When anyone chooses to purchase a home, it's a big decision, but when you're an active member of the military, there are even more decisions that can go into that process. And while there is no right or wrong time to purchase a home, there are several things military members should consider before they get pre-qualified.
Relocation. Are you frequently relocated? Many active duty military personnel are relocated as often as once every three years. Prospective home buyers should be comfortable with the idea of either reselling the home or renting it out, while knowing that they might not ever need to. Talk with a local real estate agent about the local market trends. While no one can predict the future, a Realtor with decades of experience in your local market will have a good idea of what may happen so you can be better prepared when it does come time to move.
Cost of Renting vs Buying. Again, you will need to speak with a Realtor you trust. Rent varies across the Reno-Sparks area and whether you choose to rent a home or an apartment will make a big difference in monthly rent. Home ownership can become more costly than you expected as repairs and maintenance can add up. However, homeowners can enjoy significant equity in their homes.
Expectations. Home ownership is often a great choice if you're ready for the responsibility of maintaining a home. If you're much happier in a more temporary situation, then choosing a rental may be the best for you. If you think you may be relocated in the next several years and you've purchased a home, are you willing to sell or rent it out? Would you be comfortable with a property management firm managing your property? Will you have time to sell before you're required to move?
The Future. If you're set on buying a home, are you comfortable with renting it out or selling it when you need to relocate? If you're happy renting, consider your long term plans. Will you plan to purchase a home at some point? Working with a financial adviser and a Realtor you trust can help alleviate some of these concerns and will help you create a viable housing plan for your future.