Key Considerations When Buying a Home While on Active Duty

Buying a Home While on Active Duty

By Guest Contributor and Military Spouse, Missy Lum

The orders finally arrive and it’s time to relocate – we have waited, researched, and waited some more. We have found the perfect homes in our top three duty stations of choice. However, with orders in hand, now it all begins! We can move from dreaming to reality.   

Like many other active-duty military families, we weigh the pros and cons of living on post, renting, or buying a home. Each comes with its own unique challenges and benefits. Buying a home, though, can be especially challenging while on active duty. With that in mind, here is a list of a few things we always consider:

Base Realignment

What is the future of the installation? Are units being deactivated or moved around? Selling our home in 2011 in Radcliff, Kentucky took a week. A few months prior, the US Army Human Resource Command moved into Fort Knox, Kentucky bringing thousands of jobs and employees into the area. With this kind of housing demand, buying a home while on active duty seemed less risky!

Resell and Rentability

The average military family moves every 2.5 years.  Not if the next set of orders comes, but when they come, will the home sell? Finding a home that will resell quickly in a desirable area may be worth the extra price tag. We are truly looking forward to the day when we can own a home without thinking of reselling. #retirementgoals

Renting and Repairs

While on active duty, deployments and time away are a given. Finding the right repair service and housing management company goes a long way in reducing stress.

Proximity to the Installation

While searching for a home in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, proximity was important for our family. We didn’t want to live on post but needed to be close. We found an amazing little home off the beaten path, away from the hustle and bustle of town but still close enough for my exhausted drill sergeant to make it home safely.


Military life is a culture of community. When we moved to Alaska, we found a home located in a small community. Our neighbors across the street and next door were prior military. They understood our life and were a blessing. Having someone come to blow the snow off my driveway while my husband was deployed is not something found on a real estate website.

Our list continues to grow with each new place we call home. Every set of orders brings on a new challenge in considering home ownership! Would you consider or are you currently thinking of buying a home on active duty? If so, what would you add to this list?

Missy Lum is a proud Army spouse of 18 years. She has made a home with 12 different floor plans and traveled the world with her favorite soldier, 2 amazing teenagers, and larger-than-life dogs.

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About Our Partnership with TowneBank Mortgage

At GoVA, we’re proud to partner with a lender that delivers peace of mind to those who have served and continue to serve our county. Together, GoVA and TowneBank Mortgage are committed to helping our military service members achieve their dreams of homeownership, as well as providing them with valuable resources along the way. As experienced lenders, TowneBank Mortgage understands the need for a quick and easy mortgage process, especially during life’s transitional moments. Headquartered in Norfolk, just miles from the world’s largest naval base, TowneBank Mortgage has had the honor of helping thousands of military families through their VA loan offerings. Their team is knowledgeable about VA products and the local market, and in-house operations allow them to respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner. Together, we can get you to closing in 30 days or less. Trust TowneBank Mortgage and GoVA loans to get you home.

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