Originally Posted by annekevdbroek
We have never used a VA loan as the rates are less favorable than conventional bank loans. They are helpful to first time homeowners who do only have a low downpayment. I think you can only use it once.
As long as the new buyer gets their own loan and does not assume the VA loan, the member can get their entitlement back, though you get the most benefit the first time you use the entitlement.
We just used mine for the second time and the fees were higher. We've happened to buy three new construction houses in a row and the VA always had the best rate. It may not be true for existing houses though.
I must say that a REALLY aggravating thing about renting as a military member is that you can rarely "get ahead", meaning that every time the military raises the BAH, rents also increase. When you own a home your mortgage is fixed so you can live below your means and not be stretched to the max.
There are several drawbacks to living on base housing:
You are close to work so you are often called in first, particularly if the weather is bad.
People are "all up in your business" as a pp said. If you tick off your neighbor you could be hearing from your boss. I've also heard of known midwives being banned from a base as well as planned homebirths. When I lived in the dorms someone wanted to "home" all squadrons together; super. I had a young airman that could not manage to keep his stereo down (it's not as if he didn't know we worked shift) so it was either be satisfied with asking EVERYTIME for him to keep his stereo down or tell the Shirt and have it taken away. Another issue for me was when an Airman from another office in my squadron got rough with another Airman from my office; I had to fill out a police report then see this guy everyday at work and at "home." It sucks living with your co-workers.
If you are on base and your base has a school and it is difficult to school off base, you need to fight with the military instead of the relative black and white of civilian schools (re: vaccination)
The military is the meanest HOA ever
Base housing is often old, small, and/or really awkward walk-up apartments.