QUICK GUIDE TO HOUSING AND SETTLING IN
If you are in the military and have received your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) order, you may be experiencing two conflicting emotions: excitement and disappointment. Excitement at getting to move to the beautiful island of Guam and exploring all that it has to offer; disappointment at having to give up the life you already know, as well as all the hassle that will be involved in moving to Guam. Since military relocation to Guam can be a complicated process, the following guide should help you out in a number of areas, from deciding whether to rent or buy, to finding information about your new community.
RENT OR BUY?
There are many factors that can influence whether you should buy or rent for your relocation. Some issues you may want to take into consideration include:
- How long you will be stationed in that area. If you will only be there for a couple of years, it would make more sense to rent, so you do not have to go through the trouble of trying to sell it once you receive your next PCS orders. However, if you will likely be stationed in one area for a long time, it might be advantageous to buy a house and start making payments right away.
- The economy of the area. If the housing prices areinflated and beyond your means, then do not get sucked into buying a home you will not be able to pay off. If you are patient and wait, you may even be able to locate a house with a deal if housing prices decline. Becoming familiar with a real estate specialist once there can also help you with finding the perfect home.
- Your monetary situation. This should be an obvious factor, but many people buy houses that they simply cannot afford. You do not want to get caught up in this situation, as you could end up bankrupt and with the government repossessing your home.
- Do you wish to put your own touch on your home? When you rent a house, you have little freedom to modify the house. If you own the home, you are free to do whatever you want with it, so long as you follow the law. There are also advantages to renting: you will not have to pay property taxes, Home Owners Association dues, or pay for home repairs. It is a matter of cost vs. freedom in this situation.
GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
Relocation can become an expensive ordeal, so you will want to be prepared. Schedule a meeting with your finance office to help you work through all the options available to you. Also, you may qualify for certain benefits for relocating, so be sure to find out about any that may apply to you.
FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR NEW COMMUNITY
It would be a good idea to find out some information about the Guam before moving. Here is a great article on tips for moving to Guam that provides great general information, but you will probably need to speak to someone on the ground to get specifics. You can arrange to speak with the family center for your new area. Find out about the lifestyle of your new community, events that might interest your family members (if you’re bringing any along with you), what you can expect living there, what the local economy and social structure is like, etc. The more you find out the better, so you will know exactly what to expect.
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