• South, Midwest Provide Best Rental Home Investments in Defense Communities, Analysis Shows0

    The best returns for investors in single-family rental properties located in defense communities occur in the South, Midwest and in Texas, according to a new analysis.
    HomeUnion, an online real estate investment management firm, ranked communities based on average cap rates — the relationship between an investment property’s net operating income in the first year of ownership and the purchase price of the property. The firm only ranked installations with 15,000 or more active-duty personnel and dependents. Warner Robins, Ga., the host for Robins Air Force Base, had the highest average cap rates, 7 percent …

  • Restricting Housing Allowance Would Have Unintended Consequences, Analyst Says0

    A Senate plan to reduce service members’ basic allowance for housing (BAH) payments in many cases, including for dual-service military families and single members living together, is misguided as it targets a benefit that service members consider part of their cash compensation, according to a top defense analyst. The change also could upset the housing market in defense communities, Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes in an editorial in Politico. The proposal, included in the Senate version of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill, would limit BAH payments to actual expenses for rent and utilities, preventing personnel from pocketing extra payments if they find less expensive housing …

  • Affordability of Off-Base Rental Housing Varies Greatly0

    The affordability of off-base rental housing for military families varies widely around the nation, with small towns and rural areas offering the best value and larger cities and top travel destinations typically the least affordable. The analysis prepared by real estate website Trulia compared rents with housing stipends for the four lowest ranks across the military, which make up more than half of enlisted personnel. Service members’ housing allowance is based on rank, location and whether they have dependents. Trulia ranked housing areas based on the portion of available rentals that did not exceed 75 percent of the housing allowance …

  • New Website Helps Service Members Locate Housing in Host Community0

    The Defense Department has launched a website, HOMES.mil, to help service members and their families, and DOD civilians find rental housing located near military installations. The listings provided by property managers are verified by military housing offices, reports the Navy Installations Command housing program. “HOMES.mil modernizes the way Navy Housing provides information on local rental properties and improves the housing service centers’ customer service to sailors and their families while helping to alleviate some of the burden and stress of PCS [permanent change of station],” said Greg Wright, Navy Housing program director. HOMES.mil offers a database of available rental listings, as well as contact information for service members’ current or prospective housing office. Military personnel also can use the site to list their own rental properties. The site allows property managers to create and update their listings, which can include photos, floorplans and descriptions of amenities.

  • Soldiers Expected to Benefit from Loosening of Ft. Drum’s Housing Market0

    The North Country region of New York surrounding Fort Drum, typically a very tight housing market, now has a 5 percent vacancy rate, a development that will make it easier for soldiers stationed there to find accommodations in the Watertown area. As a result, military personnel should have more options in the community, and landlords will be forced to compete with newer properties, said James Wright, executive director of the Development Authority of the North Country. “That dynamic has now changed, and it will change the interaction within the community …

  • Military Families Stymied by ‘Under Water’ Mortgages0

    Many military homeowners facing orders to new assignments are being forced to leave their families behind when they find they can’t sell their houses because they owe more than their homes are worth. The problem of “under water” mortgages is significant, Holly Petraeus …