When you’re in the military, you face many challenges. Part of the character forged in the armed forces is the ability to overcome obstacles without emotional interference. That’s not to say you don’t feel—you are human, but it is to say you’ve learned the art and skill of overcoming emotional surges for the sake of finding practical solutions. One such situation in which you may have to overcome fear and frustration is when you’re ordered to relocate before you’ve sold your house. Here are a few things you can consider for the state of your house before your orders to relocate manifest.
Maintaining the House in Your Absence
Leaving your household members behind to maintain the house in your absence is your first option, although not likely one about which members of your household will be happy, nor is it a decision to be taken lightly. There are some things money can’t buy, time with loved ones and a sense of togetherness is in that category, especially if you’ve already made the sacrifice of time apart.
Divide and Conquer
If temporary double mortgages don’t threaten to break your bank, you could opt to divide and conquer, allowing your current house to remain on the market for sale while starting the purchasing process on a property in your new location. This may involve handling paperwork digitally or leaving part of your household members behind to sell this house while part of your household moves forward to purchase a house at your new destination.
Rent Your Home
You may be able to rent your home out while you’re away. Although this may sound like a simple solution, it isn’t. Without being there to offer repairs or see to problems, or the ability to protect the well being of your property investment, you’re most viable solution is to hire a professional management company to oversee your property in your absence. So while you may be taking in enough in rent to cover the mortgage payment, you’re still paying out expenses to the management company.
Sell the House
You certainly don’t want to lose money on your home and sell it for less than what you owe, but that is one possibility with which you might be forced to contend. To make this pill easier to swallow, when you’re doing your arithmetic, keep in mind that every month that your house is vacant, it’s costing you money, and there’s no guarantee how long your house will sit. You may end up losing more money by leaving your house vacant than you would by bringing money to the table to satisfy your loans and sell the property quickly. A short-sale might be a solution for you, and there are many real estate agents who specialize in short sale transactions.
Is Foreclosure Wise?
Allowing the home to go into foreclosure is also technically an option, although not one that would serve you well in your future, particularly if you’re interested in buying another home in your new location.
If you’re not ready to bite the bullet on that kind of a loss, and you’re eligible to withdraw honorably from your service, it may be time to bid your career farewell in lieu of keeping the house. But for you, that might not be a workable solution or attractive alternative.
Homes for Heroes
You may ask your real estate agent to lower their commission and help cushion the blow, and you can check into programs such as Homes for Heroes in which affiliates of the non-profit 501(C)(3) foundation agree to reduce their rates for military personnel and other civil-service heroes to help them buy, sell, or refinance their home.
Working with a qualified, professional real estate agent who is sensitive to your needs and who specializes in military lifestyles is most likely your most successful option. Your professional real estate agent can help you price your home effectively from the jump start, and can give you tips, tricks, and advice for staging your property to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Additionally, your real estate agent will come into the deal with a game plan—a marketing strategy to aggregate a large audience of potential buyers. Your real estate agent may also have information about additional resources and programs designed to assist military families with relocation.