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Military Families Military Families

Is it smart to buy a house?

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM
  • 16 Replies

Hi everyone.

I'm new to the group, but not to cafemom.

We are an army family and have recently been considering buying a house. We are near the base and rentals are always in demand here so should we PCS we could list it with a rental agency. 

I was just hoping to get advice from other MM who own homes.

If you get orders and move, do you list the house with a rental agency or just sell it? What are you experiences. Is it even smart to buy a house when orders come down so often?

Thanks in advance

by on May. 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SierraLynn
by Just Me on May. 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM
No experience here.
I would love to buy a house though. My husband won't though. Ugh.
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Aqua_Jen
by Gold Member on May. 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM
I think it depends on where you live and your personal finances. Where we are, it can be more affordable to buy than live on post or rent but should dh come down on orders, WE are not financially prepared to carry a mortgage and rent elsewhere. It's not always easy to sell or rent quickly.
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supermommie1
by on May. 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The reason my husband wont buy a house, is once we get orders to move, its gonig to take awhile to either rent or sell, so your payment is still due. So lets say you are trying to rent, and your already living at your new duty station, can you afford both houses till you either rent or sell the new one.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on May. 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM


location makes a big, big difference. we bought a house in 2005. dh was on recruiting duty in southern ca so bah was good and he also got extra duty pay- it was nice. then we got orders and decided to rent out our home. but the market sucked and we couldn't rent out to cover all our mortgage. our property manager collected the rent but we still had to come out of pocket to cover the difference. it was very stressful. this was outside of an af base and we still had a hard time.

i have a friend who is renting out her home in killeen and she's at ft. carson. every time she turns around there's an issue. last month she told me her renters- 2 single male soldiers skipped out during the night. wth?? and her property manager waited a while to tell her. of course the soldiers were located but that's bs you don't need.

but these are just mine and her experiences. i know some military families who are successful at it and own more than one place. it can be good income if you can get it. maybe it's the luck of the draw i don't know. but it really does depend on a lot of things.

we eventually lost our home in 2008 after many headaches. we are one of those families waiting to collect a check from the national mortgage settlement. we sure wish we would had never bought that house. credit wise we are paying dearly for it and will for some time. luckily we have the option of living on base.

.oOMellyOo.
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Purchasing a home can either A) be a fantastic B) the worst mistake you've ever made. And if you do it, you have to be prepared for both.

The first time we purchased a home we sold it for a lot more than we paid and we did it in less that 30 days. FANTASTIC!

The second time we purchased a house we didn't have enough equity in the house to sell. We ended up renting it out ( not what I really wanted to do) It took 3 months to rent it the first time. Then our renters decided during the holidays that they were going to give up the lease and move on post :-/ It took 2 months to rent it again. We budgeted to live on 1/2 our BAH so in the event it didn't rent we would have enough cash.

We chose to list with a rental agency. We live too far away to take care of any problems that arose and having a PM to handle all of the day to day stuff was a no brainer. I never have to interact with the tenets, if they default on their rent or destroy something the rental agency is the one to take legal action as per my contract.

outtamymynd
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM
We bought while at Leonard-Wood and sold when we pcs'd. We were in a great area so it sold fast. I guess it depends, if you don't mind renting the house when you go then I don't see why not. I was always worried about all the "what ifs". We bought near JBLM this time but I don't think it his will be an easy sell. No big deal though, we're going to be here a while.
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MrsDavidB25
by Stacey on May. 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

 We tried to sell our home before we pcs'd, but could not. We have it rented out now with an agency. I hate the entire idea of renting it and it consumes me most days.  I would never buy a home unless we were staying at a place ever again. But hey, that's my experience maybe your would be different.

gunsgirl
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2013 at 2:22 PM

since you have stated your willing to rent here are a few things to ponder before making a decision ;

renting: what can you rent it for? will the rental amount be enough to cover your mortgage, insurance and taxes and HOA fees if applicable?

will your rental amount cover the additional costs of a propert manager ( on average 6% of the monthly rent)

will your rental amount cover the additional costs of routine pest control, routine care and maitanance, emergency repair and /or the cost of a home warranty?

will your rental amount cover the costs of renting a place, cleaning carpet cleanings, painting, advertisements, the realtor fees?

can the rent cover annual increases to Insurance, property taxes  HOA fees ( if applicable)?

for example- your mortgage insurance taxes as a rental is 900 a month- your rental market tells you you can rent it for 1,000 a month. this means you will have 100 dollars surplus per month to cover fees, pest control, repairs, maintanance ect.

or your rental market states you can only rent it for 900 a month- then you will come out of pocket for everything else- this can easily add up to 2-300 dollars a month. ( or more, I have a friend who pays 500 a month out of pocket to rent thier house, but they lost 100,000 dollars in value and cannot sell and they refuse to foreclose)

most everything for a rental is a tax write off- but you still have to have funds to pay for it when it's due.

Whitney15
by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:20 PM

We bought a house near Ft Sill, OK. It was a great decision in the beginning, because we got an amazing deal on it. Then we PCS'd so we got renters. Then we got stationed back at Ft Sill and are living in a different house than the house we own because of said renters. It has been easy for us to keep renters because our house is about a minute off of post, so we've always had military renters. It's also nice to know that if they try to screw us over, we know we can go to their CoC(something we haven't done and would have to be super screwed over to do so)....

With all that being said, I wouldn't buy a house. Lol. 

erin708
by Member on May. 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM
My friend bought in lawton and were stationed there for three yrs. When they pcs to tx they tried selling and renting their house. They got nothing and its in foreclosure.


Quoting Whitney15:

We bought a house near Ft Sill, OK. It was a great decision in the beginning, because we got an amazing deal on it. Then we PCS'd so we got renters. Then we got stationed back at Ft Sill and are living in a different house than the house we own because of said renters. It has been easy for us to keep renters because our house is about a minute off of post, so we've always had military renters. It's also nice to know that if they try to screw us over, we know we can go to their CoC(something we haven't done and would have to be super screwed over to do so)....

With all that being said, I wouldn't buy a house. Lol. 


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