Service member stationed overseas, what are my options?

Asked by Michael Pukansky, Edgewater, MD Wed Apr 3, 2013

I'm currently stationed in Japan for at least another year with no idea where I may end up after that. I want to buy a house in Maryland as I plan to live there after I retire in 8 years (unless I'm stationed there before then). What are my options for financing if I am unable to occupy the house? My wife and I also don't want to live apart to have her live alone to meet the requirement. My mother lives in the area, could she help? Are there non-owner occupancy loans available? How does a service member buy a house from overseas?!

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Dorte Engel, , Bowie, MD
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Dear Michael,

If you are looking for a property management company, that can help you take care of your home until you return, I know of one in Bowie (if that is the general area where you were thinking of purchasing). Buying now, rather than waiting may turn out to be a great move, as the market has turned a corner and prices as well as interest rates are sure to go up soon.


Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge
dorte [at]
0 votes
Catherine Pu…, , Silver Spring, MD
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Hello Michael,

Thank you for your service to our country and for helping to keep us safe and secure here in the U.S. I really appreciate it!

I am a Maryland lender who is familiar with the VA loan as well as Conventional financing. I would be honored to help you get a home here in Maryland.

You can go to my online link: and fill in your information and I will run numbers for you and let you know what programs are available to you.

Thanks to technology, you can purchase a home here in the U.S. and we can communicate via e-mail and transmit documents through secure transmission. If you are not planning on coming to the U.S. to pick the property out or if you are not planning on being here for settlement, then perhaps your mother can act as Power of Attorney or you can choose another designated person to sign for you. Documents can be transmitted to you via electronic secure transmission for your review prior to settlement.

I would be happy to send you a book on the home buying process if you send me your address. My e-mail is

Looking forward to helping you in any way that I can!

Thank you again for your service!!!


Catherine Purcell
202 573-6035
0 votes
Jessica Hood…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Hi Michael,

Yes you have options. One specific credit union in the area offers a conventional product that mirrors the terms of a VA loan, including no PMI. Message me and I'll be happy to assist. We've assisted many clients who are either overseas or out of state. And, our team specializes in military home sales and purchases near Fort Meade. It would be our honor to help you find your home!
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Check out the Navy Federal Credit Union;
you can do it on-line, and you don't have to be in the Navy, (although I would think better of you).

Oh, and thanks for serving.
0 votes
brent mendel…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bethesda, MD
Wed Apr 3, 2013

Thank you for your service to our country. Is your wife with you in Japan? Could she move into the home before you do? There are non occupancy loans but not for VA on a purchase. Either you or your wife would have to move in within 60 days if you use a VA loan. Your mother can't be on a VA loan with you, only your wife. You mother could get a power of attorney to sign for you at settlement though so you don't have to be stateside. Let me know any further questions. I specialize in VA loans and can provide referrals from veterans all over the country to the quality of work we provide here at 1st Mariner. Hope this was helpful.


Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
Lending in all 50 states
0 votes
Tony McMahon, Agent, WHITE PLAINS, MD
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Very good question Michael, here is a link to a great local lender who can help you with your questions give him a ring or shoot him an email.
0 votes
Once you speak with Jeff, and we determine how to make it happen on the lending side, I would welcome the opportunity to assist you in finding your home of choice.
Flag Wed Apr 3, 2013
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