Finding affordable housing options in the military

Examine all your options carefully to choose the best housing solution for your needs.

Most housing issues in the military happen with PCS. Military personnel and their families have a variety of housing choices when PCS orders come through. You can buy a home, rent an apartment or house, or choose to live on base if there is not a waiting list.

A good place to start once you receive your orders is the housing office at your new duty station. The staff can provide information on temporary housing, your new communities housing market and housing allowances. You can also check out this guide to help you make a thoughtful decision.

If you have housing questions, whether they’re related directly to PCS or not, we can help. Call 1-888-647-2716 to speak with a HUD-certified housing counselor or request a free housing consultation now online.

Buying vs. Renting

Most military personnel shy away from buying a home because they know another move is in their future. But if your family falls in love with the area and community, buying may be an option. Here are the pros and cons of both.

Buying: Owning a home may be part of the American dream but it doesn’t always match the lifestyle of military families. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of buying a home.

Pros:

Cons:

Renting: Deferring home ownership to renting may be the safer option especially if another relocation is forthcoming. However, renting has its own share of good and bad features.

Pros:

Note: Ask for a military clause in your lease, it allows the lease to be broken in the event of a call-up to active duty, reassignment or other military-related issue.

Cons:

Living on Base

Another option for military personnel is to live on base. For some families it’s an enjoyable atmosphere, for other families it just doesn’t work. Let’s look at the general pros and cons.

Pros:

Cons:

Housing Allowance

Housing allowances offered to military personnel and their families vary. Here is an overview featuring some of those allowances, which help cover the costs of housing in the civilian community. Examine this Military One Source website for additional assistance.

Mortgage Basics

Many service members qualify for alternative mortgage options such as a Veteran’s Affairs loan (VA) and a Federal Housing Administration loan (FHA). Both loans don’t demand a high down payment and credit score, which makes it easier to secure the money.

Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Department of Justice states that the SCRA covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments. For housing purposes it:

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