Active duty service members move every 3 years on average. For military families, frequent relocation can create added stress, as you have to find new housing, coordinate the logistics of a move, and establish new roots in an unfamiliar place.
At Benchmark, we want to help alleviate some of that stress, and help ensure a smooth transition during your Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Below are some strategies to make your PCS experience easier.
Know Which Resources and Benefits are Available to You
The military offers many resources and entitlements to help you navigate your PCS move. A great place to start is your installation’s housing office, which can provide you an overview of the housing options available to you at your new installation. You may be granted up to 10 days of leave to travel to your new location to explore housing. If you are thinking about buying a home in your new location, this a great opportunity to go house hunting and check out properties for sale in-person.
To coordinate moving logistics, get in touch with your local installation’s personal property office. They can provide you all of the options to coordinate your move with one of their transportation providers. Alternatively, you may opt to handle the move on your own with a Personally Procured Move (PPM), which allows you to be reimbursed to move your own belongings. Make sure you ask about additional entitlements and expense reimbursements that might be available to you during your move. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to receive reimbursements for Temporary Lodging Expenses (TLE), a Dislocation Allowance, per diem travel allowances, non-temporary storage, and more.
Get an Experienced Home-Buying Team by Your Side
Finding a lender that has experience with military buyers can make a huge difference when navigating the home loan process during a PCS move. At Benchmark, we are committed to providing an outstanding home buying experience for our military clients. We understand the unique challenges you face as an active duty service member looking to buy a home in a new community.
Once you have your PCS orders and decide buying a home is the right choice for you and your family, get in touch with a Benchmark Loan Officer to get pre-approved for a home loan. A pre-approval lets you know your price-range when searching for homes and puts you in the strongest possible position to make an offer. We can also connect you with a Veteran-friendly real estate agent who specializes in assisting relocating military personnel. Choosing the right realtor who has experience working with buyers during the PCS process will make a big difference towards securing the perfect home with ease.
Take Advantage of Technology
Taking advantage of technology can help guarantee a thorough home search process alongside your realtor while limiting the amount of time you need to spend on the ground in your new location. Your realtor can provide you with an online search tool to check out homes within your price-range and specifications. Many listings today offer virtual tours to help you envision what the space feels like beyond traditional photos.
Once you have narrowed down your options online, your realtor can arrange a virtual video tour using a video-chatting app to lead you through the property and answer any questions you may have as they move through each room. Throughout the virtual ‘walk-through’ of the home, you can ask questions like, “can you show me how big the closets are” or “how high are the ceilings in the living room?,” so you get a better feel for the functionality of the home. If you do have the opportunity to personally tour homes in advance of your PCS, you can focus on your top contenders without having to waste time on properties that are not a good fit.
Close on Your New Home
At Benchmark, we have created an “easy button” to ensure a smooth home buying process for our military clients. Our team will take care of you on your journey to your new home, and ensure you have a first-class experience. If you have any questions about the PCS process, get in touch with one of our local experts or join one of our PCS Facebook communities.
The Benchmark PCS Promise
Moving is common with the Military. Whether you’re relocating to another state or country we want to give you the peace of mind you deserve. When purchasing a home you need speed and certainty. We can provide you and your family the certainty you deserve by fully underwriting your file prior to making your offer. That will put you in the best position to win in a competitive market. You’ve made a commitment to us. Now it’s our turn.