Langley AFB

All Things Great….Thought of Moving or Relocating to Williamsburg, VA?

CWBy: Williamsburg Military Insider

Few places combine the cultural and historical aspects of Williamsburg, Virginia. U.S. Airways Magazine February 2013 has highlighted how wonderful Williamsburg, VA is!  The past meets the present in a place where America travelled from the frontier days of Jamestown in 1607, through the American Revolution and on to the Civil War. Restored Colonial Williamsburg recreates town life and, together with nearby Yorktown and Jamestown, help visitors and residents revisit and remember our national roots. Virginia’s colonial capital still thumps to the beat of the fifes and drums and the hammering of metal at the blacksmith shop.  You can still take a carriage ride down Duke of Gloucester Street, tour the Governors Palace, and walk in the footsteps of George Washington.  But you can also go to the spa, shop in Merchants Square, and play 18 holes at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.  That’s right: John D. Rockerfeller Jr.s dream in now studded with world class amenities.  The presence of one of the top small colleges in the country in William and Mary brings the vibrancy of young ideas and contemporary cultural life to blend with the old. Families flourish in the mild Virginia climate and enjoy the proximity to Virginia and North Carolina beaches, Blue Ridge Mountains and urban attractions of Norfolk, Richmond and Washington, D.C. all within 1-3 hours driving time. The commute to Langley AFB 20-30 min, there is nothing better than living in Williamsburg, VA.

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2012 (BAH) Basic Allowance for Housing Rates Will Rise in Hampton Roads, VA.

By:  Williamsburg Military Insider

2012 Basic Allowance for Housing rates will rise an average 2 percent next year, here in Hampton Roads, to include, Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex.

See the rates

When rates go up, all service members in a given location get the increase. But when rates dip, the military’s “individual rate protection” policy ensures that troops already settled in a location will not see their BAH decrease for as long as they remain in that location, assuming no change in dependency status or a reduction in pay grade.

That policy assures that troops who have signed long-term leases are not penalized if housing costs in their area fall.

BAH rates remain high by historical standards. Until 2005, troops were expected to cover some of their housing costs out of their own pockets. But Congress changed the law, and now the Pentagon gives troops 100 percent of estimated housing costs for their area.

Median rental costs are only one factor in the complex formula officials use to determine BAH rates. It also includes the average utilities costs and renter’s insurance rates. The Pentagon analyzes that data annually for 365 U.S. housing markets, including Alaska and Hawaii.

The Defense Department will pay out a total of about $20 billion in BAH, a slight uptick from last year’s total of about $19 billion. More than 1 million troops receive BAH to cover housing off post or rent in privatized housing complexes on military installations.

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

Moving to Williamsburg? It is a Buyer’s Market…A Few Tips Before You Get Started.

by: Williamsburgmilitaryinsider.com

Maybe the thought of brown boxes and overflowing moving trucks sends you into hysteria, yet the fact is it’s a buyers’ market. Whether you’re looking for your first home or looking to upsize, at your new PCS location this is the time to take advantage of declining home prices. In addition to affordable home prices, U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are near an all-time low. This combination makes it the perfect time to buy a home.

Before you load of your household goods, the kids, the dog and every little item you
ever, there are a few things you should know about buying a home.

Understand Your Credit Score

Who would have ever dreamed that three numbers could stand in the way of buying a
home? This score determines whether or not you can get a mortgage and the interest rate, which you pay monthly. Your credit score is a lot like a worn down suitcase. It’s filled with your payment and credit history that you more than likely want to forget. But there’s no hiding it, this suitcase will haunt you as long as you live. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. If you have a score below 700, you may have more trouble finding a lender.

If your credit score isn’t as squeaky clean as you would like it, there are ways to boost those numbers. An obvious way to do this is to pay your bills on time. The quicker you pay off your bills and lower the balance on credit cards can benefit your score. To track your own credit score, visit with a local lender  or go to myFICO.com to see where your credit score
stands.

Be Realistic With What You Can Afford

A qualified mortgage lender will pre-approve you for a certain amount to finance
a home, yet this does not mean go out a buy a home at this price. You may not be able to afford it. Alongside utilities, property taxes, home insurance and possible HOA fees, this price may be too high. Sit down with your family and plan out other expenses involved in owning a home, you do not want to be house poor. You want to be able to enjoy life.

Research Movement in Price

Just because the “For Sale” sign has a listing price, doesn’t mean you’re stuck at that price. Before making any type of offer, have your Realtor research the movement in price. Check out how many times the sale price has been reduced. If the price has been reduced multiple times, you have an eager seller. These sellers are more than likely to accept a lower offer and will want to sell quickly.

Is the Builder Reliable?

If you’re looking into new construction, look for a reputable company, one that has been in business for a few years and has a proven track record. If you are questioning your builder’s credibility, search their name on the BBB, Better Business Bureau, website to see past reviews and the rating on their business practices. During your sit down with your builder for preliminary plans, read everything. Have your Realtor with you to help with the questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, this is your house they are building.

What’s the School District Like?

Although the number of bedrooms and bathrooms play a very important role in making a
home purchase, the school district in which this home is within is just as important. You want your kids to go to a reputable school, and this too will affect re-sale price. Do some research on these schools, kindergarten through high school, check the graduation rates and talk to people in the community. Great Schools.org is a great starting point.

Whether buying a new home is a practical decision for you, you must do your research
and think about all aspects beyond the front door. Take advantage of your realtor’s knowledge and the community. Find something that works for every member of the family and just like a book; never trust a home by its exterior.

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

I am Active Duty Military …Why should I get a VA loan over other types?

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Simply put, a VA Home Loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment. There are also no monthly mortgage insurance premiums to pay, limitations on buyer’s closing costs, and an appraisal that informs the buyer of the property value, below are several benefits of a VA Home Loan:

  • Equal opportunity.
  • No down  payment (unless required by the lender or the purchase price is more than  the reasonable value of the property).
  • Buyer informed of reasonable value.
  • Negotiable  interest rate.
  • Ability to  finance the VA funding fee (plus reduced funding fees with a down payment  of at least 5% and exemption for veterans receiving VA compensation).
  • Closing costs  are comparable with other financing types (and may be lower).
  • No mortgage  insurance premiums.
  • An assumable mortgage.
  • Right to prepay without penalty.
  • For homes  inspected by VA during construction, a warranty from builder and assistance from VA to obtain cooperation of builder.
  • VA assistance  to veteran borrowers in default due to temporary financial difficulty.

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

Moving to Langley Air Force Base….Have you thought of living in Williamsburg, VA?

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Few places combine the cultural and historical aspects of Williamsburg, Virginia. The past meets the present in a place where America travelled from the frontier days of Jamestown in 1607, through the American Revolution and on to the Civil War. Restored Colonial Williamsburg recreates town life and, together with nearby Yorktown and Jamestown, help visitors and residents revisit and remember our national roots. The presence of one of the top small colleges in the country in William and Mary brings the vibrancy of young ideas and contemporary cultural life to blend with the old. Families flourish in the mild Virginia climate and enjoy the proximity to Virginia and North Carolina beaches, Blue Ridge Mountains and urban attractions of Norfolk, Richmond and Washington, D.C. all within 1-3 hours driving time. The commute to Langley AFB 20-30 min, there is nothing better than living in Williamsburg, VA.

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

Great Time to Buy A Home in Williamsburg, VA… Are You Prepared?

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

If you are planning on looking to buy a home, make sure you come prepared. Beyond getting pre-qualified and selecting a Realtor, you may want to have several resources to hand to help with your search. After helping many clients purchase homes, I have come to realize a system that really helps them in the process. First take with you, your smart phone so that you can take pictures and a notebook to catalog your search results. If your phone can’t take photos, then bring a camera with you. In your notebook, put in the measurements of the large pieces of furniture you have so that you can see if your current furniture will fit in the space. Also, note what is important to you for your new home. You want to do this ahead of time so that you have made your priorities absent of emotional attachments to a particular home. It will help you be less emotionally driven and help prevent you from making an offer on something that really does not meet your needs.

Note your priorities in your notebook by level of importance. If budget is primary, then note that on the top of the list and make sure your Realtor knows that you do not want look at homes much higher than that benchmark. This will help alleviate disappointment. If space is super important, note that too. You do not want to be looking at a three-bedroom home when you will only be able to fit in a four-bedroom.

Most have all have fun finding your new home. 

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

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.

Active Duty Underwater near Ft Eustis or Langley AFB: Swim instead of Sink

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Looking back at our home buying six years ago, people told military families they were crazy if they didn’t buy a home when arriving at a   new duty station on three year orders. But since the housing bubble burst, many military families are forced to make tough decisions when they PCS next.

Negative equity, when a homeowner owes more than the home is worth, is often called an “under water” mortgage.  I came across an interesting statistic in the last quarter of 2010, nearly one-fourth of American homes were under water.

For Military Families in this situation, PCS orders can be terrifying.  If they own a home and can’t sell it at a profit when it’s time to PCS, some families are forced to become long distance landlords. Others face foreclosure.  Most military families don’t have enough money to cover the difference between the price the buyer pays them and the remaining mortgage they owe.  So some families choose to rent out their homes, this can be financially fruitful.

Sometimes the incoming rent doesn’t cover the mortgage or tenants are hard to find and keep.  If the rent doesn’t cover the mortgage, or if you go several months without a tenant, the overall cost can be worse than selling at a loss.  If there are tens of thousands of dollars difference between the home’s appraised value and your remaining mortgage, talk to your lender and look into the government programs to see if you qualify.  Some can decrease the monthly mortgage payment with a loan modification, making renting more viable. Others could cover the difference if you sell for less than your home is worth’s.

Below are some Resources, The worst option is Foreclosure, with long lasting impact on a Service Members credit or even their security Clearance and Career in some branches.

Resources

Information on several Government Programs: Most are best used before you miss a mortgage payment.  If you need to renegotiate a mortgage or consider a short sale you may get help here.

http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/pages/default.aspx

VA Compromise Sale: Get information on how to pursue a short on a VA Loan

http://www.vba.va.gov/ro/houston/lgy/compsale.html

Housing Assistance Program:  There are tight guidelines but only

significant help for those who bought before housing prices plunged in 2007.

http://hap.usace.army.mil/homepage.asp

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