Ft. Eustis

TRICARE Makes Moving Easy: From Beginning to End

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

We all remember the days of the three-part form to dis enroll and enroll  in TRICARE when we would PCS from one duty station to another, especially if they were in different regions.  I was excited when I read about how easy it to transfer coverage. You can make one phone call and transfer coverage.  I found this exciting, instead of the hunt for the TRICARE office Ft Eustis or Langley AFB.

Military families are accustomed to change. But one thing stays constant – their TRICARE coverage. TRICARE reminds all beneficiaries, no matter what TRICARE program they’re enrolled in, their benefit is portable, making it easy to transfer coverage. 

            Active duty service members (ADSMs) and active duty family members (ADFMs) who are moving to a new location can now transfer their TRICARE Prime enrollment with a simple phone call.  This new telephone option adds convenience for ADSMs and their families.  

            Moving ADSMs simply call their current regional health care contractor to transfer their family’s enrollment, and include a cell number and email address. The new regional contractor will contact them within five business days after the relocation date to finalize their TRICARE transfer. 

            The enrollment transfer includes a new primary care manager (PCM) best suited to the location of the ADSM’s work, home and anticipated medical needs.  If moving within the current region, this process can be used to help them transfer to a new PCM.

            ADSMs and their families will not have to worry about coverage during this transfer process because they are continuously covered under TRICARE. Once settled, they can confirm coverage on the Beneficiary Web Enrollment (BWE) website.  This link and more information can be found at www.tricare.mil/moving.  

            If an ADSM or ADFM forget to notify his or her current regional contractor of their upcoming move, they still have the option to contact the new regional contractor to transfer enrollment via phone.

            This new phone option adds to the number of choices ADSMs and ADFMs already have in transferring enrollment when moving. Other options include transferring thru military base in-processing, online through BWE and by downloading and completing an enrollment application (DD Form 2876) to mail. To download this form, visit www.tricare.mil/forms. ADSMs and their families can also visit a local TRICARE Service Center. 

            TRICARE believes this ‘before and after’ customer service approach will create a smooth enrollment transfer for ADSMs and their families. For more information on transferring Prime enrollment, go to: www.tricare.mil/moving.

Advertisements

Options for Active Duty Trying to Sell a Home in Williamsburg near Ft. Eustis and Langley AFB

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

U.S. home prices fell 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, according to data from Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller housing index, released on Tuesday. With the latest decline, prices have hit a new post-recession low, and are now comparable to mid-2002 prices. Hearing this today made me realize the options we have, when we are active duty and trying to sell a home.  I have reposted a  post I wrote in March when we had to decide what to do with the signficant drop of Market Value in our home. We did not qualify for Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP), but we decided to pick the best option and go for it.

First, I am getting past the frustration of not selling my home for what we paid for it in Williamsburg, VA in 2007. This is the biggest first step and obstacle to overcome.  Once you clearly state and accept the problem for what it is, you will be free to develop strategies and select the best option for your family. Notice, I didn’t say a “good option”… all of them are likely to come with difficulties.

Option 1:  If your home is currently listed to sell you can reduce the price of your home and come to the settlement with money.  I know this is hard to swallow, but consider the months the home could sit vacant as part of the costs.   If this option is viable “Go for it!” and have peace of mind.

Option 2: Consider renting your home, yes become a Landlord.  This could be a positive note. This could actually put you in a positive cash flow situation.  Do your due diligence on rental prices and the aspects of property management, but a light at the end of the tunnel.

Option 3:  Leave your family behind. Separating families is always a last choice.  But if the two options above do not work this could be a possibility. Personally I am about to experience this in a few weeks.  It is a tough choice but for the next year, we believe it is our best option for our Family.

The above options merely treat the symptoms of the current housing market.

As for my hero in my life he gives all he has to serve his country, and will do anything he could for it!

First Time Home Buyer in Williamsburg near Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB? A Military Home Buyers Vocabulary Guide.

By : Williamsburg Military Insider

If you are buying a home, you may sometimes feel confused by the complicated vocabulary used in real estate transactions. I have compiled a list of commonly used terms that can help you understand some of the terms you’ll hear as you go through the process of negotiating the purchase of a new home. After I was explaining some of the terms to a first time home buyer, I thought a few of them might be helpful to others.

Closing

The meetings at which documents are signed, payments are made, and ownership of the property is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. The certificate of title, abstract, and deed are generally prepared for the closing by an attorney and this cost is charged to the buyer. The buyer signs the mortgage document and payment is made to cover the closing costs. The final closing confirms the original agreement reached in the binder or agreement of sale.

Closing costs

The many small and large expenses that buyers and sellers normally incur to complete the sale of a piece of property. These costs are separate from the price of the property. Payment of closing costs is generally required at the closing. This is a typical list:

Buyer’s expenses

■Documentary stamps on notes

■Recording deed and mortgage

■Escrow fees

■Attorney’s fees

■Title insurance

■Appraisal and inspection

■Survey charge

Seller’s expenses

■Cost of abstract

■Documentary stamps on deed

■Real estate commission

■Recording mortgage

■Survey charge

■Escrow fees

■Attorney’s fees

The agreement of sale negotiated between the buyer and the seller (the binder) may state in writing who will pay each of the various closing costs.

For a further list please visit my  Military Home Buyers Vocabulary Page

A Few Tips When Looking at Rental Property Near Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Are you PCSing to Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB?  If you are planning on looking at a rental property this week in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads, keep in mind several things to help you with your search.  You will be viewing many properties bring with you a camera and a notebook.  In your notebook, note what is important to you before you start our search.  Are amenities important? Is space a priority?  What is your budget?  Is location very important you?  All of these should be put in your notebook so that you can take notes on the properties you have seen to make sure your criteria are met. Take pictures, this is so important because when you begin looking at properties it is so hard to keep track of which offered this versus that.  If you have pictures, you will have a visual catalog of what you saw.  It might point out something you missed during your visit, one of the best benefits to pictures.

Keep in mind the Williamsburg and Hampton Roads rental market is competitive, so make sure you are ready to act if you want a property.  Bring with you your checkbook so that you can offer a deposit.  Also, have with you several references so you are prepared when filling out the lease application. It is always best to be prepared and get your first choice instead of settling for second because you were not.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates  Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team    which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex.  When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA  you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you  for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 or e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

PCS Orders to Ft Eustis or Langley AFB: Special Considerations for Military Renters

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Active duty service members face a big decision when they receive orders sending them to a new assignment: live in military housing, government-leased housing, or buy or rent a place in the nearby Williamsburg or Hampton Roads Area.

In some situations, that choice is made for you. If there are no vacancies on the installation, you may be forced to find your own housing. On the other hand, if there’s ample room on the installation, the local command may require you to live in military quarters.

If you do end up renting a place, be mindful of these unique aspects of being a military tenant.

Government-leased Housing

The Privatized Military Housing Initiative was developed to provide up-to-date housing for today’s military families. But because these facilities are privately managed, the government is not responsible for personal property losses or damages.

Commercial property managers provide a token amount of coverage, but it’s a smart move to purchase a cost-effective renters insurance policy to safeguard your belongings.

Military Housing Allowances

If you’re not living in military quarters, you’re generally eligible to receive a tax-free, monthly allowance that helps cover your housing expenses. It isn’t a blank check — the amount depends on your duty station, pay grade and whether you have dependents.

There are three types of housing allowance:

■Basic Allowance for Housing. The most common housing allowance — BAH — is calculated separately for each location to let service members afford comparable housing no matter where they’re assigned. The amount is recalculated annually. While it can increase if costs in the area rise, an individual service member’s BAH won’t be reduced during his or her tour.

■BAH II. This is essentially a minimum level of BAH that doesn’t vary by location. If it’s greater than what the BAH formula indicates, you’ll receive this higher amount.

■BAH Differential. This allowance is for service members who live in single quarters on a military installation and pay alimony or child support. It’s the difference between the BAH II married and single rates.

Keep in mind that the amounts are completely independent of what you actually pay for rent. If you pay more, you’ll be eating into your regular income. If you can find a home , you’ll enjoy a monthly surplus.

An Important Lease Consideration

As a military service member, you face several scenarios that could prompt you to move out before your lease has expired, including:

■Deployment

■Orders to move onto the installation

■Permanent Change of Station

■Retirement or separation from service

To protect yourself, it’s important that your lease include a so-called “military clause” that lets you terminate it in any of these situations. Your installation’s military assistance officer can help you draft a clause that gives you the protection you need. Also an Realtor can help you with the process . I am available to help you through the rental process jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Orders to Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB: A Military Home Buyer’s Guide

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

You have just received orders to Ft. Eustis, Langley AFB, or Yorktown Navel and it is time to plan for your move across the country, or even across the planet. Under perfect circumstances, which of course don’t exist, this is a major undertaking. And moving gets considerably more complicated when the military member is deployed and the member or spouse cannot participate in the house hunting trip because of childcare concerns, work schedules or deployments.  I have posted a new page  “Military Home Buyer’s Guide.”

Home Buying Trip to Williamsburg, One less Worry :The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act ( MSRRA)

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Are you a military spouse that wants to claim and maintain residency in a state irrespective of where your orders sent you. You are on your home buying trip to Williamsburg, looking at living near Ft. Eustis.  One less worry you can keep your home state too. The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) allows military spouses to maintain their residency in their home state despite where their spouse’s orders take them.  This is a great benefit to military couples because it will enable flexibility.  However, before you make your decision Military.com recommends some factors you should consider:

  • Where do you want to vote?
  • Where do you want to register your car(s)?
  • Where will you file state income taxes or will you file them at all (several states have no state income tax)?
  • Will your residency choice affect tuition rates at a college or university?
  • Check the impacts on county and local taxes, fees and services.
  • Is your state of residency a community property state?
  • How will your state of residency affect your insurance rates – home, auto, business?
  • Ensure your will, Power of Attorney, and other estate planning will be valid in your state of residency.
  • Are there any college savings plans tax breaks in one state versus another?
  • How will a different residency affect you if you own or operate your own business?
  • Will property rights change if you opt for residency in one state versus another?
  • How will personal property taxes be affected if you change your state of residency?

These are some great questions to ask yourself before you decide what is best for you and your spouse.  The answers to these questions will directly impact your taxes, fees, car registration and communal property.  Therefore, definitely take the time to assess the impacts before you move.

Service Members Would Earn Pay During Shutdown

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Military members would continue to earn wages in the event of an April 8 shutdown of the federal government, but they’d have to wait to collect them until Congress agrees on a budget, a senior administration official said from the Pentagon today.  While having to wait to collect wages, this would stop entilements and the PCS process.

I have learned that on-post childcare centers will be OPEN in the event of a shutdown. They are considered critical services and public affairs officers for both the Army Installation Management Command and the Commander Navy Installation Command have stated they will not close despite government shutdown. This applies to Marine Corps facilities as well, as they fall under the CNIC.
Public affairs office for the Army Installation Management Command, shared that All-Ranks Clubs, gyms and libraries should also remain open in case of a shutdown. They are paid for by non-appropriated funds, and operate independently of the Congressionally-approved budget.

In addition, Army and Air Force Exchanges should remain open, though a few products may not be available for sale. (For example, firearms might not be available for purchase if federally-required background checks cannot be performed.) As with the gyms and libraries, the exchanges are not supported with funds from the government budget, so they may continue to operate.Defense.gov News Article: Service Members Would Earn Pay During Shutdown.

Ft Eustis & Langley AFB Servicemembers…Have you filed your taxes?

Due to a holiday, the filing deadline for your 2010 Federal taxes is April 18. Deployed servicemembers and their spouses also have at least a 180-day extension to file or pay taxes from the date they leave the combat zone. To invoke this extension, write “combat zone” across the top of the return. Servicemembers on duty outside the U.S. also are entitled to an automatic two-month extension, pushing the deadline to June 18.

For more on military-related tax laws, visit www.militaryonesource.com or www.irs.gov, which features a section for servicemembers and their families.

PCS help Williamsburg, Ft. Eustis and Langley AFB…move.mil

For servicemembers, Federal civilians, and their families, Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves are a stressful reality of military life. To improve the move process for those who move, and streamline the process for those who support it, the Department of Defense has introduced the Defense Pers, I found this very useful. Times have changed on the PCS front…Move.mil is a great tool.