January 3rd, 2012 1:09 PM by Jodie Ford
For many families, their largest investment is their home. But home buying is extra complicated for Joint Base Charleston military families, who tend to move frequently and sometimes with little notice. At the same time, service-members have access to special mortgage programs and tax breaks to help them afford a home. Be sure you make the most of these special benefits and protect your investment.
Most REALTORS® who specialize in helping military families, recommend buying a house only if you plan to live in the area for at least three years -- five years is even better.
It is also important to remember that your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will vary depending on the cost of living in your location; if you move to a new area, your housing allowance may be more or less than you're currently receiving. Check out the DoD Joint Base Charleston BAH calculator.
Should you take advantage of special mortgage options? Active-duty military personnel, as well as certain veterans, reservists and National Guard members, are eligible for Veterans Administration loans which generally allow those eligible to borrow up to certain limits with no down payment or private mortgage insurance. Go to www.homeloans.va.gov for a full list of the current VA limits.
VA loans are made by private lenders and interest rates may vary. But they can be particularly valuable for people who don't have the money to make a 20% down payment, would otherwise have a tough time qualifying for a loan, and who would be required to buy private mortgage insurance. For more information about VA loan eligibility and rules, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.
When facing a PCS should you rent or sell? What do you do when you PCS from Joint Base Charleston after buying a home: sell the place or hold on to it and rent it out? Special tax rules help military families who do plan to rent their homes after they move. If you do rent your house after you move, set aside an emergency fund to help cover your mortgage and other expenses if you don't receive rental income for a few months.
For more information please visit us at:
Jodie Ford - I specialize in helping military families enjoy a smooth PCS in and out of Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. I have a passion for helping people, and I love what I do. Call me (843) 410-8014 and let me make this the easiest PCS yet!
Torri Jacobsen - Buying or selling a home doesn’t have to be hard, but choosing the right Realtor DOES make a difference. I specialize in making first-time home buying a great experience for military families moving to the Charleston, SC area. Call or email today, and let’s make this your best move yet!