Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Housing Debate



When our gig is up here, we may opt to sell our home. Depending upon where DH receives orders to, we may choose to live in base housing, if it is made availabe to us. This would be a first ever for us. We have always lived on the economy. Part of the reason being that my husband has always been adamant about maintaining distance between professional and work life and felt that living in base housing can possibly muddy up a situation. Another reason is that it's never been mandatory where we were stationed, and we were fortunate enough to be able to rent apartments and then later even purchase a home.

Sure, there are the stories of rumor mills and spouses attempting to pull rank, but it can't be all that bad. Heck, in the civilian world, you can have nosey neighbors and such, we are not immune. Still, I think the issue that concerns many military families is how Admiral Jane Doe's wife might get involved with Fireman Umpty Frats' lawn care regime or how the "Welcoming Committee" might be so welcome at a particular abode. Then there is the matter of how one might not feel at home on base housing because there are allegedly always rank issues to be had. What say those of you who have enjoyed (or not) living in base/privatized housing?

I would venture to think it's all what you make of it. You don't have to get wrapped up in any craziness. Or, is it just completely unavoidable? The adult in me thinks it is, but perhaps I'm being naïve.

7 comments:

JulieAnn and the Captain said...

Hmm, I'm anxious to see what kind of response you get - my DH is like yours and always lives on the economy... I've always wondered what living on base is like!

(A Little) Gris Gris said...

We've never lived on base. In part because my DH, like yours, wanted to keep his home life his own. In part, however, we have also found that we can live off the economy and "make money" - as in, we can cut corners and live off of less than BAH. Heck, sometimes it doesn't require much cutting. Anyway, another reason we've never done it is because I don't think it's been an option very often.

Now, don't get me wrong, some of the stereotypes seem to hold true, but now that we're stationed at a Navy base with a full commissary, exchange, housing, and all that comes with it - I have to say that the good outweighs the bad. I don't live in housing, but JO housing is new and beautiful and located in a nice part of town. I take full advantage of the commissary and save a TON of money on groceries. And, I'm a part of our spouses group, which tends towards the dramatic at times, but is a great group of women.

So, depending upon our circumstances in the future, I won't be ruling out base housing.

Amber said...

I yearn for housing - or the experience I had in Northern CA. I plan on posting a little about that separately.

The long and short of it is this: It is what you make it. If you jump head first into mudslinging and drama, that's what you've got to look forward to. Sure, there are cliques, rude people, and inconsiderate neighbors, but I experience that just as much here on the economy.

As far as "making money," I wish that were the case for us. Our rent is under BAH here (considerably so), but trying to maintain everything under BAH is really hard. I do know it's possible, and I am envious of those situations. ;)

I miss housing very much and will be looking forward to living in housing again.

Coastie Family said...

I agree with Amber. It is what you make it. Some of my best friends have come from living in housing. I have never had "on base" housing it's always housing within the town. Drama can happen anywhere you live its how you deal with it that makes it good or bad.

We are not in housing now but I can't wait to get back. These heating bills are making me sick....

The FlyingFish said...

For us, it's a no-brainer to live off-base. But that's strictly economics at this point - we both receive BAH, so we'd lose a LOT of money by living on base. In the very near future, there's a distinct possibility of having only one AD member in our house, so housing just might be something we look at in the future.

Although, having bought a house (the one we're in now), it would be very difficult to go back to apartment-style living, if that's what's offered. And, so far, with no kids, that's generally our only option. I don't think I could take the step back to yardless, shared-wall, everything white, etc...

That said, I can see the benefits of housing, both financially and logistically. It's a tough call for me - and one I'm glad I don't have to make for a while. I hate making decisions about where to live!!!

Cirrus said...

We have lived in housing at our last two stations....and I believe that the good far outweighs the bad. Where we live the BAH for my DH's rank is too low to make money off it--the people we know who live on the economy here are paying extra out of pocket just to cover the rent, let alone the utilities. I feel lucky to live in a government owned and maintained home. My home is roomy and comfortable, and if I have a problem the housing office sends someone out much faster then a landlord would (in my experience anyway!) Sure, there is drama and conflict, but it's up to each resident to choose whether they want to take part in it or not. I choose to not. I'm sure the drama seekers will find drama no matter where they live. There are a few drawbacks--everyone I have discussed housing with brings up the whole "gotta close the windows before you have an argument" thing, because you don't want your co-workers knowing every single detail you and your spouse happen to be picking apart!
Negatives notwithstanding, I find it to be a great bonus to live in housing, and am grateful to have it available!

Just a Girl in a Port said...

Thanks for all of the great feedback!