Live On or Off Base? What You Need to Know to Make Your Decision

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Monday, September 16th, 2019 at 10:23am.

Should You Be Living Off Base or On Base? TipsIf you're in the military, you have the choice to live on or off the military base. The place where you live can make a big difference in your overall experience in the military. Knowing the differences between each option as well as the pros and cons can help you decide whether life on a military base is right for you.

Benefits of Living On Base

A military base is a facility owned by the military. People in the military have the option of living on base, in military-owned housing. Often, people interested in living on base must put in their request months or even years in advance. However, there are many advantages of living on the base.

Convenience

Military bases come with basic services like schools, parks and stores. People who live on base are able to get what they need quickly and efficiently. For people employed by the military, living close to work means that there's almost no commute time. This enables military people to spend more time with their family.

Built-in Social Community

Being in the military is an experience all its own, and being married to someone in the military is a unique experience as well. Living on base can be a positive experience for people because the base provides a built-in social community. People on the base have many of the same experiences with the military. Sharing this experience with someone else can make the experience easier.

No Maintenance

The military takes care of its own structures and homes, so any maintenance problems that a home might be experiencing is handled by the military. For someone who is not comfortable handling their own maintenance, this can be a very useful feature.

Cons of Living On Base

The reality of living on base is not always ideal. For people who choose to live on a military base, these are the potential problems.

Outdated Facilities

Some sources say that base facilities are not kept up to date. At the very least, the person living in the home may not have control over whether the property is kept up to date.

Small Town Drama

Bases are like small towns, and just like other small towns, drama and gossip can be a problem. For someone who likes to keep to themselves, living on a base can be uncomfortable, as many people say it's like living in a "fishbowl."

No More Basic Housing Allowance

The military provides its service members with a basic housing allowance. Service members who choose to live on a base must pay that basic housing allowance back to the military.

Benefits of Living Off Base

Living off base just means living somewhere near the base, in a civilian neighborhood. There are some benefits of living off base.

Keep the Basic Housing Allowance

Military service people who can find a home for less than the basic housing allowance can keep the difference. This amount can be put toward daily expenses or savings.

Fewer Rules

Life on the military base may be full of rules. Service people may be told how often they must mow their lawn, what they can and cannot put on their lawn, and other details. For some people, this can make life on the base challenging. Living off base typically means fewer rules and restrictions.

Cons of Living Off Base

Living off base has its own disadvantages. People who choose to live off base often must deal with the following.

Distance From Work

Living off base means driving a distance to get to work. This time spent commuting can cut back on time spent with family.

More Bills to Pay

The base pays many utility bills for people living on base in military housing. Living off base means paying bills to all different utility providers.

Work with a Real Estate Professional

If you're thinking about living off base in an apartment or a home in Broadmoor, you may need to contact a real estate professional to find the right home for you. Contact an experienced agent today to get started with your home search.

Lauren Schneider

Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)

Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now

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