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Use Your Basement as a Cash Cow

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In our blog post last week, Two Alternative Ideas for Income Properties for Military Families, we looked at the entrepreneurial ventures of owning a vacation rental (hello, beach front condo!) and the significantly less pricey though more personally invasive option of renting our individual rooms in your home. Neither of these options are for the faint at heart; the former is definitely not for the faint of wallet either. One option that presents a more viable option for military families, however, is the basement apartment, an entirely separate living space, but one that’s both convenient to manage and doesn’t require separate real estate taxes. Seems perfect, right?

Helpful Moving Tips for Military Families


Moving is stressful for everyone. But families in the Armed Forces often face additional hardships:

Deciding on a 15 or 30 Year Mortgage for a 3 Year Home

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Given the draw-downs and changing job duties throughout each of the branches, this summer seems to be turning into one of the longest PCS seasons in recent history. Many military families are still receiving orders, and many of those are unexpected, resulting in quick decision-making about home selling and home buying. These are some of the biggest financial decisions that any family will ever make; military families just have to make them much more quickly, and much more frequently than most others.

Two Alternative Income Property Ideas for Military Families

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Many military families own a second home. If you bought a home at one duty station, received last-minute PCS orders with no time to sell, and wound up at a duty station where it’s cheaper (on a short-term monthly basis) to own than it is to rent a home, you may have found yourself at least considering buying a second house while your first is happily rented. This situation is pretty normal in Military Land. For the creative entrepreneurial types, though, some alternative ideas for income properties do exist for military families, though some offer better options than others. The two we’ll look at today are 1) vacation rentals, and 2) a rental suite.  We’d love to hear from you if any of you have tried either of these alternative income property ideas. Please share with us and our readers in the comments below!

10 Things to Know About Down Payment Assistance in DC

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The DC area is an expensive place to buy a house, but with down payment assistance, the market is a little more military-friendly. Home to large swaths of the military, the DC area is a central hub zone for Andrews AFB, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Fort Meade, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort McNair, and of course, The Pentagon; MCB Quantico is in the region, too, but most military families attached to this base live far south of the Beltway Mayhem and all of its incumbent high prices. In July of this year, the average listing price for any home or condo in DC was over $800,000, though the median closing price was closer to $500,000. Compared to $800,000, the $500,000 home price seems like a steal, but it’s still a figure that’s far out of reach for the monthly budget of most military families.

Moving with Four-Legged Family Members


Let’s be honest, when your dog snuggles next to you, or, when your cat curls up in your lap, you’d do anything for that sweet-as-can-be face! According to statistics by the American Pet Products Association, in 2013 alone, American’s spent over $55 Billion on their pets. That’s a whole lot of doggy biscuits and kitty treats!

Do Property Taxes in California Outweigh the Benefit of Home Ownership?

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A tweet about property taxes in California caught my eye the other day. In an almost rant-like expression, the tweet stated that one month of property taxes in California equaled twelve months of property taxes in any other state. The tweet had received countless retweets, favorites, and replies. I ran some quick mental math, multiplying property taxes of average priced homes in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia, and was horrified! How could any military family afford to pay taxes at those rates?

Eviction Processes Differ By State


Much confusion exists among military families over eviction processes by state, particularly if they own homes in multiple states. While a wealth of information is available online, much of the language is legalistic and unclear. For military landlords facing a rental crisis situation with their home on the other side of the country, the last thing they need is a lengthy legal document filled with bewildering terms in order to simply either get a tenant out of their home or figure out if they can even legally pursue eviction.

5 Steps to Overcome an Unexpected Military Termination

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In our previous blog,Termination Notifications for Deployed and PCSing Troops, we discussed the unfortunate circumstances that many of our military families are finding themselves in upon receiving termination notification orders. For military families who receive these notifications during the PCS process, the transition can be even more challenging. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, here are few first steps to help get you through the process of transitioning out of the military and into your new, successful post-military life.

Fuzzy Math: Reduced BAH and Rising House Prices

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While congressional members are enjoying their recess, military families are left scratching their heads at the fuzzy math problems they left on the table before break. Not only does it look like BAH will not adjust for inflation (a mere 2.1-percent nationwide as of mid-2014), but also BAH will presumably continue to not adjust for several years to come, leaving military families wondering if landlords will also flat line annual rental rate increases. Unlikely. It seems as if Congress has missed the memo—rental rates are increasing nationwide and home prices are steadily soaring. Something is amiss in Military Math Land! 

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