Contingencies in Home Purchase Agreements: A Must-Know for Military Families

Purchasing a home is a significant milestone for any family, but for military families, the process can be particularly complex due to the nature of their lifestyle. Frequent relocations, deployment schedules, and unique housing allowances add layers of considerations that other homebuyers may not face. In navigating these challenges, understanding contingencies in home purchase agreements becomes not just important but crucial for military families aiming to secure their dream home.

What are Contingencies in Home Purchase Agreements?

Contingencies are conditions included in a home purchase agreement that must be met for the sale to proceed. They serve as safeguards for both buyers and sellers, allowing either party to back out of the deal without facing penalties if certain conditions are not met. Common contingencies include financing, home inspection, appraisal, and the sale of the buyer’s current home.

Unique Situations for Military Home Buyers


One of the most significant challenges for military families is the potential for sudden deployment. A contingency allowing for contract termination or extension in case of deployment is essential. This ensures that the family isn’t forced into a situation where they must manage a home purchase while one spouse is deployed, which can be immensely stressful.

PCS Orders: 

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders are a routine part of military life, often necessitating quick relocation. Contingencies that allow for contract termination or delay in the event of new PCS orders are vital. Without such provisions, families risk being tied to a property they can no longer occupy, leading to financial strain and logistical challenges.

VA Loan Approval: 

Many military families utilize VA loans, which offer favorable terms such as no down payment and competitive interest rates. However, the approval process can sometimes be more complex than traditional loans. Contingencies related to VA loan approval ensure that the financing aspect is secure before proceeding with the purchase.

Why Contingencies are Important

Mitigating Risk: 

Military families face unique uncertainties, and contingencies help mitigate the risks associated with these uncertainties. They provide an exit strategy if circumstances beyond the family’s control arise, such as sudden deployments or PCS orders.

Protecting Investments: 

Buying a home is a significant financial investment, and contingencies protect buyers from making hasty decisions or getting locked into unfavorable contracts. They allow families to conduct thorough inspections, secure financing, and address any issues that may arise before finalizing the purchase.

Peace of Mind: 

Military life is already filled with challenges; having contingencies in place provides peace of mind during the home buying process. Knowing that there are provisions to handle unexpected events can alleviate stress and allow families to focus on their duties and responsibilities.

The Role of Experienced Real Estate Professionals

Navigating the complexities of home buying as a military family requires expertise and experience. Working with a real estate professional who understands the unique needs of military families is invaluable. Experienced agents can help identify suitable properties, negotiate favorable terms, and ensure that contingencies are properly included in the purchase agreement. Purchasing a home involves more than just finding the right property; it requires careful consideration of the unique challenges service families may face. Understanding contingencies in home purchase agreements is essential for navigating these challenges and safeguarding their investment.