Off Base vs. On Base Housing for Military Families

April 21, 2017

Person in Military Uniform Holding Military Housing

Military families know all too well what it’s like to be on the move for relocation. When new orders come in and new locations are determined, the first thing a family must consider is military housing. A change of environment when shifting to a new military installation takes some getting used to, so it’s essential the place you live is one where military members and their families can feel truly at home.

A major transition such as this poses a series of questions. What’s the housing budget? How temporary is the move?  How long will the commute to work be? Should you choose military housing off base, or on base housing? These are among the various concerns or challenges that need to be considered when making a decision to move.

Military or not, there are pros and cons to any housing option, but this additional factor can weigh heavy on the decision making. In many cases, the decision must be made quickly, which could cause extra stress on the situation. But even if there is a time limit for moving, it doesn’t mean the choice can’t be made without thoughtful care. Consider the pros and cons of living both on and off base, and what it will mean for your family.

Benefits of On Base Housing

For those who choose to live on base, there are a number of benefits, such as housing allowance, a sense of community, and quality housing options.

Regardless if you choose to live on or off base, you can start planning your military housing budget determined by your basic allowance for housing (BAH). This compensation is determined by estimated housing costs for off base housing in your area. It’s likely one of the highest family expenses you’ll have, so it’s best to ensure you set aside enough to secure a comfortable place for your family.

Another benefit of living on base in military housing is the community of people you’ll be living among. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and form relationships with other military families who understand the rigors and day-to-day of military life. While it may not be considered a “normal” routine to civilian families, to you and those who understand military living can relate under this common thread.

The last main benefit of choosing to living on base is the inclusions and ease of approval for military families. Depending on which on base housing is available in the city you’re moving to, credit checks or deposits may not be required. Also, many units come with utilities and renters insurance as part of the rental price. This can make it easier to create a budget for your monthly expenses.

Military Father Holding Daughter in Front of Military Home

Benefits of Off Base Housing

A benefit to off base housing is permanent residency. If you’re in the market to buy property, the option of military housing off base gives you the chance to own the place you live. Military housing provides basic accommodations, but choosing a home to own means you can fully customize it to your own design preferences and make it truly feel like home.

Finally, your family may just want a change of pace from regular military housing communities. Military bases around the country are located in cities with diverse neighborhoods that are worth checking out to make your family feel more excited about the move and the upcoming adventure of living in a new city.

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At Lincoln Military Housing, Every Mission Begins at Home®

Our mission is to provide premier homes and outstanding management and maintenance services to military families, who deserve nothing less. We strive to understand the changing needs of military families and consider it our duty to improve the quality of life for those who live in our communities.

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