Military servicemembers who are facing PCS orders need to sell their homes quickly, and for them, waiting for housing prices to rise again is not an option.
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Housing Decline Adds Stress During Military PCS

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Unlike civilians, military families on PCS suffer more financial stress during a housing decline.

Military servicemembers who are facing PCS orders need to sell their homes quickly, and for them, waiting for housing prices to rise again is not an option.

MILITARY FAMILIES SPLIT OVER HOME OWNERSHIP

Depressed property values affect homeowners who buy their homes at overvalued prices and then must watch their net worth decrease as property values plummet. Rather than sell their homes for a lesser value, many people choose to remain in their homes and wait for housing prices to rise.

Without that option, military families on PCS are often forced to split up and live in two different locations, with the military service member renting an apartment in the newly- assigned city, and the military family staying in the home.

Other military personnel are forced to sell their property for a loss, causing financial instability.

The Defense Department urges military service members to rent, but buying a home remains common practice among military members.

MILITARY FAMILIES OFTEN BUY A HOME AGAINST DOD ADVICE

According to Steve Strobridge, Government Relations Director for the Military Officers Association of America, military families are buying homes because it provides a sense of financial and emotional security.

DOES MILITARY PCS ALLOW FOR HOME OWNERSHIP?

Home ownership is about laying down roots. But the life in the military is one of constant movement, with PCS orders just around the corner. A home designed to be a base of security and comfort can become a burden if PCS orders force you to move quickly.

WHEN A HOME BECOMES A MILITARY BURDEN

Home ownership can also represent an in investment for the future if the property rises in value, and a home can provide extra income as a rental property for military families that are relocated and choose to not sell their homes.

MILITARY HOME OWNERSHIP MAY NOT PROVIDE FINANCIAL SECURITY

Financial security by investing in the housing market does not always pan out.

According to Katie Savant, government relations deputy director for the National Military Family Association, many military families become financially stuck in a when ordered to relocate but find that their house won't sell for the price they had hoped. Facing foreclosure can cost military personnel their security clearance.

MILITARY MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

The Defense Department and Congress have stepped in to reduce military foreclosures, but their program has too much demand with too little supply.

The military mortgage assistance program became available in 2009 to military service members on relocation orders, however mortgage assistance soon became overwhelmed with requests and faces a $400 million budget deficit by the end of 2011. Over 5,000 military service members have applied for mortgage assistance to avoid foreclosure since 2009.

LIMITATIONS ON MILITARY MORTAGE ASSISTANCE

Military mortgage assistance eligibility requirements leave many military families out in the cold.

In order to qualify for the 2009 mortgage assistance program, military personnel must have purchased their property before July 2006, with permanent relocation orders between 2006-September 2010.

THE MILITARY OFFERS SUPPORT TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

For those who don't qualify for the mortgage assistance program, another option for military families to explore is the possibility of selling their homes to the federal government at fair market value.

If you find yourself facing a PCS relocation with a house to sell, look into both military mortgage assistance options and work to avoid foreclosure; the government wants to help with your mortgage commitment, and help you maintain your credit rating.



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