Are you a former or current member of the U.S. military and thinking about buying a home? Read this before you start your search!
Buying a home when you’re in the military can always feel like a risky move, especially in the current market. While you may be looking at homes for sale in the Tampa Bay area because you’ve been stationed at MacDill Air Force Base and you know you will be set up here for at least a few years, there could be a level of uncertainty to your move. How do you know how to choose a real estate agent who will actually work for you and with your needs? What happens if you can’t view Tampa homes or the area before your paperwork goes through? How can you be sure investing in real estate is even a good move with the knowledge that in three to five years you may be stationed elsewhere?
It’s a lot to consider. Tampa townhomes and single-family residences can provide much-needed stability and safety to your military family and help give you the feeling of roots and community that a rental couldn’t possibly achieve. If you want that connection and those roots, keep reading. This is the best place to start when looking to invest in your financial future.
Does Investing Make Sense?
Right off the bat, you need to ask yourself whether investing in a home for sale in Tampa or the surrounding Florida area actually makes financial sense for you and your family. In general, real estate is a good investment overall. Historically, real estate has been one of the most stable and consistent ways of investing money.
You need only a relatively small amount of money (down payment and closing costs) in order to control a much larger investment, and as a homeowner you directly control your investments, versus holding them in a mutual fund or other passive options. You can purchase a Tampa home, live in it for a few years, invest some money in updating and renovating it, and come out with a big financial win.
With a traditional mortgage and standard investments, most experts say you should live in your home for five years before selling to make it an investment worth having. This doesn’t take into account, though, that as a military member you are able to access a number of better home loans and rates. Many military members believe that it is worth buying if they will be in the area for two to three years..
What’s a Military Relocation Professional, and Do You Need One?
It can be intimidating to buy a property somewhere you have never been before. If you’re stationed in California or Texas and you’re looking at homes for sale in Tampa, you probably don’t have the luxury of flying back and forth to tour properties or explore neighborhoods. Some think the only alternative to spending a whole lot of time and money traveling is to rent for three to six months in their new location before finding a home they love.
A military relocation professional can actually make the process a whole lot easier.
An MRP receives a certification qualifying them to work with U.S. military members and address their particular needs. The National Association of Realtors provides all the training and guidelines for MRPs, as well as the certification itself. The program helps realtors understand the challenges that a current or former military member may face when buying a home, especially when doing it over a long distance, and MRPs are uniquely qualified to help overcome those challenges.
What Can an MRP Do for You?
The MRP certification is more than just a piece of paper. An MRP like Jennifer Fieo can also help with VA financing. When you are looking at homes for sale in Tampa, she will know how to navigate the system to get you the best financing. Those who have gone through the MRP certification also understand how important deadlines are since most military members don’t have a flexible move date, and they can work with you to find what you need when you need it.
An MRP also understands if you can’t get to the area before your move date. Military.com has a great article about how an Army staff sergeant bought a home sight unseen after coming home from Iraq and having a serious deadline to move across the country. Understanding that you, as a military member, are in a unique situation with unique needs is important when it comes to a successful purchase and move.
Help You Plan for Your Future
You may be considering a home for sale in Tampa as your first real estate investment, but perhaps you’re also moving out of a home you already own somewhere else. An MRP can help you figure out whether selling a home is the best financial move or whether you should instead consider renting it out and generating extra income.
They will also be able to help you figure out your timelines based on your orders and ensure that you have somewhere to sleep when you arrive. No temporary barracks stays or nights in a hotel for your family.
Not Just for Active Duty
As mentioned, an MRP isn’t just for active duty members of the military or those traveling across the country. If you already live in a home in Tampa and you’re looking for something larger or better for your family, an MRP can help you navigate the process as a veteran or a member of the Reserves or National Guard. That’s one of the big reasons that MRPs are found all over the U.S., not just around major bases.
Ready to Move?
If you have your orders and you know what you need, consider reaching out to Jennifer Fieo. Jennifer is an MRP and has been working with Tampa-area real estate for more than 25 years. She knows the community, she understands what buyers just like you need from the area, and she can help you find the perfect neighborhood and home for your family, no matter where you’re coming from.
Jennifer has also won the Outstanding Agent of the Year Award from Veterans United in recognition of the work she has put into helping members of the U.S. armed forces with their realty needs. She handles some of the best homes for sale in Tampa, so there is no doubt that she will be able to find you the perfect landing place.