5 Tips to Make Your Move Successful
1. Research the area
Get familiar with your new duty station. Use resources like the base Force Support Squadron (FSS) splash page, Military Town Advisor, MILLIE, the local housing office, and Facebook groups to help you answer questions about the area.
- Where do most people live and why?
- What’s the average price homes are selling for?
- What’s traffic like, and how long is the commute to work?
- Where are the stores, churches, and extra curriculars?
- Where are the good school districts?
- What is the child care situation?
- What attraction/activities are near by?
2. Learn the market
Once you have an idea of the neighborhoods that meet your family’s needs, take a look at what is on the market.
Find out what new developments are planned to be built.
Are they improving the road access? Are new commercial developments coming to town? Sure,
you might be there for a few years, but major construction might make selling or leasing the property more difficult in the future.
Understanding the housing market will help you come up with an expectation list and make an educated decision when buying a home.
3. Figure out Your Budget
It’s a duty station and a new year. Your Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) will change with the PCS move so being able to calculate the rate chance will help.
A mortgage will likely be less that what you’d pay for rent in the area, but you’ll need to factor in other expenses like:
- Homeowners insurance
- HOA fees
- Property taxes
- Mortgage insurance (Not applicable if using the VA loan)
- Home maintenance costs
- Home improvements
These numbers will likely have an affect on your monthly income, so you’ll want to revisit your current monthly budget and see if you can cut back on expenses.
This will ensure you don’t overextend your finances when you purchase a home.
4. Get pre-approved for a loan
After you have figured out with budget and have an idea of your maximum budget for a home, you'll need to speak with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan.
The bank will take a look at your credit reports, employment, and income to determine how much you’re qualified to borrow and at what interest rate.
You may qualify for a VA home loan if you meet following:
- Active duty member with a statement of service.
- Veteran with the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty Form DD214.
- Spouse of military members who’ve died on active duty or as a result of a service connected disability.
- Guard and Reserve members with 90 days active duty time/ non-training active-duty service or 6 years of creditable years in the Guard/Selected Reserve.
Visit va.gov for a full list of qualifications.
The terms of the VA loan are often more favorable than other home loans. There’s no need to pay for private mortgage insurance or little to no down payment when using the VA loan, and you can often get a VA home loan with a more competitive interest rate.
If you’ve decided that a VA loan is the right option for you, Ask my for a list of local lenders that have experience with the VA loan process. They will be able to walk you through the process of pre-approval to help you get started.
5. Find a home
Finding a home should be fun and doesn’t have to wait until after you’ve PCS’d. You can do a lot of the legwork remotely and finish the process once you've arrived to your new station.
There are a number of tools available to help expedite the process, connecting with a REALTOR®, searching for a home, and closing before you arrive.
RELOCATING WITH KIDS
Moving isn't easy and can be especially hard on the little ones in our lives. Let me give you a few tips to ease the transition.
Welcome to New Mexico!
1) Let the Kids Give a Helping Hand
Having a opinion in the decision-making process may ease some the stress and anxiety about the upcoming changes. Allowing them to help pack up their rooms, choosing what toys to brings on the trip, and even cleaning.
Don't overlook your child's involvement with each step of the PCS process.
Many times, the anxiety and stress about a new base comes from a lack of community and base information. Researching the local neighborhood you'll be buying in,
the military installation, and schools. Doing this with your children helps them feel in control and at ease. Most military installations have social media and websites where you can get a feel for the community.
2) Make time for goodbyes
While some children would rather avoid the emotions that come with goodbyes, encourage them to visit favorite places one last time, take photos, or host a get-together with friends.
3) Connect with a Future friend
Reach out to old friends and see if anyone is located at or near your new duty station, or try reach out to the base spouse and family Facebook pages. Having someone with boots on the ground can help give you a better sense of the activities that are available.
Having one potential friend could make a world of difference during this time uncertainty.
4) Keep the Conversation Going
Check in on your child often, even after you've settled into your new way of life. Like the grown-ups in their lives some days are easier than most.
5) Become Familiar with Helping Resources
Every base has a wealth of available resources and helping agencies that are equipped to help families with this transition.
Find Your Dream Home Here
In today's competitive market, you need a passionate, local advisor that can help you navigate the home buying and selling process. As a valued client, you'll receive:
• Expertise on neighborhoods and the local markets
• Innovative strategies to market and sell your home
• Additional insights into listings that are not accessible online
• A proven negotiator who will be with you every step of the way
• A trusted and knowledgeable partner through closing and beyond