Enrolled In The EFMP And Want To Buy A House? Here's What To Do
Relocating from one duty station to the next can be both exciting and overwhelming, particularly when you have a family member who is enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program. As you know, the military ensures that your next duty assignment will be based on the specific needs of your exceptional family member and also ensures that all of their special needs can be met, which does include housing. But is it possible to buy a house instead of living on base or in military housing? The answer is yes. Here's what you need to know.
Military Housing Is Prioritized Based On Need
For those in the Exceptional Family Member Program, military housing is prioritized based on need. For example, if your family member has a disability that would make it extremely difficult or impossible to temporarily live in a hotel, your family would be considered higher priority. A family with someone who is asthmatic would be considered lower priority.
The thing to remember here is that sometimes military families are in temporary housing (typically a hotel or hotel-like accommodations) for an uncomfortable length of time. Because of this, if your family is not considered high priority, buying your own home will be beneficial.
House Hunting Under Time And Distance Constraints
House hunting doesn't have to be a difficult task when you're under time and distance constraints. There are real estate agents who are certified as military relocation professionals. It's an additional course they can elect to take so they can be familiar with the various situations that arise with active-duty service members. As soon as you have your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders in hand, contact a military relocation professional at your next duty assignment.
Tell the military relocation professional the specific requirements that you need, particularly if your family member requires special accessibility or equipment. For example, if your family member uses an electric nebulizer for their asthma medication, a feature to consider is a generator for electricity backup should there be a power outage.
If you are unable to send your spouse ahead to house hunt in person, try to put in for permissive leave so you can house hunt ahead of your PCS move. Permissive leave is typically granted for up to 10 days for these types of situations. While you are house hunting at your next duty station, take the opportunity to visit the Exceptional Family Member Coordinator to begin in-processing. Reach out to military relocation services for more help.