base housing — The Bump
Military Families

base housing

So I know that the wait list for base housing is usually close to a year. My husband and I have never lived in base housing, and I was curious now with a child on the way ( am i'm sure we will want another soon after) what the pros and cons are to living there. I'm curious because his re emlistment orders will be coming through in a few months and I'd like to make some type of plan for what we are going to do in 9 months when our lease will be up (which should be about the time his new orders will be taking effect. Thank you for your input.
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Re: base housing

  • PROS:

    -DH can come home for lunch
    -DH is very close to work
    -Usually safer
    -Parks are always near-by for kids
    -You don't pay a security deposit or pet fee
    -Lawn maintenance is usually included
    -You can set your a/c as low as you'd like and not feel guilty about it
    -Friends and/or good neighbors are guaranteed close by to help out if you ever need anything

    CONS:

    -Yard space is little and other houses are too close sometimes!
    -Usually limited parking
    -Your DH can't play the whole, "my phone was turned off" game when work tries to call him in, because someone will inevitably show up at your door
    -Move-out inspections are horrible (our inspector was on her hands and knees, smelling the hardwood floors for urine odors since we had two dogs)
    -You are ALWAYS absorbed by his branch, for example, DH couldn't walk the dog outside without his cover on.
    -You risk running into trouble with DH's unit if something happens, like your neighbor calls PMO because your music is up too loud.
    -BASE TRAFFIC!!
    -You are thrown into a lot more drama, even if you don't want to be.
    -Your license plates CANNOT expire for even a few days or your car may be towed
    -You have to deal with stupid rules, like for us it was no parking on the sidewalk side of the street, All dogs must be microchipped and cannot be in the yard for more than 2 hours at a time, trash bins must not be visible from street...etc etc.


    DH and I have lived off-base in a house, in an apartment, and then on-base in a house...And by far, our favorite was the house off-base because you seem to have more freedom, and you don't feel like if something happens, PMO will be in your drive.
    I could give you a hundred bad stories about living on base, and it just seems like the bad outweighs the good...for DH and I, anyway. I would think that each housing office is different, but the bigs things, I'm sure, stay the same.
    My DH is a very motto Marine, but being on base and never getting a break from the Corps got annoying, even to him. That is the biggest issue on why we decided to move out.

    EDD 10/11/11


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  • I loved base housing and I really think that it would be better to live on base than off base once you have kids, but this depends on the base and the area.  

    The biggest con to the houses we've lived in (NAS Pensacola & MCAS Beaufort) have been space!  They are so small compared to what we could have gotten (and eventually got) off base.  They were also older.

    Pros are being surrounded by other families going through the same things as you are. The community is much more supportive and seems much more friendly.   Also, a big pro is the maintenance that you can call 24/7 if you have any problem and, in my experience, the base had people mow the lawns too, which is always nice when your spouse deploys.

    Another thing to consider is the school districts off base vs. schools on base.  Here (Beaufort, SC), the schools on base are much better than the schools off-base, but you need to live on base in order for your kids to attend there. 

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  • It really depends on your base b/c I disagree with parts of both previous posters.

    We're at our first base and live on base.  The housing is newer and larger than what it seems like we could find off base.  The yards here are small but I love that H is so close to work, we feel safe, there's parks/dog parks/shoppettes/pools on base.

    I disagree that you can set your a/c low-- we get a set amount of our BAH for utilities and if we go over/under we keep/pay out the difference.  I disagree that they won't show up to your off base house-- they will here.  I disagree that there's a lot of rules-- I think all dogs should be microchipped and shouldn't be left outside barking their ass off for hours on end.  Granted, there are rules like a HOA but you get snow removal, lawn service, maintenance, etc. when you live on base so it's a good trade off IMO.


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  • Well i disagree and agree with what PP said. First of all, each base is different. They have different rules so your best bet is to go to the housing office and ask them questions, or get a packet that has all the rules in it. I have lived on and off base. I like that i dont have to pay any rent or utilities, except cable and internet. I like that DH is close to work, i like feeling secure on base, and being surrounded by people you have something in common with. If you follow rules you will have no issue with DH's command coming down on him. Some base housing is small and old, some is new and spacious. DH and i got lucky because we have a new 3 bd 2 ba house w garage and its just us 2 and our 2 dogs. We are responsible for cutting the grass, and other yard upkeep, and snow removal. Dogs cant be outside without a leash, unless you have a fence. If something goes wrong with electrical or plumping you dont have to pay for it to be fixed.  

    Go to your base housing office and get their rules and regs. But i will say i love living on base, however not all base housing is this nice.  

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  • Thank you everyone for your input! it has been really helpful!
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  • image MilitaryIssued:

    PROS:

    -DH can come home for lunch
    -DH is very close to work
    -Usually safer
    -Parks are always near-by for kids
    -You don't pay a security deposit or pet fee
    -Lawn maintenance is usually included
    -You can set your a/c as low as you'd like and not feel guilty about it
    -Friends and/or good neighbors are guaranteed close by to help out if you ever need anything

    CONS:

    -Yard space is little and other houses are too close sometimes!
    -Usually limited parking
    -Your DH can't play the whole, "my phone was turned off" game when work tries to call him in, because someone will inevitably show up at your door
    -Move-out inspections are horrible (our inspector was on her hands and knees, smelling the hardwood floors for urine odors since we had two dogs)
    -You are ALWAYS absorbed by his branch, for example, DH couldn't walk the dog outside without his cover on.
    -You risk running into trouble with DH's unit if something happens, like your neighbor calls PMO because your music is up too loud.
    -BASE TRAFFIC!!
    -You are thrown into a lot more drama, even if you don't want to be.
    -Your license plates CANNOT expire for even a few days or your car may be towed
    -You have to deal with stupid rules, like for us it was no parking on the sidewalk side of the street, All dogs must be microchipped and cannot be in the yard for more than 2 hours at a time, trash bins must not be visible from street...etc etc.


    DH and I have lived off-base in a house, in an apartment, and then on-base in a house...And by far, our favorite was the house off-base because you seem to have more freedom, and you don't feel like if something happens, PMO will be in your drive.
    I could give you a hundred bad stories about living on base, and it just seems like the bad outweighs the good...for DH and I, anyway. I would think that each housing office is different, but the bigs things, I'm sure, stay the same.
    My DH is a very motto Marine, but being on base and never getting a break from the Corps got annoying, even to him. That is the biggest issue on why we decided to move out.

     

    He isn't supossed to do that anyway, if he is on base or not.

    Anyway base housing is nice, especially if you live in an expensive area where its pretty much a wash to live on or off base. Where we live in DC it was actually cheaper to live on base because our utilites were insane! It just depends on the certain rule/guidelines they have for that specific housing unit, since like many people above said isn't ALWAYS the same.

    Off base living has its benefits if you want to be more private and not have everyone else in your business, and if it works out in your favor that you may actually be making money living off base.

    But our waiting list for our housing that we just moved into in March was maybe a month long, and that is because we were waiting for it to be finished being refurbished (which is super nice!)

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  • It really depends on the branch your hubbs is in and where you are at and what base you are stationed at when it comes to the rules because some PP doesn't apply to my base at all. My hubby is AF so we're more in the suburbia area.  Our yard is huge and our house is newish.  We don't pay any utilities, its included in our rent/BAH.  There are rules of course, but nothing I find annoying. People will be in your business regardless if you are on or off base.  There are nosy neighbors everywhere, they aren't limited to military bases.  I like the convienence of having everything close.  I rarely drive off base for anything I need last minute.  My husband gets to his job quick and easy and can come home for lunch.  You're surrounded by other military families which is nice when the hubby deploys.  Exercise week is annoying because of all the sirens and stuff and some times base traffic is annoying, just time your leaving of the base correctly, but besides that I love it :) Hope this helps!
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