Stop-Move Order Update for Hawaii
The March 25 Department of Defense stop-move order due to the coronavirus, and subsequent extensions, have resulted in big ripple effects in the PCS moving season. Normally, moving season is mid-May through end of August every year, and this year, over 100,000 service members and their families were expected to move. In June, Hawaii became one of 39 states and 5 countries who met Defense Secretary Esper’s guidelines to be able to lift the stop-move order, which are based on infection control and conditions in the receiving state or nation and subject to the discretion of the installation command.
Moving Season Extended to November 15
The latest development is the extension of the moving season to accommodate the backlog of moves that have started to resume and which will need to take place beyond the summer. Moving industry members have been told by the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) that ‘peak season’ rates (which incentivize them to prioritize military moves) will be paid for military PCS moves through November 15, 2020. Completing this year’s moves may go into 2021; policies for further delaying servicemembers with dependents are being issued by different branches of the service for their members.
Timely moves are still subject to these orders changing, given the fluid and complex situation around local containment of the virus. (If you or your spouse are in the Army and have suffered financial hardship due to the suspension, please see relief programs here and here.)
VA Loan Pre-Approvals
To take a huge task off your house hunting to-do list and be able to purchase a home whenever your move goes through, you should get pre-approved for a VA loan now. The pre-approval will remain valid for four months (120 days) as long as your financial circumstances stay the same. When you are ready, you and your agent can quickly make firm offers on properties that are officially backed your VA loan pre-approval amount. (Remember, there is no VA loan limit for Hawaii – see our previous blog to read about this recent development).
Home Buying on Oahu
COVID-19 brings swiftly changing circumstances for service members. The good news is that the Oahu real estate market is still very healthy. Please let me, Cathy Possedi, assist you with navigating this process and helping to take the worry out of these times. My experience as a member of the Hawaii Life Military Specialized Team can help you and your family. It would be my pleasure to help you navigate your entry into the islands in these challenging times and ease your journey into finding a dream home.