Three Questions To Ask When Buying A Home


The process of home buying for veterans from Colorado Spring, CO,  to out across the country varies depending on local laws. What doesn’t change, however, is the difference between a good quality home and a not-so-good quality home. Here are a few questions to ask your realtor while you’re visiting a home for sale.


What Is The Property Worth/ How Much Have Comparable Homes In This Neighborhood Sold For?


For ethical reasons, a realtor cannot give their opinion on the cost of a home. In most cases, however, a realtor has a good sense of the market and can tell you whether the home is being sold for a price that is reasonable against other recent sales. Comparable sales can be a key determinant in purchasing a home and should give you a good sense of whether or not you’re receiving a deal. The realtor can also tell you how long a home has been on the market, new listings can have higher asking prices than homes that have been waiting to be sold for a while but may also be more in line with their effective property value.


How Flexible Is The Seller On Their Asking Price?


Rather than making a lowball offer that a seller will reject, asking the flexibility question allows you to get a good sense of how much lower you can reasonably expect to go. If a seller isn’t very flexible, time on the market may change that. If a seller is more flexible, a realtor can help you determine what a good offer might be. Flexibility is one of the first questions you should ask if you’re considering making an offer.


What’s Wrong With This House?


If the house has been previously inspected, ask to see a copy of the report. In most cases, there are at least one or two problems with a home listed, they may not be something expensive to fix, but you should still know what they are before making an offer. If a seller claims that there are no issues with the house, you should have it inspected just to be sure.


Whether you’re considering home loans for veterans in San Diego, CA, or simply saving up to make an offer on your future home, A Real Estate Guide for Veterans can help. Order your copy today!


The G.I. Bill: History And Ability

In A Real Estate Guide for Veterans, Joseph W. Gaul provides home buying help for veterans in the form of step-by-step instructions on how to get the most out of an underused element of the G.I. Bill. But what exactly is the G.I. Bill?


Post-World War I

Many veterans were dissatisfied with the lack of compensation and benefits they received after returning home. As the American Legion and the VFW lobbied congress for greater post-war compensation to retired service members, veterans’ benefits became a major platform for political parties. Originally drafted by Harry W. Colmery, the bill passed through several revisions before being passed by congress and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.


The G.I. Bill (the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) had several important benefits for all veterans that had received an “other than dishonorable discharge.” They included:


  • A weekly allowance of $20 for up to a year while former service members looked for work
  • Education benefits aimed at covering most of the costs of higher education, vocational schooling, high school and job training
  • A zero down payment home loan, with terms that favored new construction over existing housing


Post-World War II


In the years that followed World War II, the bill was considered a stunning success. Hundreds of thousands of veterans were becoming homeowners thanks to the bill and millions were receiving an education. The bill went on to benefit Korean War veterans, increasing the monetary benefits they could receive towards education.



In previous decades, a number of changes have impacted the G.I. Bill, primarily expanding the financial coverage of higher education for veterans. The most recent change came in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill which covered the cost of public, in-state colleges and included a stipend for books and living costs.


Unfortunately, the G.I. Bill’s provided homebuying assistance for veterans in San Antonio, TX and across the country is still widely misunderstood, and therefore not used to the lengths it should be. A Real Estate Guide for Veterans provides knowledge and instructions on using the G.I. Bill to its full extent.


Learn more about A Real Estate Guide for Veterans.

What is A Dollar Home?

In A Real Estate Guide for Veterans, Joseph W. Gaul goes into detail describing dollar homes as well as the pros and cons of buying them. While the chapter in the book is very informative, we thought we’d take a minute to briefly explain what they are.


The first thing you should know is that dollar homes aren’t really a dollar. For reasons we’ll explain, the homes can be sold for a dollar, but the buyer will end up paying significantly more than that. The second thing you should note is that dollar homes are not intended for the average homebuyer, there’s a reason most home buyers stay away from them.


When an individual defaults on a home and it’s repossessed, the bank can sell it back to the federal government. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can then sell it through the Federal Housing Administration to the municipalities. HUD’s dollar homes initiative was created in 2000 to help “foster housing opportunities for low to moderate income families and address specific community needs by offering them the ability to purchase qualified HUD-owned homes for $1 each.”


Dollar homes are generally intended to be used by non-profit organizations. Non-profits then operate out of the homes to enrich the communities that they are in. True dollar homes cannot be resold to private home buyers, only to other charities.


Dollar home buyers still need to pay closing costs, property taxes, utilities and other fees as they would when purchasing any other home. Dollar homes are typically located in high-crime neighborhoods and may require tens of thousands of dollars of repairs to make them liveable.


For the average home buyer, dollar homes aren’t truly feasible. In most cases, they would need to set up a non-profit organization and operate it prior to the purchase.  All of this and more is covered in greater detail in A Real Estate Guide for Veterans.


Whether you’re looking for home buying help for veterans in Chicago IL, home buying help for veterans in Norfolk City, VA, or anywhere across the U.S. consider picking up a copy of A Real Estate Guide for Veterans to gain important insight and tips into making your first home your best purchase.

5 Of The Best Cities For Veterans

In A Real Estate Guide for Veterans, It’s detailed how to find your next home as a former United States service member. Once you return from your final tour, it can be a conundrum figuring out where to go next. The U.S. is a big place, filled with different people who comprise different communities. If you’re looking for a place to settle down as a veteran, here are 5 of the best cities to pick from.


  1. Virginia Beach, VA- Neptune City is filled with beautiful properties minutes from some of the best shorelines the country has to offer. The peace and serenity of the area is a definite advantage to living here; there is a large concentration of both veterans and active servicemembers. As of 2015, there are nearly 60,000 veterans estimated to be living in the area with an unemployment rate for veterans well below the national average at 6.1%. There are five VA health facilities within 50 miles of the metropolitan area, and vets in the area have the second highest median income in the country.
  2. San Antonio, TX- The lone star state is home to over 100,000 veterans. The dry heat and excellent food options are two reasons to find a home near the Alamo. With fifteen VA health facilities within 50 miles of the city and excellent school districts, San Antonio is one of the best places in the country to start a family as a veteran.
  3. Washington, D.C- The nation’s capital never sleeps, but it does offer a few compelling reasons to settle down as a retired service member. With the highest number of local military installations at 19 and the highest number of local VA health facilities with 25 it’s a bustling community, but one that vets can feel at home in. Best of all, Washington boasts the highest median income for veterans in the country.
  4. San Diego, CA- The year-round climate and beautiful skyline make compelling reasons to visit America’s Finest City. The concentration of jobs, veterans and active-duty military make compelling reasons to stay. San Diego is home to the largest combined population of veterans and active military. There are eight VA benefits facilities and twelve VA health facilities nearby the city. Median Income is over $40,000 for those who have retired from the military.
  5. Oklahoma City, OK- The Big Friendly is home to great barbecue and hospitable communities. There are three VA benefits facilities local to the area, but the biggest reason to give OKC a look is that it boasts the lowest unemployment rate for veterans in the nation.


Whether you’re finding your first or last home, as a member of the military, you’re entitled to certain benefits that you might not even be aware of. If you’re looking to find the best way to find a home in one of these or other communities, consider picking up A Real Estate Guide for Veterans.


5 Cities Where You Can Still Buy A Home For Cheap

In the recently revised edition of A Real Estate Guide for Veterans, Joseph W. Gaul details the specifics of transitioning into home ownership, as you transition into civilian life. Of course, owning a home is different all around the country. The process of finding your first house can take you to interesting places. Deciding where you want to settle down is the first part of finding your next home.


Here are 5 cities where you can still buy a home for cheap.


  1. Atlanta- Home to both Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, Atlanta still boasts low property prices and an average mortgage interest rate of 4.09%. If you’re a fan of warm weather, purchasing a home in Atlanta is extremely cost-effective with a median home price of less than $160,000. Atlanta holds the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and features companies like AT&T and Delta Air Lines.
  2. Cleveland- Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the creators of Superman, Cleveland is one of the most affordable places to purchase a home in America. The city is home to The Cleveland Clinic, a number of University Hospitals anda large amount ofgovernment jobs. With 30-year mortgage interest rates of 4.05% and median home prices just above $120,00, Cleveland is a compelling argument to settle down in Ohio.
  3. Tampa- Home to two major sports teams and warm weather year-round, Tampa is another place to find a house with low property prices. Citigroup, Publix SuperMarketsand Verizon Communications are all major companies in the city that employ thousands of residents. The metropolitan area has a median home price of $160,000 and an average 30-year mortgage interest rate of 4.13%.
  4. Houston- Beyonce’s hometown, Houston is one of the leading places in the U.S. to start a family. The city possesses the second largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies (behind only New York) in America and is the number one city for job creation in the country. With 30-year mortgage interest rates of 4.09% and median home prices just below $200,000, Houston is a good reason to make thelonestarstate your new home.
  5. Philadelphia- The Birthplace of Liberty is one of the largest metropolitan hubs in the country. Philadelphia’s major employers include University of Pennsylvania, Comcast, US Airways and Temple University. With a 30-year mortgage interest rate of 4.14% and a median home price below $215,000, Philly is one of the best places in the country to start a family.


Of course, if you want to know more about the housing market, and gain insightful tips into buying your first home, check out A Real Estate Guide for Veterans.