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404 New Homes on Hurlburt AFB

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If you are a military homeowner with a rental property near Hurlburt AFB or Eglin AFB in the Destin area of Florida, listen up! Hurlburt AFB and its sister base Eglin AFB have plans to expand their on base housing offerings, and Hurlburt just broke ground on construction this month! 


Find Homes at 3 Coast Guard Stations on MilitaryByOwner!

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Military By Owner is excited to announce the addition of three new search locations for your next home. If you’re in the Coast Guard or looking for your forever home in a location not in the immediate vicinity of a large base, post, or fort, then make sure to check out our three new Coast Guard Stations. The three new locations are in Virginia, Missouri, and Alaska, and two of them already have some elegant, reasonably priced homes listed, featuring Jacuzzis, whirlpools, finished basements, and modern double-sided fireplaces!

Home Buying: Could you live in 100 sqft?

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It’s easy to complain about the size of base housing, the sparse square footage that BAH provides for off-base, and how that sectional sofa only ever fit that one house three duty stations ago, but what if you had to live in 100 square foot? One company in British Columbia, Canada, believes that their 100 sq ft prefabricated homes may help solve not only the world housing shortage, but also help combat the rising cost of housing. Estimating that their homes will cost between $20 and $90 per square foot, depending on the location in which they are built (South American countries such as Ecuador fall into the $20 range), the homes would cost as little as $2,000, and as much as $9,000. Oh, thrifty militaries unite! Would you go so far as to live in 100 sq ft to save money?

Should I Market My Home to Male Spouses?

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A Pew Report released this month showed that the traditional roles of men and women are changing. Over 2 million U.S. households now have stay-at-home dads. Though much of this is a result of either a disability or transitional period, such as the father is currently in school or between careers, the number of stay-at-home dads has increased steadily since 1989.  While almost three-quarters of women who stay-at-home cite caring for the family as their main reason, one-quarter of men report the same. That means that approximately 500,000 men have chosen to stay at home to raise their children. In a population of over 300,000 million, that number isn’t large, but it represents a significant growth in the changing face of families.

Homeownership and End of American Dream

6.19.14. Homeownership resized 600Social media and the blogosphere are rife with controversy over military budget cuts and prospective cuts to basic housing allowance (BAH). It seems like there’s a lot to fret over, but for the average service member with a median age of approximately 28 years old, there’s at least something to be happy about, too.  While our military families are compelled to move every two to three years, we are fortunate to receive a housing allowance. That BAH provides military families with the stability of knowing that they can live comfortably at each assignment without resorting to complex roommate situations or a need to rely on mom and dad. Their 28-year-old civilian counterparts, meanwhile, are not enjoying the same experience.
FINRA Investor Education Foundation recently concluded a study on the financial status and literacy levels of Millenials, those aged 20-34. They concluded that Millenials are struggling more financially than the past two previous generations did when entering the work force and adulthood. While they explained that Millenials clearly suffered financially from the double-whammy of student loan debt and a weak job market upon graduation, they also conclude that low levels of financial literacy have contributed to the poor economic outlook for this generation. 
Why is this important? Good question. For military family homeowners seeking to sell their home in the next couple of years, it’s important to have an idea of what the home sale market will look like when it’s time to sell. Despite a positive outlook for the housing market last year, the most recent housing reports look dim, suggesting a rebounding housing crisis. The facts that the construction industry reports low confidence for quarter two of 2014 and that the Commerce Department reported that new home construction fell 6-percent in May alone doesn’t help matters either. Given that approximately 36-percent of Millenials currently live at home with mom and dad while many more not only rent, but also rent in shared homes with multiple roommates, means that the likelihood of finding a greater return on your housing investment by renting is more likely.  
To better understand what the future of the housing market looks like, let’s take a look at some key facts about Millenials that come from the FINRA study:  
  • Finances:
    • 65-percent earn less than $50,000 per year compared to 47-percent of all older adults
    • 13-percent are unemployed
    • 36-percent have students loans
    • 31-percent have unpaid medical bills
    • 23-percent spend more than they earn
    • 32-percent have rainy day funds
    • 12-percent don’t use banks at all
    • 34-percent engage in at least three costly credit card behaviors, such as late payments
  • Education:
    • 20-percent are currently in pursuit of a first college degree
    • 25-percent have a college degree
  • Family Life:
    • 36-percent are married
    • 45-percent have children

The latest census data shows that homeownership has steadily declined among younger adults since the early 2000s, and given the financial burden facing Millenials—supporting a family, medical bills, student loans, high rent, unemployment, and little ability to save for a down payment whether as a result of too many bills or poor financial literacy—homeownership may not be in the immediate future for this generation.
And yet, the American Dream is not dead. The Pew Research Foundation suggest that Millenials still see homeownership as a viable option as well as an important step on the path to adulthood; that step may just have to come a little out of order from how it occurred for previous generations. Economists, included the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders David Crowe, explained to NPR recently that in previous generations, those who lived at home during their 20s and 30s simply represented pent up housing demand. Therefore, they conclude that the 36-percent of Millenials who’ve boomeranged back home will eventually unleash their financial fury on the housing market, triggering a massive influx of all of the savings they’re socking away while paying no rent to their parents into down payments, construction, and general housing supplies.
Given the troubling financial stats we looked at above, let’s prepare for the just in case that doesn’t happen situation. So, if you’re contemplating selling or renting, keep the stability of the military family market in mind; BAH arrives in the bank on a timely basis, and your military Millenial’s are far less likely to turn your 2-bedroom condo into a cozy four roommate crashpad. Want even more security in rent payments? Talk to your property manager about requesting military rental allotments.

Is An ARM Ever a Good Idea?

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) became synonymous with distressed sales over the past five years of the recession. Even the very term “Adjustable Rate Mortgage” (ARM) now smacks of risk and bad debt. The concept behind ARMs was good: Lock in a low, fixed interest rate for 3, 5, or even 7 years, and by the time the rate readjusts (generally meaning increases) to whichever index rate it is tied to, the borrower will:

Why You Should Screen All Tenants

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In our recent blog, 2 Reasons to Require More than a Firm Handshake, we discussed the importance of pesky paperwork when leasing out your home. In our resource articles, we’ve also covered other important items such as how to deal with being a reluctant landlord and the Fair Housing Act in regards to renting, or in other words how to rent out your home without getting sued. Before you move forward with any of the rental processes, however, it is imperative to screen your tenants. Trust, my dear landlord, but verify always.

Military Families, Is There Radon in Your New Home?

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You probably encountered Radon, or Rn, on the periodic table of elements in high school chemistry. Though you may not remember much about this naturally occurring noble gas element from the far lower right-hand corner of the periodic table of elements, there are a couple of things that you should know about radon now, particularly if your military family is located in areas with basement living areas, near San Diego, in New Jersey, or in inland states. 

3 Easy, Cheap Ways for Cozy Temp Living!

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I’ve never installed curtains in any of our homes; having lived in now 8 different homes over the past 7 years, the thought of bothering to measure windows, install curtain rods, and hang curtains that may only suit the windows at that particular home has always seemed like a waste of time and money.  Why go to the trouble when a) it’s likely that we’ll move in a year, and b) the windows already have perfectly acceptable window coverings in the form of blinds. If the window is covered, then isn’t that all that matters?

2 Reasons to Require More than a Firm Handshake!

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Congratulations! You’ve made it through the process of prepping your house for photos, listing your property on MilitaryByOwner, screening inquiries from prospective tenants, showing your property for rent, and now someone who has toured your home has agreed to rent it. The guy is a friend of a friend at work, and you know his commander. Great! He let you know that his household goods have already arrived, and he’s ready to move in tomorrow. He’s in a bit of a hurry because he’s been in town for a while now, and he needs to move in before he starts at his new assignment after the weekend. Not only are you eager to get of town and onto your own next assignment, but you can feel his sense of urgency, too. You shake hands and provide a forwarding address for where he can mail you a rent check each week. You know that can always call up his commander if there’s any issue, so you take the firm handshake as his commitment and then you hand over the key.

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