Most people hear the term "sticker shock" and they think of cars. For military families relocating to Northern Virginia from other bases around the country the term can also explain their first reaction to housing prices in our area. Today's market has helped lessen that shock but it is still something to consider as you decide whether you should buy a home in the area.
One of the many benefits that the military offers is the VA loan which has made a comeback for buyers in Northern Virginia over the last year. The first thing I recommend to anyone with PCS orders is to verify their BAH rate, this will help you with understanding how much of a payment you might be comfortable making. Then take a look at your VA loan eligibility status. If you are eligible most lenders will have the ability to request the certificate electronically or you at the time of your loan application.
Why have VA loans become popular again? VA loans offers the advantage of a zero down payment, no pre-payment penalties, easier qualification and loans are assumable which could be an advantage when you go to sell your home in a few years. In our current market the many sellers are offering closing cost assistance which truely can make a VA loan a no cost loan to you.
Once you have looked at your BAH rates, spoken with a mortgage professional who understands the VA loan process (if you need a recommendation let me know), then you are ready to begin to explore many of the great neighborhoods within commuting range of Fort Belvoir, Quantico, Pentagon or any of the Military District of Washington installations. Whether you are looking for a condo, townhouse or detached home there are some terrific choices in Northern Virginia.
You can start your search for a new home near online to get a feel for some of the local communities. Once you narrow down your search you need an agent who is knows the area (I'm a native) and understands military moves then you may want to give me a call. I've walked in your shoes from the Far East to Europe and know what it is like to make a military move. I promise I'll help you through your "sticker shock" and find a place that you will be glad to call home during your assignment to Northern Virginia.
Fort Belvoir On-Line Relocation Guide
Pentagon-On-Line Relocation Guide