I love house hunting. That may sound weird to a lot of people, but looking at houses and dreaming of my forever home. Currently, though the military moves the service members and families around at their comment, there is no ’employee buy out’ program. Several federal agencies do have a program that will purchase your home should if you are unable to sell it. The military, not so much. Because of this, we choose to rent.
As a military family, we have the option of living on post, which is living in the housing that has been built on a military base. These homes used to be managed by the military base, but have now been given to private management companies who have been building new housing on several of the military bases that truly needed the update! Until 2005, the old quad building that my FIL occupied in the 80’s was still in use!!
There are several websites that allow you to hunt for housing, but of course, I have my favorites!
I love AHRN! This is my go-to site for house hunting in the military. You cannot log into the website to buy, sell, or rent without a military email address. I love this feature because I do feel safer renting from people who are either militaryt themselves, or they do understand the nature of this military lifestyle. The only thing missing from this wonderful website is the ability to look at a search or homes on a map view. Distance is often an issue with my husband who is often on-call.
Constant features on this website include:
- BAH rates
- the ability to save the base you are heading for
- standard BAH search giving only the 25% above or below your housing allowance,
- private emails kept on the website for security reasons
- email alerts,
New features on the website include:
- a custom search you can save an post on your home page
- an alert that tells you if new houses have been listed within that custom search
- links to the military bases info pages
- a rental chart with average rental prices, how the properties line up to the average, and where the BAH falls
[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”2269″ caption=”BAH chart” align=”center” size=”small” lightbox=”true”]
[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”2270″ caption=”Search options” align=”center” size=”small” lightbox=”true”]
[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”2271″ caption=”Search view” align=”center” size=”small” lightbox=”true”]
Zillow is a great website! You can refine your house search to a very particular hunt. You can then save that search and set up email alerts for new homes that meet your custom search criteria. Some of the special features of Zillow are: map searches can focus on one zip code at a time, it offers email updates on saved properties, gives ‘zestimates’ of what you could expect to rent/buy, charts the home average cost and compares it to others in the zip code. I also like Zillow for the each of use in their app. I generally use Zillow as my cross reference site for any property I find any place on the web.
I used to have a love/hate relationship with Trulia. When I first found Trulia, they were a suggested real estate app on my iPad. The app must have been a work in progress, because I just found it didn’t locate very many properties at all. However, just in this past year, they have really put some great effort into the app! It now can search both sale and rental properties. It also offers a map view that is more comprehensive. This app gives better property boundaries overviews and community information for a selected property. This was the first app to offer tax and previous sales information too. Trulia has really come along with their product!! I am happy to give them a shout-out!
This is part of a blogging series Planning a Military Move.