Why Military Buyers Could Be Your Best Clients

May 4, 2016

Active-service military buyers between the ages of 18 and 35 are purchasing homes at a “far greater rate” than non-military buyers – 51 percent versus 34 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ newly released Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile. This is the first time NAR has released such an in-depth look at the military with the aim of evaluating the differences between active-service/veteran real estate clients and those who’ve never served.

Despite their lower median income ($76,800), active-service military members tend to have more job security, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. "No-down payment financing options... are giving aspiring home owners in the military a deserving advantage over their civilian peers,” he adds. “Furthermore, their tendencies to marry and raise a family at an earlier age and carry less student debt make buying a home a more desirable and achievable option.”

They also turn to real estate professionals more than non-military buyers. NAR speculates this is because of their increased mobility rates that often require them to move in short timeframes. Active-service military members use a real estate agent 95 percent of the time versus 88 percent for non-military buyers, the survey showed.  

Because of the aforementioned tendency to marry and have children at younger ages, active-service members often purchase larger homes that cost more than those purchased by non-military buyers and veterans alike, according to the study. Active-service buyers typically purchased a 2,170-square-foot home that cost about $226,000, while veteran buyers purchased a median home of 1,980 square feet costing $220,000.

The loans available to the military prove to be a big perk. Veterans Affairs loans offer 100 percent financing for veteran and active-service home buyers. They are credited with allowing the active-service buyers and veterans surveyed to finance their entire home purchase by putting down a median down payment of 5 percent. For non-military buyers, the median down payment was 11 percent.

“Current data shows that VA loans perform remarkably well and are a safe and affordable choice,” Yun says. “Their current seriously delinquent and homes in foreclosure rate is 2.78 percent versus 3.44 percent for non-VA loans.”

NAR offers a Military Relocation Professional certification program geared to helping REALTORS® learn more about how to best serve military clients. So far, more than 6,800 REALTORS® have earned the certification. 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®