Finding a home in a highly competitive housing market can be equal parts stressful and difficult. With an unexpected PCS, a deployed spouse, or BAH concerns, military families can face unique circumstances that impact the homebuying process. Before your next military move, follow these four tips to help you stay ahead in a competitive housing market.
1 – Get Preapproved for a Mortgage
Before starting your search, the most important tip is to find a knowledgeable VA mortgage lender and get pre-approved. With pre-approval, you immediately demonstrate to sellers you are capable of financing a home. This is a huge motivator for sellers and shows your seriousness as a buyer. In order to get this process started, it’s critical to do your due diligence and gather your personal and financial documents. Pre-approval is essential in a competitive market and should be your first action. GoVA can help you get the process started with a free, no-obligation interest rate quote.
2 – Find the Right Agent
It is important to find the right agent who understands the nuances of military life to represent you. Recommendations from friends and family are a great place to start but do not be afraid to do your own research. The GoVA team can connect you with highly respected and vetted realtors around the country who meet strict criteria for serving Military Families.
In a hot housing market, a dependable agent who brings in-depth knowledge of the local market can help you stand out to buyers and get a jump on listings as soon as they hit.
3 – Know What You Want and Do Not Settle
When it comes to buying a home in a seller’s market, patience is key. Clearly define what you are looking for in a home and do not feel pressured to settle for a house that does not meet your requirements. In a competitive market, houses will not be listed for long, so you may not have multiple opportunities to tour a home. Quickly assessing a home allows you to remain agile to any potential opportunity.
But acting fast does not mean you need to settle, particularly with a purchase of this magnitude. Remaining patient can keep you from making quick decisions that you could eventually regret later. Understand what your needs are but do not feel pressured into a rushed decision.
4 – Widen Your Search
If you are finding it difficult to house hunt in a super competitive area, consider broadening your search area as it could yield better prices and more square footage. A wider area can come with its own set of drawbacks, such as longer commute times to the base or a lack of desired amenities, but it will grow your pool of potential homes, allowing you to be more selective. Your Realtor can also share with you what areas outside of your search may be “up and coming” that you may not have considered.
Have more questions? Be sure to reach out to the GoVA team – we can assist with everything from shepherding you through the VA loan process and finding a local real estate agent to helping you prepare your finances in advance of your home search. Check out our easy-to-read VA Loan Guide to learn more about how to get started.