There are a million and one things that you have to think about during a PCS, but the biggest thing that remains at the forefront of everything is where you are going to live.
The talk of housing can send any military spouse into a tailspin. Where is the house going to be? How big is this new house? Will out child like this house? Will my favorite hutch fit in the new dining room? How long is the wait list for housing? The questions go on an on.
With our recent PCS, we had the chance to put some of those questions on hold and look out in town at housing and explore our options off-post. I have to admit; I got a little excited about the idea of living off-post. I think mostly because we were taking the house hunt into our own hands and really search around. We couldn’t wait to start looking at potential houses that we could make our home.
My husband and I became consumed with what area to live in, commuting times, and using our BAH appropriately. We looked at more houses than we could handle. We scoured every rental website out there and soon had housing overload.
It was overwhelming. We couldn’t come to a decision about what we really wanted or what would work for our family. Then, it dawned on us. After initially ruling it out, we needed to look further into living on-post.
We jumped the gun at the opportunity to live off-post because of the excitement of looking for our own home. We were taking the benefit of living on-post, and the advantages of doing so, for granted.
On-post housing is one of those things that can be so easy to gripe about, but truly is a wonderful benefit we receive as military families. Sure, there are waiting lists and other little things that are not ideal – but there is something about living on a military installation that doesn’t compare to living off-post.
I don’t know how I forgot so quickly what it is like to have neighbors with a commonality and bond that is the Army family. No matter how personally close I was to my neighbors, I could always knock on their door, ask for help, ask a question or just say hello. I am sure there are a lot of neighborhoods off-post that are just as friendly, but I think of all the times my Army neighbors were there for me while my husband was deployed and how I found comfort in those living around me and the support I received from them.
For us, it just seemed like a no-brainer to live on-post again. There are far too many wonderful benefits and advantages for my family not to do so at this next duty station. We are really excited to see what our new neighborhood has in store for us, and I can’t wait to get our household goods and make this new house our home.