Military Veteran Parishioners and Senior Family Care

Who benefits from Granny Flats, Granny Flat – Garage Conversion, or Mother-in-Law Suites? 

We all do. Why and how? 

Gerontologist explain the benefits of a Granny Flats in these criteria: 

  1. Families want senior family member in the home to support them as they age… 
  2. Located adjacent to a family home, not in the family home – Oversee caregiving staff…
  3. For the specific purpose of extended senior family care. – Location controls cost…
  4. Control caregiving cost and keeps seniors active in the community – Perfect family balance.

When Social Gerontologist or CCCM are introduced to a family it is normally a crisis, as an unexpected illness, fall or conditions of aging has been presented as an emergency, and services/solutions are necessary immediately. Emergency solutions are costly. Granny Flats are not emergency solutions, Granny Flats are thoughtfully planned financial solutions for future increases in care and the coming shortage of senior care workers. Granny Flats are small homes that are built in backyards adjacent to a suburban or city homes or converted family garages, often housing senior family members. 

Granny flats can increase the resale value of your property by up to 30%. Sure, you may not be thinking about selling now, but this financial boon could benefit your family down the road — especially if you need to move to a bigger property as your multi-generational family expands.

Gerontologist Know Granny Flats are Game Changers

Multigenerational family living is older than our Constitution. We all came from or were born into a social system that acknowledges family kinship care as family responsibility. 

These allow informal arrangements allow families to pair services for senior or disable family members that are in line with their medical or psychological needs with budgetary constraints in mind.  

Traditionally seniors aging in assisted living or nursing home care may experience some mental health decline due to placement in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar faces.  

Granny Flats are a more suitable alternative to this situation. Granny Flats allow seniors to actively engage with family – close not to close, and their community on a daily basises.

These accommodations allow seniors to age in place, connected and participating in their communities with family support for medical, insurance, and financial decisions. 

In less than 11 years, 2030 our country the United States of America will face an unprecedented generational care worker gap. The typical sandwiched group will have added stressors of family care support due to cost and location. Seniors over age 65 will be 1 of every 5th person.

The projections numbers listed above are from this current study by the US Census – Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for the First Time in U.S. History. 

The above information means the next Sandwich Generation will be pressed to meet the needs of this new normal. 

This cost of elder care today and projected 2030 cost: 

Cost of Care 2019

  • Nursing home: private room
  • $239/day
  • $87,235
  • Assisted living – No add ons
  • $3,477/month
  • $41,724
  • Home care: home health aide
  • $21/hour
  • $21,840
  • Home care: homemaker
  • $19/hour
  • $19,760
  • Private duty home caregiver
  • $14/hour
  • $13,440

Cost of Care 2030 – Tight Labor Market will increase cost significantly.

Granny flats can assist families in many ways:

Reduce overall financial burden

  1. Knowing budgeted cost and care for senior family members can decrease financial anxiety and caregiver depression
  1. Family member is close by – direct access to family member reduced the need for emergency care
  2. Reduce mental and physical family stress – reducing caregiver burner out  
  3. Increase career possibilities for traditional family caregivers – increase work performance
  4. Planned respite care.

Although family caregiving is often performed by women, men are starting to assume greater roles in caregiving support, adding needed respite care, and financial resources.

Families and communities’ resources assist elderly family members in making decisions for familiar care, information is key in choice.

Multigenerational – Family care is not a new “thing” family care preserves family unity and family resources. Families control cost in senior housing and services by controlling the location on the services. Granny Flats adjacent to the family home or attached (converted garage) to family homes are excellent options to control the location for senior services.  

Family caregiving this close is convenient for working families with close community ties and traditional family roots. 

Multi-generational family living is growing nationwide and in expected locations. Granny Flats provide privacy while keeping senior family members close by. Granny Flats are erected or built on the main property, can only be sold with the primary residence, and are normally stand-alone units. Granny Flats can also be part of the primary family home – converted family garage/s. 

The cost of housing is increasing. Location is key for employment and family harmony. It is an established family that considers the future cost of children and senior parents. With those costs in mind, now is the time to consider Granny Flats as viable options for aging family members or unemployed boomerang adult children.  

The newly minted 401K Millionaires expected share of senior cost in 2030 is unknown and likely means-tested.

Gerontologist know having care tools in your tool box is important when offering solutions to clients. This is not an emergency solution. This tool is a game changer for senior and family care now and in the future.

Preserve family harmony, heritage, community, and financial resources with a Granny Flats. 

Tips for Military Service Members Buying a Home

Buying your own home is above all else, the great American dream. For just about every citizen, it motivates us to work hard in our chosen profession, to implement wise spending practices and to incrementally save our money.

Buying your own home is above all else, the great American dream. For just about every citizen, it motivates us to work hard in our chosen profession, to implement wise spending practices and to incrementally save our money. It’s these factors that are most likely to determine your realistic prospects of home ownership.

For military service members, the goal of home ownership is just as important. Our military personnel may spend prolonged time away on duty, but the idea that they can return to their very own home is undoubtably a driving force behind what they do.

The first step in home ownership obviously begins with finding the right home for you and your family. After you’ve decided on a geographic location that you’d prefer to live in, you will need to consider:

  • The type of neighbourhood you’d like to live in
  • The proximity of the home to schools, infrastructure, public transport and shopping facilities.
  • The sort of features that you want in a home. For example, how may bedrooms will it need? Will you need a secure garage?
  • Are you willing to compromise on smaller yard if it means additional space inside the house?

It’s these questions you need to ask yourself, before you can move forward in your journey towards home ownership.

One of the best places for you to start your search is at

For military service members, your VA Housing Benefit gives you the opportunity to purchase a home at a competitive interest rate – without requiring a down payment or private mortgage insurance. Cash Out Refinance Loans allow you to take cash out of your home equity to put towards items such as paying off debt, funding education, or making home improvements.

Even if you have been declared bankrupt in the past, this does not exclude you from this assistance. In cases where a veteran has been previously been declared bankrupt, the Veteran’s Administration will however, require a period of 24 months from the date the bankruptcy was discharged.

Whilst a down payment is not required on VA loans, veterans are still responsible for closing costs. The veteran can elect to pay these costs out-of-pocket or receive seller and/or lender credits to cover them.

VA loan closing costs average around 1% – 3% of the loan on bigger home purchase prices and 3% – 5% on of the loan amount for smaller home purchase prices.

It should also be noted that the seller is able to pay the veteran’s closing costs – up to 4% of the home price. In these circumstances, it’s possible for veterans to have no out-of-pocket costs when buying a home. This represents an incredible home buying opportunity for veterans.

The typical closing costs associated with a VA loan are mainly tied to VA fees and Lender fees, Third Party Fees and Prepaid Items.

  • VA Fees and Lender Fees– A great benefit to VA Loans, as the VA limits the amount of fees a lender can charge.
  • VA Upfront Lending Fee– This goes directly to the Veteran’s Administration to offset costs of the VA program.
  • 1% Origination Fee – This fee is used to compensate the lender in full.
  • Discount Points – Separate from the origination fee, this payment is used to purchase a lower interest rate, as opposed to compensate the lender.
  • Third Party Fees– Examples include Escrow companies, credit reporting agencies and appraisers.
  • $500 – A VA Appraiser will determine the value of the home and ensure it meets minimum property requirements for VA loans.
  • Title Report/Title Insurance Policy. $300 – $2,500+ – This fee protects both the lender and the buyer in case one party claims ownership to the home, to the disagreement of the other party; and wins in a court of law.
  • Recording Fee. $20-$250 – Meaning that the sale or refinancing of the home becomes public record.
  • Credit Report Fee. $35 – Used so that the lender can engage a credit reporter to determine your past credit history.
  • Flood Certification. $20 – To ascertain if your property is in a ‘flood zone’.
  • Survey Fee. $400 – A company will survey the property to determine where all physical property lines are located.
  • Attorney Fees. $400+ – Attorneys can be engaged to interpret the sales contract as well as assist with a timely closing.
  • Prepaid Items – Items that the buyer must pay in advance.
  • Flood Insurance. $300-$1,000+ – Annual Insurance to be paid if your home is classified as being in a ‘flood zone’.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance. $300-$1,000+ – A standard, yearly cost to protect against things like fire damage and other property damage.
  • Escrow Deposit/Tax and Insurance Reserves. $300-$2500+ – These funds act as a safety net. When time comes for taxes and insurance to be paid, this fund ensures that there’s enough in reserve to pay them.

VA Loans provide an exceptional option for veterans as they remove the necessity for a down payment. As mentioned, there are even cases where the seller may elect to pay for closing costs. This represents a unique buying option for those in the military.

Whilst it is still vital for buyers to consider factors such as their income and their debts, a VA Loan stands out as a viable, trusted option for veterans.

VA Energy Efficient Upgrades after the Appraisal

There’s certainly something special about a well-constructed, older home. There’s a sense of character and a feel you get with an older home, that you just don’t get with the mass-produced homes of today.

There’s certainly something special about a well-constructed, older home. There’s a sense of character and a feel you get with an older home, that you just don’t get with the mass-produced homes of today. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘They don’t make ‘em like they used to’, applied to the description of a home.

For active and retired service members, there’s a host of reasons that you may be interested in purchasing an older property. One factor may be your financial situation. As a prospective buyer, you’ll no doubt have a set price that your willing to spend on a home. Alternatively, you may simply prefer the style and aesthetic qualities more afforded by an older home.

With a VA Loan, service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses are better equipped to make the leap towards home ownership. Provided by banks and mortgage lenders, Veteran’s Affairs guarantees a portion of the loan. Buyers are then given more favourable terms surrounding their mortgage. A VA Loan gives you a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to assist you to buy, build, extend or repair a home for your personal use.

For people looking to purchase a home in a particularly hot housing market – for instance Atlanta, a VA Loan offers them a significant advantage. With a VA Loan, in most cases homebuyers are not required to have a down payment. In such a hot housing market, this means that service personnel are more readily able to obtain a mortgage and purchase a home.

For those looking to buy a home in the current market, there are incentives to provide Energy Efficient Upgrades (EEU). Energy efficient upgrades can enhance your property’s value, make your home more comfortable and healthier, and decrease your utility costs. Energy Efficient Upgrades allow qualified buyers to add into their purchase or refinance loan the cost of applicable energy improvements.

These improvements may consist of housing essentials such as heating and cooling systems, insulation and storm-proof doors and windows.

Any increase in your overall mortgage payment will then be offset by the savings made to your utility expenses.

Once you have placed an offer on a home, the first step for your lender is organizing a VA Appraisal on the property.

A VA appraisal ensures that the home is worth at least what you’ve offered to pay for it. In addition, it makes sure the property meets VA and lender guidelines.

After an appraisal is conducted, the recommended improvements will be compiled into a report that becomes available to the home buyer. The appraisal report will list any repairs that need to be undertaken.

The appraisal may require certain repairs to be made before your loan can be finalized. In this situation, you’re within your right to ask to seller to complete the repairs (sellers may be willing to spend the money if this means selling their home). Energy efficient upgrades may also be used to improve aspects of the property that have been noted in the report.

As prospective home buyers, it’s important to understand the appraisal process that’s associated with a VA loan. This is so that you’re able to properly evaluate what additional costs may be required before you can purchase the home.

When purchasing an older property, there is a likelihood that some work will need to be undertaken in order to bring the home up to VA lending standards. Some of the more common items that can appear on a VA appraisal as deficient include:

  • Mechanical systems: Electrical and plumbing systems must be safe.
  • Heating: The home’s heating system must be safe. For homes with a permanently installed non-electric, non-vented fireplace or space heater, there must be an approved oxygen depletion sensor.
  • Water: There must be a safe water supply, a water heater and an adequate method of sewage disposal.
  • Roofing: The roof must be deemed as adequate.
  • Basements and crawl spaces: These spaces must be dry, clear of debris and properly ventilated.
  • Property access: The property needs to have safe access from the street.
  • Health and safety hazards: There must be NO nuclear waste or asbestos present in the property.
  • No defective construction.

The VA places enormous importance on the appraiser to ensure that homes are safe and offer legitimate, long-term value for veterans.

Energy efficient improvements provide veterans and active service members with the opportunity to conduct many of the repairs that may be listed in an appraisal report.

For veterans that are wanting to buy an older home – especially in today’s hot market, this is a program that offers warranted value and appeal.

Energy Efficient Mortgages for Veterans for Energy Efficient Upgrades

With electricity prices skyrocketing and the costs of day-to-day living become higher, the need to make your home energy efficient is now more important than ever.

With electricity prices skyrocketing and the costs of day-to-day living become higher, the need to make your home energy efficient is now more important than ever. An energy efficient home – powered in large part by renewable energy, will drastically reduce your outgoing expenditure. Money saved is money that could be better transferred to your mortgage principal. Or better still, depending on your circumstances, it could be spent on holidays, your children’s education or simply to ease the financial burden in other aspects of your life.

Across the US, there are millions of veterans that may be eligible for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) that will markedly decrease their energy costs. This Veteran Home Loan is offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of its Home Loan Guaranty module.

Veterans can take advantage of a VA Home Loan that seeks to assist them in reducing their energy costs. This is a compelling proposition for homeowners due to the significant costs that can be saved on a monthly and yearly basis. Over the lifetime of a person’s home ownership, switching to green energy can save many thousands of dollars.

A VA Home Loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to incorporate into their purchase or refinancing loan, the cost of applicable energy improvements. This correlates to ongoing savings that reduce household financial hardship. With an approved loan, active and retired military service members can choose to purchase and implement a range of energy efficient devices. These may include ventilation systems, heating and cooling devices and lighting products.

Active Military members can use their Basic Allowance for Housing (known as BAH) as a means of applying for an EEM. This allowance is paid monthly to eligible service members and their families. BAH rates are set annually and are predetermined by factors such as rank, dependant status, years of service and location. Before applying for an EEM, active military members should enquire as to whether they have enough BAH for home loan eligibility in their location.

All applicants for a Veteran Home Loan will still be assessed according to Uniformed Mortgage Lending standards. Factors including income, employment status (min 2 years active duty service, with 2 years remaining on active status) and credit history will all need to be reviewed.

Spending additional money on energy resources can seem daunting at first, but this should be viewed as a long-term investment. An energy-efficient home will lower electricity costs and lead to a reduction in the costs associated with heating, cooling, and other expenses. These are savings that you can expect to see within the first 12 months of making changes.

These are some on the EEU (energy efficiency upgrades) upgrades you can roll into your mortgage or your home refinance to receive the upgrades:

  • windows and doors
  • solar heating and cooling
  • heat pumps
  • thermostats
  • insulation upgrades for ceilings, walls and attics
  • water heater

Eligible veterans and their spouses can use the EEM loan for projects of all sizes. The only requirement is that the renovations and modifications reduce your energy expenditure. To put this bluntly, the only requirement is that you’re willing to save money on your energy costs!

Energy efficient mortgages are applicable for a range of loan types. Under the Veterans Affairs program, borrowers can generally add up to $6,000 – $20,0000 in improvements to their loan, if the home meets VA Appraisal and lending guidelines.

These loans can be put towards EEU upgrades:

  • installing a solar water heater
  • installing and solar heating and/or cooling system (HVAC)
  • installing storm windows and doors, including thermal windows and doors
  • performing caulking and weather stripping of a home
  • adding water heater insulation to a home

EEU’s represent a vast array of energy efficient options at your disposal.


After your energy audit has been conducted, you will be provided with an approximate cost of your energy-efficiency improvement. The EEM loan will normally be held in an account and released to you after the improvements have been updated or installed.

In addition to reducing energy costs, a clean home can significantly enhance your resale value. It has been proven time and again that prospective home buyers are likely to pay higher amounts for more energy efficient homes.

And it’s not just a lowering of costs that are leading more Americans to search for energy efficient homes. Living in a home powered by clean energy means that you’ll be decreasing your carbon footprint. With climate change a factor that will likely affect future generations, it’s comforting to know that you can do your part to implement positive environmental change.

Veterans Affairs Energy Efficient Mortgages represent a perfect option for active and retired service persons to lower their energy expenditure and in doing so, provide a cleaner, more reliable future for their children.

If you’re a veteran, then you should waste no time in applying for an EEM today.

Multigenerational Military Home Buying and Generational Family Living

There is no disputing the fact that multigenerational living situations are rising

There is no disputing the fact that multigenerational living situations are rising. Whilst these arrangements are commonplace in many overseas cultures, this is a renewed phenomenon in the US, growing from the 2007 Global Financial Crisis. From 2007 onwards – in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the number of households comprising what can be deemed as multigenerational occupants, has increased exponentially.

US military active and service retired families benefit from the presence of extended family housing. When service members are deployed, they often have no choice other than to leave their children in the care of grandparents or other live-in family members.

It should be properly recognized that grandparents provide care for an estimated 155,000 children of parents currently serving on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a staggering number of children and thus, the role of grandparents should be properly recognised in our nation’s military efforts.

It is important to note that 17% of active service military and veterans purchased a multigenerational home, compared to only 12% of non-military. This further outlines the importance of multigenerational living arrangements amongst our military family service.

Multigenerational living can also enhance the lives of retired military members. Rather than face conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, limited mobility, poor nutrition outcomes, self-neglect and the known early killer isolation; retired military members can be emotionally supported by their families. This can reduce feelings of isolation and assist in overall recovery.

Our military service members and families deserve better than to die alone and without loving family support. Policy makers need to recognise the importance of multigenerational living and in doing so, attribute the necessary resources available to support these families.

The rise in multigenerational living arrangements can be attributed to two major factors – rising housing costs and an aging population.

There has been a push in some areas for more concerted housing initiatives to support multigenerational households.

The initiative known as Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities (ECHO) was launched over 25 years ago – as a plan to supply small, low-cost, freestanding or temporarily semi-attached to a home manufactured unit.

As a society, we are currently living through a time of great financial uncertainty. As a result, elderly family members often move into the home of their adult children. These family members may have health issues and moving in with their adult children can be a positive lifestyle option. They can be better supervised and in doing so, engage on a deeper level with the rest of the household. This can combat feeling of loneliness that are so prevalent in elderly citizens.

Whilst this can be viewed by some as a burden, it should be noted that elder family members can provide invaluable wisdom to their families. As a society, we should be reminded that grandparents can serve as wonderful mentors for their own children and their grandchildren.

Military service families often have grandparents, aunts, uncles or other extended family living with them to help them meet the demanding deployments and extended periods away from their children. These family members often help minimize the ongoing trauma of separation and feelings of abandonment most military children feel – by having familiar family members close by to comfort and guide them through these difficult times.

Military service families are often forced to make difficult decisions by sending their children to these family members’ homes, because the military service family lacks proper housing at their respective bases.

Multigenerational family housing can solve part of this issue.

About 40% of grandparents who have cared for their grandchildren have noted that they have taken on that responsibility for five years or more. This would indicate that this arrangement is likely to be permanent. Since a grandfamily consisting of two generations – grandparent and grandchild, does not constitute the definition of multigenerational, this becomes problematic.

As was previously mentioned, grandparents provide care for an estimated 155,000 children of parents currently serving on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is certainly about time that the role of grandparents and all extended family members that care for military children, be recognised more broadly for their military service family efforts.

As evidenced, multigenerational households can combat the isolation military service families, in particular military service children feel, when one or both parents are a vital role in the deployment of military personnel.