On or off post? What’s the best location for your family?
Considering where to live? Take a look at this list of common pros and cons. After all, a housing situation is one that should not be taken lightly. Even if a location will be short-term, there's no reason to give up preferred amenities or preferences!
Thankfully, military families are given a choice on where they'd like to live. Take a look at the rundown of each scenario in order to find the best overall housing fit.
The pros of living on post
Living on location can come with a number of perks, including standby maintenance, a choice at housing sizes or styles, and avoiding the hassle of paying.
-Safety Factor: Living on post means background checks before folks can enter the premises. Guards at the ready, etc. If you're headed to an area where safety might not be as high as you'd like, remember this.
-Nearby Amenities: Pools, parks, rec centers, and more, all within a few blocks!
-Choice of Sizes and Styles: Usually by rank, military members and their families can choose from a few styles of homes.
-Less Work in Requesting Maintenance and Payments: Repairs, maintenance, and more, is there at the ready.
-Access to Social Events/Ability to Make New Friends: Living on post means you have neighbors who are in a similar situation to you. Let the kids play and make nice with the folks on the street for quick friendship opportunities.
The cons of living on post
On the flip side, there can be stress and red tape when moving to on-base housing. Consider what could go wrong before committing to your next home.
-So. Much. Paperwork. As with anything military-related, there's paperwork galore!
-A Lack of Communication Between Civilian Housing Management and Military Rules/Entities: Many on-post housing entities are run by civilian companies, which can lead to misunderstandings or discrepancies in military standards.
-Inability to Get Away From Work. For the Service member, it's riiiiiiight down the block.
-Possible Wait Times or Unavailable Units: There are busy moving seasons, which can mean a backlog of available houses, or that the house you want isn't available at all. This is a common scenario when waiting to move on post.
-Additional Standards That Must be Followed: There are rules on yards, pets, and more. When living on post you'll have to pay close attention so as not to break any ordinances.
The pros to living off post
Living away from base comes with its own positives. Determine if this is a move you'd like to make.
-Opportunity to Invest. Ready to buy? With off-post options, the real estate market is your oyster.
-Getting Away From the Office … and away from military life. Sometimes you just need a break.
-More Housing Choices in Price and Location: Scan the neighborhoods and find the spot that best suits you and your family's needs. For instance, not having next-door neighbors, etc.
-Can Potentially Save Funds: With more choices comes more pricing options, too.
The cons to living off post
Here, too, come potential downsides. Be sure to weigh the possible risks.
-You're On Your Own: When dealing with a bum landlord or testy neighbor, you have to go about things the old fashioned way. There's always JAG, but you'll have to do the legwork.
-Distance From Work: Remember that living off post comes with a daily commute.
-Distance From Community Events and Programs: It can be harder to stay in the know or get to on-post events when you don't live within the action.
-Removal From Community: In the same light, it can be harder to feel included or involved when living as a civilian.
-Stigma: When applying for housing, dealing with neighbors, etc., there could be a stigma involved with military life.
When choosing your next housing situation, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each scenario so you can find your best housing outcome. But wherever you decide, home is where the heart is.