of borrower’s loan transaction, credit profile and other criteria. Contact Guaranteed Rate for more information and up to date rates. Guaranteed Rate is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.