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House Hunting Trip (HHT) Lore (merged)

BinRat55

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Why would you need a house "hunting" trip if you will already be living there?
 
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aesop081

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BinRat55 said:
Why would you need a house "hunting" trip if you will already be living there?

The OP is likely proceeding to the new location on IR and intends to move F&E/ dependants later on. Thus the OP is entitled to an HHT like everyone else where he gets time off work and bring the significant other to the new location to look for suitable housing.
 

Sub_Guy

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Being on IR and getting a house hunting trip, sounds like the IRP folks left that policy alone, I am sure they can save some money if they scrap that option.  We will get that kick in the junk with next years policy.

You shouldn't have to submit a memo for the house hunting trip, *shakes head* what am I thinking, the memo is the back bone of the CF.  It's the only place where you would have to submit a memo, requesting a memo writing course. 

You might want to read through the IRP policy manual, heck get one for the wife too.  I bet you will find that all your questions will be answered.  You should also be familiar with all the benefits and options you will have available to you.  I find my IRP consultant to be somewhat secretive when it comes to that stuff.  For a real kick have a read through the CF Leave Manual so you will be familiar with your leave entitlements (IR posting and going back to get your F&E).
 

PMedMoe

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Dolphin_Hunter said:
Being on IR and getting a house hunting trip, sounds like the IRP folks left that policy alone, I am sure they can save some money if they scrap that option.  We will get that kick in the junk with next years policy.

Actually, they just changed that this year, and I, for one, am quite happy about it, even though it's too late for me.

It's not easy to find a place to live, sight unseen, and not knowing the area makes it harder.  I'm just glad I was posted to Ottawa and not Vancouver (or some other city I'm not familiar with).  Also, I had a good boss who gave me a day off to come up and check places.  I will say the SE/IR section at CFSU(O) (at least the clerk I was assigned to) did not help at all.
 

goingcrazy

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I'm hoping somebody will be able to explain to me the new situation my family and I have found ourselves.
My husband joined in March of '09 and left promptly for St. Jean since then he as been in Borden completing his 3's. About 7 weeks ago we were told that he would be posted to Dundurn. We promptly applied for a PMQ and heard nothing. After a few weeks and a couple applications we were told one would not be available until June or August and that we were 4th in line. We were then given our options and chose to go with the house hunting trip so we can live together as a family again. Please keep in mind that it's been 11 months since we've lived together. We were notified this Friday that he was pretty much denied his HHT and if we wanted one I would have to leave by myself on Sunday and take care of it all myself. This left me with 1 day to find a sitter for our 2 children for a week not to mention I really don't feel comfortable buying a house for our family without my husband. So as it stands, he finishes his 3's and the next day he fly's out for an undetermined amount of time without the chance to say goodbye to his family. At least when he was in Borden he could come home every few weeks to see the children but now this option is gone. He has also been told that when he gets there he has 7 days to find his living arrangements which will have to be fully furnished since I cannot ship him our stuff since I will still need it while he is gone. What bothers me the most is that the other person who got posted to Dundurn is getting a HHT so what are we being penalized for? I understand that they are going to give us x amount to help pay for my husbands living quarters but why should we have to have 2 houses? And do they really expect us to stay separated for up to 19 months? Can anyone explain why this is going on? I saw the posting message and it says that we can move with him so why are we not being given the option? I know there is much that I don't know which is why I am asking. Sorry for my rant and I hope that it doesn't sound like I'm just complaining. We knew there was going to be separations but first we were told 4 months then wait another 7 and now this.

I really appreciate any info I can get.







 

Eye In The Sky

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Unfortunatelym this is something your husband will have to deal with thru his Chain of Command.  I understand your frustration however.

Could it be that his COS (change of status) date is now less than 30 days away?  If so, I believe that would cause the denial of the HHT, as I went thru something similar a few years ago.  The simple fix was to request a new COS date, via a memo, thru the chain o command explaining why a change of COS date is required (to provide time for HHT, to move family, etc).

Not knowing the exact details, this is one reason I know a HHT can be denied, I believe that the members COS date must be more than 30 calendar days away. 

Hopefully one of the mbrs with more current and accurate info on IRP will be able to chime in.  In the mean time, the link below has previous years IRP directives listed.  I don't see one for the 2010 APS (Active Posting Season) yet.

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dgcb-dgras/pd/rel-rei/cfirp-prifc-eng.asp
 

goingcrazy

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Thank you very much for your quick response, believe it or not it makes perfect sense and has calmed me down quite a bit knowing that there could be an easy solution. When your in the situation it's hard to sometimes see the logical side of things.
 

captloadie

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The worst case scenario is that your husband goes to Dundurn, settles in to his new aprtment (he should not sign a 1 year lease), and then take time to find a place for you all. It actually is less stressful than trying to cram a house hunting trip into 5 days. He needs to ask to go unaccompanied for up to six months, as opposed to IR. When he finds a place, he can request the time off to go back to your current location, pack up the house, move to the new location and unpack.

It's not the best solution, but it isn't the worse either.
 

goingcrazy

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Just wanted to say thanks again. The COS date has been changed and we are now approved for the HHT. Amazing how something so simple can cause so many sleepless nights.
 

ammocat

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I know a guy who was on his 3's and was also going to be posted to Dundurn in Feb, I think around 11 Feb, but luckily he is now going to Bedford, so everything has changed.
 

Eye In The Sky

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goingcrazy said:
Just wanted to say thanks again. The COS date has been changed and we are now approved for the HHT. Amazing how something so simple can cause so many sleepless nights.

Hope you have a great HHT.  :)
 

Spartiatis

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I just wanted to share some tips in regards to prepping yourself for upcoming HHT?, for some it might be a new process, while others are well versed in the whole process. Part of the process is arranging for financing for your new purchase in your new location:

1 - have your IRP meeting and have get a firm understanding of your financial worksheet (from Brookfield GRS) and envelope allocation
2 - talk to your real estate agent to list your house (if applicable)
3 - get pre-approved in advance of your house hunting trip. This is very important for 2 reasons:
      i ) A pre-approval will let you know the maximum amount you can afford to borrow (and thus your price range) based on your income,      debts, and credit.
      ii) A pre-approval will guarantee a mortgage rate for 3 or 4 months. This is crutial if rates are higher when you purchase.
4 - gather all req'd documents to firm your mortgage financing:
      i ) Paystubs / T4
      ii ) sale agreement for your property (if applicable)
      iii ) bank statements
      iv ) financial worksheet from Brookfield.

** one item you need to be aware of is, as part of the IRP Relocation Program (through Brookfield) you are able to benefit from a Mortgage Interest Buydown (MIB) + a Mortgage Interest Subsidy (MIS) for the new mortgage you get. What this means is, you can use your personalized fund (tax free) towards buying down your mortgage rate (MIB) and from there, you can use your customized funds towards subsidizing your mortgage rate even further without a taxable benefit. You can ask your IRP rep directly or contact Group Mortgage Plan directly, as they are able to apply the MIS component.

5 - Once you've arranged your financing in advance, there should be no unpleasant surprises, or headaches regading getting approved or not when purchasing a house. Happy house-hunting.

 

PuckChaser

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Good info, thanks.

For the benefit of the forum, can you post a little bit of your background? Based on your post history, you seem to work in/around the mortgage/realty industry and a quick post with your qualifications and experience will lend a lot more credibility to your posts.
 

Spartiatis

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I work in the mortgage financing industry, specializing in IRP relocations; (DND/RCMP/GOC). I've been helping DND members with their relocations for the past 7 years, thus I'm very familiar with the IRP program and how to best use the funds in your financial worksheets towards your mortgage. I work with Brookfield relocations (formerly Royal Lepage Relocations) to make sure the process goes as smooth as possible.

I came across this site recently and thought it would be a good forum to provide any advice on these matters or answer questions/concerns.

Thanks
T
 

SeaKingTacco

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I work with Brookfield relocations (formerly Royal Lepage Relocations) to make sure the process goes as smooth as possible.

Titan- as someone who moved last APS under BGRS, you have your work cut out for you...
 
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Related to the post above there are differences between getting a pre-approval and getting pre-qualified. Different lenders have different processes for the pre-approvals.  One of my lenders is automated and therefore is nothing more than a rate hold.

I prefer to pre-qualify my clients to make sure everything is as smooth as can be and not only the rate is held, making sure there are no surprises before closing day.

It definitely is worth the CF members on this board to make sure they are contacting a mortgage professional to make sure the benefits afforded to them are properly translated into the mortgage they commit to. 

I myself am a broker that can assist and answer the questions as necessary, after reading through many posts on this site, it does seem that many members would benefit from having a mortgage professional work for them in this process and assist them.
 

Pusser

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In addition to the financial issues, I would also suggest that anyone going on an HHT also hit the MLS website weeks in advance of the trip and start looking at houses and neighbourhoods.  An HHT is too short to hit the ground cold.  You need to a have short list prepared ahead of time and have a real estate agent already lined up.  Ideally, you and your agent will have been in contact for some time before the trip so that as soon as you arrive on location you can start looking at the houses on your short list.  If you do it right, you'll have your house in three days and can spend the other two days arranging hook-ups, registering for schools, etc.
 

Spartiatis

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Lots of good advice, along with getting in contact with a mortgage professional before hand, its always a good idea to get started early on MLS and contact a real estate agent in your new location. Also, it is recommended highly that you use a lawyer on the IRP approved list.

Cheers
T
 

Cpl4Life

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This is an excellent, thought provoking thread.

The only point I can ad, is that what you qualify for in no way means that is the max you can afford.  I qualify for *way* more than I can actually afford.  I can't stress this enough; know your budget and what you and your family can afford for housing before looking at houses, and don't forget taxes, utilities, maintenance, etc. and don't let anyone but you (and your spouse) tell you what you can and can not afford!!
 

Pusser

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Nix said:
This is an excellent, thought provoking thread.

The only point I can ad, is that what you qualify for in no way means that is the max you can afford.  I qualify for *way* more than I can actually afford.  I can't stress this enough; know your budget and what you and your family can afford for housing before looking at houses, and don't forget taxes, utilities, maintenance, etc. and don't let anyone but you (and your spouse) tell you what you can and can not afford!!

Excellent point.  The only data that banks look at when determining debt ratio (the key determinant of whether of how much moneyn they will lend you) is your current household income, your current debt and your projected heating costs.  They make no differentiation between a couple of DINKs or the family with five kids if the household income is the same.
 
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