The first thing I would suggest would be to talk with a Mortgage Broker to see several things: 1) if you can use your VA loan, 2) how much you would need to put into a house, if the contract is written up asking the seller to pay your closing costs and pre-paids you would not have to use much of your money you get into a home. Deciding whether to buy or rent is what you feel most confortable with. Purchasing a home has always been a good investment. People that buy at a right price should be good in 3 years. The problem we are seeing now is people paid top dollar for a house that isn't worth that amount any more plus many had 100% loans so they were really in over their heads to start with. If you have an agent that gets you all the details on a home, helps with negotiating the best possible price, getting the seller to pay for most of your cost, then in 3 years you should be in good shape. If you are a first time home buyer you may qualify for the $8000 refund from the government also. With interest rates being at an all time low, a large inventory of homes priced very low, now is a good time to purchase. I specialize in the relocating military family. As a native of Jacksonville I will help offer the pros and cons of all the areas so you make a wise, informed decision. If you have any other questions or concerns please call me Patty Trantham (904) 449-2403 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your questions. Patty Trantham
I don't know where you live now, but prices in Jacksonville are very reasonable and NE Florida is in a growth mode so you will likely see some appreciation over the next few years if you are careful about what/where you buy.
Call me on my cell at 904-252-5181 if you'd like to talk. Thanks. Allison
Our advice is to not make a committment to rent or buy until you have thoroughly investigated both markets. The housing market is going through a "face lift" to the likes it has not seen before and there are some incredible opportunities for today's buyers.....opportunities that can make the renting option more costly than the owning option.
We just sold(closed yesterday) a 2001 constructed home, 3/2/2, move in condition for $59,500. The owner's mortgage payment will be in the $300 range. Granted, this is not in the Jacksonvile market but we have every reason to believe similar opportunities exist there.
Contact a local real estate professional for reliable information and the best opportunities.
The Eckler Team
Michael Saunders & Company
Three years is the historical tipping point, rent vs. buy. You should buy this time because there will be gov. incentives to home buyers coming out of Uncle Sugars latest efforts. So the low interest rates, deductions to taxes, etc. make this a BUY -- this time.
As an USN Retiree, I know and appreciate where you are coming from. I would suggest you way all the options after realizing that real estate is always a good investment in the short or long run. If the need is to lease out your home after three years I offer property management to my customers. I personally manage the property, so it will be loving maintained as if my own.
If the market is unstable in three years then renting the home will make more sense and would not necessarily perclude you from buying elsewhere.
Fair skies and following seas,
Larry R. Atwell
direct line 904-710-1574
Best of luck, Thanks, Jason Lindsay, REALTOR
Best of luck, Thanks, Jason Lindsay, REALTOR
If you would like some area information, we would be happy to send you a Relocation Package. You can also visit our web site which has local information and market reports, along with my blog which has articles about the Orange Park/Fleming Island area. Our web site is: http://www.teamalters.com
Schools are great in Clay County also if you have children. No need to drain your savings if you find the right house! Seller-paid closing costs or new construction with $1 move in will help you and your family keep your savings in the bank.
You can sign up for our new MLS search tool which allows you to search the MLS like an agent, changing criteria as you wish. The site is: http://www.OrangeParkHomes.Listingbook.com and is free to you and a very powerful assist in your search. Of course, new homes won't always be on there. We sell a lot of new homes as well as resale and keep up with the incentives the builders are offering.
Please contact us if we can help you with your relocation here and references are available if you would like, as well as testimonials on our web site.
With your VA loan and the price of homes at the lowest prices we have seen in years, now would be a great time to purchase. One option you may want to consider is asking the seller to pay your closing and pre-paids then your out of pocket expensives would be at a minimum. I would not want you to use all your savings. In three years if the market has stabilized and you buy in a good resale area you would be able to sell or worse case rent. Vanguard has an excellent property management department that advertises to the military. If in 3 years you decide to go in that direction. I work with many military families and give you my 100% satisfaction guarantee in writing that I will exceed your expectations. As a native of the area I point out the pros and cons of the areas so you make a very informed decision. Which base will you be stationed? NAS Jax, or Mayport Naval Air Station? Both areas offer wonderful areas that are close commutes to the base.
If you make a list of things you must have in a home in order of importance and things that would be nice I can start sending you emails with listings so you get an idea of what is available in our area so you can decide whether to buy or not.
If you have any other questions or concerns I believe in honest and sincere answers to you quickly.
I look forward to helping you in the near future. If you would like to look at some homes, I invite you to visit my website: http://www.pattytrantham.vanguardgmac.com. You can find valuable school, homes, community etc. information.
First let me thank you for the sacrifices you and your family in serving our country. I am retired Navy and have faced the exact situation you descibed. I would like to address the issue of draining your savings. I would say that it is never a good idea to empty your savings account. Every family needs some reserves to handle unexpected circumstances and emergencies. With that said I don't think it is necessary for you to drain your account to purchase a home. Since you are a military family you are eligible for a VA home loan which does not require you to make a down payment. You may also structure your offer so that the seller pays your closing expenses. You can buy your home with no money out of pocket. Even when renting a home the landlord normally requires a security deposit of some sort due at move in. As far as market conditions go you, as a buyer, are definately in control. There are many great homes to choose from and sellers who need to sell are very willing to accomodate your needs. Home prices and interest rates have come way down in the last few years making this a great time to invest in a home. Three years ago things were very different. Three years from now things may be very different.
If you do decide to buy a home and plan on returning to Jacksonville at some point in the future then renting your home may be a good option. Home prices are low enough now that you should be able to rent your home for enough to cover your costs during your absence. Just be sure to screen your tenant carefully. When you return to Jacksonville your home will be waiting for you.
Feel free to contact me if you and your husband would like to discuss this further. Thanks!
It is good to always have your emergency fund cushion. VA is 100% financing, though you do not have to use it. There are still conventional programs that you only need 10% down, but will incur PMI. FHA is 3 1/2% down , but with a purchase price up to $307,000. Having said that, Jacksonville's economy is not like that of the nation. Our unemployment rate is only 4.4% and especially with the nuclear carrier coming that will start to add so many contracted jobs in 2010. If you were to decide to buy in Jacksonville you will be buying the most house for the least amount of money and with the lowest interest rate. For a primary residence or investment, 2009 is the best time to buy. I hold a short sale certification, so if you think a property liek that might interest you I can give you all the information necessary. You don't have to buy right when you get here. If you have never been to Jacksonville there are so many areas of town to get to know. It's a good idea to check around the area to see what is important to you for your home to be close to. Whether it's shopping, school, the beach, or entertainment. I was born in Jax so if you have questions about a particular area of town just let me know. I would hate fro you to drain your savings, but on the other hand, the potential equity you would stand to gain could be more. Good luck with your decision.
CC Underwood, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
First and foremost, thank you and your husband for your service. I have spent ten years in the military myself and understand some of the hardships you go through.
If you know you will be only staying for three years, I highly recommend that you do not purchase. The reason for this is that there isn't enough equity buildup in the home before you have to leave again. No if you were able to put a substantial amount of money down, then this may be ok.
Typically, a homes value doubles in ten years or so. With the market the way it is today, you don't really know what is going to happen to the market within this short time. I typically tell people that they should plan to stay in the home for at least seven years before they decide to buy.
My suggestion is to stay on post housing or off post housing if it's economically feasible. Save what you can and after the both of you leave the military, use the savings for a downpayment.
Hope that helps.
Terrence Charest, e-Pro