Military families are always on the move. According to the USO, most military families move at least every 2 – 3 years, if not more often. While starting over so frequently may not be ideal, it’s the opportunity for a fresh start! Finding a new home, among other things, can make these moves more exciting. Buying a home as a military family can be stressful, but there are ways to make the process more manageable. Consider these tips to simplify the house hunting process for you and your family!


Calculate a Budget


A crucial step in the house hunting process is determining what you can afford and creating a realistic budget. While the military provides a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), this rate can vary depending on your location, pay grade, and dependency status. One way to help you balance your budget is by getting a mortgage pre approval. Getting preapproved will help you narrow your search and get a clearer understanding of what type of property you can comfortably afford. Being proactive and preparing your finances before your move will help make the home buying process much easier and more efficient! Calculating a budget can also ensure you aren’t overspending and can keep cultivating financial well-being


Determine Your Needs 


House hunting is exciting, but moving is nothing new for military families. To keep the home buying process as straightforward as possible, it’s important to determine your wants and needs for your potential new home. While the location may have been predetermined by the military, there are other features you have control over. For instance, do you prefer living in the suburbs or a more rural area? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you want a large backyard?


Considering your lifestyle preferences can help you get a clearer idea of what type of home will work best for you and your family, and can make the house hunting process much less stressful. Your budget will also help you determine what amenities and features you can afford. Having a list of non-negotiables before you start looking for homes will save you time and ensure you find the perfect fit!


Consult an Expert 


Especially if you’re moving long distance, hiring a real estate agent can help make the home buying process much easier. These professionals are experts in the real estate industry and can help you navigate the ever-changing market. Real estate agents are familiar with the area you’re moving to and can help you choose the best neighborhood and amenities for your family’s needs, not to mention negotiate a better price! Navigating a permanent change of station (PCS) can be complicated, and consulting an experienced professional can help make this process more efficient as they can handle the logistics so you can focus on other moving-related tasks. 


Include Your Children in the Process


Whether they like it or not, your children are also part of the many moves your family makes. Heading back to school in a new town and leaving behind friends can be difficult for kids, especially if they prefer a sense of stability in their lives. To make this transition more manageable for your children, you should include them in the moving process. Talking to your kids and taking their opinions into consideration can help reduce any stress and anxiety with this change. 


Even if your children don’t share any specific desires for a home, try to put an offer on a property that’s within walking distance to schools, parks, and kid-friendly community centers. Your kids will appreciate being close to recreational activities as this will keep them occupied and help them meet new friends!


There’s a lot that goes into the home buying process for military families. However, if you properly prepare and take a holistic approach, then you and your family can find a beautiful home where you can make lasting memories!