Soldiers are eligible for many benefits in return for their service. But many don’t take advantage of what is offered. As James Williams reports, troops looking for housing have several advisors just waiting to help. [Williams] The recent housing bubble has forced a lot of Americans to think twice about home buying. Not that you can’t buy a home right now. Some say now is a good time to buy because prices are low. But Army officials say soldiers should be cautious, especially from whom they get their information. Ann Pratcher is a financial readiness program manager at Fort Benning. Pratcher says installations offer several programs to make home buying or renting less stressful. We do home buying seminars so that if someone is considering buying they know how to shop for a real estate agent, they know how to shop for the house, they know how to shop for the mortgage. [Williams] Most home buyers wouldn’t think of purchasing a house they have not seen in person. Housing referral officer Patricia Burns says renters should treat leases the same way. Because I’ve had a couple that have gone out–young couples– that this is the first time away from home. They go sign a lease, and they have not looked at the property. And then when they move in, there’s issues. [Williams] Whether you are buying a home or renting an apartment, legal advisors can review your contract and ensure it includes a military clause. A lot of other things we do. Of course we have powers of attorney. Sometimes the soldier is deploying, and the wife has got to close on the house or close on the loan without the soldier. They can come in here and get those documents notarized and sent off to the lender so that they can close the home in the soldier’s absence. So again, that’s another benefit to the soldiers. Those documents can go for $100 on the outside, and all they have to do is walk in here with their ID card and we take care of them. [Williams] Officials say soldiers should always check with their local housing, financial, and legal offices when arriving at a new location. James Williams, Fort Benning, Georgia.