Living On Base vs Off Base: What to Know About Military Housing

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Monday, November 23rd, 2020 at 2:36pm.

Should You Choose Military Housing?One of the advantages of a military career may come in the form of military housing. Both individuals and those with families join the military every year and have to decide whether to live on or off base.

Because military housing is a big decision, reviewing this arrangement can help provide people with the clarity they need to make the right choice for their needs. What do military personnel need to know about this important choice?

What to Know About Living On Base

There can be financial savings to residing on base. In some situations, living on post translates to saving money that would have gone to rent and other costs of living. Individuals choosing to live on base do not receive BAH for their decision. In some cases, however, living off base means spending in excess of the BAH amount provided. Therefore, it is helpful for individuals to run through the average rents for the area around their station before deciding on where to live. Another associated expense may be spending more on utilities off base rather than on base.

Military personnel with family may enjoy the community found on the base, which can make it easier for them to get to know others. Spouses can meet others that understand their experiences, and their children may make new friends.

While some people thoroughly enjoy being stationed on the base, people do live in close quarters. Because they are living closer together, people may find that it can be noisier than the life they were accustomed to prior to living on base. Those who like space and independence may feel somewhat limited living in military housing. Additionally, family members on base may like to get together often and socialize, which may not be the best situation for those who thrive best in quieter environments.

Everyone living on base needs to follow a set of rules. Before moving on base, everyone in a military family should be ready to adhere to those rules and be ready for potential housing inspections.

Some people like a separation between work and their home life. Living in military housing means that people are close to their place of work. While some people enjoy saving time and money on their commute, others may prefer some distance between work and home.

What Is the Right Choice? 

Living on base or off base can vary greatly. While some housing units may be relatively new, others may require renovation. The cost of living in the area can also make a big difference when seeing what is financially feasible for an individual or military family. Thinking about each person involved and their personal preferences will make for a happier experience.

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