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?
What I have seen over the years is that most people just don't understand the process and therefore never start. They think that there credit isn't good enough to use their VA Loan. They think payments will be too much or they misunderstand what their income needs to look like....so let's begin!
This is a true story.
Ha ha ha! Well....it may not be as riveting as Full Metal Jacket, but let me tell you the story of Joe. We have had the luxury of helping him in his home ownership journey. What began as a idea is now becoming a reality and he is going to make his money work for him.
Maybe you can relate. After retiring from the military, our friend was where most people are after "getting out." What was next on the horizon? He knew he wanted to own a home and quit renting. However, he did not know what type of home he wanted. As a matter of fact he did not even know what part of Colorado he wanted to live in. What did the different areas have to offer?
While we are in the military, we have little control over where we relocate. We adapt and overcome. If we find ourselves in BFE, we make the best of it and make new friends and look forward to the next PCS. If we find ourselves in a heavenly location, we try to stay as long as possible. No matter where we wind up, we learn to adjust. However, when the man no longer controls our every action, we are left to face free will and personal decision making. With the gravitas of our own choices, we often freeze and maintain a comfort level we are accustomed to. We shy away from what we perceive as risk and sometimes hesitate too long with moving forward.
Luckily, all you need to do is begin. We had Joe contact an awesome local lender to obtain a VA Loan and see what type of home he qualified for. He was completely uncertain he would qualify because his only income was his military retirement income. Maybe you could read that again. His only income was from the VA. Quite often, military retirement and disability pay is enough to secure a home. VA Loan lenders recognize the permanence of the income and have no issues helping you obtain a home with that income alone.
After we qualified him, we set out to look at homes. Big homes. Country homes. Cabins. Acreage homes. Duplexes. You name it, we looked at it because that is part of the process. He explored the possibility of not only making his income work for him with home ownership, but also explored multi unit properties to generate passive income. Farms that would provide extra income from crops. Mountain properties that would generate cash from vacation rentals.
What this new home symbolizes is a fresh start after the military. With property values increasing at an average of 12% per year, home ownership is the best investment for your future. Even if you are uncertain where you would ultimately like to end up, invest in a home for a few years so you are not throwing your money away on rent. When you decide to sell, you will recoup the money you put into the mortgage and also the appreciation. This will allow you to buy an even better home.
So after a beer or two, Joe, the hubby and I, narrowed in his goals. He did not want to spend his days working and wasting away his life and instead decided to have his home work for him. He is now establishing a hunting operation on acreage and will move forward with his goals in life.....and let me remind you.....this is entirely on retirement pay alone. This is real and it can happen.
But let's say you hate nature. You love cement. You love to pound cement. Well....okay....maybe not that. Even if you choose a home with plenty of neighbors, your appreciation will skyrocket you into the future. VA Loan rates are at all time lows and it is a great time to buy.
Receiving BAH? Using your GI Bill? Why throw away your BAH money on rent? Use it instead to purchase a home. That way you are investing in yourself and not your landlord. Ready to move on after college? Sell your home, make a profit, and invest in your next home. We at VHN know how to help you with your life goals, even you don't realize you have those goals! We have all used our GI Bill, received BAH, and owned homes. We understand the process and we are ready to help you reach the next level in your life.
And for Joe....well.....he is somewhere wandering the woods of Colorado looking for his next trophy deer....and to think that a few months ago he was wondering where to begin......