Military Spouses Selling Houses Near Camp Pendleton, Balboa, Miramar, MCRD, 32nd Street, San Diego

Real Estate Agent with Sand to Sea Properties, Inc. BRE 01379811, NMLS 331744

Military Spouses Selling Houses Near Camp Pendleton, Balboa, Miramar, MCRD, 32nd Street, San Diego

Military families looking to move generally can make the process easier and successful by tapping into their military network, using websites like  Is this different than for non-military families? Not in the sense that most people - military or civilian - tend to have additional trust when a friend of ours has had a good experience with a service provider and recommends or refers them.

military spouse sell house mcrd balboa coronado 32d street miramar pendleton


It is different, though, relating to certain services like real estate and the loan process.  The military background itself complicates these service, whether Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, etc. 

For example, buying homes as a military person has additional options and also challenges presented by military pay, orders, etc., such as:

  1. A military member qualifies for a VA loan, which the general public does not.  This is a zero down payment program, rare in today's lending world and a great benefit for the military servicemember.
  2. The real estate agent/REALTOR(R) who writes up offers for a military buyer needs to write the contract to correctly reflect the VA loan terms.  The contract terms need to be stated very particularly when it comes to "Non-allowables," which are certain fees and costs that the VA does not allow a military member to pay.  If the contract doesn't provide for the seller to cover those fees, there are suddenly thousands of dollars that the buyer can't pay and the seller hasn't agreed to pay (for example, usually about $3000 on a $200,000 VA loan).  The risk is that the home purchase falls apart when the agents don't know how to do it in the first place or fix it later, or the buyer has to renegotiate the purchase price higher - yes, the buyer pay more - so there is a seller credit large enough to cover the Non-allowables.
  3. There are about twenty other Non-allowable fees (like termite inspection), that the military member buyer cannot agree to pay, that need to be provided for as paid by the seller or other party or provider in the transaction, either through a properly worded seller credit or otherwise.
  4. The LES shows BAH for the military member's current duty station.  BUT if buying a home at the next duty station, the real estate agent and also the loan service provider should be using the BAH for the next duty station.  
  5. The military member frequently has a deployment or temporary duty that will take him away from the local area when loan documents need to be signed.  The loan officer needs to know what kind of Power of Attorney needs to be done as well as what other documents for the transaction cannot be signed using a Power of Attorney (such as initial loan document disclosures, among others).  Otherwise, it will cause delay or possibly risk the purchase, for example if the delay takes you past a short sale deadline and the home gets foreclosed instead of sold to you.
  6. Does the military member already own a home at a prior duty station?  If so, and it's been rented out, does the rent show on the military member's tax returns?  If not, most lenders cannot count the rent as income helping the expense ratios for you to qualify for a loan and instead have to "hit" the military member's income with the whole mortgage, real estate taxes, and insurance payment in calculating how much home he can qualify for at the current duty station.  There are certain exceptions, but they're limited.
  7. Did the military member retire and get a VA disability rating, making him eligible to avoid paying the VA's Funding Fee, saving him thousands of dollars.  The real estate agent should know to ask, or at least have an experienced VA loan consultant to refer to you.

There are lots more details related to military personnel buying or renting homes (get a military escape clause in your lease!).  It's meant to help show that to make the process of buying a home near a military base smoother, it really matters to use a real estate professional who has training and experience with military matters as they relate to home buying.  Thousands of dollars, delay and possibly the whole home purchase are at stake.

I am a military spouse who's done a lot of VA loans and can refer you to a military spouse for the Southern California area: Ashlyn Strempel.  Originally from the New Orleans area, Ashlyn lives in Temecula and has a husband stationed at Miramar, and has helped military members purchasing homes for sale near military bases such as Miramar, Camp Pendleton, MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot), Balboa Navy Hospital, Coronado, 32nd Street and throughout the San Diego area.  She is an agent for my husband's brokerage, Sand to Sea Properties, Inc., which also serves the military niche near Camp Pendleton as well as out to Twentynine Palms MCAGCC.

Posted by

Lisa Delzompo (951-704-4559)

"May your home always be too small ... to hold all your friends!"

Is your home getting too small?  Need a FREE Home Valuation?  Preparing to Sell a Home?  Click here to submit a form online, or Call Frank at 951-326-7330 for a free consultation.

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Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Information is general and may not address your particular situation.  Do not rely solely on this or any information you find on the internet.  You should consult relevant professionals directly about your real estate, financial, etc., situation. 

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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

There is a lot to know about the different military programs and things. Nice post.

Nov 14, 2010 02:37 AM
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

It really is important for those in the military to work with not only a lender who understands the benefits, but an agent who knows how to write a contract and knows the way to negotiate and work together with the lender to put the deal together even if the seller is unwilling to cover the non allowable closing costs. I too have worked with many VA buyers and it takes skill and the willingness to educate other agents who are not as familiar with VA buyers or loans.  

Nov 14, 2010 02:45 AM
Lisa Delzompo 951-704-4559
Sand to Sea Properties, Inc. - Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Experienced, Trusted, & On Your Mission: Home

Thanks, Melissa!

Stephanie, you're so right.  That's a good topic for another post: how your agent frequently needs to "sell" the VA buyer and VA loan to the listing agent and the seller.  I'll keep you in mind for buyers heading as far East in San Diego as you are, thanks!

Nov 14, 2010 02:49 AM
Guy Knox
imortgage - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

This is a terrific post; I appreciate the way you clearly present your information. I do have one question; in bullet point 2 you make a reference to the buyer and seller renegotiating the Sale Price higher to accommodate the Seller Credit needed to cover Non-Allowable fees. Can you clarify when this is allowed; my experience tells me that Lenders will not allow this practice after there is a fully executed contract.

Thank you for your time.

Dec 13, 2010 09:57 AM
Lisa Delzompo 951-704-4559
Sand to Sea Properties, Inc. - Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Experienced, Trusted, & On Your Mission: Home

Hi Guy, yes the contract once executed and put in front of the lender would set the terms, so the agents need to hash out the terms before it gets to that stage.

Dec 13, 2010 10:03 AM