Today B isn't just for Bravo, it's for Budget!
Most of the questions I get from the military community are about budgeting. It seems to be a common misconception that you have to have a lot of money in order to buy a home. While that may be true for renting, especially in the areas surrounding Luke Air Force Base, it's not true for buying. So, let’s go over three tips to help you buy a home at your next duty station.
Pay Bills on Time
The first Bravo Budgeting tip is: Make sure you're paying your bills on-time and you're not increasing your debts. This is absolutely the most important tip. The reason being is that the VA loan is more about on time payment history and your debt to income ratio than it is about credit score or anything else. You want to make sure you're paying those monthly bills on time. We're all human, we all make mistakes and we all forget things, especially things like bills. So, set up auto pay where you can; but where you can’t, set up reminders on your phone or calendar. Just know that every once and a while you may have a hiccup, and when those hiccups happen don't be afraid to call the debtor. They want to keep your business. They want you there and they want to keep getting those payments, so most of the time if you call them within a reasonable amount of time they'll go ahead and remove that without much challenge.
Know Your Boundaries
The second tip is: Know your boundaries. Most lending institutions will loan you, or qualify you, for more money than you're comfortable spending out of pocket monthly because it’s all based on simple math equations. So, be sure you're working with someone who will ask you what kind of budget comfort zone you need to be in and not just look at your qualification amount and go to town. Thankfully the military helps with that. I recommend to all my clients that you stay within your BAH, this helps ensure that you have a fixed budget that you're trying to stay within your monthly payment. You want your mortgage, interest, insurance and your taxes to all fit within your BAH. In some cases, this will require some discipline. So, make sure you're not looking at any homes outside of your comfort zone because then you're just setting yourself up for failure.
Know Your Cost
The third tip is: Know your cost. The cost to purchase a home can vary greatly depending on who you work with. So, make sure you're being your own advocate and make sure that you're asking all the questions you need to be asking to make sure that you're taken care of and that your budget is being adhered to. No matter what you should anticipate needing to pay for a home inspection and you should budget for setting up your utilities. A lot of times utility companies require deposits in order to open a utility account. Sometimes this seems a little blindsiding, especially if you've already had utility accounts in the past, but it's just one of those things that comes with moving.
These have been three Bravo tips on budgeting so that you're empowered to PCS with less stress!
Thank you for tuning in to the #AskJulieC Real Estate Show. Do you have any questions about PCSing to Luke, or about your real estate needs? Message me today! Remember, as we learned last time, it’s never too early to get started and to get in the know. Thanks again for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time.