Really it was our currently terrible military housing situation that drove us to buy a house. But now we wish we would have taken this step sooner.
Right now, we’re renting in a 1000 sqft house with 2 bedrooms, which came with no fence. We had to put it up, pay for it and do the maintenance.
We have a bathtub overflow leak into our downstairs dining room ceiling that housing won’t fix. It’s still an issue even after years of this being reported. Our energy use is ridiculous because the house has very weak insulation, and the features are below par. Maintenance is a bit of a mess, and when trying to communicate a concern with the housing director, we were met with little helpfulness.
Our new and own house is not only 1400 sq ft and comes with a big yard, but our mortgage is also almost $200 cheaper than our housing allowance. More space for less is a complete no brainer.
I know that for many, getting on base housing is the easiest way to go. But I’m here to give you some reasons to reconsider. As my husband and I get close to our closing date on our first house, I thought it would be good to share with you our story. And hopefully inspire you to buy your own house over living on base.
If you’re afraid of a 15/30-year commitment, going through the house buying process, or are actually considering buying a house, here’s some info that may help.
Reasons to buy a house
1. Taking advantage of a VA Loan
A VA loan is one military families can use to buy a house. One of the awesome things about this loan is that you do not have to provide a down payment. For other loans where you don’t have a down payment, usually you pay more on the mortgage (an insurance fee). That doesn’t happen with a VA loan.
You may even be qualified for up to $400,000 (last time we checked earlier this year).
The loan itself is a great option to use, but on top of that is the appeal it gives you as a buyer.
A military loan is one of those things that really motivates sellers. With these loans, there’s a better chance of sellers actually completing the sale and getting their money, versus other loans that may fall through last minute. If you’re in a competitive market, this may make you the offer to accept over others.
For more info, or to see if you qualify you can check here.
2. The investment benefits
If you buy a house while in the military, the investment perks are GREAT.
First of all, you get a tax-free housing allowance. Under the right circumstances, this could cover 100% of your monthly mortgage. You should discuss with a real estate agent or the lender you’re considering for more details.
Second, come time to do your taxes, owing a house gets you a tax credit. So now not only is housing covering your mortgage, but you’re also able to get some money back for it on your taxes.
Putting those two together, the military is helping you pay for your property while you’re living there. The money goes towards YOUR future, and not lost to a landlord.
If you happen to get moved to another location, then there’s always the option to rent it out. If you pick a house in a central location, you will always have military families looking for a place to live.
Maybe you’re thinking about buying a house, but you’re worried you’ll get PCSed right as you move into the new house.
We were afraid of both the 30-year commitment to a house and also going through the house buying process. But our recommendation to you is to analyze your finances and house market. Also talk to an agent to find out whether getting a house is the best option for you.
Many families we know who decided to buy their house are very much satisfied, and we even have a few friends considering buying their own. Check out this link on the house buying process.