As for the house... I am going to hold off on making that decision until we move stateside (in about 3 years). In the mean time we are going to take the advice of the majority here and make our lives what we want them to be without regard to "the program".
Given this info, buying a house makes even less sense: why would you want an investment that isn't guaranteed to do better than anything else, that's hard to liquidate on your schedule, and then factor in closing costs at both sides??? And don't believe the "you need a tax deduction" hype: even if you're in the top income bracket, you get back what, a third of the money you spent on interest? The other 2/3 went to the bank and made THEM money, not you. If you're only going to be in a location for 3 years you're very early in the mortgage; look at the amortization schedule and you'll realize almost NONE of the money you spent on payments goes against principal. That means that you won't have accumulated any savings in the house. I still believe that the only way to make money on a house (greater than the rate of inflation long-term) is to be extremely lucky with market timing, or to invest a lot of sweat equity. This from someone who has bought and sold about a dozen houses, moving whereever Uncle Sam sent us (and that meant we had the added bonus of all our closing costs being covered as part of the relocation package) and owning a kitchen-bath remodel business so we had the inside track on the sweat-equity "investments." Now living on the boat for the past 8 years and we have far far more disposable income than we ever did in the house. Also more free time to play instead of mowing the lawn and cleaning leaves out of the gutters.
That you're asking the question may be it's own answer. Live on the boat, enjoy the boat! Buy the house ONLY when there's no question in your mind that you really, really, want to own a house because it suits your lifestyle at the time...but not as an investment, not because it's the thing you "should" be doing now.