November is a big month for those who serve our country, as we honor them on Veterans Day November 11. But November is also Military Family Month, acknowledging the sacrifices made by service members' families.
If you're military, you know how suddenly Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders can be handed down. Civilians may have ample time to plan and carry out a move, but for military personnel, PCS orders can come quickly and with no warning. Here are a few tips from our REALTORS® to make your move as smooth as possible.
- Start planning immediately.
Since PCS orders may not give you much time to move, it's important to utilize every minute you have. Start planning immediately once you get your orders. You'll need to arrange for movers, figure out where you're going to live, what you'll do with your old residence, and start packing. The sooner you get started, the better, especially if you get your PCS orders during the summer when it's harder to book movers and other services.
- Find out about DLA.
When you're military and ordered to move, you will get a dislocation allowance (DLA). This is also why planning is so important. DLA can be frustratingly limited and may not cover all your expenses, so it's important to budget and make careful decisions. The more time you have for planning, the more time you'll have to shop around and find the most affordable options.
- Consider using a VA loan.
Taking advantage of all money available will help make your move as easy as possible. If you plan on buying a house in your new location, look into VA loans as an option. VA loans benefit service members and veterans by offering 100 percent financing, which means you don't have to come up with a down payment. This is especially useful when you're ordered to move with little or no warning.
- Decide whether to rent your own home.
While planning your move, you have so much else on your mind that selling your old home might not be a high priority. In addition, it may be compelling to keep the home as an investment property and rent it out to cover the mortgage. You can do this even if you bought the house with a VA loan and are planning to buy the next home with a VA loan. You must ensure that rent is enough to cover the existing mortgage payments.
- Consider using an MRP.
Using a Military Relocation Professional (MRP) can make a stressful, hurried move much easier for you. An MRP in your new area will be familiar with your new city and the unique needs of a military move. They can help keep your move on schedule, give you a leg up in a bidding war with a personal letter, and help you find the best Mansfield homes for sale with your budget and commute in mind. They are literally your "boots on the ground."
We know a PCS isn't easy. It's stressful to have to move quickly and on budget, especially if it's a time of year when things like movers are busy and difficult to schedule. If you've already gotten your PCS, there's no time to waste. Contact Robin Walker, REALTOR® and MRP at Haring Realty, today!