Do you live on base or off? You will likely hear this question a number of times when you first move to a new installation. While off-base housing does have its perks, living on base allows you to take advantage of a wide-variety of benefits!
Most installations offer military housing, with a variety of neighborhoods and homes that are assigned based on your service member’s rank, and the size of your family. Occasionally, military housing is operated by independent contractors, but operates the same way as it would if it were military owned.
The first thing to do is visit the housing office at your intended installation. Housing individuals will ask you to fill out paperwork regarding your service members rank, the number of individuals in your family, the number and breed of your pets and will also ask that you bring relevant paperwork: orders and military ids. Occasionally, though rarely, they will ask if there is a particular neighborhood you and your family seek to live.
There are a number of benefits to living on base. Built-in Community: You and your family will be surrounded by other military families- some who may share the same unit as your spouse, which often lends a sense of camaraderie. If you have children, it’s likely that there will be families nearby with children the same ages as your own. Security: Most military housing is located within the base, and those that aren’t located directly on base are often accessible only by gated security. Many military families prefer this type of housing, especially when the service member plans on deploying. Price: Though on-base housing will take up your entire BAH, most military installations offer sizable and equalitable housing compared to the type of housing found outside base in a similar ‘price’ range. Maintenance: Upkeep and maintenance are free; it is in the military’s best interest to keep the housing comfortable and working. And because there are rules associated with military housing, similar to a homeowners association, it’s likely your neighborhood will always be fairly clean and tidy. Amenities: Many military families elect to take advantage of on base housing due to the proximity of on-base amenities. This may include: pools, playgrounds, schools, walking trails, the Commissary, the Exchange, golf courses and dining.
DID YOU KNOW? Military housing typically has a wait list, so it’s imperative that you sign up as soon as possible when you move to a new base. Also, most installations have restrictions on the number and breeds of pets you may bring on base. For a list of restricted breeds, click here: Pets must also be micro-chipped and up to date on all shots.