Check out our blog at http://mscoastrealty.com and do a search or click on Ocean Springs - we will be delighted to assist and are very familiar with the specific needs of military families.
We purchased wherever we pcs'd and have either sold or rented our properties. As mentioned before in a previous answer, the tax credit of $8K is an awesome benefit for 1st time home buyers, but you have to close on a home and move in by Dec. 1, 2009. (Which is not a problem)
And if it's any indication of the market turning around, our market area has continued to move, maybe not a high and fast pace, but it is still moving where sales markets in other areas of the nation are completely stagnant. Homes are still selling, people are still buying and now is a great time for buyers since there are so many homes to chose from and you could get a really good deal, especially if you looked at a foreclosure or short sale and purchase someone else's equity.
I have a lot of info on Foreclosures and Short Sales so let me know if I can be of any assistance.
However, if you're still thinking of renting, I can help with that as well. Either way I can send you listings/info.
Do your research on the market through websites or agents that can show you factual data and trends. I am right across the bridge from Ocean Springs so I know the market looks good in general and there are a lot of options available but I am not an agent so I do not have access to all the statistics.
It does the cash flow analysis see which way is better. In west coast you used to be able to make $ as short as 2-3 years. In today's market that is not the case. You can lose $. If you talk to realtors they want to sell your something so the answer is not what I give you which is a cash flow tool.
Let me know if it helps!