Deciding whether to buy or rent is one of the first things that crosses one's mind when they're told they're PCSing, and it's not always an easy decision. You have to take stock of your personal finances, consider what the housing market is like where you're moving to, and decide if it makes sense for you and your family. For those given orders to PCS to Colorado Springs and the rate at which rents are increasing, this decision is becoming less hard to make, especially if you can take advantage of a VA loan.
Colorado Rents Are On The Rise
According to an article in the Denver Post in 2016, 40% of working Colorado renters spend more than 1/3 of their pre-tax income on rent and utilities. What is even more alarming is that one in every four Colorado renters is spending 50% of their income on housing. More recently, Trulia calculated the median rent in The Springs to be $1,550 per month, a 6.9% increase over the year prior. The fact is that while Colorado's economic growth is promising, many renters are feeling the squeeze and struggling to afford the rising cost of living.
The struggle for many millennials (who make up the bulk of first-time homebuyers right now) is that as rents increase there's less money left over each month that could be put towards a downpayment. However, what many don't realize is that you could actually be paying more in rent each month than you would be if it were a mortgage. If you're currently renting, take some time to sit down and crunch the numbers.
Tip: Our website offers a one-of-a-kind mortgage calculator that can tell you how much your monthly payment will be on the listing! Just register for an account, fill in your details under Preferences, and the site will do the rest. Mortgages you can likely afford will appear in green, while those that might be out of your price range will appear red. It's that easy!
A VA Loan Could Alleviate A Lot Of Pressure
If you're active duty or a veteran and qualify for a VA loan, then there's all the more reason to buy instead of rent in Colorado Springs. A VA loan eliminates the requirement for a down payment, allowing you to buy a home without having a large stockpile of money for the downpayment. You still need to have a good credit score and financially ready to afford the mortgage payment, but it's a huge advantage to have in this kind market.
When you are PCS’d to a new base, the to-do list can seem daunting. All of the sudden you are researching a new city, the weather, the school districts, the real estate market, and what there is to do for fun. And chances are you have done this before or will be doing this again. As a military family, you literally could write the book for everyone else on how to move!
Is it Better to Buy or Rent in Colorado Springs?
So here we are in 2016, and the age-old question comes up: is it best to rent or buy right now? What is the best decision for my family? While only you can answer that question, here are a few things to consider:
Rental rates are at an all-time high in Colorado Springs.
Inventory for rental properties in Colorado Springs is low.
Monthly mortgage payments are generally lower than monthly rent payments when utilizing VA benefits. (*Please talk to a licensed mortgage professional for information on VA loan benefits.)
Owning a home means you won’t have any surprise payment hikes.
Owning a home allows you to build equity.
When you are PCS’d to a new base, you can sell your home or rent your home knowing that there is always demand for housing due to the turnover associated with living in a city with four military bases.
Buying Homes in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is an amazing city, and you can’t go wrong when choosing an area to live in. So here is what it boils down to when making a decision to buy or rent. Make a list of what is important to you and your family when looking for a home. Talk to a licensed mortgage professional and licensed real estate professional- we are here to help you make your transition easy! And most importantly, have fun! Looking for a home is fun, especially when looking for a home in the gorgeous scenery of Colorado Springs.
Are You Ready To Buy Right Now?
Real estate experts and mortgage brokers generally use 30% of income as the standard benchmark when gauging affordability in housing. If more than 1/3 of your monthly income is going towards your rent and utilities, you do have other options.
Reach out to us today to learn more about the home buying process and how to use your VA loan benefit. We would love to help your family beat the rent burden and get on the path to home ownership!
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.