Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to Keep Calm and Move

A guest post by Natalie Giammanco

Here’s How You Can Make PCS Painless
PCS is not a three-letter abbreviation most Americans know. And A Permanent Change of Station likely isn’t something that you want know that much about. Instead, it’s something you have to know.
Like you, those three don’t make me too excited either. It means a move, change of home, change of town and distance from friends. Still, I can’t ignore the brighter side (you can blame my personality).
And after all, it is springtime. AKA ‘home-buying and moving season.’ This move doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few tips to making your PCS painless.
1) Start your transition yesterday. OK, that’s not possible, but you know what I mean. Once you know you’re changing bases, you can’t start looking at your new home too soon. The more you know, the easier that moving day will be. So get online and book a flight or make a drive. Whatever you need to do to see your new town. Who knows? You might even find a coffee shop you can look forward to visiting again.
2) Take a house-hunting trip. You get one of these. The military does not expect you to fly in with no idea where you’re going. In fact, service members stationed within the contiguous 48 states are allotted 10 days of TYD (Temp Duty) that doesn’t come out of their regular leave. This way both you and your military spouse can house hunt. It might even be a fun getaway.
3) Meet with your new base. That’s your new home. Time to meet the people you’ll be seeing. First, talk with the transportation office. You’ll be able to go over the details of your move and they should be able to answer some of your questions – whether you’re curious about transportation or simply wondering about living in their town.
But don’t worry; it’s not all up to you. The military provides some helpful perks, including a full reimbursement of your food and lodging expenses during your move, as well as a gas mileage allowance. You are eligible for temporary lodging expenses should you need them, and you can ask for a dislocation allowance to offset some of the unexpected costs associated with your move. On top of that, you get a tax deduction on moving expenses.
Of course, I haven’t mentioned one big elephant in the room – your new house. For anyone, getting a new house can be stressful. Also, as with the move, it can be a nice opportunity to try something new. And VA loans are here to help you get past the hard part and focus on the fun stuff like picking out colors for your walls.
As you know, a VA loan is a loan for people like you and your family. Because your spouse is a member of the military, your family is eligible for this perk. So take advantage of it.
The major benefit of choosing VA over regular is VA loans don’t require a down payment. You’re already moving, the last thing you need is to make a down payment on a house, right? Since they are backed by the government, there is no monthly Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), so you can start saving for other items on your wish list.
To obtain a VA loan, the first thing you’ll have to do is obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Check this out to see how you can prove that you are eligible. Once you’ve got that it’s easy to get started. I suggest checking out Veterans United Home Loans site. You can fill out a contact from online or you can just give them a call.
I find with these things, it’s always best to talk to the professionals. That’s what they are there for.
I know this post wasn’t short. It probably seems like there is a lot to do. Sure, your to-do list is longer than it was before you started reading, but I hope that you can see the fun in these tasks. This is the next step in your life; you can enjoy it. Just give it a shot!

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