Are you a service member planning a PCS to Colorado Springs? If so, you’re probably wondering whether living on-base or off-base is the right choice for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so the decision you make really comes down to your unique circumstances.
To help you with the decision, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for living off-base and on-base in Colorado Springs. This guide should help you confirm whether you want to make use of military housing, rent a home off-base or buy your own home in a Colorado Springs community close to your military base.
For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage or home loan professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.
Pros of Living Off-Base
You'll Have More Choices
While on-base housing is limited, there are a myriad of housing options available in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. You can choose the neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle and the type of home you want to live in. If you buy a Colorado Springs home, you will also have the freedom to make changes so that your home is uniquely yours.
Your BAH Can Help You Secure a VA Loan
You probably are well aware that your BAH covers rent, but did you know that it can also help you get a VA loan? Your BAH acts as a reliable source of income that lenders can factor into your debt-to-income ratio. In addition, your BAH can be used to lower the cost of your monthly mortgage payments, and may even cover them entirely.
You Can Build Equity
One of the most appealing aspects of owning your own home is that it allows you to build equity. Home equity is basically how much of your home you own versus how much balance is still left on your mortgage. As you pay down your mortgage, your equity grows, and this can be put towards college tuition, remodeling or upgrading to a larger home if you decide to sell.
Cons of Living Off-Base
If you live off-base, you will be responsible for any additional costs such as utilities, internet, and maintenance fees if you own your own home. These costs can add up, so it pays to do your research beforehand. Find out what the average costs are for living in Colorado Springs and factor those into your monthly budget.
Chance of PCS or Deployment
Service members know that there is always a chance of PCS or even deployment. This can complicate things if you own your own home. A sudden move means that you may have to scramble to find renters while you’re gone or quickly sell your home. However, a military real estate expert can help with this.
Pros of Living On-Base
For some military personnel, it makes more sense to live on base because of the convenience it offers. You won’t have to worry about commuting to work, which can save you time and gas money. If your family lives on-base with you, it makes it easier to spend more time with them and gives them an opportunity to be more a part of your life.
Access to Amenities
Many military bases have a range of facilities for service members and their families. These could include fitness centers, swimming pools, parks, sports fields, playgrounds and even services like medical centers, dental offices and daycare centers. Many also offer community events for the whole family.
Cons of Living On-Base
Being part of a tight-knit community can be nice, but it also means you will be living in close proximity to other people and seeing the same people on a day-to-day basis. Some individuals and families find the lack of privacy irritating and crave more of a separation between career and home life.
With on-base housing you’re limited to what is available, and this may not be the ideal housing for you. Some military housing is outdated, cramped or noisy due to its close proximity to the neighbors. In addition, you may only have the option of a shared room if you’re single or a modest unit for your entire family.
Not The Right Choice For Your Family
Every family is different, so you need to think long and hard about what will be best for your family. Will your spouse enjoy living solely amongst other military families? Will your children benefit from being part of a smaller community or would it be better for them to live in a larger community with a wider focus?
Do you have questions about relocating to Colorado Springs? Contact us online or call 719-338-7294 to speak to one of our Colorado Springs military home experts today!