The housing market has quite literally exploded over the past year, leaving many military families scrambling during PCS season. Tackling home buying in a seller’s market may be challenging, but it isn’t impossible.
Michelle Crumley knows all about Murphy’s law and the ways of military life.
“Mike joined the Navy in ’89 with the sheer intent of becoming a SEAL and successfully met that milestone a year-and-a-half later when he graduated BUD/s,” she said.
Though they married in 1992 and spent a lot of his career in the Virginia Beach area, Crumley would also experience a move to Alaska.
“This little rock in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska is where my career story really took shape,” Crumley said of entering the mortgage industry. “After buying two homes and still not really understanding the whole mortgage world while receiving misleading or incorrect information on VA financing, I actually entered the industry so I could learn as well as educate the military community around me.”
Crumley took the knowledge and experience she gained to go on to train, educate and ensure military families were equipped for the home buying experience — even in a seller’s market.
With the country seeing unprecedented surges in home buying, the market is so competitive, sellers are getting multiple cash offers, many of them thousands of dollars over asking price. This has buyers feeling overwhelmed with the process.
“The earlier in the process you learn about financing options, the qualification process and your specific scenarios — then when opportunities present themselves, you are ready to take action quickly,” Crumley said. “It is also important to know yourself, know what you can and are willing to spend, know your have-to-haves versus like-to-haves, and remember you aren’t in Vegas. Don’t get caught up in the moment and end up with buyer’s remorse when the dust settles.”
For example, Crumley added that in her household her husband is the family’s risk taker, while she prefers to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground. She likens today’s housing market to gambling due to the pressure to find something in the heat of the moment but unknowingly creating a bigger headache in the rush. Starting early and operation planning are key, she said.
“Buyers’ and sellers’ markets ebb and flow, and today we are solidly in a seller’s market. As a buyer, this means when you want to enter the arena, you need to come already locked and loaded,” she explained. “On the mortgage side, that means interviewing and selecting an expert in military lending; and on the real estate side, that means interviewing and selecting an agent that works closely with the military community. This is your team, and they are there to support you.”
Crumley spends her days as the Military Client and Community Liaison for Caliber Home Loans. This means she is the go-to for veterans and active-duty service members and their families. With her experience as a loan officer and educator, she focuses on ensuring all information is accurate and in the client’s best interest.
Crumley’s advice to the military community on buying in today’s seller’s market remains simple: start early and be ready for anything.