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Thread: I need some insight: Base housing vs. off base housing...

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    #1

    Help I need some insight: Base housing vs. off base housing...

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    Okay, so a little back story; DH and I bought a house back in '09 and are still currently in the house. DH crunched the number recently, and all basic bills *water, garbage, mortgage, etc..* all together, was about $300-400 MORE than our allotted BAH. I didn't realize it was that much. And my head has been screaming, "Sell the damn house, and live on base!!!" But I know jumping to that is a bad idea, and we need to weigh our options. I just wanted to know if anyone had any insight as to the financial benefits of both on and off base living. You'd think we'd be experts- but we've never lived on base!

    And help or words or wisdom are greatly, greatly welcome!!! TIA
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    #2
    It honestly depends on what your base housing is like, IMO. Some housing is nice and some isn't. I don't think base housing is any different than any other neighborhood. Our neighbors never bother us, I don't feel like we 'live' the military because we live on base.

    All in all, I don't mind it.
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    #3
    Question would be, can you sell it for what you owe on it.

    As you own the house, I would stick with it until you are ready to pcs. That is my opinion though.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    Thats what I keep wondering, too, DakotaCowgirl. :/ I'm worried that if we get it appraised they will say it will not be sell-able for the amount we owe. Thing is, we may not be leaving the area for a long time. Im in the EFMP, and because of it we lost orders to Hawaii . I have a feeling we will be stationed here for sea duty once his shore is up, since he is trained on Seawolf class subs, and most of them are here in WA. We'll see though...I'm still kind of rooting for Hawaii. I know cost of living is expensive, but we'd chose that over San Diego. Thanks for the advice.
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    #5
    home ownership is expensive. you have all these added costs that you do not have if renting ( whether on or off base), when you factor in water, electric ( gas if you have it) pest control, lawn care ect , they can make your living costs high.

    I would not sell the house if your going to be living in the area still, re-evaluate your costs- down size your cable, install a programmable thermostat raise your thermostat 2 degrees unplug anything you do not use or plug into power strips and turn off strips when not in use. Turn off computers printers, ect when not in use, unplug chargers when not charging ( all these draw electricity just by being plugged in) stop using plug in warmers ( like Sensty), change night lights to those that are light sensitive, as crazy as it sounds - doing all this just for electricity can save 50-100 dollars a month.
    change your water usage, run only full dishwashers, full loads of laundry, water the yard less, turn off water when washing you face or brushing your teeth, take a 10 minute shower instead of a 15-20 minute shower.
    all this can save you 15-30 dollars a month.
    look at your cell phone plan, can you down size to save money? we switched carriers when our contract was up and saved 50 dollars a month.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TennantFan2011 View Post
    Thats what I keep wondering, too, DakotaCowgirl. :/ I'm worried that if we get it appraised they will say it will not be sell-able for the amount we owe. Thing is, we may not be leaving the area for a long time. Im in the EFMP, and because of it we lost orders to Hawaii . I have a feeling we will be stationed here for sea duty once his shore is up, since he is trained on Seawolf class subs, and most of them are here in WA. We'll see though...I'm still kind of rooting for Hawaii. I know cost of living is expensive, but we'd chose that over San Diego. Thanks for the advice.
    You can always call a realtor and ask them to tell you what they think your house would sell for. Keep in mind that they will likely err on the side of higher prices, but if you have a couple realtors come out and give you prices (not telling them what the other realtors said), you should get an idea of what it might sell for. Then keep in mind that you will probably need to pay 5-6% of the sales price in realtor fees.

    Also, you might want to check and see if the military housing in your area covers all utilities. Some have started charging for those who use a certain % over average. Also, I believe you'd still pay for cable on post, so make sure you aren't including that in your calculations of what is covered by BAH.

    GG has great suggestions for cutting your utilities.
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    #7
    Thank you for all the suggestions and advice, I really appreciate it. My husband had the idea last night of calling our old realtor and just asking what the process would be if we did decide to sell. So Ill be looking into it, and ask the further question of what he'd think the house would be worth.
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    #8
    you can also do a little leg work by searching for homes for sale in your neighborhood. I like Trulia - Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Apartments for Rent, Local data
    this can give you an idea of what is for sale and what home recently sold for.
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    #9
    Can you afford the house? Do you really need to pocket that extra $300-$400?

    I live a town over from you, and from what I've read on the local wives FB page, I would have zero interest in living on base. Then again, my DH and I are "older" and with multiple children and we're not into drama.

    Before we purchased, we looked into base housing and once we saw the pictures and what they could offer us, we declined. Base housing wouldn't even given us adequate space (they wanted to give us a 2 bed, 1100 sq ft duplex) - and for our mortgage, we have a 4 bed, 2500+ sq ft house. I love my neighbors. I love our space and the fact that not every single element of our lives in wrapped up into the military. Then again, I grew up here so I know the area and I already have civilian friends. I'd say we are paying about $400 over our BAH as well.

    Are you guys reaping any of the tax benefits of home ownership? How will selling affect you financially vs not selling (including end of year taxes)? Will you miss your "home" and being able to do whatever you want with your own place?

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