US Military Families Losing Out in Real Estate

US military homeowners are finding themselves in quite a predicament regarding their real estate investments these days; despite their homes being worth less than what they stumped up for them, they are being forced to move by the government, leaving them with big financial losses.

Many US military members paid a lot more for their homes than they are worth

Military homes are worth significantly less than what many soldiers paid for them. Courtesy of Dallas Texas Real Estate

Take the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas for instance – here, about 14% of military personnel own homes that are valued less than what they bought them for. Many of these people are receiving relocation orders, forcing them to sell up despite not being able to get a break-even price for their homes.

“We’ve heard of dozens of cases of service men and women who are underwater with their homes, and they don’t know what to do,” said Katie Savant of the National Military Family Association.

“Hundreds of military families are being ordered to relocate but they cannot afford to sell their homes.”

While members of the military appreciate that moving is all part and parcel of the job, none of them could have foreseen such huge drops in property values. And it gets worse, as walking away or defaulting on payments simply isn’t an option – having a foreclosure against your name can result in your security clearance being taken away.

Military families lose out on real estate

Many military families are forced to accept losing money on their real estate investments. Courtesy of Googleblog

However, the Department of Defense and Congress says it is trying to assist military families caught in this situation. As of 2009, military personnel who are ordered to move can receive help from a mortgage assistance program. But the only problem with this is that the program has been overwhelmed with requests for help, and is expected to post a budget deficit of $400 million at the end of 2011.

Even worse, not all military members are eligible. Currently, the program is only available to those who bought their homes pre-June 2006 and were ordered to relocate during the period between 2006 and 2010, meaning many servicemen are literally forced to accept a huge financial loss.

About Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at


  1. We had been living this for 3 years. My husband had to move on to Texas without us because we couldn’t unload our home. (Purchase 5/2005)Nor could we rent it for what the mortgage payment was. To foreclose meant losing his security clearance. His rank prevented him from acceptance of government funds. So, we held out during the 3 year assignment thinking he would get back to us. Wrong! He was deployed to the Middle East next. Four years we’ve been living apart and the financial loss is around 65K from his apartment rent & COLA decrease. (not counting airplane tickets to fly home 3 times a year)Now the budget cuts have eliminated him and 4K other personell and we may end up losing the house anyway because he can’t find a job in this economy. Looking back, I wish we had never bought a home. We would have never lost 65K cash nor what we’ll lose when our house is eventually taken from us. 26 years honorable service and this is how we end up in our 50s. Unbelievable.

    • Mike Wheatley says:

      You have my sympathies Ann, sounds like you’ve had a pretty rough deal.