Homeownership is often a faraway thought for active-duty military families. Many service members don’t even think of buying a home until they are close to retiring, but even then, it might be easier and more financially viable to simply rent. After all, military officers in active duty cannot simply set down roots in the way that civilians can.
However, there are cases when buying a home can be an advantageous investment for military officers. All it takes is some careful consideration and some real estate know-how. Whether you plan to sell the home for a profit when you move again, want to adjust your lifestyle, or want to make some extra cash renting or leasing a property, you need to handle this investment carefully.
Keep reading to help yourself navigate the complex world of homeownership for active-duty military families. We have created this guide to specialized financing programs for officers both retired and active.
The VA Home Loan
Among the benefits of having served in the military are the subsidy programs provided by the US Department of Veteran Affairs. This department guarantees a portion of home loans, eliminating the need for qualified individuals to make down payments. More often than not, this allows lenders to provide fairer and easier terms.
However, such programs require that the home you purchase must be your primary residence. You would not be able to buy a home for the purpose of renting it before living in it as your primary residence initially. There are also certain limitations on what types of properties you can purchase.
Rent and Mortgage
When you compare both options, one certainly feels better than the other. Renting a home and paying off a mortgage both entail monthly payments for an extended period, but only of them increases your equity and net worth: the mortgage. However, homeowners have more responsibilities than just paying the mortgage.
An example of homeowner responsibilities is that when renting a property, the landlord would be responsible for any repairs needed. When you own a home, you’re in charge of fixing and repairing everything. You also need to invest in lawn care, maintenance, insurance, and more. When you’re on active duty, you can’t just tell your landlord that you need to take some time off.
As a homeowner, however, you would receive tax benefits. You would be able to deduct the interests you pay on your loan from your taxes, which can help you loosen the purse strings a little.
Treating it like an investment
If you opted for a conventional loan, you could consider renting it out while you’re away or treating it as an investment property entirely. There are plenty of property management companies capable of handling your tenants’ needs while you’re elsewhere. The profits can eventually help you settle down and grow some roots in the future as well.
To live a military officer’s life is a calling, but it is not without its own complications. Luckily, there are programs and financial options for both retired and active officers. You need to consider every choice and factor so that, by the time you decide to retire, you could live the comfortable life you and your family deserve.
If you’re looking for real estate agents in Arizona who understand the complex needs of military officers, contact us at Desert Heroes Team. Our team consists of military spouses and affiliated agents who want to help officers navigate their real estate options.