The Post’s Sunday Real Estate section is providing tips and information this weekend for military families preparing to move to the Washington area.
“Across the services, transfers frequently take effect in June or July,” according to colleague Kimberly Lankford . To prepare, military families start looking for potential homes in March and April and make visits to inspect potential properites in May.
Military households tend to move every two to four years, often with little notice, and usually arrive in the D.C. area with sticker shock, despite access to a tax-free housing allowance and special government-guaranteed mortgages with little or no down payment required. Often they base their price range on the Department of Veterans Affairs loan limits and monthly housing allowance - important numbers for sellers to keep in mind when pricing their homes. In most of the Washington area, the VA loan limit is $818,750. (In some areas close to Fort Meade, the limit is $500,000.)
The Real Estate section also has some tips for military buyers in the D.C. region:
1.) Be prepared for sticker shock.
2.) Understand that 20 miles does not equal 30 minutes.
3.) Check out the rental market for the house.
4.) Research military resources in the area.
5.) Don’t just rely on the housing resources from the base, which usually don’t pre-screen the homes for neighborhood, schools or commuting distanc
6.) Consider renting.