Buying has almost always been favored over renting when it comes to housing. For some, renting is considered “throwing money away” while buying is an “investment.” The truth is, the answer to the rent-versus-buy question is much more nuanced than this “one size fits all” approach. It’s more like “which size fits me?”
Buy, with a plan
Ultimately, you will have to think about what your goals are—not just for where you live, but your entire financial picture. Homeownership can give a great sense of control and security, but there is a massive financial investment required that might not be the best choice for you in the long run.
Buy to sell
Buy to invest
Your forever home
Related: Should Military Members Rent or Own a Home What to Know
Things to consider
Related: Use the 1% rule to decide to buy or rent
VA Home Loan
VA loan points for purchase loans must be paid at the time of closing. So even though yoyu are required to make a down payment on a VA loan, choosing to pay for discount points will add to the closing costs required to buy the home.
Related: How to Compare Loan Options as a Military home buyer
Related: 5 Solid Strategies for Military Families Making the Decision
Rental home markets remain strong surrounding military bases across the country. This occurs for many reasons, including the aforementioned short timelines for living in a home and the ability to choose a home based on personal priorities including public schools and transportation.
Renting is a good option if you value flexibility, low maintenance living, and the ability to spend your money on other things like investing or travel, it could be the best choice for you. Depending on the position of the military member, perhaps you have to live on base and rent.
Although renters don’t build equity, many do not view rent as a waste. They are, after all, supplied month after month with the housing solution they’ve chosen, with fewer upfront costs and little to no upkeep and repair fees. The relationship between the tenant and landlord is key to having a happy few years.
Related: 10 Reasons Not to Sign a Lease
When Renting Makes Sense
Desire to live on base or job requires you to live on base
Military member deployed. The spouse may not want the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep of owning a home.
Desired location out of price range. For example, when you desire for your kids to go to a specific school and the neighborhood is out of price range.
No desire to become a landlord. If you cannot sell or the market turns to lead you to rent your home when you PCS. Many people choose this life as a means to create a passive income and financially prepare for the future. But it’s one thing to be an intentional landlord and another entirely to fall into it.
Mortgages are always thought of as being cheaper than monthly rent. It's not a always the case since your mortgage depends on the location, mortgage rates, property tax, the condition of the home , HOA fees, and more.
Related: How to Know When Renting is the Best Option
There are many calculators online; it's recommended to try at least three because each is nuanced in how they present their findings and estimates. Here are three to begin investigating possibilities:
TABLE SHOWS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE COST OF RENTING AND BUYING