Homes for the Brave


homes-for-the-brave

Helping our Veterans and active military servicemembers find a place they call home for a few years or for the rest of their lives is a privilege and as REALTORS®, our goal is to provide them with the best expertise available.

The transitions a military family or servicemember experiences with a permanent change of station (PCS), end of deployment, separation from service or retirement can be challenging as they settle into new communities and cultures and make their life adjustments.

I am honored to be a retired U.S. Army First Sergeant and have served in many locations throughout the country and the world including Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Europe, Korea, Japan and finally Washington state at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). I have personally experienced the unique processes and procedures involved in military relocations. I retired in 1993 and made Washington my permanent home where I raised my family and have worked as a REALTOR® for the last 24 years.

REALTORS®—many of whom, like me, are Veterans themselves—also have the benefit of professional training that enhances our ability to assist our military with their dream of home ownership. REALTORS® have an important role in educating and reminding our active military and Veterans about military housing benefits.


Ensuring Your Benefits

Military personnel past and present may qualify for the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Home Loan programs. VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government, have competitive interest rates, require little or no down payment and no private mortgage insurance.

The VA Home Loan program began in 1944 with the GI Bill and is part of a package of benefits our country provides to honor the service of our military. More than 20 million loans have been guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the program’s inception.

To find out if you are eligible for the VA Home Loan program, go to www.benefits.va.gov and search for Home Loans.


REALTORS® Train to Care

In Washington state, we provide a national certification and specialized training for REALTORS® who desire to help our Vets and active military.

The national certification that helps REALTORS® assist service members and their families with their relocation needs in the United States is the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) training, which I have had the privilege of teaching. It helps REALTORS® understand their military clients’ relocation needs and timetables so that they can assist with making their transfers less stressful. This training educates real estate professionals on how to work with Veterans and current service members and their families—along with lenders and a team of professionals—to help these clients find their homes and assist them in taking advantage of military benefits.

Washington Association of REALTORS® offers “VA and Military Real Estate Specialist” or VAMRES© training to help real estate professionals identify those who qualify for a VA home loan and understand how to guide military clients through the process of home buying and selling.

REALTORS®* want to give back to our military by caring for their unique real estate needs in a manner that shows our respect, while making them feel at home. With our enhanced professional training and skills, we desire to be trusted advisers to those who have committed their lives to serve our country. We are proud to help find “homes for the brave”.

* Note: Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®; look for the REALTOR® logo when choosing your broker. It indicates they belong to the National Association of REALTORS® and pledge to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.

Originally published in The Olympian Sunday, July 9, 2017.
Reprinted with permission.


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