The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First Home Near a Military Base

For military service members and their families, the prospect of buying their first home near a military installation can be both exciting and daunting. The decision to become a homeowner is a significant one, and it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge. The following paragraphs explore the factors to consider when deciding between buying, renting, or living on the installation.

Should You Buy, Rent, or Live on Base?

Buying a Home

  • Financial Stability: If you have a stable income, plan to stay in the area for an extended period, and want the benefits of homeownership, buying a home could be a wise investment.
  • Building Equity: Homeownership allows you to build equity over time, providing a potential financial cushion for the future.

Renting a Home

  • Flexibility: Renting provides flexibility for military families who may need to relocate frequently due to deployments or transfers.
  • Maintenance: Renting often means fewer responsibilities for maintenance and repairs.

Living on Base

  • Community Support: Living on base fosters a strong sense of community, with easy access to support services and a network of fellow military families.
  • Convenience: Proximity to work and amenities can make daily life more convenient, especially if the base offers schools, healthcare, and recreational facilities.

Financial Aspects of Buying Your First Home 

VA Loan Benefits

  • Zero Down Payment: The VA loan program allows eligible service members to purchase a home with no down payment, making homeownership more accessible.
  • Competitive Interest Rates: VA loans often come with competitive interest rates, reducing the long-term cost of homeownership.

Budgeting and Affordability

  • Calculate Your Budget: Determine your budget by considering your income, expenses, and potential future changes, such as promotions or family expansion.
  • Hidden Costs: Account for hidden costs like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance in your budget.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Near a Military Base


  • Community Support: Living near a military base means being part of a community that understands the unique challenges and experiences of military life.
  • Appreciation Potential: Homes near military bases may experience appreciation due to the consistent demand from military families.


  • Noise and Activity: Proximity to a military installation may mean increased noise from training exercises and aircraft.
  • Market Instability: The local real estate market can be influenced by changes in military presence, impacting property values.

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Research the Local Market

  • Understand Market Trends: Research the local real estate market to understand trends, potential appreciation, and future development plans.
  • Experience Matters: Choose a realtor with experience working with military families who understands the unique challenges and benefits of military homeownership.
  • VA Loan Eligibility: If eligible, explore VA loan options for favorable terms. Compare loan offers from different lenders to find the best fit for your financial situation.
  • Renting Out Your Property: If you anticipate future deployments, consider the possibility of renting out your property to cover mortgage costs.
  • Educate Yourself: Attend homeownership workshops provided by the military or local organizations to gain insights into the process and potential challenges.
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