So here we go....New Year's resolutions....goals....hope for a better year....blah, blah, blah. I am sure we all are ear weary when it comes to the words we hear surrounding the first of January, but maybe we have a tiny spark inside of us that wants to believe that something really can be better with the upcoming year. Isn't there a tiny piece in all of us that has a spark of optimism? While, we here at VHN can't promise you that you will lose that 10 pounds or quit smoking, we can certainly help you out with an idea you may have had. Perhaps, over the course of this year, you realized you need a new home.
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Let's face it! We have all spent a bit too much time in our homes this year! If you are like me, you have exhausted every project you can budget and still have a hefty list left of projects you would like to finish to make your home perfect. Home improvements were up 54% this year....probably the only good thing about COVID. Instead of spending money on entertainment and restaurants, Joes and Janes have been taking their cash and putting it towards making their living space more bearable and sometimes even wonderful. Of course, there is the possibility that your home is just yuck and you are over it and want to sell it. You have tried to put the lipstick on the pig and it's still ugly. Either way, if you want to sell, you can fix it up a bit over this holiday break so you are ready to list it and forget it; or if you want to stay, you can pour more of what's left of your heart into your home. Let's look at some quick and easy upgrades you can knock out over the short time you have off.
Topics: pcs during holidays Veterans remodel
7 min read
So what is going to be? New construction or an existing home? This is a tough question that many Veterans and Active Duty face. If you are active duty, or a now civilian working guy or gal, and you don't spend much time at home, a new construction may make sense due to the fact you won't have to be doing a ton of maintenance. Or, maybe you are a battle weary Veteran and just want some peace and quiet in the country away from people and annoying noises. Whatever your choice, there are pros and cons to both sides.
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I can't tell you how many people I talk to and help to educate them about the possibility of buying a home. Being a home owner. Not a home "paying down someone else's mortgage" dweller. It is a big deal. It is the one opportunity you have in life to increase your wealth and leverage your future. So why don't more people buy a home? Why does home ownership seem so elusive to some?
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I must admit. I felt like I never needed a discount or a special thank you for my service. I seldom took advantage of these discounts. However, after speaking with a good number of comrades, I soon realized that these businesses are offering this to us because they truly want to thank us for what we have done. It is an offer of kindness from them to us, and by graciously accepting, we are letting them know we appreciate them as well. So, that being said, take a good look at the list and treat yourself!
Topics: veterans day Veterans Active Duty
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Seriously! Maybe you have talked to someone, or have heard of someone that knows that their home, yes, the Tajmahal of homes is worth 50k more than their neighbors house. Afterall, he poured a nice stamped patio out back, put on a new roof and painted the exterior. He also put in a super duper laminate floor and updated his bathroom with a granite counter. Not only did he do those basic upgrades, but the house is infused with good juju and magic. So when he decides to sell, Sergeant Sellhigh decides to not heed the advice of his real estate agent who has been selling homes for 20 years and he wants to list it 30k higher than recommended. Silly Sellhigh then says that he wants to see what the "market will bring" and people can always make an offer for less if they really want the house. Makes sense....right? Wrong! Negatory! Incorrect! Try again!
27 min read
While we here at Veteran Housing Network pride ourselves on bringing you the most up to date and current content regarding using your VA Loan and Veteran and military housing options and education, we thought you may enjoy a sampling of Haunted Houses to celebrate the beginning of the Halloween week. Whether or not you believe in the hauntings, I am certain you will enjoy the stories! Travel and Leisure did a great job of putting the list together and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
The Whaley House Museum: San Diego, California
Topics: VA Loan veteran home buying
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Lets face it. It has been a tough year for most. I am quite certain when we all toasted in the new year, we had no idea what was in store. With a new year brings new optimism and we all had stars in our eyes. And then...boom! COVID, wild fires, businesses shutting, delays in PCS, housing goods caught in storage from the over 30000 troops with delays in moving, housing shortages, more wildfires, and an election. Yuck. Over it. And yet, here we are, doing what we do. Pushing on. Forging ahead. Not giving up ground.
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It may seem a bit premature to talk to you about buying and selling during the holiday season, but let's face it! If you are going to uproot your life whether it be PCS, ETS, or simply just buying and selling a new home, the holidays are riddled with challenges and also benefits. This year also brings added levels of challenge. COVID had delayed close to 30,000 military moves, upsetting and disrupting the entire military moving industry. Many families found themselves in limbo due to goods being picked up, their homes already being sold, and then being told they couldn't move. These families now find themselves transitioning and looking for new homes. Other Veterans simply waited to see what the market was going to do before making a decision to buy or sell. Couple these factors with record low VA Loan interest rates, an election year, and already low levels of inventory and we have a literal goat rope. Let's face it. This is no ordinary market and this season will not be an ordinary season.
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We have all been in that apartment. You know, the bachelor pad that has empty pizza boxes and smells like stale beer. A DVD collection of every sci-fi thriller and war movie is stacked up on the DVD tower and a tipped over seven eleven styrofoam cup is on the sticky end table next to the black pleather couch. The 86" tv takes up the entire wall and it is surrounded by a high dollar Bose surround system that allows the upstairs neighbors to feel the vibration from every explosion in The Hurt Locker. It's great! Isn't it?!
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Wow! I know you must be thinking that I am a sage. Maybe clairvoyant. How do I know that you get really stressed out when PCS'ing? As if meeting the new First Sergeant or Commander isn't enough, you have to pack up your entire life, trust that the movers will not destroy half of your belongings, locate a new home in a hopefully good area, and ensure you are still performing at your highest level. Easy Peasy.
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So here we are again. I had a great weekend camping with friends and inevitably we ended up talking about real estate, the market, and buying homes. Our Fort Carson friend finally pulled the trigger this year on his first time home purchase. He had been renting for the past five years and initially was not certain if he should buy. Afterall, what about the state of the economy? What about Coronavirus, interest rates, the housing market, blah, blah, blah, blah. Guess what?! The housing market simply continues to climb. Homes get more expensive. Building materials go up. Prices rise.
Topics: PCS Military move VA Loan Housing predicitons ETS
5 min read
Barracks lawyers. E4 experts. They know everything about the VA loan you are looking to use. Maybe you just google it and wind up with the big nationwide company that does not have your best interest in mind and they end up charging you an extra 10k in closing costs. Why so much confusion? While VA loans do have changing regulations....big surprise....the actual guidelines really do not change, so here you go....unravel the myths and educate yourself!
Topics: PCS Military move VA Loan VA Loan Myths
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I can't tell you how many times in my over 20 years of real estate, I have heard a buyer tell me that they just want to wait for the market to slow down before they jump in. This crazy Covid pandemic is no different. Many thought that the market would slow to a snails pace and that we may even see prices drop, but that certainly was not the case! While the "experts" predicted a drop of 6%, we actually saw the highest price rise in a two month period since 1991.
Topics: PCS Military move VA Loan Housing predicitons
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As my husband and I sat and talked about our blog post for the day, we ended up marveling at the lack of information that is disseminated for military members when they PCS to a new base or post. When he was transferring from Fort Benning to Fort Carson, he was sorely lacking in resources and ended up not utilizing the many resources that would have made his PCS more smooth and efficient. His real estate agent was some rando he selected from the interweb, (obviously days before Veterans Housing Network) and the home he purchased remotely was not quite the charmer his agent described. Of course, most of this did not matter too much since he found himself in the sandbox for most of his time stationed at Fort Carson, but it sure would have been better if someone, anyone, would have made resources available to him. Let's face it, you need all the help you can get!
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So you have your orders in hand and you are ready to PCS or ETS. Isn't it grand? Depending on where your next duty station is, it could be wonderful or let's face it, it could be a move you are not looking forward to. No matter what your personal feelings on the move, we know that you need to streamline your life and make it simple.
Topics: PCS Military move Checklist
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What in the world is happening? You have orders and maybe you are in limbo waiting for the powers that be to figure out just exactly is going on with your PCS. Maybe you were the fortunate one who shipped your entire household of furniture before this happened and you have been sleeping on a cot. Maybe your lease expired and you were ready to purchase a home finally but are unsure of the future. Below is some time relative information provided by Military Times regarding Travel Restrictions still in place.