Military Life

3 Reasons Military Families Should (or Shouldn’t!) Buy a Home

From MilitarybyOwner.com

Yesterday I chatted it up with our friendly neighbor next door. She described her green thumb plans for the goodies they hope to plant in their garden patch. Meanwhile, I gazed upon our row of winter-weary empty flowerpots!

Little things, like growing perennial plants, make me wish our military family could stay in one place for a while, perhaps even buy a home and become a regular instead of a visitor around the local community. Discussing with my neighbor the idea of putting down roots made me wonder, “If you’re military, should you or shouldn’t you buy a house?”

While considering this question, I’ve discovered three key points for a potential military homebuyer to consider: Finances, timing and maintenance.

1. Finances

Why Buy?

“Buying a home is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make,” states Riccardo Ravasini of Rava Realty. “It is inflation-protected and a physical asset that doesn’t disappear like stocks can do.”

Unlike paying rent to a landlord, if you’re paying into a mortgage, you’re investing in the future. With a variety of home loans available, a military family can shop around for the best mortgage for their budget and discuss options with their choice of lender.

Why Rent?

If our dream is to purchase a property some day, my spouse and I need to take a good look at our finances. Unlike some of the couples highlighted on house hunting shows, I’m not a part-time interpretive dancer, my spouse doesn’t have a full-time job teaching ducks to quack in unison and our budget is not $3 million! We’re a bit more grounded in reality. If we choose not to finance with a VA Loan, we’ll need to save our pennies for the costs associated with home buying, such as:

  • a down payment and earnest money
  • arranging inspections
  • covering closing costs

… and having a healthy reserve of cash for whatever else may come up. While building a nest egg for an abode to call our own, we’ve chosen to use our Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) toward a rental.

Take Away:

  • With appropriate financing, a military member can embrace the opportunity to become a homeowner.
  • While saving money for a future real estate purchase, it can make sense to rent.
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