4 Tips to Help Military Homebuyers Navigate the Competitive Housing Market

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In the current red-hot housing market, homes sell almost as soon as they are listed, with multiple competing offers from eager prospective homebuyers. It’s no easy task for military homebuyers to navigate this hyper-competitive housing market alone, but you'll be better prepared for success with the right information and expert advice.

While right now may seem like a challenging time to purchase a home, there are quite a few reasons why it still might make sense for your family’s next move. This article will share some of the top reasons why military homebuyers should buy in this current market and some specific tips to help you put your best foot forward.

It’s a good idea to consider buying a home in a competitive market. Here’s why:

  • There are more homes for sale since 2019. The number of houses for sale continues to increase every year. The total year-end sales volume for 2020 ended at 5.64 million homes sold, the highest level since 2006 (The National Association of Realtors Real Estate Forecast Summit, December 2020.) While this varies by market, military homebuyers’ confidence should improve in knowing that owning a home is possible.
  • More new homes are being built now than any other year since 2006. Despite the high cost of lumber, new home permits are up 22.5% year over year (MarketWatch Inc. Economic Report, February 2021). Of course, building a home isn’t always possible for a quick military move, but a newly constructed home could be a possibility if your move-in date is flexible.
  • Mortgage rates and interest rates on VA loans are expected to remain at historic lows. For example, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are projected at 3.25% in 2022. (NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit, December 2020). VA loans’ interest rates also have remained low and are currently at 2.5%. These historically low rates make it an ideal time for military homebuyers to purchase a home and contribute to a highly competitive market.
  • Homes are continuing to appreciate rapidly. In July 2021, home prices rose 17.8% from the previous year, and July 2021 also marked the 113th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in home prices. (NAR Existing Homes Sales Data, August 2021 & NAR Economists’ Outlook Blog, August 2021). This makes a great case for purchasing a home. It’s an excellent investment, especially in this competitive market.

4 Tips to Help You Navigate the Competitive Housing Market

  1. Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified. As you can imagine, a pre-approval letter holds a lot more weight with sellers. It might give military homebuyers an advantage in this competitive market, where there are often multiple offers from which to choose.

    Getting pre -approved will help you understand your home-buying budget and what your monthly mortgage payment could be based on your income, down payment and credit score. Knowing what you can afford allows you to formulate your budget while also making your offer more attractive to sellers.

  2. Do your research. It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a home. Making quick decisions is crucial in this fast-paced market, so know your top needs and priorities when purchasing a home. With your pre-approval letter, you can narrow down options in the market or neighborhood, based on your budget to find a house that feels like home. Looking for the perfect home can feel like a full-time job, but luckily there are experts who can assist you in your search.
  3. Trust your real-estate agent. Choose a program like Realogy Military Rewards that connects you with a top real-estate agent who is well-versed in your local market. Their expert agents provide you with valuable local knowledge, including the most updated listings directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) before the listings post to other websites. Your agent will have years of experience working with military families and will provide you with tailored guidance, regarding navigating the home-buying process and how to submit an attractive offer in this competitive housing market.

    Let’s take a look at how a trusted real-estate agent can assist a military homebuyer:

    • In today’s extraordinarily competitive and low-inventory environment, agents are an asset to help buyers find inventory and make a winning offer.
    • 88% of homebuyers said they used a real-estate agent as an information source during their home search. That number is up to 91% for younger millennial buyers ages 22-30 (NAR).
    • According to NAR, real-estate professionals help buyers find the right home, negotiate terms of sale and help with price negotiations.
    • The real-estate market may be large, but the transaction is hyper-local.
    • Real-estate agents have a nuanced understanding of the intangible parts of the process: the neighborhood, local community, commuting experience, school systems and local attractions.
    • Buying a home is complicated. Real-estate agents offer local expertise and shepherd buyers through the process.
  4. Sign Up for Realogy Military Rewards. Realogy Military Rewards can assist you with your entire home-buying and selling experience. Our program was created specifically to help support military homebuyers on their real-estate journey. After closing, you can earn $350-$7,500* in cash back and receive local community insights from military and veteran families at PCSgrades.

Get more tips and information to help with your military move at the Realogy Military Rewards Blog.

Ready to Get Started on Your Home-Buying Journey?

Please visit Realogy Military Rewards and select “Sign Up,” or call 1-800-752-3642 to speak with a Realogy Military Rewards advocate.

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Home Ownership