Buying a home is an enormous decision. The military's transient lifestyle can make this a tougher decision for us than it would be for a civilian family. You need to analyze your moving potential (not simple in the military life), budget, apply for loans and more. Below are a couple of factors that helped us to make the decision to buy a home at our current duty station in Lemoore, California:
My husband received orders to a Fleet squadron in Lemoore for three years. (These orders, barring an injury, are pretty set in stone).
We had saved enough money to put a 20% down payment on a home in our budget (this is not required, just a personal decision we made in order to reduce our monthly payments).
When we moved here initially I had a hard time finding a rental home (there was a six month wait for base housing). The homes that were in nice neighborhoods were in high demand. (This made me feel better about purchasing a home, moving in three years, and if we decided not to sell, we would at least have a good chance of renting out our home).
We spoke to a lender, looked at home price trending reports and found a neighborhood and house we loved.
Buying a home is such a personal decision. I recommend when you decide to purchase a home, it is after plenty of research. Do not resolve to buy "just any home", if you cannot find a good neighborhood, floor plan etc., do not settle a home you do not love. I am guilty of this. We decided to buy a home so I kept trying to make the listings we saw "work" instead of waiting for the perfect home. (Thankfully my spouse is VERY picky and insisted we could find something better!). I can say finding the right place is worth the wait. It is important to also understand the risk that the home you purchased could be worth less when/if you try to sell it. Given our financial situation, and the fact if my husband continues a flying career in the Navy we have a good chance of returning to Lemoore NAS, we decided it was worth the risk.
The reasons above worked for our family, but might not for yours. Have you purchased a home? Will you share your experiences?