The first phase of my assigned blog topics as part of my internship through the DoD Skill Bridge program have led me down a path of self reflection and personal growth. That's been a solid foundation to my transition out of the military after 20 years of service. I've appreciated very much all the great comments and support.
The next phase of the blog focuses on analyzing my resources, benefits and network. Knowledge and connections are both important and should continue to grow throughout life.
With this post I seek to SHARE information and SEEK information from my network and hopefully my network's network. There are so many benefits and resources out there that I need to discover and I know I am not alone. I challenge all who read this blog post to engage by adding information, even if it's as simple as a link to a website that details a benefit or resource.
The focus of the information I would like to share and seek is for the benefit of the those looking to join the military, transitioning military and overall veteran community and their families.
A few stats about the transitioning veteran / veteran demographic:
Each year, approximately 200,000 to 250,000 military members transition to civilian society
There are roughly 18 million veterans in the United States today representing 7.1 percent of the U.S. population
The majority (91 percent) are men
Half of all veterans are aged 65 or older
Twenty One percent of veterans served in the military on or after September 11, 2001 – we refer to them as post-9/11 veterans
I recently used the VA home loan and it was a tremendous benefit! The overall savings from this benefit made it possible for me to move home to California.
Benefit:VA Home Loan
Overview: A Veterans Administration (VA) loan is a mortgage loan backed by the federal government. No required down payment, no PMI, highly competitive rates, and lower closing costs are all great reasons to take advantage of this benefit.
Active Duty Veteran eligibility is based on service dates and length of service
Guard and Reserve eligibility with 90 days of active-duty service or if you had 6 creditable years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and meet certain criteria.
* Full eligibility matrix can be found on the VA website
Select a VA-approved Lender. Only lenders approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can originate VA mortgages
Apply for a certificate of eligibility (COE) through the eBenefits site. Usually, a COE can be acquired online instantly through a lender’s portal or through the eBenefits portal on the va.gov website. Those servicemembers or surviving spouses whose COEs cannot be obtained online will have to get theirs by mail. A VA lender or the VA can help direct you to the right resource for your specific situation. Depending on your current status (AD, Guard/Reserve, Surviving Spouse) you will need to gather certain documents to apply.
Your lender will process your application and VA appraisal
Note: Working with a real estate professional who specializes in the VA process may help you get the most out of your benefits. This is true because the VA allows certain fees and costs to be paid by the seller (if both you and the seller agree), and a knowledgeable agent will know this and help you negotiate seller-paid fees.
Bonus: Many states offer property tax reductions for qualifying veterans.
Community, I am SEEKING information from you! Join me in SHARING information about a benefit or resource by commenting and sharing this post!