Determining where to live is a question that every military family faces come PCS time. There are pros and cons to living on post as well as off. Here are a few considerations to help you decide which living arrangements will be the best fit for your family.
- There is no denying that living on base can be very convenient. Easy access to commissaries, exchanges, health care, and all the amenities provided on base is a definite plus.
- Living on base allows the military member little to no commute.
- In most cases, there is no cost for housing, and utilities such as heat, air conditioning, electricity, water, and garbage are covered as long as you don‚Äôt go over the standard baseline for your housing size and type.
- Another benefit of on-base housing is the sense of community and support of other military families, particularly during deployments.
- Wait lists can be long at some bases, so take that into consideration, especially if you have children.
- Depending on your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) amount and location, you might end up with extra money in your pocket. Generally, utilities will be your responsibility, so keep that in mind when budgeting for off base housing. In some communities, your dollar will go farther and you can get more house for your money.
- Many military members prefer to keep their military life separate from their personal life. Off base living affords them that opportunity.
- Commute time for the non-military spouse can lower since they are able to avoid traffic coming and going to and from base.
- If you have children, there are more options/choices for schools.
Each military base will be different, so the best bet is to do your research well in advance, and remember, no matter which choice you make, home is where your heart is!