Housing Resource
Category: Joint Base Lewis McChord

Many soldiers and families relocating to JBLM area are curious about gate locations when choosing which area to move. Here is a map of the main JBLM gate locations.

Check Current Conditions on the JBLM website for updated information.

 

 

Ft. Lewis Gate Locations

Gate locations for JBLM

 

 

 

 

Seeley Lake Park, off Lakewood Drive near JBLM

Seeley Lake Park, off Lakewood Drive near JBLM

It has actually been pretty nice weather here in Ft Lewis WA area for this time of year. It’s been chilly, but dry and sometimes even sunny! When the weather is like this, you have to take advantage. For me, that means bundling the kids up and heading outside! I am new to the Lakewood area, so I have been trying to discover new places to take the kids. This time I wanted to go for a walk and I live on a private road that’s not very long so I like to head to the parks. Seeley Lake park is where we decided to go for a quick walk and it’s only about 15 minutes from Ft Lewis/McChord. It was a nice little loop that’s only about a mile long, which is nice to have a short loop sometime in case we need to head home quick, you never know with little kids! The thing I really like about this place was that we went on Saturday morning and it was quiet, we only passed two other people.

If you want directions to the park just click HERE and it will take you to the website.

Click to read more about the Lakewood, WA area

Sunny but chilly, the kids had a blast!

Sunny but chilly, the kids had a blast!

 

Army logo

Effective 1 January 2014
Click here to ALL BAH RATES
BAH W/O Dependent BAH With Dependent
E1 1,068.00 E1 1,374.00
E2 1,068.00 E2 1,374.00
E3 1,068.00 E3 1,374.00
E4 1,068.00 E4 1,374.00
E5 1,209.00 E5 1,473.00
E6 1,293.00 E6 1,596.00
E7 1,380.00 E7 1,695.00
E8 1,500.00 E8 1,800.00
E9 1,536.00 E9 1,920.00
W1 1,338.00 W1 1,581.00
W2 1,497.00 W2 1,737.00
W3 1,539.00 W3 1,869.00
W4 1,620.00 W4 1,941.00
W5 1,719.00 W5 2,025.00
01E 1,473.00 01E 1,716.00
02E 1,527.00 02E 1,851.00
03E 1,596.00 03E 1,953.00
01 1,278.00 01 1,485.00
02 1,440.00 02 1,593.00
03 1,551.00 03 1,863.00
04 1,704.00 04 2,058.00
05 1,767.00 05 2,196.00
06 1,869.00 06 2,217.00
07+ 1,905.00 07+ 2,238.00
 

Fort Lewis RealtorMost of the folks that I represent are Soldiers or Airmen who are PCS’ing to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  Most start the process of finding a home well before their report date, sometimes by as much as a year….but usually 4-6 months.   I do everything I can to encourage people to start planning early, and to get educated.  I will do most of the planning work, and I offer lots and lots of educational materials for experienced as well as first time home buyers at Phil Sharp Homes.com.  If you would like a description of the “Home Buying Process From Start to Finish”, reply to this email and I will send it to you.

I mentioned that I like to start planning about 6 months out.  What I mean by that is that I like to start looking for and sending you listings about 6 months prior to your house hunting trip.  This does three things…
1.  It allows me to learn, by your feedback, what appeals to you.
2.  It educates you about the market…it takes time to get a good feel for things.
3.  Most importantly, it insures that when you come into town house hunting, we have identified and are ready to view every home on the market that fits your criteria.
*I typically show 12-20 homes per day on a well planned house hunting trip, and I                  have never had anyone feel that their time was wasted.

Buying a Home Sight-Unseen is Risky Business…Make a House Hunting Trip!

If at all possible, a house hunting trip prior to your arrival is very worthwhile.  Many people are not aware of the fact that military personnel may be authorized TDY for house hunting by their local commander.  You have to pay your own way, but it is not charged as leave.  The benefit is obvious, it takes about 30 days to close on a home…a long time to spend in the lodge.

A 2-3 day house hunting trip 45 days prior to your report date will allow you to find a home and start the closing clock ticking….so that you can move right in when you arrive.  In many cases, we can overnight the closing documents to you at your current location or leave address so that the closing occurs before you get here.

My Staff and I are ready to start preparing for your house hunting trip today.  If you would like for us to start looking for and sending you listings, just let me know….or send back the questionnaire that I emailed earlier and we will get to work right away.

Best of Luck on your move to Washington, You will love it here…. Phil

 

 

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We're sorry, but there’s nothing to display here; MLS data service is not activated for this account.

 
Buyer Financing Options

Home Buyer Financing Options

If you have been getting calls or junk mail referring to the VA IRRRL program, you may be a little hestant on this great offer. This refinance program is a great way to quickly (quick as far as refinance processes go) reduce your VA Loan interest rate and save some money every month. WARNING: There are some refinance companies that may not have the best terms, or are not completely upfront about the terms. So do your homework and find a reputable lender to help explain and get the terms upfront.

Here’s a scenerio from one of Phil Sharp Homes customers: Purchased a home in 2009 with a VA loan. Researched the IRRRL program, then researched banks and lender’s for more info. Found out that there were a lot of “shady deals” with the lending companies that were sending flyers, calling on the phone, etc. The “shady deals” companies had bad reviews, poor ratings with the BBB, tried to get people locked in an ARM loan and wasn’t upfront about fees. After contacting a local, reputable bank, the terms were a VA 30 year fixed at 3.98%. The application was started over the phone, took about 15-20 minutes. Minimal paperwork, they were able to roll the closing costs back into the refinance and take care of everything via phone and email. DISCLAIMER: This was one example of a homeowner taking advantage of this program and who has been very happy with the results, however, calling a reputable lender to discuss the terms and refinance for yourself to determine if this program can work for you as each persons result may vary based on many various factors including bank and VA requirements for each individual.

Here’s Some…

Information from the VA Website http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/irrrl.asp

IRRRL stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan. Also called “Streamline” or a “VA to VA.”  Except when refinancing an existing VA guaranteed adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate, it must result in a lower interest rate.  When refinancing from an existing VA ARM loan to a fixed rate, the interest rate may increase.

No appraisal or credit underwriting package is required by VA.  You should be aware, however, that lenders may require an appraisal and credit report anyway.

A certificate of eligibility is not required.  Your lender may use our e-mail confirmation procedure for interest rate reduction refinance in lieu of a certificate of eligibility.

An IRRRL may be done with “no money out of pocket” by including all costs in the new loan or by making the new loan at an interest rate high enough to enable the lender to pay the costs.  (Remember: The interest rate on the new loan must be lower than the rate on the old loan unless you refinance an ARM to a fixed rate mortgage).

No lender is required to make you an IRRRL, however, any lender of your choice may process your application for an IRRRL.  While it might be the best place to start shopping for an IRRRL, you do not have to go to the lender you make your payments to now or to the lender from whom you originally obtained your VA Loan.

 
 

The 2012 BAH chart is below.   All personnel assigned to Ft. Lewis/McChord are paid at the Tacoma BAH rate.

 

 

 

Rank W/O Dependant W/Dependant

E-1 $969.00 $1,293.00

E-2 $969.00 $1,293.00

E-3 $969.00 $1,293.00

E-4 $969.00 $1,293.00

E-5 $1,104.00 $1,470.00

E-6 $1,239.00 $1,650.00

E-7 $1,302.00 $1,713.00

E-8 $1,506.00 $1,782.00

E-9 $1,563.00 $1,869.00

W-1 $1,242.00 $1,653.00

W-2 $1,503.00 $1,740.00

W-3 $1,569.00 $1,824.00

W-4 $1,668.00 $1,887.00

W-5 $1,728.00 $1,962.00

O-1E $1,470.00 $1,728.00

O-2E $1,551.00 $1,812.00

O-3E $1,650.00 $1,899.00

O-1 $1,116.00 $1,491.00

O-2 $1,410.00 $1,647.00

O-3 $1,587.00 $1,821.00

O-4 $1,722.00 $1,989.00

O-5 $1,761.00 $2,109.00

O-6 $1,824.00 $2,130.00

O-7 $1,863.00 $2,151.00

 

Olympia Washington

I just read an article in The Olympian, the local newspaper, stating that Olympia Washington is ranked #1 for being the most secure place to live for a mid-size city for 2010, according to Farmers Insurance Group. Each year Farmers Insurance compiles a list of the most secure cities and ranks them into three groups; large metro areas, mid-size cities, and small towns. They look deep into each city comparing the following: crime statistics, extreme weather, the risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, terrorist threats, life expectancy and job-loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities.

This “Most Secure Places to Live” ratings have been conducted by Farmers for the last seven years and each year Olympia Washington has ranked within the top 20. In 2007 and 2008 Olympia Washington was #1 both years, briefly getting the spotlight taken by Fargo, N.D.-Moorehead, Minn. But only dropping down to second place and taking it back this current year.

Here is what Farmers had to say about Olympia, Washington: “The Olympia Washington area reclaimed its spot as the top mid-size city it held both 2007 and 2008. The state capital of Washington, Olympia is considered a major cultural center of the Puget Sound region and is a hub for artists and musicians, with a vibrant downtown and access to outdoor activities. Its increased job growth, high air quality and low risk of severe weather greatly contributed to its top ranking in the Farmers study.”

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, if you want a safe place to live, move to Olympia Washington because we have low crime, no extreme weather, clean healthy air to breath, and uh we live longer!

 

Q:     I will keep my schedule clear for the duration of your trip to Olympia, WA.  I would like to suggest that we meet on the afternoon of the 19th to talk at a minimum, and maybe do a mini tour of the area surrounding Fort Lewis.  Do you know yet where you will be staying?  If you need some hotel recommendations…I have some.

 I also have you on my calendar for a phone call on Monday at 6pm.  I am glad that your husband will be able to make the call.  It is important that we all talk to so we can get all of your questions answered.

I received your emails and will do some research on the listings, and the completion date for the new construction in Graham, WA.

I do want to caution you about the commute to areas north of post.  Graham, Puyallup etc. can be a frustrating commute at rush hour.  Best case to Graham, with no traffic, is about 30 min.  At rush hour it can be considerably longer.  

My assistant, Stephanie, is going to send a canned email to you with a questionnaire attached, and she just brought to my attention that you had sent some specific information that was at the bottom of an email that I missed.

Acreage in the Graham area is going to be quite a bit more expensive than areas to the east of post.  I am going to suggest Yelm, Mckenna, Roy.  Also, I think that if you compare crime rates, schools etc. that you will I will get back to you by Monday at the latest with info about the listings you are interested in.

I look forward to working with you, and very much appreciate that you have contacted me.  I will try to call this weekend, or if you would like we can set a phone appt. at your convenience.

A:     Hi Sarah, I received your emails and will do some research on the listings, and the completion date for the new construction in Graham. 

I will keep my schedule clear for the duration of your trip.  I would like to suggest that we meet on the afternoon of the 19th to talk at a minimum, and maybe do a mini tour of the area.  Do you know yet where you will be staying?  If you need some hotel recommendations…I have some.

I do want to caution you about the commute to areas north of post.  Graham, Puyallup etc. can be a frustrating commute at rush hour.  Best case to Graham, with no traffic, is about 30 min.  At rush hour it can be considerably longer.   

I will get back to you by Monday at the latest with info about the listings you are interested in.

Thanks, I look forward to meeting with you.  If you find more listings that interest you please send them my way.