A unique combination of market factors and government incentives are helping to make 2013 an excellent year for military veterans to purchase a new home.
Major combat operations in Iraq have already ended and all veterans from the War in Afghanistan will be integrating back into society when the final withdrawal occurs in 2014. These soldiers along with their families can look forward to a much improved housing market.
Home sales are up 15.3 percent over last year and mortgage rates are projected to remain near record lows at least for the first half of the year. Freddie Mac, the largest home buyer in the U.S., indicates that the average rate of 30 year mortgages stands at 3.35 percent as of this past December.
Grant Moon, President of VA Loan Captain, believes that now is the time for veterans to take action in buying a new home. According to Captain Moon, “We have not seen a more enticing combination of factors for veteran home buyers in decades. When combined with the VA loan program which is put in place by the Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans can now buy at [historically] low rates while taking advantage of the no down payment option through the VA loan.”
As though the mortgage rates weren’t already promising enough, U.S. veterans are expected to benefit from the best rates available in 2013 thanks to the Federal Savings Bank. This is excellent news for all of the eager young men and women who will be returning from the war with the hopes of starting a new family.
In addition to the expected rate security from the Federal Savings Bank, the Basic Allowance for Housing was increased by the Department of Defense.
According to the Defense Travel Management Office, “The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed Service members equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets within the United States when government quarters are not provided.”
Moreover, a rather significant milestone has been reached with the VA loan program. The VA loan program has processed its 20 millionth home recently to the widow of an Iraq War veteran.
Allison Hickey, VA’s undersecretary for benefits, put it this way: “The 20 millionth VA home loan is a major milestone and is a testament to VA’s commitment to support and enhance the lives of veterans, service members, their families and survivors.” He continues, “As a result of their service and sacrifice, as a group, they prove to be disciplined, reliable, and honorable – traits that are ideal for this kind of national investment.”
Overall, VA home loans are up by more than 300 percent over the last five years with a substantial number of new applicants expected to pour in. Many of the soldiers returning from war are simply waiting for the right time to act. For those veterans that can afford to do so, now may be the perfect time to take advantage of the VA loan program and secure a low rate while they’re still available.