JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
A personal financial counselor at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center will navigate prospective home owners through the home-buying process with all its twists and turns during an upcoming class.
“Home Sweet Home: Strategies for Home Buying” will be presented from 10-11:30 a.m. May 19 at the JBSA-Randolph M&FRC.
“The class is an overview of all the things you can expect when you buy a home,” said Courtney Waggoner, a PFC assigned to the JBSA-Randolph M&FRC. “We’ll go through the whole home-buying process, starting with checking your credit score.”
In addition to detailing the home buying process, the class, which is based on a curriculum developed by the Department of Defense, will address topics such as renting versus buying, mortgage problems, foreclosure alternatives and consequences, and loans available to military members. Helpful resources will also be provided.
Renting versus buying will be the first topic addressed since renting may make more sense for some people, Waggoner said.
“If you’re on a shoestring budget, buying may not be good for you,” she said. “Your budget, credit score and debt-to-income ratio are the first considerations for renting versus buying.”
Preliminary steps in the home-buying process include a credit score check, estimating cash flow and calculating debt-to-income ratio as well as organizing documents such as pay stubs and W-2 forms and estimating the down payment and closing costs, Waggoner said.
Mortgage terms are an important consideration because some people may sign on for a low interest loan from a lender who does not inform them they have an adjustable rate mortgage that will vary over the length of the term, she said.
“They need to be wary of shady offers,” Waggoner said. “They think they’re getting a low fixed rate, but it’s actually an adjustable rate, and they’re not told of the ramifications. It’s important to find the right Realtor and mortgage company.”
Military members will learn about Department of Veterans Affairs loans, including the types of VA loans and requirements for a VA loan certificate of eligibility. Federal Housing Administration loans will also be discussed.
Military members will also be informed about the ramifications of buying a home if they will be assigned to a duty station for a short period of time, Waggoner said.
“They have to consider a lot of different things,” she said. “If they can’t sell their house, do they want to rent it to someone? A lot of military members do become landlords. That can work out and provide them with a stream of income, but it can also be a headache.”
Waggoner said the class is also offered on a by-request basis to squadrons and other units. Individuals who cannot attend the class may also make an appointment for a one-on-one session.
“There’s a lot of good information in this presentation,” she said. “We just want to get people thinking about what goes into buying a house. It’s not a light decision to make.”
For more information or to sign up for the class, call the JBSA-Randolph M&FRC at 652-5321.