When we moved to Lemoore, we wanted to live on base so bad! However, so did everyone else, we were put on a 4-6 month waiting list, so we made the decision to rent in town instead. Do you live on an installation? Is it worth the often long wait?


Coming up on our 5th move in our 8 years of marriage, there are definitely pros and cons with living on and off base. When we've lived off base, it was great for my work, to have a mix of neighbors and to have easier access to community resources & activities. When we lived on base, it was during a time that was crucial with a deployment so the support system and base resources were so value added. Also the homogeneous neighborhood was a nice solidarity when your spouse is deployed and you're away from family. And one of the best aspects of base living is the financial savings of most of the expenses from owning/renting a home especially in a high cost of living area such as California. In some areas though, you can often get more house with your BAH than the on base homes, but it all depends. We experienced the same type of long wait list in California so we opted for a rental in the community with our short 2 yr assignment. With the desolate base area and it being a different weather pattern in that area, it turned out to be the best decision for us. But it comes down to timing and location, location, location! Best wishes! www.sottmp.com
My family has lived on two different bases and had two completely different experiences. The houses at Eielson (Alaska) were pretty new and were really nice, were directly on base, and housing was great and very helpful! However, we are in military housing at Langley and though they have built brand new houses, we were put in the old ones that they really haven't taken very good care of. we have a 18 month waiting period to get into the new ones (however, we are expecting longer). Housing wasn't very helpful, they didn't inform us on much at all. The housing isn't on base, and not very close to much. So to wrap this up, it really depends on where you are. Make sure you get to look at what you will be getting and develop a relationship with housing.
My husband and I are at our first duty station at Bragg and we were lucky not to be put on a waiting list he was able to get housing with 4 neighborhoods to choose from. We live in housing that is about 40 years old and they arent bad for what we get in BAH, but I suggest look around for what there is to Rent off post to see if the cost is any less than living on post and if your spouse is willing to deal with traffic getting in and out of the gate during heavy traffic hours. one convience of living on post is after PT your spouse can come home for breakfest & shower if its close enough to his company.
We have lived on 8 bases in 17 years, as well as moving "back home" for a few unaccompanied tours, and we have always loved it. We've been lucky to have pretty great housing and schools at each base, and honestly, I just love not having to deal with the hassle of finding a place, steep move in costs and dealing with landlords. I know a lot of people that like to live off post so they have some separation from the military on the rest of their lives, but I've always preferreed living on post and miss it when we haven't been able to.