Renovating Your New PCS (Permanent Change Of Station) Home

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One of the most exciting parts about moving off-base is the ability to make your home your own. With VA home loans, you can get some great benefits that will make it easier for home improvement from the start.

No Money Down VA Home Loans

Unlike normal loans, the VA loan doesn’t make you pay mortgage insurance with a down payment under 20%. In fact, you don’t even have to make a down payment at all. This is great if you have cash that could go towards important renovations. You can use your cash to increase the value of your home right from the start by replacing bad flooring, old cabinets or the roof, for example. Often, a homeowner will move in with the best intentions to make upgrades, but lack the cash to actually do so. The thousands of dollars you would normally pay in a down payment could be put towards those renovation plans with a VA loan.

VA Home Renovation Loans

If you don’t have enough cash for necessary renovations you want to do, a VA Renovation loan might be the way to go. These loans roll your home price and expected repair costs into one loan with one payment. You will need to get itemized quotes from your contractor for the upgrades and repairs you plan to make. The VA appraiser then determines the as-completed cost of the home to determine how much you qualify for (the lesser of the planned cost or the as-completed value). This can be a great option if you are planning to buy a fixer-upper listed for a good price but it is in need of a lot of work.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

Another VA loan option would be an efficiency home improvement mortgage if you are in the military and want to buy a home while making specific green feature updates. Installing solar panels, programmable thermostats, storm windows and other qualified features can make your home more cost effective too.

Great Renovation Ideas for Military Homeowners

You can buy a cheaper house to remodel in ways that improve the value as a part of your investment. Look at areas of the house that commonly need updating and form a rough renovation estimate before deciding on your offer price:

  • Roofing – Get an estimate, especially if your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy.

  • Windows – Look at age and efficiency of the windows. Don’t be fooled by a coat of new paint on the trim!

  • Doors – Check the quality and locking ability of the exterior doors for security.

  • Floors – Old carpeting, cracked tile and peeling laminate are examples of flooring that may need replacement sooner than later.

  • Outdoor living spaces — Increase your living space and value of your home with practical outdoor areas.

  • Kitchens and Bathrooms – Renovating outdated kitchens and bathrooms will increase the value of a home.

  • Obstructing walls – Knocking out a wall or two that will open up the kitchen or living spaces can dramatically improve the layout of the home.

  • Re-siding or exterior painting – Cracked or peeling paint might indicate issues that need addressed from the get-go.

  • Finishing a basement – If your new home has an unfinished basement, finishing it can dramatically increase the value.

Should I Buy a House That Needs Renovations?

As a military buyer, you have loan options that could make buying a renovation project a better deal than it normally is. Buying a finished house means you are paying for all the work they put into the updates. Buying a house that needs work means you get to personalize your updates at a lower price.

Are you ready to find your next home? If you need any estimates or ideas for renovation projects, we can help!

About The Author

Alethea M. graduated from the University of Saint Francis in 2009 with a B.A., double-majoring in Communication Arts and Graphic Design. She has written articles for clients on a vast number of varying industry subjects, such as marketing trends, postsecondary education, industrial products, fashion, home maintenance, real estate, lifestyle, business and much more.


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