Top 8 Bargain Housing Markets Near Military Bases


If your PCS orders are to Fort Bragg or another Southern military base, you may be able to find great home buys in nearby metro areas.

Good news for military homeowners: One in every six housing markets has recovered from the recession, according to a National Association of Realtors® (NAR) release dated February 7, 2014.  The national median existing-home price in 2013 was $197,100, up from $176,800 in 2012. And the Federal Housing Finance Association (FHFA) confirms that Q4 2013 home prices were up in most major metro areas.

For servicemembers considering a home purchase, are rising prices bad news? Not necessarily. Appreciating values make owning more beneficial. And many real estate markets are still considered a bargain according to a recent Forbes magazine analysis.

Those who need to live near a military installation due to active duty tours or new PCS orders may be interested to know the potential for home value appreciation in neighborhoods nearby. The following is a list of the eight bargain housing markets with nearby U.S. military installations.

  1. Fort Worth-Arlington, TX NAS Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Hood, Goodfellow AFB
  2. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX  NAS Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Hood, Goodfellow AFB
  3. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C. Fort Bragg, Pope AFB, Seymour Johnson AFB
  4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN Arnold AFB
  5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX Fort Sam Houston, Randolph AFB, Brooks City Base, Lackland AFB
  6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA Atlanta NAS, Dobbins AFB, Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem
  7. Oklahoma City, OK Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City Container Inspection Training and Assistance Team, USCG Institute
  8. Orlando-Kissimmee, FL Cape Canaveral Air Station, Patrick AFB, Clearwater CG Air Station, MacDill AFB

In December 2013, Forbes magazine released a list of metro areas where good housing buys may exist. The key to defining a bargain housing market, according to Forbes, lies in two important attributes: lower home prices (compared to national median) and a high potential for growth. To compile the roster, they considered the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with at least 575,000 people. The areas were ranked according to population, home pricing and employment. The combination of a larger population, good job growth and under-valued home prices put certain cities on top.

Veterans First Mortgage®, a top-ranked VA lender, compiled data from the Forbes “best buy” list, along with data about military installations and veteran populations for each MSA and identified the top eight MSAs in the Forbes’ rankings. Year-to-year inventory rates were added to give military buyers a sense of what’s available in each base-adjacent location. The end result is a list for military members touring or PCS-ing to bases near these eight metro areas.

For those stationed at Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Tinker AFB and other installations near a “top eight” MSA, it wouldn’t hurt to explore the possibility of getting a home bargain nearby.

For more information about VA purchase loans, contact an experienced, VA-approved lender.

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