Can You Afford Buy? Are You Ready to Move? Should You Move Before the Lease is Up?
· Consider your orders: What is the length of your current orders? The decision-making process can start and, possibly, end here. The longer you expect to remain in a single location, the more sense it makes to buy a home. Indeed, many financial planners recommend against purchasing a home unless you plan to stay in the home for several years.
· Moving before the lease is up: Time is a factor for renters as well. Military renters can be at the mercy of leasing agreements if orders take you elsewhere in the middle of the contract. Make sure the lease agreement includes a “military clause” that allows the agreement to be terminated should orders necessitate a move before the lease is up.
· Research. No computer? No Problem: Everyone knows how useful the Internet can be when researching homes, but what if you’re on the go? Tools like USAA’s Home Circle can allow you to research homes and rentals on your mobile device or personal computer, and even get instant insurance quotes for a prospective property.
· Can you afford to buy?: The total cost of owning a home goes beyond the purchase price. As a home owner, you’ll also be responsible for property taxes, maintenance and repairs, and homeowner’s insurance. These costs can vary greatly depending on the location, size, and general condition of the home. Overall housing costs shouldn’t exceed 30 percent of your pay excluding any military housing allowances.
· Protect Your Belongings: A good homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage to the structure as well as many of the possessions that dwell inside. But what if you rent? The average renter has $20,000 worth of stuff. The landlord’s policy doesn’t reimburse the tenant for any of that if something happens. Invest in a good renter’s insurance policy to cover your stuff in case it’s stolen, damaged or destroyed due to fire, severe weather and other causes.
Rich Novak, USAA Assistant Vice President Home Circle Integrated Solutions
Rich joined USAA Federal Savings Bank in March 2008 to lead Real Estate Product Management. Rich has nearly 20 years of experience in the Real Estate finance industry including stints at secondary market agencies Ginnie Mae and Fannie Mae. Rich’s most recent experience prior to USAA was with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s eBusiness Capabilities team serving as the Vice President.
Rich graduated from Syracuse University where he was involved in the Army ROTC program and also has an MBA from George Mason University.
As a former Scout Helicopter Pilot in the Maryland Army National Guard, Rich has been a USAA Member for nearly 20 years.