It is PCS season again. If you’re moving this summer then it is time to decide whether you want to search high and low for housing in the community or wait for base housing. There are many Pros and Cons to each, and it is different for every family. And maybe even post to post.
Our first military move was to Fort Benning. It was just the two of us, although we were soon joined by a hyper active puppy. The area of Columbus, GA was a relatively cheap rental market. We decided to live off post so we could pocket some of our BAH. Our next move was an unaccompanied PCS and so he lives on post in Korea. He lives super close to work and has many other conveniences.
But Once again we are faced with the decision: on or off base housing?
This time though we are not just a young couple, we have a baby in tow. And while we are still years away from having to factor in school districts for housing. Being in a nice, kid friendly neighborhood with parks and other littles for her to play with is very important to us.
SO far each time we have moved we sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each and here is the list of __ we base our decision off of:
- Cost: can we save money by living off post and pocketing any extra BAH. If we live off post is the cost of living so high we will lose money by having to spend more than BAH to cover rent & all utilities. This factor definitely gets more weight than some of the others because we feel it is important to save money where we can!
- Neighborhood Safety: Every military spouse knows they are going to get left at home overnight more than once, for who knows how long. For both of our piece of mind living in a safe neighborhood is very important to us. Even more so now with a baby at home. Can we get a decent house in a good neighborhood. When we lived at Benning our care was broken into and it really made it hard to sleep for a few nights since I was home alone when it happened.
- Friends in the Area: I am an extroverted person and so I don’t like being home by myself for long periods of time without being out with friends. Being close enough to the base to participate in events is important to me (more so than my husband).
- Easy Commute: They already work really long hours. They get to work early, they sometimes have to work late! I don’t want him to have to drive a long time in a lot of traffic causing him more stress. Also the closer you are its possible that they can come home for breakfast after PT or lunch- this can save tons of money!
- Close to Activities in the Area: My little and I like to get out a good amount, at least a few times a week so being close to things to do in the community is important to us.
These are our biggest categories we assess for when determining where to live next! Then which ever has the most wins is where we hope for! What factors do you always consider when deciding on housing?
What is your favorite place to live? On Post or Off Post?