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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! 

Are We Witnessing the Return to Suburbia?

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As anyone living in and around the National Capital Region can attest, the construction industry has not seen a slowdown—construction on townhouses and apartment buildings, in particular, is flourishing in this busy military heavy market. Apparently the DC area isn’t alone in this trend, as nationwide, over 54,000 new apartments alone hit the market in the first quarter over the year. It seems that building developers read the tea leaves and saw vast growth in the rental market in the years to come.

Termination Notifications for Deployed and PCSing Troops

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With its rapid downsizing from a height of 570,000 strong in 2008 to an expected 470,000 and dropping by next year, the Army has issued over 50,000 terminations among its enlisted and officers ranks in the past two years. The Army anticipates an additional decrease to leave a remaining standing army of approximately 420,000 troops.

Create an "Imagination Station" while Unpacking from your PCS move!

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Took the long route through the neighborhood today, and noted the familiar sight of a giant moving truck parked in front of a home. As I passed by, a crew member balanced a bulky stack of brown boxes through the propped open front door of the home. Squeals and laughter echoed out from the backyard as two young boys ran through a lazy lawn sprinkler. It made me wonder, “What do parents do to keep the kids busy while their goods are being unloaded, and while the full-fledged unpacking begins?”

3 Tips for Finding Post-PCS Unpacking Motivation

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Now that the summer military moving season is drawing to a close, boxes litter the houses of military families all across the US in various states of array. For those in the process of completing a PCS, you have all of this to look forward to in the very near future; your boxes are happily tucked away in storage containers and trucks, eagerly awaiting the time when they can reunite with you for the big celebration that is the unpack. The dreaded unpack. I once met a woman who told me that the unpack was her favorite part of being a military wife; she loved reuniting with her items and carefully rearranging her new home. Good for her. For everyone else, after the preparation for the PCS, the home search, a pack out, possibly a home rental or sale, and the actual move itself, unpacking requires finding some serious motivation.

Neat Homes Garner Bidding Wars

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In the ideal home sale, your home would sell within one month after a tough bidding war between several home buyers, garnering you more than your asking price, leaving you ready to PCS on time with some extra cash in your bank account for your next down payment. How can you wind up in this enviable home selling position? A neat home is a good way to help you garner a bidding war between prospective buyers and help place your home in an optimum selling position. Before we proceed, though, it’s important that you know a couple of key statistics about homes that do well in the market place:    

Would you Downsize your Engagement Ring to Upsize your Down Payment?

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Earlier this year, we looked at Where You Can Find Money for Your Down Payment in which we suggested getting an additional part-time job, saving, and selling items you don’t use, but these are only effective tools if you have a down payment size and budget plan in place. ERA Real Estate, however, recently conducted a survey that suggests saving for a down payment is now an even greater priority than simply putting in a few extra hours at work or clearing out the storage unit. For women, in particular, they reported that over 50-percent of women would willingly swap having a bigger engagement ring for the more practical option of having more money set aside for a down payment on a house. I did. Would you?

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