Military service members and their families often move every three or four years. Two of the biggest challenges that service members and their families face is finding a suitable home and whether or not they should buy or rent. Often, they choose to rent because they have concerns regarding the feasibility of buying real estate property and the reality of another pending move in the future. However, these challenges are often not as difficult as believed.
If you are a service member, consider buying a house at your next permanent duty station instead of renting. Here are several benefits and how to find the right house to call your home.
Benefits of Buying vs. Renting
According to CNBC, rents have risen at a fast pace in recent years. In many areas, rent costs more than a mortgage payment. Consider the purchase of a house as an investment. During the years you will be stationed in the area, you will build equity in the home instead of never seeing any money again when paying rent to a landlord.
Take advantage of your ability to take a VA loan, because you won't be required to pay a down payment. When applying for a VA loan, be sure to include your Basic Allowance for Housing in your application. Your biggest concern about buying a house is likely the unknowns that the military community faces daily, such as deployments and other situations that cause financial strain. Fortunately, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act will provide you with certain protections, such as cap of interest rates. Speak with a real estate agent and a VA lender for more information.
Finding the Right House
Ask your fellow service members if any of them have been stationed at the base or post where you are being assigned. They may have recommendations for specific neighborhoods. With the list of preferred neighborhoods, you can start house hunting before your move by researching various real estate listings online.
Since you'll only have several days to look at the homes on your list, contact a real estate agent in the area and inform them that you will be house hunting and under time constraints. Coordinate their schedule with yours before applying for leave to travel for the purposes of house hunting. Be sure to provide the real estate agent with your preferences in advance of your pre-PCS travel so they will be able to have a scheduled itinerary ready for you to tour various family homes for sale.