In a recent study, Plano was ranked the fifth best city for veteran homebuyers, according to Veterans United Home Loans. Chris Cline, media relations specialist for Veterans United, said this was the second annual survey regarding the best places to live for veterans in transition.
“A large part of our mission at Veterans United Home Loans is educating veterans about the home-buying journey. This study, in particular, provides vital information that veterans often seek when they’re purchasing a new home as they transition into civilian life,” Cline said.
The study was compiled based on comments from veterans across the country. On social media, veterans answered the question “What’s most important to you?” The responses included unemployment rates, education opportunities, veteran populations and monthly housing costs in a community.
There were 18 total variables that matter to veterans, most importantly percentage of monthly income spent on monthly mortgage payments, percentage of monthly income spent on rent, cost of living and job growth percentage based on a 2015 report.
Plano ranked first in categories like educational attainment, second for great schools ratings, and fifth in low crime rate. Educational attainment refers to the percentage of the population with a high school degree. Other Texas cities listed were Arlington (seventh), El Paso (ninth) and Fort Worth (18th).
CMSgt Denise M. Jelinski-Hall of the National Guard Bureau and military advisor for Veterans United, said via email that veterans all have different priorities when they return to civilian life.
“It’s safe to say that the top priority for a veteran is employment,” she said. “They must have an adequate income to take care of their family, pay for housing and other monthly expenses. The second priority is housing. That doesn’t always mean the purchase of a home, but to find affordable housing.”
However, every veteran is different. Younger vets can move back home and pursue higher education. But even after school, these vets will be looking for secure employment for a home ownership, she said. Veterans with families typically want a job that will sustain their family and provide them stable housing.
“For most retired veterans, employment is still their first priority,” Jelinski-Hall said. “They have been accustomed to a certain lifestyle. They have most likely completed their education and want to settle down into their retirement or permanent home. Overall, they are financially in a position to purchase a home prior to retiring and perhaps simultaneously while they are job searching.
“For any veteran, it’s important to be able to provide for and take care of their family. In order to do this, veterans need a good-paying job. As a veteran, I believe most people still have the American dream of home ownership.”