Getting onto the property ladder is an important milestone for many Americans. For military veterans, it can be the perfect next step after leaving the service, as it allows you to put down roots and build a home base.
It is crucial to be properly prepared when buying your first home. Ensure that it is suitable for your needs and is affordable for your budget. Think seriously about the options you have before you go ahead.
Look Closely At Your Finances
Ensure your finances are healthy before buying a home. Pay down any debts you have and ensure you have a debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less, including your mortgage. Talk to a financial advisor to get tailored advice.
Work Out Your Budget
Find out how much you can spend on a home. Avoid paying more than 2.5 times your yearly income on a property to ensure you can comfortably make payments. Save a down payment of at least 20% to give yourself additional funding options.
Start A Side Hustle
Start a side business to help you save for your property. Consider going freelance, offering services such as programming, proofreading or copywriting. Offer dog walking, house sitting and landscaping services locally.
Reduce Unnecessary Spending
Cut out all unnecessary spending from your budget. Track your expenses throughout the month to identify areas for improvement. Cancel any subscription services you no longer use. Switch from branded to generic items when grocery shopping.
Use A VA Loan
Buy a property without the need for a down payment with a VA loan. Ensure that you meet the requirements for a VA loan and have all your paperwork ready to prove your service. Use this VA home loan calculator from Hero Loan to find out how much you could borrow.
Find A Suitable Real Estate Agent
Use a real estate agent with experience working for veterans and military families. Ensure they have successfully found suitable homes for veterans using VA loans in the past. Ask to speak to references and satisfied customers.
Buy With Someone
Buy in partnership with someone to reduce costs and gain more borrowing power. Buy with a partner or even with a trusted friend or family member.
Look For A New Job
Look for a new job to boost your income. Use a job offer to leverage your current employer to see if they are willing to offer you better pay. Keep your resume up to date and have it checked over by a professional recruiter or careers advisor.
Save A Decent Down Payment
While not a necessity when getting a VA loan, a decent down payment can improve the terms you receive on a mortgage. Save as much as possible to boost your chances. The more you save for your down payment, the lower your monthly repayments will be.
Consider Future Needs
Consider your future plans when choosing a home to buy. Decide if you want to start a family, be close to loved ones or retire to a specific area. Ensure your property suits all the foreseeable needs you may have.