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MIlitary In need of advice to sell or rent my home.

So I recently received orders to VA and have been informed that my home is now worth less than what I owe...so it's been recommended that I rent it out.  Can someone give me a second opinion?  I'm due to relocate in April.  Thanks.
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January 28 2011 - Olympia
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Depending on when you bought it the military has a program that mat take most of the loss for you. If you do not qualify for that check around for a good property managment compay to rent it out for you. You will need a local connection for showing, advertising and someone local for the tenant to call if there is a problem
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January 28 2011

Alan is 100% on the money here.  Speak to the VA representative and they will be able to assist you during a PCS.

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January 28 2011
Renting may be a good option, it depends on your rental market and how the cash flow works out for you.  Get an estimate from a Property Management company on what they could rent your house for, and then figure out whether you will have a monthly loss, and if you can handle that loss for the long term.  Don't forget to figure in maintenance costs, they typically amount to 1-2% of the value of your home each year.

There are lots of options available to you, and I would recommend spending an hour of time with a real estate attorney to find out if some of the less desireable options (short sale or foreclosure) are worth considering, consulting with the attorney is well worth the cost.  As a military member you may have other considerations as well, since some financial decisions could affect your career.

You also need to speak with a real estate agent about options for selling.  Try to find one who is savvy with the HAP program for military members and can tell you whether you are eligible.  If you aren't eligible for HAP, you may want an agent who is smart about, and willing to work with, short sales.

Good Luck. 
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January 28 2011
Dear Castillo;

Renting out your home is never an easy proposition...and being an absentee landlord can be a real headache.  Trust me, I've been there. 
I was formerly in the military, and when in I had very little idea of the programs available for assistance, such as the VA.  Someone there at the VA should be able to assist you with this, since there are programs designed just for this situation. 
I might seek a second opinion regarding what your home is worth. 
If it is worth less than what you owe (meaning you are "upside down"), then you may consider a short sale.  There are plusses and minuses with short sales...for example, if you have a short sale on your record that will drop your credit score quite a bit and your ability to purchase another home with a loan will be in jeopardy for a couple of years at the minimum.  But short sales do solve the problem at hand...they work to liquidate the home.
Well, thanks for serving and good luck my friend!

Rob
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January 31 2011
Castillo,

If you go to my website [content removed by moderator] and fill out some basic information (or email/call), I can help you determine your best option.  My husband just retired from the military and dozens of people that worked with him have come to me for assistance in this circumstance.

Thanks for doing what others won't do!
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January 31 2011

Hi Castillo,
I agree with the above responses on checking out all the available programs for military in your position. Hopefully there is a program to assist you and you can sell your home if that is what you want to do.  If you do not qualify, I would consider looking into renting your home.

 While in Property Management in the local area and I am always seeing a demand for rental homes.

The market is eventually going to turn around and we are fortunate to be in the military community. . 

My husband is retired military and I understand the moving process and the challenges that go along with it. Thank you for your service!
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January 31 2011
Good luck to you....sometimes its better to take a small financial hit and purchase on the other side where you will be able to take advantage of the mortgage write off and enjoy the ownership.
Thank you for all you do and good luck to you
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February 01 2011
I just closed a transaction with a client (military) in a similar circumstance.  Go online and research the Housing Assistance Program from the Army Corps of Engineers.  Pretty easy to find online.  My client came to me with it.  I have phone numbers for the regional office and reps in a file at my office, but you should be able to find them online.  I can also ask my client if they'd like to talk to you about their experience.  It was a very positive sale.  Most agents and buyers will have a negative reaction to the 'Short Sale situation you seem to be in.  But with the HAP program (assuming you'll qualify) it was painless.  My client even received a check for expenses.  I was amazed.

The program was developed over a decade (maybe 2) for base closure situations, it was dusted off to help with the poor market caused by the economy to assist military and some goverment employees.

I am also former military and see this as a great oppertunity that you need to look into.  I'd be happy to help.
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February 09 2011
Thank you for protecting our country.
Renting may be an option, but it has its risks.  You may consider a short sale.  As long as you keep your payments up during the process you can still buy a home after the sale. Then you would be in a better positon because most likely the new home you purchase will be a great deal or a short sale.  If I can be of service just let me know. I service the Jacksonville and beaches areas of Northeast Florida. 
[Contact info removed by moderator]
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February 09 2011

First and foremost talk to a VA rep. if that doesn't go the way you need it to renting might be your best option and I would talk to the VA rep about renting through them because they have programs that would secure that you would get payment. Good Luck

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February 11 2011
Check out the Housing Assistance Program from the Army Corps of Engineers website.  If you qualify, the sale can be for market value and a short sale, but not at a loss to you.

Good Luck,

Paul Klenk
Van Dorm Realty, Inc
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February 11 2011
If you would rather sell your home than being a landlord, then take advantage of the Housing Assistance Program available to military home owners.http://hap.usace.army.mil/

Also consider the benefits of keeping the home and renting it out. The home would become an investment property that can serve as a tax shelter, and may provide inflation-safe retirement income for you in the future. When we were active duty, we kept our first home, even during overseas duty, and were able to build up enough equity over the years to buy a much nicer home at retirement.
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February 26 2011
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By now you have probably sorted this out.  However many of us are facing this type of situation and one of the best things you can do is to sit down with someone and really crunch the numbers.  Find out what your home would actually sell for today, find out if your willing to take a loss to get out of it, or maybe just find a good property management company.  Of course you may actually be surprised by what your home is actually worth, it could be more then a random estimate. So sit down and crunch the numbers and you will figure out what is right for you.
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May 18 2011
Will the rent cover your mortgage payment?  If not, you may like to register for the HAP program.  It is a government/military program that allows you to sell for less than what you owe and the government helps cover the shortfall.  I have done several similiar transactions, called short sales and it really is one of the best options for a seller in this situation.  It takes a little extra time to get all the paperwork together for a HAP sale, but if you do not expect to return to the area, it may be the best scenerio for you. Feel free to email or call if you'd like to discuss in greater detail.
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May 18 2011
 
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