With the highly-mobile lifestyle that comes with being in the military, it can be hard to make the decision to buy a home. Renting may seem easier, but it can be a drain on funds, and make it hard to settle down once you or a loved one comes home. There are many benefits to buying a home, but it’s a large decision for anyone, especially someone with an unpredictable lifestyle.
There are several things to consider before buying a home, and even more to think about when you’re in the military. From personal considerations to financial ones, there are a lot of variables to identify and consider before signing any paperwork.
Here are a few items to muse over before going house-hunting, and good topics to bring up while discussing with a loved one about buying a home.
- How long will you be living there? An obvious question, but one that’s important to consider. Short-term buying options only work out when you can sell the house right afterwards, and while in an ideal market that might be possible, it can take months or even years to sell a house after putting it up. Also make sure to check out the fine print on your mortgage. Many banks have a minimum amount of years before you can sell.
- How close is it to friends and family? People rely on other people, especially their loved ones. While a house may seem like a good idea, if it’s too far away from your existing life, it could be a hindrance in the long run. Family can also be a great asset if you plan on renting your house out, since they can manage the property in your stead.
- Is the property rent-able? Chances are, you might not be in your house forever. Renting it out to someone else can be a good way to make money while you’re not living in it, and help pay off any existing loans or mortgages in the meantime. Check to see if the house is fit for rental, and make sure you have someone who can handle calls and visits when you’re on-duty.
- Loan eligibility. The Veterans Administration can help you on your journey towards owning your own house, but it’s important to be aware of the effects. VA loans can only be used to purchase primary family residences, and you must pay off the first loan before you are eligible for another.
Buying a home can offer stability, tax benefits, and a sense of belonging, but it can also be a roadblock to any veteran who ends up being relocated or has to change their mind about the purchase. While renting and selling are options, they are not foolproof, and can be more variables in an already hectic equation.
Before making any plans, it’s important to discuss your options with spouses, family, friends, and even real estate professionals to make sure that you’re making the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes, money spent on a home could be better spent on things such as retirement or other plans. Find the right real estate professionals to help you on The Official Real Estate Agent Directory®