Buying a home in today's market can be a scary choice. However, with market rates being as low as they are right now, it can also be a great investment. You should really get to know the area and what is driving market sales. Although there is great data available on the internet, I still highly recommend speaking with a local Realtor about the market because not all of the data you read on your own is correct. Some of your popular go to websites for home sales gather their information 3rd hand or from the tax office. If the information on the size of the home isn't accurate at the tax office, the prices will not reflect the true market value. As the old saying goes, it's all about location, location, location! Factor in your true needs such as living space, costs, schools, etc. Then also factor in how long you anticipate being at your new duty station and what type of loan you will use to purchase the home. If you're going to be at the base less than 3 yrs. you may want to consider paying your VA funding fee upfront. If not, you will be financing more than the home appraises for and may find yourself short for the payoff at closing when it comes time to sale.There are good deals out there and in this economy, it would be wise to use a Realtor. Remember that the buyer's agent get paid by the listing agen't co-op pay if the property is listed and therefore you get free advice. If the property is a For Sale By Owner, still have your agent schedule the showing. Most sellers are willing to pay the agents fee and are just trying to avoid paying 2 agents.