Military Service Members: Pros and Cons of Renting versus Buying after Relocation

Military Service Members: Pros and Cons of Renting versus Buying after Relocation

As an active member of the military, relocating may often become a normal part of life for you and your family.   The decision to purchase versus renting your current or next home is a not the easiest choice to make.  As with any decision, there are pros and cons to each option.  We have put together a list of some of those pros and cons to help you with your decision.

Pros of renting:

Repair and replace expensive items – One of the great things about renting versus buying is that most of the responsibility lies with your landlord or complex management company rather than with you.  You never have to worry about replacing expensive items like air conditioning units, heating units, large appliances, etc.; you also don’t have to worry about the maintenance costs associated with repairing or replacing these items.

Insurance – Although you may wish to and probably should purchase renters insurance to protect your valuables, when renting you avoid the high costs associated with homeowner’s insurance.

Lower upfront and monthly costs – The costs to rent versus buying a home is typically much less expensive.  You will usually get your security deposit back after you move out of a rental should there be no irreparable damage to the rental and everything is left clean and in its prior condition.  Your monthly costs to rent will also be less expensive in most cases.

Routine maintenance – Depending on your rental community you may save money on routine maintenance items such as cutting the grass, replacing ac filters, area cleanup, painting, etc.

Flexibility – When it’s time to move, you don’t need to worry about selling your rental which means less hassle and responsibility.

One of the great things about being a service member called to active duty, is that you are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  Under this act, you are permitted to terminate your lease at any time without penalty providing you are entering active duty or being reassigned to another location or station.  In addition, you cannot be evicted for non-payment of your rent or lease if the reasons for non-payment are related to your military service.  Your lease may even include an additional “military clause” providing you and your family with further protection from penalty should you need to terminate or break your lease.

Pros of buying your home:

More space or the possibility of more space – Depending on whether you are purchasing a house, townhome, or condominium, you will usually have more space or the possibility of creating more space by adding onto your house or changing the way your space is setup.

Privacy – When you own your home, you aren’t subject to leasing agents or landlords showing up or accessing your home whenever they see fit.  You can also install things like, privacy fences, security gates, or even buy a guard dog to keep unwanted guests from popping up at your door.

More freedom – Unless you have a homeowner’s association, you can usually decorate your home the way you choose.   And most homeowner’s associations will allow you to decorate or personalize your home however you choose within reason.

Equity – When you rent, you gain nothing when you move on.  When you purchase, you may build equity in your home depending on how long you are there or how much money you’ve invested.  If your home increases in value, you could make a profit when selling your home.

Tax breaks – You and your spouse may be eligible for specific tax breaks where you can deduct your mortgage interest and real estate taxes.

Investment – Home ownership can help you secure loans on other large purchases such as boats, automobiles, a second property, or even a business loan.

As a homeowner and active-duty service member the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows your interest rate for mortgages and other financial obligations to be limited to 6%.  Depending on your situation, you may be protected from foreclosure if you are unable to pay your mortgage due to military service.

The decision to rent or purchase a home is obviously a choice that requires consideration and planning.  As military family and experienced real estate professionals, we are here to help you by providing you with the options you need to make the best choice for your family.  Contact Military Movers Real Estate LLC. today 907-622-5000.

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