Moving for the Military: Sell the House, Rent It, or Geo-Bach?

Did you receive a PCS (Permanent Change Station) order and need to leave your current home in a matter of days? This situation can put anyone on edge, primarily when you and your family have just settled in.  Beyond dealing with your family’s daily drills, you have to think about packing, changing your children’s learning arrangements, what to do with the house, and manage the emotional strains that come with saying goodbye to your community again.  It’s a lot of pressure!

If you find yourself or your spouse in a similar situation, you have three options: leave your family in your current home for a few months (geo-baching), rent it out, or sell it before you go. In this article, we brush over these three ways to help you kick start your thoughts.

Geo-Baching

leave school and work right away.  But financially speaking, geo-baching is not completely bad news. A service member called for duty is entitled to a family separation allowance (FSA) on top of the per diem if he/she has dependents. Some also call this the geo-bach payment.

Remember, however, that not all FSAs are completely helpful. You’ll have the option to buy a house at the next location or temporarily live in geo-baching quarters, which you may have to pay for monthly. In addition, geo-baching will have to be requested and approved, and some military branches do deny some requests.

If you decide to go for geo-baching and receive approval, the bright side is, you don’t have to be pressured over what to do with your house. If you want to sell the house, your spouse or family members can take care of the arrangements from packing, looking for a buyer, showing, closing, and many more. They can stay in your home and maintain it you find a buyer.

Rent It Out 

If the house is in your family’s name, it would be disheartening to see it go after all the bustle that you went through in buying it.  Plus, you might be able to generate more equity from it if you keep it longer. With this, you have the option to lease your home to a reliable tenant. Not only will your tenant cover your mortgage, but you also won’t have to think about maintaining the house as much. 

giving the keys of your home to your renter

According to the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), military families relocate 3x more frequently than civilian families. As much as the military covers your moving expenses, a little extra money from a rental won’t hurt.

If you decide to rent your Georgia house and your new station is too far away, you’ll have to consider hiring a caretaker or property manager. A property manager doesn’t have to be from a big-time corporate company. He/she can be your relative, friend, or neighbour — someone you completely trust and contact at any time.

Sell The House

If you want to focus on your new life with your family at the next station, you can also sell the house before your move out date. Typically, houses can stay on the market for months. This can be a burden because you have to consider home viewings, in-person negotiations, and the like.  However, there are ways to help you sell your house fast, so you can take a breather once you need to transfer already.

1.    Hire an MRP-Certified Realtor

Military home sellers (and buyers) have different priorities and situations than regular civilian home sellers. This is why the National Association of Realtors established the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification. An MRP fully understands your situation and is fully adept at military tax benefits, so you can sell your house the way you want and with minimal inconveniences.

If you want to sell to a retail buyer, an MRP will also know how to market your house. Armed with a complete understanding of Operations Security (OPSEC), your MRP will know how to approach and arrange home viewings should your potential buyer wish to. If your mortgage is under a VA Loan, your MRP agent will also be familiar with how to transfer the VA Loan to your buyer, military or not. 

It is crucial to choose your MRP agent well. Apart from his/her technical knowledge, you might want to consider how fast the agent has sold previous homes. Considering that time is of the essence to you, look for an agent with the shortest days on the market (DOM) records.

listening to an MRP-accredited real estate agent

2.    Sell Off Market to a Cash Buyer

Off the market, the fastest way to sell your house is through a professional home buyer like us. You won’t have to hire an agent, do multiple home viewings, and worry about security. We can create an offer for your house within one-two days, close within seven days, and pay you in cash! If you want to know more about our services, you can call us at (678) 318 – 1801!

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