Whether you are new to the area or have been there a while and are changing your mind about where you wish to live.. the question that rings in all of our minds is… “do I want to live on post or off post?” THAT IS THE QUESTION! If you are reading this and thinking “man I was just thinking that… how did she read my mind?” Well, I didn’t… (surprise surprise I’m sure) This is the question that almost every military family struggles with at one time or another in their lives.
So, with that being said, if you are weighing your options for on or off post… you may want to keep reading. I am a member of many wives/spouse groups on Facebook and I like to get all of their individual perspectives before writing something like this. Since I am a Realtor my ideas of things when it comes to housing may be a little jaded b/c of my profession and that wouldn’t be fair to my readers!
Many spouses chimed in and said that it really depends on your family situation and what is important to you. This, I think, is the key to all of this. You have to do what’s best for YOU and YOUR family. Asking people, whom you usually don’t know and don’t know you, is usually not the best way to find what’s best for your family but it does provide a unique perspective. I asked many people and got those perspectives from all sorts of experiences… What do I mean by that? Well, some answers I got from wives who are just now being able to say they are a “military wife” and some I got from those who about about to venture into the “veteran’s wife” category. Here are their unique perspectives….
To Live ON Post/Base….
- rent is often times extremely high off post which makes it hard to have money for other things you’d like to do.
- you are in close proximity to things that you need (commissary, PX/BX, etc)
- schools are often times closer when you live on post making it nice to be able to walk your child to school
- you have better networking opportunities on post with other families and spouses
- if you have a larger family, living on post may save you money and give you the space that you need
- there are no pet deposits if you live on post
- your spouse has a shorter commute to work every day which in turn saves on gas and time away from family
- spouse can come home from work on various breaks throughout the day
- off post utilities could be higher than expected causing a financial burden.
To Live OFF Post/Base….
- You have your own privacy off post
- you dont constantly have to check in through the gates
- you can find a place that suits you and your family and not just be given a home and stuck with what you’re given.
- you have the opportunity to save money off post by getting a home that’s less than your BAH
- you can find a nicer, larger home within your BAH range off post and still often times have money left over.
- post is VERY strict on lawn care and maintenance… living off post allows you to do those things as YOU see necessary
- housing on post is usually old and outdated. Living off post allows you to find a newer, more efficient home for your family.
- off post you are closer to shopping and restaurants.
- you can choose to live in a single family home as opposed to off post living in town home or wall-sharing homes.
- your family or friends don’t have to check in through the gates or get passes
- your spouse has the chance to leave work on post and not bring that back home since he/she is physically away from work.
In closing, where you live should be up to you and what’s best for you and your family. This blog is intended to show you other people’s ideas and perspectives about what they like and don’t like about certain things. Living on post or renting off post should be your own (not anyone else’s) decision. Also, check back soon for the “renting vs. buying” off post blog. I think you may like what you see!!
Let me know what you think!