We are getting ready to PCS in a little over a month so we have been doing lots of house hunting. With every move, there is the question…live on-post or off? Every post has its own waiting list, and there are positives and negatives of both, so it’s best to do your research and make the best choice for your family. If you do choose to live off-post, BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) is a term you will become very familiar with. If you live on-post, your “rent” is covered by the Army and you will not have to pay rent as a monthly bill. In some places, utilities are free, some you may pay or be credited depending on your utility usage as compared with the average tenant. If you decide to rent/ buy off-post, you will be given a housing allowance based on rank and whether or not there are dependents. Your housing allowance should cover rent/ mortgage, taxes if applicable, homeowner’s/ renter’s insurance, and utilities. Here is a bah calculator based on the year, rank of service member and zip code.
We have found the last three homes we have rented on www.ahrn.com , which is a really good way to search for homes, especially long distance. It is important to remember that you must contact the housing office of the installation you are moving to before signing any lease, or purchasing a home.
If you decide to buy a home, here is a formula I came across that can help you determine the right mortgage payment for your budget:
“Real estate expert Scott Sheldon points out that consumers aren’t ready for homeownership until their debt-to-income ratio falls below 45 percent:
Calculate your DTI: Proposed mortgage payment + all minimum monthly debt obligations ÷ gross monthly income.
Calculate your maximum mortgage payment: Gross monthly income × .45 (45 percent DTI) − all minimum monthly debt obligations.”
Phew! There a lot of decisions to make and it can be over-whelming, for sure. So, to help you relax here is a link I found that talks about fave houses from TV/ movies.
My favorites? Well, to name a few, the Walker home from Brothers & Sisters…
and the awesome, snow-covered beauty in The Family Stone.
Hey, a girl can dream, right? What are your faves? 🙂