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Spouse and Family Forum at AFA Air & Space Conference 2014

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The Air Force Association, a 100,000 member strong non-profit that works to support professional military and aerospace education, is again hosting the 2014 Air and Space Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. As with last year’s conference, the event will include a one day Spouse and Family Forum that is open to spouses of all service members!

MilitaryByOwner is proud to host an exhibit table at the Air and Space Conference, Booth 100.   

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!

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! 

Is it Time To Invest Near Joint Base San Antonio?

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The San Antonio housing market on Military By Owner is hopping right now during this busy PCS season for military families. Otherwise known as “Military City,” this bustling Texas metropolis is home to several bases including Fort Sam Houston, Randolph AFB, Lackland AFB, and Brooks City Base. This area will soon also become home to a growing cyber security force. U.S. Rep. Pete P. Gallego (D-Alpine, TX) expressed that he was excited that the Department of Defense has clearly recognized the Military City as “Cyber City,” though one can imagine that Fort Meade, MD, may have some issue with that claim.

Do You Need a Military Relocation Specialist?

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As an all-things-real-estate research enthusiast, I was embarrassed to recently realize that of all the times I have worked with real estate agents and property managers for home buying, renting, and property management over the past 8 years, I blindly accepted the term “Military Relocation Specialist.” I assumed it was a legitimate, official designation that indicated the completion of something akin to a boot camp for real estate agents and property managers on what it means to move with the military. I was wrong. Military Relocation Specialist is simply a self-appointed designation insofar as I, despite a complete lack of any real estate credentials beyond sheer enthusiasm and experience, could add the term after my name if I so desired.

What Are Civilian Families Eligible for in Base Housing?

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In our recent blog, we discussed how base housing is opening up to non-military families at installations with occupancy rates of less than 95-percent for a period of 90-days or more. These families are permitted access to many base resources, including playgrounds, dog parks, and chapels; however, at present, they may not access privileges such as the commissary or DODEA schools.

First, Migrant Children and Now Civilians

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An opinion piece in The Washington Post late last year dubbed military installations “the nation’s most exclusive gated communities,” but now these supposedly cushy living arrangements are opening up to all and sundry, and some suggest that this poses a significant security threat. 

5% Cut to BAH on the Table

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The Defense Authorization Bill for 2015 authorizes a total budget of approximately $600 billion for national security programs and the budgetary appropriates for the Department of Defense. The House of Representatives have passed the bill, and the bill is currently on the Senate calendar. The bill reflects cuts of approximately 5-percent to the military basic housing allowance (BAH). Earlier this year, we looked at a proposal of a locality allowance to replace BAH that would tie rental rates directly to the cost of living rather than the actual costs of living in a particular area, but that proposal seems to be off the table, at least for now. Cuts to military benefits, meanwhile, are taking a more prominent seat at the table in Congress.

8 Reasons To Stage Your Home for Sale with Actors

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I heard a story on NPR earlier this week that sounded too ridiculous to be true: Home staging companies are now using home managers to provide homes staged for sale with the “lived in” look. Given that staging generally requires the exact opposite—home sellers remove all photos, trinkets, dad’s favorite comfy chair, and any other artifact that could suggest that anyone other than the home buying prospect walking through your door may possibly live in the home--I was skeptical. Much to my surprise, though generally limited to the luxury home market, I found that home staging with people akin to actors, otherwise known as “home managers,” actually presents a viable option for military families. If you’re preparing for a PCS either this year or next and are considering selling your home, then read on, my fellow skeptical military families.

Migrant Children Living on Military Bases

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News reports for the last couple of weeks indicate that migrant children are now taking up residence on military installations as of June 2014. As an immigrant who relocated to the US at the age of 14, the average age of the massive influx of migrant children currently crossing the southern border, I can tell you that most of the new arrivals are likely as oblivious of the prospective negative consequences of their actions as I was of the cultural ramifications of trans-Atlantic relocation.

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