Military personnel who are not assigned government housing have two options: renting or buying. Both have their advantages. Renting is usually cheaper, and it makes relocation easy because there are fewer arrangements to make. However, buying a home often saves money over time, and as an investment provides returns that renting cannot. Military property taxes and the availability of low-interest VA loans make it easy and affordable to buy a home.
BAH Determined By Median Market
For active servicemen and women, there are several factors that can inform you and help you make the right decision. As you probably know, your BAH is not a set figure but is determined by several factors, including your rank, family size and the median market rent of a given area. The primary advantages of renting are convenience and affordability. Your BAH does not adjust to meet your mortgage. If you aren't careful and the home you buy is well outside the median market value in your area, your mortgage could end up a lot more expensive than renting.
Buying As an Investment
VA loans are low interest and are often available with low down payments, making it easier to buy regardless of inflation. In the event of PCS, you can hire a property manager and rent out your home for additional income. The manager will ensure that property maintenance is carried out on your behalf. This makes owning a home an excellent investment.
Finding the Right Agent
If you are looking to buy, try to find a military-friendly real estate agent. Many of these real estate agents have served themselves or have had spouses who served. They understand that military personnel have specialized needs. The best real estate agents are the ones who understand your individual needs and work to meet them. Agents with military backgrounds are interested in helping you succeed because they understand the sacrifices you have to make.
* Rebates are not allowed in all states. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the Cash-Back bonus. You must register with Military on the Move<sup>®</sup> before contacting a real estate agent and be represented by the assigned real estate firm at closing to qualify. All real estate transactions are negotiable. Other terms and conditions may apply.
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