From the very beginning, John and I always said that we would always live off base, pretty much no matter what. For us, it has always made more sense to live off of the installation, and pocket the extra BAH (basic allowance for housing) money. Sure, maybe he’d have to drive a little further to work, but even with factoring in gas money, we’d still come out winning. After house hunting in Hawaii, we changed our minds pretty quickly. Well sort of. My mind was changed pretty quickly, it took some convincing on my part to get my other half to agree.
As we searched the internet for suitable housing, it became clear to me that it was going to take some work to find the perfect place within our price range. We needed something with at least four bedrooms that would take Caesar. He’s a 75 pound dog, and most rentals weren’t willing to accept pets over 20 pounds. John also insisted on having central AC. First of all, many homes down here are only rocking the window units. Plus I’ve heard that the power bills can get hefty on the island. Also, with the terrible traffic, I had no interest in waiting an hour from the time my husband got off of work until he got home.
Miraculously, I convinced my dear husband that we should at least try living on-post. If it was totally awful, we could search again once our lease was up after a year.
After living in our house on-post for five months, we’re both pretty happy with my decision. We literally live five minutes from John’s office. It came in handy yesterday when he urgently needed me to drop stuff off for him. Twice. When he takes command of a company, we’ll be about 2 minutes away from the battalion/brigade. He’ll be able to walk to PT every.single.morning.
I love that the girls and I can walk to the PX in a matter of minutes, and that the commissary and clinics are just as close. I have yet to become involved in any sort of volunteer activity, but the short commute time will definitely beat the half hour that I was doing each way in Georgia.
So far, the housing company and our community center have been awesome. When things break, they come out quickly to fix them. Just last week they came out and redid the landscaping out front, after I complained that the previous tenants had destroyed everything that was alive.
We’re even getting money back each month for utilities, since we stay well under the average usage for the neighborhood.
For now, I’m enjoying living on post and all of the conveniences. But, I can say that without a doubt, we’ll be buying another property at our next CONUS duty station. It only makes sense to have something that is ours, and then rent it and have the tenants paying our mortgage for us when it’s time to move on.
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