Should Military Families Buy or Rent?

Those who are active duty military often ponder the question of whether or not it is better to rent or to simply buy a home. This is especially true considering the fact that those in military service could be called upon at any time to change duty stations or deploy as necessary. While many in the military have traditionally chosen to rent, times have changed and more military families than ever before are instead buying a home. In short, the idea of investing in real estate by purchasing rather than renting is a smart financial move that should not be overlooked.

When a military family experiences a permanent change of station or PCS they may wish to consider a number of factors that will likely have a bearing on their decision. Let's take a look at a few of these basic considerations as a way to make a more informed decision.

Overall Pricing and Market Conditions

Military families would best be served by considering the price of a specific home as compared to the prices of real estate in the local area in general. Also taken into consideration should be the number of foreclosures in the area as well as the overall health of the local real estate market. Those in the military wishing to buy must also factor in the costs involved with homeowner association fees, property insurance and property taxes. While these costs are built-in to an average rental payment, renting simply does not build valuable equity.

When transferring into a new area as a military family it is important to consider specific neighborhoods, the local schools and the potential for keeping the home over the long term.

Monthly Payment Expenses

One key consideration in choosing whether to rent or buy is that the cost of renting has gone up substantially in recent years. Conversely, the average price of an Oak Harbor home has actually decreased. These two factors alone may make it perfectly obvious that buying (investing) is the smart choice.

In short, under these conditions a monthly mortgage payment may easily end up being "less" than the cost of rent.

Tax Considerations

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of buying a home is that military families are able to deduct mortgage interest paid on a home loan from annual taxes. In effect, this decreases the cost of a home as compared to renting. Always remember when calculating the "true cost" of home ownership to include the tax benefit or tax advantage realized.

Contact Nicole Haun today to learn more about buying a home in Oak Harbor Washington. Nicole works with military families that are relocating to the area to be stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Airbase. Nicole also serves the Anacortes Washington real estate market. Anacortes is within a reasonable driving distance to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Visit Nicole's website at to learn more.

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