Recently I’ve found myself answering a number of calls from around the country about the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP). The issue? Rumors that it will take 6 months to close a deal, that HAP has to ratify the buyers contract, that active duty military families buying a HAP listing get extra incentives and so many more.
Now the real experts on the DoD HAP program are the real estate specialists in the 4 regional offices throughout the country. However after working with a number of military families in the Northern Virginia area list and sell their homes I’ve gotten a solid education on the process and an appreciation for the hard work that the staff at the regional offices are doing to process thousands of files.
So here are the answers I’ve learned in working with the program to help dispel some of the rumors and innuendos:
In the beginning before the program was fully approved and funded it did take 6 months to close a deal. Today with funding, staff and processes in place my deals have been closing in a 60-75 day range. This may vary depending on where your home is located and the date of your PCS orders but for my deals it seems to be a solid estimate.
NO-HAP does not ratify the contract. The seller ratifies the contract. HAP processes the application and benefits. There are eligibility requirements for the program that a seller must meet and the home must be sold at Fair Market Value. The seller’s lender is not required to approve the sale as the loan is paid in full at settlement. All within 30 days of them first contacting me about the program.
NO-there are no special incentives for another active duty family to buy a home being sold with HAP benefits.
NO- military families do not pay tax on the amount of the benefits they receive. This was removed as an amendment at the end of 2009.
NO-HAP sales are not short sales. If a family sold their home as a short sale prior to the program implementation they can apply to HAP for retroactive benefits. Consult your HAP region to discuss the process.
I’m sure other agents across the country may also have answered a number of these questions and more. If so please add your information to the list. Please no more rumors and innuendos. The HAP program is working and more military families need to know that it exists and not have their sales derailed by incorrect information.
Recently a Prince William County family that had their home under contract as a short sale for 6 months contacting me about the program. They were frustrated and visible upset by trying to get their short sale approved. After talking over their situation they learned they were eligbile for HAP benefits, a buyer expressed interest in the home and the sellers ratified the contract. We learned this week, 30 days after submitting the application, that the property will settle in May.
If you are a military family living in Northern Virginia and qualify for DoD HAP benefits give me a call at 703-346-2213. Let me show you how I’ve helped multiple families in area get their homes SOLD with the assistance of HAP benefits.
Note: The Department of Defense HAP program is administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The program was expanded as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to include PCS families, wounded warriors and surviving spouses.
Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate
Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia