Every year on November 11th, the nation pauses and celebrates Veterans Day. Originally called Armistice Day and celebrated on November 11th to commemorate the end of World War I, Veterans Day is a now a day to honor anyone who has served in the Armed forces. For more history on the holiday and its origins, read Veterans Day History.
In Virginia, there are large populations of veterans living in every corner of the commonwealth. The average incomes and homeownership rates for veterans are higher than civilians in the state. There is a high volume of home loans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from Virginia. Thus, it is likely that at some point you will have clients who are military veterans and may be using VA loans to purchase their homes.
So, how can we better educate ourselves and assist those with prior military service in their home buying or renovation process? Here are three steps:
- Ask your client(s), “Have you ever served in the military?” This question is preferred over asking, “Are you a veteran?” because several service members, although they have prior military service, do not consider themselves veterans. This is common amongst those who have served but did not deploy or serve in combat.
- Look into becoming a Military Relocation Professional. This certification assists real estate professionals in working with veterans and service members by increasing their understanding of the military relocation process, their ability to explain basic VA financing, and provision of information to help service members rent, buy, or sell a home. This course is also an approved elective for the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation.
- Share other helpful resources with clients who are veterans or have family members who have served in the military. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services is home to an array of resources for veterans and their families – from filing claims with the VA, to employment and education, to military transition assistance, to behavioral health support.
Thank someone for his or her service today. Happy Veterans Day!