If you were stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field or Duke Field, were PCSd and need to sell, your HAP option is about over.  You must act NOW if you think you qualify for the program, to avoid VA Compromise Saleshort sale or foreclosure, or to recoup funds if you don't have a mortgage. The programs ends on September 30, 2012.
To recap:
1. HAP is the military Homeowner Assistance Program that was expanded to help not only BRAC affected service members, but those with PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders
2. Your orders must have been between For PCSing service members, PCS orders must be dated between February 1, 2006, and September 30, 2010.
3. You must have purchased or entered into a contract to buy your primary residence prior to July 1, 2006.
4. You must have PCSd to a base more than 50 miles away
5. Your property value must have reduced more than 10%
The HAP program for PCS and BRAC is ending per this HAP ending notice:
Per 32 CFR Part 239 Direct Final Rule dated July 5, 2012 in the Federal Register, Expanded HAP applications must be filed no later than September 30, 2012 for military service members applying under the PCS and BRAC 2005 eligibility categories. Applications postmarked or deposited after September 30, 2012 will not be accepted.
Diane Hudson, Chief of HAP, wrote me in an email:  "The Expanded HAP program ends 30 Sep 2012.  Applications must be postmarked 30 Sep 2012.  Homes must be sold by 30 Sep 2012 or under contract by 30 Sep 2012. "

If you are an Eglin AFB or Hurlburt servicemember, or part of Duke or Whiting Field, act now. If you do not qualify for HAP, and need to sell your property in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Navarre, Niceville or Destin, you may still qualify for a VA Compromise Sale or traditional short sale. 

Email or call Wendy Rulnick for details and assistance.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy:

Eglin Air Force Base short sale or VA Compromise Sale help

Eglin Air Force Base HAP Private Sales with No Mortgage? 

Eglin HAP agent 
Did you know you don’t have to be “upside down” in your mortgage to use the HAP program?That’s right! Military members who PCS’d from Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field orWhiting Field should know their options! Most people think HAP is only used to avoid short sale or foreclosure when the airman, marine or army member is PSC’d (Permanent Change of Station) and must sell. This is not the case. I’ll explain that in a moment, but first, here is a review of the basic criteria to use HAP.
1.      The home was the primary residence at time of PCS orders.
2.      The market value of the property has dropped at least 10% since the original purchase.
3.      Orders to move were dated between February 1 2006 and September 20, 2010.
4.      The home was purchased or purchase contract was entered into prior to July 1, 2006.
5.      The service member’s PCS orders were for a move at least 50 miles away from the previous base.
There are two ways to use HAP as of today. The third option, Government Assisted Private Sale (GAPS), where the service member could get a check at closing in some cases, unfortunately ended in January 2012. (In fact, I had a HAP GAPS closing in Navarre Florida on the last day of the program.) What are the two remaining HAP options? 
1.    HAP Government Acquisition- In a nutshell, we list your Navarre, Crestview, Destin or Fort Walton Beach home for sale and find you a buyer. You enter into a contract with the buyer “contingent on HAP approval”. The U.S. Government then substitutes that contract with their own, pays off your upside down mortgage, and sells the home to the buyer we found.
2.      HAP Private Sale- We sell your home. If you are upside down in your mortgage, you bring the funds to closing or do a short sale. The U.S. Government will then either reimburse you based on their calculations, re-pay your VA entitlement if it was a VA Compromise Sale, or simply pay you if you were not in a short sale or foreclosure situation.
That’s right! You do NOT have to be upside down, facing foreclosure or trying to avoid a short sale to  use HAP. In fact, I’ve worked with Eglin Air Force Base personnel who had no mortgage use the HAP program to recoup some of their lost market value and put cash in their pocket! What is the calculation for a HAP private sale? You will get 90% of your prior fair market value (include your cost of verifiable home improvements) plus reasonable closing costs reimbursed to you. Here is an example:
Your home Prior Fair Market Value       $200,000
Cost for adding swimming pool             $30,000
90% of $230,000                                $207,000
Sell your home for                              $130,000
HAP Benefit                                         $77,000
Closing Costs 7%                                  $9,100
In this case, you would get a check from HAP for $86,100 after closing per current HAP guidelines.  In fact, I have a seller who currently has no mortgage using the HAP program, and getting pre-approved for his post-closing benefits as part of his contract contingencies. So, if you thought HAP was only to avoid short sale, think again. This opportunity is really a gift, and the funds may run out.  If you PCS'd from Eglin Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field, and have a home in Navarre, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Milton or Santa Rosa Beach Florida, call or email me to discuss your options at or 850-650-7883.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy:

HAP GAPS (Government Assisted Private Sale) ENDS

If you are an Eglin Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field seller thinking about HAP, (military Homeowners Assistance Program), you may not be aware that effective February 1, the GAPS (Government Assisted Private Sale) has ended. Since we are talking "military", there are a lot of acronyms, so I'll start with a quick explanation. HAP is the program run by the Army Corps of Engineers that was expanded to assists U.S. military service members who have Permanent Change of Station (PCS) assignments, with "upside down mortgages" avoid foreclosure or short sale. Basically, HAP will cover the shortfall (part of mortgage balance left over after net proceeds from sale) at closing if the service member qualifies for the program.

Formerly, there were three types of HAP sales: Government Acquisition, Private Sale, and Government Assisted Private Sale (GASP). Here is a quick, simplified explanation of each:

Government Acquisition: The U.S. will buy the subject property from the qualifying service member, and simultaneously pay off the mortgage balance not covered by the sale, selling the property to the buyer the service member found (normally through his Realtor).

Private Sale: The qualifying service member sells his home and covers the mortgage shortfall himself. The U.S. will reimburse the service member some time after closing. The reimbursement calculation is simplified as: 90% of your prior fair market value (your purchase price plus costs of improvements), add 7% for closing costs, then subtract out your new purchase price and mortgage payoff, plus any buyer credits and actual closing costs. Using this private sale method, some military members can recoup more of their lost equity, dollars they have actually used for downpayment or improvements, as compared to the Government Acquisition, which will just pay off the mortgage deficit. The caveat with Private Sale, is that you would have to cover the entire shortfall at closing, then “wait” for the U.S. reimbursement check. That process can takes weeks or months.

Government Assisted Private Sale (ended): Instead of waiting for your U.S. reimbursement check after a “Private Sale”, you were paid by the Government at closing. This program has ended, effective February 1, 2012, per my contacts at HAP. In fact, my latest HAP closing on January 31, was a GAPS, and we were told any extensions to the closing date would remove the seller from the program.

So, what does this mean to you, the Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field airman? You still have two HAP options available, Government Acquisition or Private Sale. In any event, the good news is that if you need to sell your home, and qualify for HAP, you can avoid foreclosure, short sale or VA Compromise Sale, and keep your credit score intact.

Do you have questions? Email me at


One of the biggest sources of confusion I find with Eglin Air Force Base HAP sales from the seller comes at closing. First, if you don't know what HAP is - it's the Homeowner Assistance Program from the Department of Defense. It's designed to help military members who have permanent change of station orders (PCS), and are "upside down" in their home values, i.e. owe more on their mortgages than their property's market value. HAP will pay the mortgage deficit under certain circumstances, which helps the service member avoid the credit impact of short sale or foreclosure due to their mandatory relocation.

One of the stipulations of HAP is that the Eglin airman is current on his mortgage payments, taxes and association dues, or that is the extent to which the benefits apply. For example, if you were six months behind in your mortgage, HAP would not pay the amounts in arrears to satisfy your bank. You must. So what's the issue? Even service members who are "current" on their mortgage payments will normally owe a pro-rated amount of mortgage interest, taxes and maybe association dues at closing. Remember, mortgage interest is paid in arrears. If you have a payment due on March 1, that would cover the interest for the month of February, not March.

My last HAP seller asked me why he had a bill for almost $1500 at time of closing from the U.S. Government title agent. I told him it was probably his mortgage proration. He said, "But I made my mortgage payment!" I said, "Yes, but that covered the previous month." If your closing is mid-month, you would owe about two weeks worth of interest to your mortgage company, which will be collected by the title agent to pay your lender at closing. That goes for taxes and association fees, too.

Florida's property taxes are paid one year in arrears (not all states handle their property taxes the same way). That means that the tax bill for your Navarre, Niceville, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach or Destin property covers the previous year (arrears). If you close on September 1, for example, the buyer will still receive the tax bill for the time YOU owned the property during the past year. That wouldn't be fair, would it? So at time of closing, you have to reimburse the buyer the eight months to apply to the tax bill they will be getting at the end of the year. Yes, your mortgage company normally (but not always) escrows this amount in your total mortgage payment. You will get a reimbursement check after closing for any remaining balance in your escrow account. But for the HAP closing, you will owe the year-to-date taxes that are due. The same applies to homeowners association dues. The government won’t pay those on your behalf.

So what is a reasonable expectation for funds the Eglin service member might
need for closing?
Set aside enough to cover one mortgage payment, and potentially, almost a year tax obligation. You probably will not need all of it, but be prepared “just in case”.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy:

Can You Sell Your HAP Home in Less Than 120 Days? 


Fort Walton Beach HAP


This home in Vesta Heights, Fort Walton Beach Florida, has been approved for HAP sale.  The property went under contract just three days after going on the market! HAP approved the contract and replaced it with their own 11 weeks later.

Things to know:

1. Even though the HAP (Homeowners Assistance Program for U.S. military) website says your home should be marketed for 120 days,the fact is, HAP really cares that you get  "fair market value" (or 90% thereof). In this case, it was fortunate that the buyer happened to be looking for a home near Eglin Air Force Base and this exact match became available.  I've sold many HAP contingent homes in Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Crestview and Destin Florida in less than a week. All the sales were subsequently approved by HAP, and none ever had a counter offer of price, nor had time on market questioned.

2. How is contract price supported to HAP?  When you get a contract on your HAP home, I prepare a market analysis for you to send in to HAP along with your contract.  Before you accept an offer, I let you know if the price and terms are in line with HAP might find acceptable. What does that mean? The contract should be approximately 90% of supportable fair market value.

3. What about cases of difficult to sell  HAP homes that only get low offers? If you can prove your home was exposed to the  market  for a period of time, you may be able to get a sale price that seems otherwise low approved by HAP.  An example I have is a home in Navarre Florida that was on East Bay, but surrounded by homes of much lesser quality. This property could only garner a seemingly low price.  We sent HAP all the detailed marketing for the property, along with showings and feedback from potential buyers. The contract price was approved.

Do you have questions about your potential HAP sale in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Destin or Navarre Florida? Email me at

It's Wendy!



Did you have an Eglin Air Force Base HAP sale in the past few years?  If so, be aware that they are auditing files and you might actually receive a bill if they claim you were overpaid.  One of my Fort Walton Beach HAP sellers received just such a letter with a bill for almost $5000.  They claim he was accidentally overpaid for his sale over two years ago. The letter mentioned he might be "suprised".

If you do receive a bill for overpayment from HAP, you may be offered options, as outlined below:

1. Instead of paying HAP back in a lump sum, you may be able to get a Voluntary Repayment Agreement, i.e. pay HAP back in installments

2. You can ask for and obtain copies of your HAP records

3. You can request the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-examine your HAP records to make sure your bill is valid

4. You can ask for an administrative hearing to review your case

5. You can request a waiver or forgiveness of the bill

I suggested that my HAP seller contact the HAP Chief, an accountant or tax attorney or consider getting legal aid on base.  If you have had a similar experience with HAP, comment below.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy:



Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc
Ph: 850-259-0422Fax:1-866-888-7792
12889 Emerald Coast Pkwy #107-A
Destin, FL 32550 US