There are many moving parts when it comes to buying or selling a home, and active duty personnel have additional factors to consider. You might believe you can’t become a homeowner until you’ve left the military, but you can begin to build wealth while serving. Likewise, you may think your job will make selling your home a huge hassle. Neither of these need to be the case for you and your family. Read these tips for buying and selling a home in the military.

Buying in the Military

If you’ve determined buying will benefit you more than renting and your orders are in place, start researching your home financing options. In preparation for applying for loans, you should be actively trying to improve your credit score. Though there are several government-backed loans with flexible credit requirements, you should put yourself in the best financial position possible during the loan process.

One of the first questions you’ll be asking yourself is how you’ll pay for your future home. The VA loan is an excellent way for veterans and active duty military members to become homeowners, since there’s no down payment and credit requirements are more lenient. If you chose to apply for a VA loan, make sure you have enough saved for closing costs. Though this loan program is especially for service members, it’s wise to look into other programs to find the one that’s best for your needs.

Now that you have a plan for financing the home purchase, the next logical question is how you will pay the mortgage. As a military member, you can apply for a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). BAH is available for service members who don’t live in government housing, and it can be put towards your mortgage payments. The amount of BAH you’re eligible to receive is dependent on local housing costs, your rank, and whether you have dependents.

At this point, it will be important to find a reliable real estate agent and lender to help you with your home purchase. Your lender should have experience working with military borrowers, so they can understand your needs and ensure all loan requirements are met. You’ll need to show your lender your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) when applying for a VA loan and Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) if you intend to use your BAH to pay your mortgage. It’s always a good idea to borrow less than what you’re qualified for to leave breathing room in your finances.

Selling in the Military

When selling your home, get started on the process as soon as you get your orders to move. Since your move will be on a deadline, everything will likely be at a faster pace than a civilian relocation. A good first step is to find a trustworthy real estate agent to help you with the sale. If the agent has strong experience working with military families, even better. During this time, do the prep work needed to make your home sellable including deep cleaning, decluttering, yard work, and repairs. You can even start packing some of your things for when the house sells. Once preliminary work is done, stage your home to make it appealing to buyers. After the home has sold, you can start increasing your moving efforts.

As an active duty service member, the military provides certain moving services to you to facilitate everything. Depending on the nature of your move, you may be able to transport your belongings using a Personally Procured Move (PPM) or Household Goods Move (HHG). Keep in mind your rank, length of assignment, and new station location will affect how much of your belongings you can take and whether your family can come or not. Always refer to your orders for specific information and use your local personal property office as a resource for your move. If you need to relocate but don’t want to sell your home, consider renting your property while you’re away. If your home’s location is in a lucrative area for rentals, you could rent it out to pay the mortgage. While this option may not be feasible for everyone, it could pay off for some people.

Your military career and lifestyle don’t have to prevent you from becoming a homeowner and building wealth. You can sell your home and relocate without feeling lost—there are many resources to make things easier for you. When you know what to expect when homebuying or selling while in the military, you can navigate the process with fewer hiccups.

If you’re interested in how to become a homeowner while you complete your service, contact one of our Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the process, click here to get started!

There’s nothing more exciting than finally being able to settle into your new home! Perhaps the least glamorous part of moving in is the actual moving part. Depending on how many belongings you own, moving can be an especially tedious task, not to mention pricey. Let us teach you some tricks on how to save on moving costs.

When it comes to moving, you can never have too many boxes! Don’t spend all your money on new boxes you’ll likely never use again; try asking your friends and neighbors for any empty boxes they may have. With online shopping being so prevalent nowadays, it probably won’t be difficult to find several people willing to give you their empty boxes. Additionally, you can use old newspapers, rags, towels, or clothes to cushion fragile items instead of buying bubble wrap.

Hopefully paring down your possessions has been one task you’ve been working on in preparation for selling your home. You should get rid of items you don’t use or need to reduce how much you’ll have to pack. You can sell your things, give them to friends, donate to charity, or just discard whatever you don’t want anymore. Use this opportunity to start life in your new home without unnecessary clutter!

You can reduce the number of boxes to be filled and optimize loading space by packing strategically. Make the most of every space by exploiting every nook and cranny that you can –leave no gap unfilled! If items can nestle inside one another, stack them together so you’re not packing items individually. Packing is a lot like playing Tetris, it can be tricky but it’s a great way to ignite your problem-solving skills.

Instead of calling a moving service to pick up and drop off your possessions, consider renting a moving truck to save on labor costs. Most moving companies charge by the hour, and hourly fees can build up quickly. Packing, driving, and unloading your vehicle gives you more monetary and scheduling flexibility. For very heavy, bulky, or oddly shaped items (such as a piano), it may be better to hire professional movers. If you’re not moving too far away, ask your family and friends if they’d be able to help you move. Afterwards, treat your “moving team” to lunch for all their hard work!

If the area you’re moving to makes hiring movers or asking for help impractical, using a moving container is an especially smart solution. Simply pack your items in the container, arrange for it to be shipped to your new address, and it will be ready to be unloaded when you arrive. Even if you’re moving out-of-state or far away, you can still save on your home transition.

Moving costs aren’t always the first thing that come to mind after buying a new home, and those expenses are not usually cheap. Even so, there are many creative methods to save on moving costs for when the time comes for your big move!

If you’re ready to move into your future new home, contact one of our Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the homeselling process, click here to get started

We all know just how stressful moving can be. There are a ton of decisions to make and plans to coordinate. It’s important to recognize that moving impacts everyone. Use this advice to help you ensure a successful experience moving with children or pets.



Moving with Children





Moving with Pets


Keep these tips in mind when selling your home.


As long as you keep in mind that moving can be just as hard on your children or pets as it can be for adults, you’ll have a smoother moving experience. Relieve yourself from additional stress by taking plenty of precaution and preparing well in advance. Use these additional moving tips to help keep you organized.

If you have any questions about the home buying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

Moving day can be bittersweet. While it means the start of a new chapter in a new home, it can also be one of the most stressful parts of the homebuying experience. Whether you have moved into a new home before or are a first-time homebuyer, use these packing and moving tips to keep organized on moving day.

Be Organized and Specific: Come up with a labeling system that will work best for you. You could number boxes and have a corresponding list with what each numbered box contains. This method can help when it comes to making sure you aren’t missing anything once you get to your new home. You can also write the contents directly on the box, but for this method you need to be specific. Avoid having to open every box to figure out what exactly is inside by writing detailed descriptions, such as “Polka Dot Dishes” rather than just “Dishes” or “January – July Bank Statements” rather than just “Files”. Another great method is color coordination, which will help keep your boxes organized by room. For example, have all your living room boxes blue, kitchen boxes yellow, and dining room boxes green. Anyone helping you move will be able to pick up a box and know where it goes without having to ask. Regardless of what method you choose, having a labeling system picked out before touching a single box will make your life easier when unpacking.

Keep Similar Items Together: Along with having an organized labeling system, have an organized method of packing. Keep similar items together to make unpacking less of a hassle. Create categories to help you. For example, your categories might be: electronics, board games, bedding, toiletries, cleaning supplies, books, pet supplies, etc. While you should keep items from the same room together, don’t just throw everything in one box. Having boxes of mixed matched items will make labeling harder and unpacking a nightmare. Spend the time putting similar items together when packing to save time later.

Protect Your Valuables: Keep anything of value with you during the move, especially if you are moving a sizable distance. You’ll reduce stress of worrying if you packed important documents or if they made it onto the moving truck by knowing they are with you. Be sure to give as much protection to your irreplaceable items as possible. Add extra sheets between your pictures and artwork and more bubble wrap to your china. Take as much precaution as possible to reduce any chance of breaking or harming your valuables.

**Note: To save money on bubble wrap, consider using clothes as a substitute!

Prepare for the First Day/Night: Nothing could be more essential to moving than having a box of necessities readily available. This box will be your saving grace for the initial day of unpacking. Include the most important items you might need, such as: trash bags, paper towels, plastic utensils and paper plates, phone chargers, a power strip, box cutters, and most importantly, toilet paper. Consider using a clear or different kind of box to make it stand out from all the rest. The first day of moving into a new home can be utter chaos, so it is best to think ahead and have this box available to unpack first.

Don’t Procrastinate: Let’s say it again- don’t procrastinate. This goes for every aspect of moving, because each step involves adequate time to plan. If you want to use a moving company, hire one well in advance so you have time to read through their guidelines. Some moving companies have strict policies regarding how the items they move need to be packed. If you plan on asking friends or family to help, give plenty of notice so they can make sure they are available. Waiting until the last minute might leave you without any help. Donating unwanted items to a local charity is a great idea, but to avoid the stress of having to move the items yourself at the last minute, giving notice will most likely allow them to pick up the items on their own. Do not wait until the last minute to unplug your refrigerator. Not only do you need to make sure it is empty, you also need to give it time to defrost. If you skip this step, you’ll have a fridge full of water, which could also result in a fridge full of mold. Most importantly, do not wait to start packing until the day or two before you move. Go room by room starting by packing your least used items at least a few weeks prior, aiming for a few boxes every day. You’ll have plenty of time to pack with little to nothing to do the actual moving day.

Don’t let the stress of moving take away from the excitement of a new home. Give yourself plenty of time to get organized and figure out what methods of labeling and packing work best for you. Using these tips will help you have a great moving experience and let you easily transition into your new home.

If you have any questions about the home buying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!