September 13, 2010

What's Next

This week, many - if not most - of SoldierMan's IBOLC classmates began Ranger School. SoldierMan did not. Instead, he is going to start Airborne and then soon after, Mech Leader. And then, we move.

So, by the end of November, we will be in Texas.

Wow.

I have so many emotions right now. First, SoldierMan didn't go to Ranger School this week. Now, he had hoped to get his class deferred, and it is. But I can tell that, now that it's here, he's disappointed (even though he feels like he's not ready physically to go). Which makes me disappointed for him. I know he hates missing the opportunity of going with his friends and experiencing it with them, and that makes me sad for him.

SoldierMan isn't going to go to Ranger School until after he reports to his unit after we PCS. Which means, theoretically, it's entirely possible that we PCS, he reports to his unit, and could literally be leaving withing a few weeks of us getting to Texas! So I would be in Texas, by myself, not knowing anyone in our unit and not able to contact him if I need something or if something goes wrong with getting settled in or whatever. (Yeah, aren't I "lucky" that he's not going now??) Don't get me wrong, I'm very, very glad to have him home now, after all this time apart. There's just a lot of conflicting emotions, for both of us.

And then there's the PCS itself, which will likely happen sometime around My Birthday/Halloween. (My birthday is not Halloween, just to be clear.) After months and months of (for me) feeling so little forward progress, all of the sudden things feel in fast-forward. And there is SO much to do, and I'm a bit anxious (although I am crazy excited to be getting down there and loving on this cuddle-bug!!).

And of course, there are so many decisions to make. Primarily about housing. We've already crossed off on-post housing, per the advice of some friends and reviewing the available housing to us on-post. What we'd get for "free" on-post versus what we'd be able to afford off-post...there's really no comparison. So now, the age-old question - rent or buy?

At first blush, the idea of buying a house seems absolutely nutty. I mean, I love being a homeowner - but I am scared to death because I know we will be moving again in just a few years and will have to sell the house. It seems like such a gamble; so many people we know are now saddled with two mortgage/rent payments because the house they had before "still hasn't sold." That's the biggest mark against it.

In the "Pro" column is, well, owning a home again. Having our own space. With a garage. And a lawn. And no landlords. And, the housing around Ft. Bliss right now is SOOOOOO cheap. Interest rates are rock bottom. To get comparable space and amenities in a rental or apartment would be much more $$$ a month.

So, right now, that's the biggest thing we're dealing with. So I'm asking you more experienced PCS'rs: what is your experience? Do you ever buy and resell? Do you rent? Because no matter what we do, we need to step on it. Fast.

And on a completely unrelated note, I hate lawyers. That is all.

18 comments:

  1. We are working on reclassing and would be PCS'd to Arizona... I have been looking at housing around that area and it is cheaper to buy there too. BUT the benefit with renting is most apartments around military posts have that claus in there for the military, that if you are being moved by military orders you can just drop your rent. That is so much easier than trying to sell your home. So we have stuck with renting wherever we go. We actually have not yet lived on post... If we PCS to Arizona we will probably finally move on base. Because their on post housing is absolutely beautiful! (and we can get our son a dog without paying huge down payments to an apartment)
    So I guess it depends on how long you know (or think) you will be there. We have only ever been in one place for a year, so not worth buying in my opinion.

    Hope you find something wonderful that you love!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We just bought a house at our next station. We are hoping to be able to just stay put until hubby can get out of the Army (1 1/2 years). That is the area we want to live in so we decided to go ahead and buy. Plus, with us being overseas now we qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. That was a HUGE incentive for us!

    Honestly, I LOVE the post housing they have at your next station and would want to live on-post there. But when we were there the market wasn't great and we ended up with a tiny apartment and a 20 minute drive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you coming to Hood? This post resembles the same thoughts that we had before we came here. So we decided on buying (not knowing how lond we'd be here). And it's been a great decision. We got an amazing house for just 108,000. Just imagine what you could afford on an officer's BAH. I would say buy. Especially in Texas.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The one nice thing about buying in a military community is that there will always be someone to rent you house! I say buy if its cheaper and then rent it out when you PCS if you go through a management company you can get rid of a lot of the hassle of repairs and whatnot when you're not near by. We had friends who did that at Hood. They knew they wanted to stay there/go back there when he got out so they bought a house and they rent it now. Everywhere else they've PCSd they've just rented.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1st I'm so wicked jealous that you'll be living in the same town as my sister! 2nd, from our experience, it's probably best that he didn't go to Ranger if he isn't physically prepared. It'll be better for him (and you, I promise) if he goes later and is properly prepared.

    Have you considered buying and renting when you leave?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my gosh I cant believe the plans changed and you could be moving that soon! And I am beyonddddd jealous that you are living by Jessica, can't I move in with one of you?! Ranger school is so tough it is definitely better that your husband feels 100% when he goes into it. Good luck with it all!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It definitely sounds like it's going to be an adventure for sure! I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Noooot that I have any more experience than you but, it is a buyer's market. Plus, you could potentially rent it out if you leave (hello other military families!) and maybe even make some money?? But on the flip side, we are one of those who have rent AND a mortgage, and it bites the big one. Our house has been on the market for 250+ days. Uncool. BUT you never know, maybe the housing market will have rebounded a bit when you are leaving Bliss??

    Sheesh that didn't help at all!! Sorry :-/

    I'm going to miss you when you leave!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. We've bought and sold two houses -- but now we are very happily renting. My husband and I have already discussed the fact that we may not buy at our next duty station in two years. While owning a house can be rewarding (I love having DIY projects to do), selling a house is emotionally and financially stressful. Especially when you just never know how long you'll be posted at a particular place.



    This New York Times tool -- "Is It Better to Buy or Rent?" -- is a good place to start. Plug in your anticipated rent versus house purchase price (plus how much you estimate for a downpayment, property taxes, etc.) and it will tell you how many years you would likely have to stay in a house before selling in order to break even. A great tool for military families!


    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh man! So many changes, so little time! I am going to miss you...I mean I know we weren't like BFFs or anything but I loved showing up to an event and you were there.

    We are definitely wanting to live off post in Germany, but the thought of buying a house is so beyond me. I can't even fathom that. It's never been done for us, and man it just seems like such a big thing for someone who knows NOTHING about it!

    So there was absolutely no advice there, but we are definitely not the experienced PCS'rs you're looking for!

    ReplyDelete
  11. We bought a house at Campbell, lived in it for about two years, and we are now on our second year of renting it out.

    While we lived in it, it was great. I really loved owning a home over renting. However, renting has been somewhat a pain in the butt. Our first renters broke out of their lease early due to PCS, the house set empty for a few months, and has rented out again.

    My advice is if you do decide to buy, make sure you have stockpile in your savings to cover house payments once you are no longer living there. If we did not have a savings account the past few months could have been really painful. However, the tax break that we recieved on it this past year was amazing.

    Really, the decision can only be made by you. People will tell you what has worked for them, but only you know the true state of your finances and if you can really afford the house.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We bought a house at Campbell, lived in it for about two years, and we are now on our second year of renting it out.

    While we lived in it, it was great. I really loved owning a home over renting. However, renting has been somewhat a pain in the butt. Our first renters broke out of their lease early due to PCS, the house set empty for a few months, and has rented out again.

    My advice is if you do decide to buy, make sure you have stockpile in your savings to cover house payments once you are no longer living there. If we did not have a savings account the past few months could have been really painful. However, the tax break that we recieved on it this past year was amazing.

    Really, the decision can only be made by you. People will tell you what has worked for them, but only you know the true state of your finances and if you can really afford the house.

    ReplyDelete
  13. First of all, thank you so much for adding my blog to your sidebar! You are so sweet! This made me grin from ear to ear!

    Second of all, I hope that if your husband really does want to do Ranger School that he gets the chance to. My husband went & made it through on his first attempt! He's such a stud ;) But it's not for everyone. His stories are shocking...

    We live in Germany now, so our housing was a bit different than when you PCS in the States! We live off Post in Government leased housing, in a German neighborhood. I can't wait to be back in the States with a garage & yard, like you said!

    Don't worry -- you can handle whatever may come your way! And even if your sweetie isn't there to help, you know he wishes that he could be. The Army seems to make all of us tougher, doesn't it?!

    ♥ http://donandamanda.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't ya love it that things are slow as pond water for months and months and then all of a sudden its hurry up and go? Ahh gotta love it.

    We have PCS'd a few times, and being that we're still in Ohio, Nate keeps suggesting we buy. He thinks its a good investment, but, like you, I am hesitatant because of the whole selling process when its time to go--because we all have to go at some point. I hate the fact that we dump thousands and thousands of dollars into rent each year when that could be thousands of dollars we're pouring into our home, but sigh, it seems the better option for us being that there's no guarantee when we're going to have to hurry up and go :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. November thrills me :) I just said this through email, but I cannot wait for you to get here. Pretty sure my life will improve dramatically! I know it'll be hard if David leaves soon after getting here, but we'll definitely keep you company!

    ReplyDelete
  16. We bought at our last assignment, and after 4 nervous-filled months, we sold our place (for a nice little profit!) We also bought at this assignment, and I'll let you know how the selling goes next year.

    We're definitely open to renting at our next assignment, depending on the housing market wherever it is.

    I say look for both - rentals and to-buy places - and see what you like best! I think you'll be fine either way!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We went back and forth on buying here since it is a post we could stay at for a while. But we decided we will rent until it is time to re-enlist again. We just don't know what we will be doing 3 years from now. We decided if we do stay here we will buy then. It does freak me out a bit. I don't want to be stuck here with a house while he has to go on to the next duty station. But it would be nice to own.

    ReplyDelete

I was nice and didn't turn on word verifications. Please reciprocate by having your reply-to email set and not posting anonymously.