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Vet gives back to military families

Tooker Home Group offers commission rebates

Tim Tooker presents a check worth a percentage of his real estate commission to Aric and Crystal Dalton at their new home. Photo credit: Tooker Home Group

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When Tim Tooker and his wife, Kareen, arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, they purchased a house in Puyallup with the intention of quickly reselling -- or flipping -- it. They did, and they made some money.

Since this plan worked, they decided to continue buying and flipping homes. While the idea was good, the reality of implementing it became problematic.

"We ran into an issue," said Tooker, a 20-year Army veteran, "because real estate agents would not show us homes unless we signed six-month exclusive agreements."

Tooker was not sure what to do until his wife asked him, "Why don't you get your license and change the way things are done?"

Twenty-six days later, he had his license and went to work as a real estate agent; in 2014, he formed the Tooker Home Group. Its mission is to maintain a family-friendly environment coupled with a commitment to employ veterans and serve veterans in the purchase of their homes.

"Now it's my job to continue that mission and continue to help military families the best that I can," Tooker explained.

Since its beginning, Tooker Home Group has expanded to six agents, one interior designer and one bookkeeper. All have a connection to the military.

Approximately 85 percent of the homes the group sells are to military families and when they do make a sale there is a nice gift attached.

All of Tooker Home Group's agents give back to military home purchasers 20 percent of their commission.

"Everybody always says they love the military, but when it comes down to it, they see us as easy sales," continued Tooker.

"When companies do donate, it is usually to large charities. We wanted to give back directly to our service members; that way they can enjoy the entire rebate, no middle men."

According to Tooker, many military families don't have the time to evaluate real agents because of the short timelines these families have reporting to duty or getting out of temporary housing.

"When we bought our houses," continued Tooker, "we never had any money left over for repairs, new appliances or anything for that matter."

"So I have always given the rebate to military clients, because I want to change the way our service members are treated."

So far this year the Tooker Home Group has given back $112,458.08 to military families.

When it comes time to sell a home, Tooker takes one percent off the listing commission.

On a personal note, he gives back 30 percent of his commission to Purple Heart recipients, and donates his service for free to Gold Star spouses who are either buying or selling a home.

"I have spent over two decades serving our country and being a soldiers' NCO. I do not know any other way than to take care of our troops."

Tooker emphasized that military families should use their Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, to buy homes (or assets) wherever they are stationed so that when soldiers and their families separate from the military they can leverage those assets in order to live the type of life they would like.

"We would be honored to help every military family that is buying or selling ... and we would like to see our military families use our military rebate ... to help keep more money and equity in their pockets," concluded Tooker.

For more information about the Tooker Home Group, visit:

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