Being a military spouse can be rewarding and challenging. Military spouses understand that frequent moves are a part of their future. Buying a home comes with many factors to consider, such as understanding what benefits you receive through the Department of Veterans Affairs as a military spouse, which mortgage lender you use and what you’re looking for in a home. To help with this process, here are five things you need to know before buying your first home:
1. As a Military Spouse, You Qualify for Unique Benefits.
Because you’re a military spouse, you receive benefits when it comes to buying a home. The VA loan is designed specifically for military households. You can buy a new home or refinance your existing property when you use your VA loan benefit.
Your VA loan benefit provides a zero down payment, a loan backed by the VA, as well as lower rates and fees.
There are specific eligibility requirements to obtain a VA loan regarding the length of service, the certificate of eligibility (COE) and your credit score.
2. Military Spouses May Purchase Homes on Their Own.
Buying a home can be stressful, especially if your significant other isn’t close by. The good news is that you can purchase a home by yourself, even if your military spouse is overseas.
You can eliminate delays by organizing your paperwork and financial information before starting house hunting and the mortgage process. In most cases, you will need the following documents to get pre-approval for your home loan.
- Credit score information
- Bank statements
- Statement of service
- DD-214 or Reserve/Guard point statements
- Driver’s license and/or government identification
3. Always Compare Mortgage Lenders.
When you have decided to buy a home, it’s time to compare mortgage lenders. Research which lender is right for you. While comparing lenders, be sure to look carefully at the:
- Monthly payments
- Closing costs
4. Be Prepared for the House-Hunting Process.
When considering various properties, prioritize the issues that are most important to you.
- How do your budget and the size of the home you need correlate?
- Are you looking for a move-in-ready property or something you can renovate?
- Do you want to live in an urban city, a suburb or a rural area?
- Is there a particular style of home you prefer?
- Does the home meet your specific needs?
5. Choose a Real-Estate Agent Who Understands Military Life.
Choose a real-estate agent who has worked with military families before and will show you homes that meet your budget and specifications. An excellent real-estate agent can simplify the process of exploring available properties on the market, in your price range and in an area you love.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of purchasing a home. There are many benefits and options available to you. Take advantage of them and find a home you love.
Ready to Get Started?
If you're ready to get started, or just want to get more information on the process, the first step is to get multiple rate quotes with no obligation. You can then discuss qualifications, debt to income ratios, and any other concerns you have about the process with the lenders.