Amherst, MA:

This Single-Family in Amherst, MA recently sold for $405,000.
This is a Cape/Contemporary style home and features 7 total rooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath, 3 bedrooms, 0.69 acres, and was sold by
Jacqueline Zuzgo – Five College REALTORS ®

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It makes good sense to buy a home on active duty, especially when you consider low mortgage interest rates, job stability and the range of approved Veteran’s Administration (VA) lenders. Buy a permanent home while serving on active duty and you could take advantage of home allowance assistance. Get a VA loan as soon as you qualify for the loan based on your length of military service and you could also use your home allowance to help pay off the life of your mortgage.

Choosing the Right Location is Key
Even with these benefits, you might drag your feet, opting to rent versus buy. It’s understandable. Few people relocate and move to a new house as frequently as active duty military members. Here are ways that you could determine if you’re ready to buy a permanent home on active duty and how to identify a permanent home location that may be right for you and your family.

If you’re close to your immediate family and know that you’re going to settle down in the town where you were born and raised after you finish your military service, you could buy a house there while you’re on active duty and rent the house out. You could even rent the house out to older relatives who are going to college or other active duty members stationed in the town.

Feel a strong connection to an area you were stationed in? Discuss buying a home there with your family. Turn the house into a rental property until you complete active duty. Similar to how people rent out summer homes, you could only rent out your house while you’re away, and stay at the house during long vacations.

Another option is to buy a permanent house where you’re currently stationed. If you’re married, your spouse could live at the house if you’re deployed or stationed away from home. If you choose this route, watch the housing market, so that you buy when housing prices, including interest rates, are down and sell when housing prices are up.

Documents that Help Secure Military Mortgages
After you identify where you want to live, start getting documentation together that you will need when you meet with lenders. Items that you may need to present to lenders include:

• Tax returns
• Letters from the Internal Revenue Service laying out a payment plan should you be behind on paying your taxes
• Bank statements
• Monthly credit union statements
• Housing allowance assistance documents (that show how much housing allowance you receive each month)
• Statement of Service
• Certificate of Eligibility
• Proof of residency
• Paystubs
• Driver’s license or passport

Work with reputable lenders. Make sure that you can absorb your current living expenses as well as pay for a permanent home. Should you make adjustments to pay off a permanent home, such as renting out a portion or all of the house, while you’re in the military, you could be able to keep more of your retirement pay.

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