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imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-16-2011, 07:43 PM
Sooooo the thought is crossing my mind, and making me cringe. I'm thinking about the possibility of doing it in Tampa because some of the rental options there are not impressing me very much. At the same time, I don't anticipate staying down there for much more than 4 years, so I'm keeping that in the back of my mind. Furthermore, there is a very real possibility that I would not return after retirement, unless I fall in love with the place. Basically I'm weighing the option of buying a home in this economy in a location I may only live in for a few years, and debating how logical the idea really is.

I was wondering what some of you think about buying a home right now, what your experiences were if you have bought one before, etc.

I look at it as a pretty big decision, so I'm throwing the topic out all over the place to see what people may have to share. What say you?

Airborne
03-16-2011, 07:52 PM
There was a thread like this a few months ago but it didnt really take off like it should. Personally, I think its a personal choice. We have a culture of "if you dont own a home, youre an idiot". And in the booming 90s that may have been a good decision, but in the current economic climate it might not be the smartest choice especially if you are only there for four years. But then again, military towns arent as combustive as other places. And on top of that all of the places we can be stationed, the markets can vary significantly. I know some people who bought houses in Vegas and then got orders elsewhere are kicking themselves right now. Then you youre dealing with having to rent it when you PCS...theres a lot of thought that goes into it...

imported_CLSE
03-16-2011, 07:58 PM
The number one thing you need to think of in your situation: Could you sell the house when you leave and if not, could you afford to continue to pay the mortgage and insurance on it indefinitely?

You could try and rent it out, but you would have to maintain it (or pay somebody else to), you would have to pay to repair it if somebody trashed it and left (seems to happen regularly) and you have to pay the mortgage and insurance when nobody was renting.

Oh yeah, and being down there, you might want to check with a home insurance company and see if the place would be covered if it was vacant and got wiped out in a storm - they may not want to cover it in that case.

IMO, a house could become an anchor tying you to that place or worse yet bankrupt you - unless you are very confident about your ability to deal with the above situations, I would say don't do it. Save your money for your retirement house.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-16-2011, 08:03 PM
Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction is that it isn't a great idea, but some guys seem to insist that buying, selling, and moving is a piece of cake and the way to go. I suppose I don't want to be close-minded to the option, even though I don't feel great about it.

Measure Man
03-16-2011, 08:15 PM
I guess it depends...of course.

I bought my first house in 2003 for $154K...sold it in 2006 for $269K. Don't expect that.

There are of course some advantages to home ownership.

- You pay your mortgage with a tax-free allowance, but can still deduct the interest from your taxable income. The first few years, almost your entire payment is interest. This will "earn" you probable $3K-$5K each year, just in tax savings. Even if you took a 10K LOSS in 4 years, you're money ahead.

- The market if FL is very low right now...probably can't go much lower, IMO, and could actually be headed up.

- How much are you putting down? If you are using a VA, no down payment loan...what do you really have to lose, money-wise? Worst case, you walk away from the house none the poorer except your credit rating...which is significant, but a low credit rating doesn't bankrupt you.

- Do you have a family? Would you be willing to leave your family in the house until it sells if you have to PCS? In that case, depending on your assignment, you can probably still draw BAH for your family staying in the house while you get OHA or quarters at your next assignment...assuming you aren't going to PCS CONUS to CONUS here...you would know better what your chances are in your AFSC.

- Of course, when you sell it, you'll have to pay realtor's fees too, so you gotta factor that in. 4 years is just about the break even point, IMO. I don't think we'll see soaring prices again for quite awhile.

- Then there is the whole 'pride of ownership' thing and it being worthwhile to invest in the house with improvements or do what you want to it...that part was pretty fun for me.

DWWSWWD
03-16-2011, 08:30 PM
We had a house in FL. Bought in 05 sold in 07. Very, very lucky to get out with almost all of our cash. In FL, insurance deductables are 2% of the insured value of the home. For us, over 6K. Given that and that rental prices never caught up with the sales prices, we couldn't have rented. Today, its worth $130K less than what we sold it for. Bought a house here mostly because of schools. Base school is a 3 out of 10, son's current school is a 9. IMO VA loans are not good for use in a flat market. You buy a house for market value and finance in $10K in closing cost and funding fee. You aren't even going to get back down to the sales price in 3 years. This time, we put $75K down and got 4.25%. Very rentable, given our monthly payment.

VEGAS18
03-16-2011, 08:54 PM
I bought a new house in Texas in a very nice neighborhood and I can't get rid of it for nothing. I'll never buy another house, until I'm sure I'm there permanently. My house is rented out, but I'm losing money on it every month. Not worth it, in my opinion.

Comm_Guy
03-16-2011, 09:05 PM
Looked into buying houses multiple times and always decide just to rent. The big decision maker for me is the possibility of not being able to sell the house due to a PCS. And renting a house out to someone when you are say across the country or even across the world doesnt seem to easy or convenient to me. I have known multiple people that have owned a house and then PCS'd and were unable to sell or rent out the house and it just seems to be like a huge mess.

imported_CLSE
03-16-2011, 09:18 PM
Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction is that it isn't a great idea, but some guys seem to insist that buying, selling, and moving is a piece of cake and the way to go. I suppose I don't want to be close-minded to the option, even though I don't feel great about it.

Yeah, just remember they aren't the ones stuck with it if something goes south - if your gut's telling you it isn't cool, my advice would be to listen to it.

Once you know where you're going to stay, I say absolutely, find the house you want and get it (or build). But until then, IMO it's like investing in stocks - unless you can afford to lose the money, don't bother.

Good luck with whatever you do.

gumbo31
03-16-2011, 09:43 PM
I currently own two homes. One I've been renting out for a about 10 years since Iv'e pcs'ed and I currently live in a home that I purchased in 2004. My mortgage for my home that I currently live in is $400 less than my BAH so with the tax breaks it's a win win situation for me.

My AFSC we don't PCS often and I plan on living in this area when I retire so even if I do PCS I will be back here eventually.

I think you have to think about the worst case scenario and how would you handle it. Basically what would you do if you come down on orders? Would you be able to rent it out, what about renting it out at a loss, would you have enough equity to make a profit if you sell it ..

sigecaps
03-16-2011, 09:50 PM
If you were overseas (including in the AOR) for at least 90 days between December 31, 2008 and May 1, 2010, you can still qualify for the $8000 federal tax credit. I say do it. Get the tax credit and take advantage of the low low prices.

http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/service_mem.php

sigecaps
03-16-2011, 09:50 PM
Take advantage of the $8000 tax credit if you can.

federalhousingtaxcredit.com/service_mem.php

VFFSSGT
03-17-2011, 01:37 AM
Sooooo the thought is crossing my mind, and making me cringe. I'm thinking about the possibility of doing it in Tampa because some of the rental options there are not impressing me very much. At the same time, I don't anticipate staying down there for much more than 4 years, so I'm keeping that in the back of my mind. Furthermore, there is a very real possibility that I would not return after retirement, unless I fall in love with the place. Basically I'm weighing the option of buying a home in this economy in a location I may only live in for a few years, and debating how logical the idea really is.

I was wondering what some of you think about buying a home right now, what your experiences were if you have bought one before, etc.

I look at it as a pretty big decision, so I'm throwing the topic out all over the place to see what people may have to share. What say you?

In the scenario you described...wouldn't do it... FL was one of the hardest hit areas. I know an AD member who had to let their home go and be foreclosed on in FL.

The country has still not adjusted to the 'new' economy. Fuel prices are on the rise again, which means me are likely going to see the second big wave of to the that has been anticipated by some.

Home prices in many places are still artificially bloated. You likely would not break even if you were lucky enough to sell upon PCS.

El Jefe
03-17-2011, 01:45 AM
Don't. I let my wife talk me into buying one in 06 and if it hadn't been for Uncle Sucker (BRAC HAP) we'd probably still be stuck with it.

JCH
03-17-2011, 02:07 AM
I am on my third house and have been in 14 yrs. In my younger days I was all about renting, but then paying someone elses mortgage starting getting to me. So far we have always made out good. On the first house I made $40K, second house made $20K and still living in the 3rd. Both houses were in perfect locations for either military or non-military buyers along with good school districts. Either way you look at it, your taking a chance. Not sure how handy you are but I always added things to my homes like kitchen upgrades, floor upgrades, landscaping, etc. These things will increase your home value quick and if you do the work yourself even better. My house now, I bought in what seems like a very prime location, EXCELLENT school district, close to Base, shopping, etc. I just bought a few weeks ago and I'm getting ready to do fencing and finish the basement which will add 1000 sq. ft. to the home. Figure the basement alone will cost me roughly $10K or less to finish since I'm doing it myself, but will increase the value of my house by probably twice that or more. This should also create some wiggle room when negotiating later down the road when I go to sell. Yea the housing market may not be extremely good for sellers these days but guess what people are STILL buying houses. It's all about timing, location and of course price if you ask me. Keep your house in excellent condition and make it stand out along with a price that attract's buyers and you should be good to go in 4 or 5 years when it's time to sell. People who cannot sell their houses are most likey the ones that got in over there heads and paid to much for a house, didn't keep it in decent shape, etc. and now they try to sell a $175K house for $200K. Another thing I have always done is ensure I had enough money in the bank to cover my mortgage for at LEAST 1 year in the event I could not sell right away and had to PCS I could still pay my mortage for the next year out of savings. Good luck!

garhkal
03-17-2011, 02:22 AM
Looked into buying houses multiple times and always decide just to rent. The big decision maker for me is the possibility of not being able to sell the house due to a PCS. And renting a house out to someone when you are say across the country or even across the world doesnt seem to easy or convenient to me. I have known multiple people that have owned a house and then PCS'd and were unable to sell or rent out the house and it just seems to be like a huge mess.

True dat.. but from my naval experience, i have heard very few horror stories, on renting when away. Heck my last command's chief of our shop, made it a practice to buy a house where he PCSed into, then rented it out when he left. Currently has 5 places bringing in rent (fellow mil) which is sufficient for their morgages, and his BAH pays the morgage on his new place.

LRO_AD
03-17-2011, 02:32 AM
I own three homes, I buy one at every station although I am currently on a 365 I am renting all three fairly easily. I have only been in for 5 years and I have already built a lot of equity through these purchases and although I don't break even on all my rentals the tenants are still paying for my mortgage so who can really beat that?? I work through a property management company at each location and they take care of my properties for me but have fees ranging from 10-14% of the rental income which actually isn't too bad. I would have to say the worst part is taxes each year. If you own a home you will get a tax deduction for the interest you pay on your mortgage but if you rent your homes you will also have to claim that income which can come back to bite you depending on how much you are receiving for rent.

BRUWIN
03-17-2011, 02:36 AM
In the scenario you described...wouldn't do it... FL was one of the hardest hit areas. I know an AD member who had to let their home go and be foreclosed on in FL.



So you buy a foreclosed home. I know a two striper that just bought one in N/W FL. 2,000 sq ft, 3 bedroom, swimming pool, all for $100,000 dollars. There is no way you can get screwed on home for that price. And he has two roomates that rent rooms from him and it covers most of his mortgage.

The foreclosures are where the bargains are...and like you said, there's tons of them in Fl.

Measure Man
03-17-2011, 04:36 AM
FL was one of the hardest hit areas.

Key word...WAS...(past tense).

My Dad is realtor in Florida...he has plenty of buyers for the properties...the problem they are having now is the appraisals are still coming in low because of the recent history.

He, himself, just bought a house as an investment 2 months ago and turned it around for a 20K profit in 3 months (pending closing in 3 weeks).

In many areas in Florida you can buy a house for the price a nice car...there is almost no way to lose on that.

imported_Sgt HULK
03-17-2011, 11:41 AM
Yeah what he said^^^ Florida housing market got crushed so now is the perfect tiem to buy, Rates are retarded low and home prices are a steal.

We built brand new when we arrived here in 09 at the height of the crash Im on the other side just a few miles from cocoa beach. My home was once built for 350K i got it for under 200K. I plan on keeping it and returning here. Hell Im prob getting out in 3 yrs.

If the area is nice and this is where you wanna live, its steal now. The schools in my county are some of the best in the state if not he country so its win win all around

Barberakb
03-17-2011, 12:50 PM
It all depends on you and the local market you live in. You can't really go on what other people have done. With that said, I bought a house in Texas in 2003 and only lived there until 2005. I decided that if I sold I was going to lose 10-15k so I have been renting it out ever since. So far that has been a GREAT decision. It hasn't been vacant more than 3 months in almost 6 years. I hired a management company so I didn't have to deal with any of the issues that come up. The rent I get has paid my mortgage, insurance, management fees and maintenance the whole time. Plus I get the tax write off. Basically my renters are paying off the house for me.

I also bought a house here at Shaw AFB. And guess what. I will be moving again in a few months after only having had the house about 2 years. I am going to rent this one out as well when I leave. Hopefully it works out as well as my first house.

I would suggest these tips.

1. Never buy a house you can't afford to pay if you have other financial troubles. Ex: your car breaks down.

2. Even if u can afford a much larger, nicer house, DON'T! Unless you are SURE you are retiring and want to stay there, if you buy too nice of a house you will basically price yourself out of the market. Think about it. If you have house that was 150k your payment might be $1000 a month. Most military members can afford that with their BAH. But if you buy that dream home of yours for 300k your payment doubles to $2000 a month. You wipe out 75% of your potential renters/buyers when you leave because that is out of most peoples price range.

3. Again, unless you are retiring in a place you want to stay. Never buy a house in a high priced market like California, D.C, etc... Your upside is low and your house could lose half it's value if it goes down. Look at Vegas. The houses I own in TX and SC cost me about 300k total together. Literally, in places like D.C and Cali my houses would be worth 500k EACH! That doesn't make sense to me so I will never buy in a market like that.

4. If your credit already sucks I wouldn't buy a house. But that's just me.

DWWSWWD
03-17-2011, 04:18 PM
2. Even if u can afford a much larger, nicer house, DON'T! Unless you are SURE you are retiring and want to stay there, if you buy too nice of a house you will basically price yourself out of the market. Think about it. If you have house that was 150k your payment might be $1000 a month. Most military members can afford that with their BAH. But if you buy that dream home of yours for 300k your payment doubles to $2000 a month. You wipe out 75% of your potential renters/buyers when you leave because that is out of most peoples price range.

Good point. Before I got diverted here, I had orders to Robins. We were looking at houses in the $300K neighborhood. When I finally got a stat pack from my realtor, I saw that this price point was almost 4 times the median home price for the area. Who are my buyers going to be? A Chiefs a Colonel or a scientist from the base? Definitely not a big enough pool. Here, I am at around $350K. Top school district, two hospitals within 3 miles and never anything for rent in the hood. Neighbors are doctors, anesthewhateverthehell, you get the idea. To my knowlege, I'm the only enlisted slime, but every neighborhood needs at least one beer fridge on the porch.

BRUWIN
03-17-2011, 04:30 PM
To my knowlege, I'm the only enlisted slime, but every neighborhood needs at least one beer fridge on the porch.

LOL...classic.

Capt Alfredo
03-17-2011, 04:34 PM
Good point. Before I got diverted here, I had orders to Robins. We were looking at houses in the $300K neighborhood. When I finally got a stat pack from my realtor, I saw that this price point was almost 4 times the median home price for the area. Who are my buyers going to be? A Chiefs a Colonel or a scientist from the base? Definitely not a big enough pool. Here, I am at around $350K. Top school district, two hospitals within 3 miles and never anything for rent in the hood. Neighbors are doctors, anesthewhateverthehell, you get the idea. To my knowlege, I'm the only enlisted slime, but every neighborhood needs at least one beer fridge on the porch.

There is something to be said about buying your way into happiness when it comes to providing an oasis from the craphole you may be stationed at...;)

LogDog
03-17-2011, 07:07 PM
Sooooo the thought is crossing my mind, and making me cringe. I'm thinking about the possibility of doing it in Tampa because some of the rental options there are not impressing me very much. At the same time, I don't anticipate staying down there for much more than 4 years, so I'm keeping that in the back of my mind. Furthermore, there is a very real possibility that I would not return after retirement, unless I fall in love with the place. Basically I'm weighing the option of buying a home in this economy in a location I may only live in for a few years, and debating how logical the idea really is.

I was wondering what some of you think about buying a home right now, what your experiences were if you have bought one before, etc.

I look at it as a pretty big decision, so I'm throwing the topic out all over the place to see what people may have to share. What say you?
I'd advise you to rent. If you know where you want to retire buy a house there and rent it out until you retire. That way the renter pays the first couple of years on the mortgage and interest and you reap the benefits. Later, when you retire you have a home waiting for you and it will most likely have increased in value (unless you're in a really depressed housing market).

garhkal
03-17-2011, 07:51 PM
So you buy a foreclosed home. I know a two striper that just bought one in N/W FL. 2,000 sq ft, 3 bedroom, swimming pool, all for $100,000 dollars. There is no way you can get screwed on home for that price. And he has two roomates that rent rooms from him and it covers most of his mortgage.

The foreclosures are where the bargains are...and like you said, there's tons of them in Fl.

Just be wary with buying foreclosed properties..

10Man
03-26-2011, 03:27 PM
There are some great responses to your question in this thread. Visit this website if you haven't done so already. Even if you don't purchase a house in the near future, apply for your certificate of eligibility through the VA.

http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/, then click on : •Certificate of Eligibility - Veteran Registration Instructions
This will enroll you to receive you Loan Guaranty Benefits

Measure Man
08-07-2013, 05:43 AM
Sooooo the thought is crossing my mind, and making me cringe. I'm thinking about the possibility of doing it in Tampa because some of the rental options there are not impressing me very much. At the same time, I don't anticipate staying down there for much more than 4 years, so I'm keeping that in the back of my mind. Furthermore, there is a very real possibility that I would not return after retirement, unless I fall in love with the place. Basically I'm weighing the option of buying a home in this economy in a location I may only live in for a few years, and debating how logical the idea really is.

I was wondering what some of you think about buying a home right now, what your experiences were if you have bought one before, etc.

I look at it as a pretty big decision, so I'm throwing the topic out all over the place to see what people may have to share. What say you?

How did it work out?