Running into the same objections again and again with potential military home buyers? It’s likely because the unique challenges of military life translate to a specific set of concerns when it comes to buying a home. Here’s why your military clients might be afraid to buy.
The Unexpected PCS
Moving is a way of life for most military families. With most service members staying at a duty station between 2-4 years, they know that they will be facing the decision to sell or rent out any home they buy.
My biggest concern is ending up upside down on a house by the time we have to PCS. My other biggest fear is not being able to sell it in a reasonable amount of time by the time we PCS. My husband and I are almost 100 percent committed to only renting until we’re out of the military, since it’s just easier to sign a lease and let them know when you’re leaving, rather than going through the buying process every time we move. – Alexis
This concern will shape how you point military home shoppers toward the best home choice. Future rental viability, resale value and short term financing costs will be more important to them than your average non-military home buyer. By addressing these concerns as part of the home shopping process, you can tackle the issue head on and reassure your clients that they are prepared for the possibility of a sooner-than-expected PCS!
Since re-sale isn’t an option for everyone, most military home buyers know that there is the chance they will end up as a landlord – and likely from afar. Tara, author of Aiming High, bought her home intending to rent but “Now that we have renters, I’m realizing it can still be a lot of work, even with a management company… I just wish I would have been more prepared.” Whether they’ve rented in the past from long distance landlords or heard horror stories from colleagues, most military families will have at least a secondhand account that could make them leery of becoming a landlord themselves. Whether or not your business includes rental property management, present information and resources about renting in your area so that home searchers feel prepared for the challenge.
Know The Benefits
Your clients will likely be aware of potential drawbacks of buying, but you can help to educate them about the benefits.
We had 10 applications this go around – and a family that offered to buy from us! Our home value has also gone up 10k, so we can reasonably raise our rent next year. We are setting aside money while having our mortgage paid. We could not be happier and plan to buy again at our next duty station. – Jenah
Aside from the financial benefits, there can be tremendous emotional reward in choosing to buy a house. According to Katie Laing, “owning a home after 9 years of living in military housing was very important to us and even a year later we have no regrets.” The freedom to decorate and alter a home as they want can be a powerful motivator for military families.
You can start the conversation with military families by offering them AHRN.com’s Military Home Buying Guide, available for easy digital download. It walks service members and their families through the basics of buying a home:
- 6 Questions To Ask Before Buying: Are you ready?
- 7 Strategies To Improve Your Credit Score
- VA Loan 101
- How To Find A Mortgage Lender
- Dream Home Comparison Checklist