Pro & Cons of Living On and Off Post *Video*

Many spouses are asking about the pros and cons of living onpost, so I thought I would weigh in with my opinions and experience of living both on and off via the video below. Feel free to share your experiences and opinions in the comments section below:

In the video I mention a post I wrote about “Mock Light Bills Onpost” …You can read about that here.

 

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21 comments

  1. sandra

    I always say you have to make the best out of the Situation. This is the first time for us in 18 years. Would i do it again NO. You can never pick your neighbors, but if you live in a neighborhood, where the Spouses think they have to wear their Husbands rank, thats not cool. But I can deal with it.
    It`s always good to learn new things in life!

  2. Georgia Meyer

    I am having this love/hate relationship with housing right now. We are headed to Bragg and I just can’t decide if I want to live on or off. We would love to live off-it would be nice to not be attached to anyone, but we are in a good place with living on as far as money saving. Stress-o-rama!

    • Erin

      We live on post at Bragg and I love it. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live off post in this area, it’s not very nice. You could always move on post when you get here then take that year to get to know the area before you decide where to live off post.

  3. Ky Sims

    girl i LOVE your page ! you are a riot ! make me laugh when i watch which i really need these days lol..
    my opinion thus far?
    we lived on post in hawaii & it was WONDERFUL! the housing is AMAZING ! NO extra bills, all utilities included and give you washer & dryer…houses are huge, gorgeous ..cant say enough ! the FEELING is so great..so family oriented..housing staff is so involved in a positive way…quality of life for the kids cant be compared..we are headed back for good in Dec !

    we lived off post at first coming to Ft Sam in San antonio..house was huge, rent was good..but we were robbed mid day , in a NICE neighborhood with 2 big dogs that were tazed ! was aweful..so we move on post..MISTAKE ! houses are old, dirty, not maintained..have to pay all utilities but yet nothings weatherized so 1/2 your ac or heat goes out windows & doors…ac units are garbage & old so use twice as much electricity..the house wasnt even CLEANED when we moved in ! hair tracks stuck to rug in closet ! horrific smell from one bedroom upstairs..called them for a YEAR ! hired my own person finally..to find out that when he lifted the carpet an animal had peed so much in that room that the ENTIRE rug, pad AND floor was saturated ! STILL !…had to submit that and have them rip it all out, replacing even the WOOD ! it was horrible !..my 12 year old never had an alllergy ever ..was sick almost a year straight & we didnt know why !..this place is the weirdest group of people ive ever seen ..im not uhmmm 20 haha so ive lived alot of places…these people dont talk to eachother…socialize..theres barely any family oriented anything !.. hmm lets see my neighbor was arrested thanksgiving day for abusing his 3 year old daughter & wife( shes the soldier)..so bad that 7 mp’s in bullet proof vests….little girl ran down street 6 am NAKED screaming..few months before that young teen girl at the park raped & beaten by a man in pt’s that was never caught ~!..this place is AWEFUL ! they dont pay any attention to anything going on..they enforce NOTHING ! peoples dogs run around all day & night..kids destroy parks, etc..i cant wait to leave ! my advice to someone coming here? there IS new housing over by medics barracks…its not a huge area but TRY to get in..if not there are houses over by officer housing also..but back here by the high school & middle school? STAY AWAY ! ..

    • Suset

      I live on post at Fort Sam Houston, by the commisary, and it’s super nice. The houses are remodeled, and when we moved in everything was clean. The area is nice and our neighbors are friendly. I see MP’s driving around casually like in any regular neighborhood, and the playgrounds look new and are not vandalized. There are so many family oriented things to do on and off post that we keep busy practically every weekend. From the Haunted House this weekend, to Oktoberfest, to the Greek Funstival we attended at the Orthodox Church about minutes away, we never run out of stuff do with our kids. I’m sorry for your bad experience. I hope things get better for you, but as for myself, my experience of Fort Sam couldn’t be more opposite.

  4. Nicole

    We’ve always lived off post. I can’t get over the fact that the privatized company that runs housing will take all your BAH and put you right next door to a lower ranking soldier. That’s so wrong, more money should mean more space! Also, on post you usually have no yard, garage, the houses are super close/connected, and you have to drive off base, sometimes a good distance, to good dining and shopping. I do think that it would be easier to meet people if we lived on base and my husband wouldn’t have to commute, but otherwise I like living off base.

  5. Melissa D.

    Girl, I absolutely love your Vlogs! I’m a new Army Wife and he’s stationed in Germany. We’re in the process of command sponsorship and then have to apply for housing. your video helped alot! thanks!

  6. Thank you so much for this Vlog! My husband is away at BCT right now but I have really been struggling with the decision to live on or off post. BAsed on your video I think the best bet would be to see what our duty station is first, and then make a decision from there!

    Thank you so much~

    Stephanie @ dogtagsanddevotion.com

  7. Army Wife 101
    Author

    Thanks all for stopping by!

    @Melissa TY Glad you like them , good luck on your PCS to Germany!

    @Stephanie Let me know what you choose to do, would love to hear about your experience :)

    @Ky wow what a story that is about living on and offpost. Glad I could make you laugh!

    Nicole Sandra and Georgia thanks for your feedback and sharing your experiences!

  8. Lauren

    I agree with everything you said in this vlog. People seem to have the misconception that when you live off post you save money. For us, we are actually spending 100 dollars over the BAH just to pay for the extras like, water, gas, ect. It has been rough keeping afloat off post. I understand what you are saying about missing out on the things on post. I feel out of the loop living off post as far as advents go. I miss the camaraderie as you said, but at the same time I think one thing I like about living off post is that when my husband comes home and takes off his uniform we are away from the army, just living an every day normal life sort of. I don’t know if that made any sense, lol.

  9. I am just glad that our bases up here are WAY different than yours down here. I think I will slap someone the day I meet a wife who wears her husbands rank.

    I love where I live. Many people hate it. I always say though it is what you make it. People talk about the drama and the gossip but really you just need to stay out of it. There is drama and gossip where I live and I stay far away from it. I know my neighbours, we are friendly and there for one another. But that is it. I don’t get in their business and they don’t get in mine.

  10. Jenna

    We live off post and love it! Most of the housing on post is very old and small. They are building new housing, but the list to get into the “good” housing is super long with BRAC and the thousands of families moving here to Ft Benning. We have been here a few years now and have rented a 1400 sqft house with a huge fenced in yard and two car carport for 850 a month. Our BAH covers rent, electric, cable, internet and then some. If you can find housing like we did off post and don’t have to pay out of your base pay for utilities you will be golden! We will be PCSing at the end of the year and hope to find the same deal!

  11. Angelica

    I don’t think this is always true. I had a WAY bigger house off post for LESS money AFTER bills. I still pocketed 100$ spending money after my 3br 3bath, huge fenced yard, garage, ect rent and then my electric, trash, cable, and water. It was much nicer and larger and newer than what we would get on post safer and we would have to pay our own cable and still lose the 100$. I felt way better off post, not that it was unsafe, and neither was my neighborhood, but it was nicer. I knew people who had kids smoking weed in their ‘open’ back yards, theft, an damages on post which I did not. And landlords actually repair things off post. As for driving, at lewis you could end up living like forever miles from troop but still be on post or the air force base. So you STILL have to drive 20mins to work and waste 20mins worth of gas. I am in post housing for the first time at Ft. Bliss. OMGOSH I WILL NEVER DO THIS ISH AGAIN!

  12. Hisako Helling

    I just got my Command Sponsorship. My husband is getting off work early to go look at houses and seal the contract. Then he has to take that contract to the housing office Thursday and they conduct final inspections on it and there he signs the lease. After a few days the orders will get amended and I can give my two weeks notice to my employers and get SATO to book a flight for me by the end of the month! So excited! Took us the beginning of March to start gathering the paperwork and after that it was waiting. 2 months is not that bad, now just have to wait 4 more weeks and I can leave my job and get on my flight to Ansbach!

    We are praying for a house in a good neighbourhood. I also want it to be pet approved bc I need company when Alex deploys next yr. We didn’t have the option of On Post bc they are only reserved for Enlisted (usually with dependents). Both of us being Officers, they told my husband “NO!” so now he is looking and I trust his judgement on what he picks out for us. But your segment on housing helped. Thanks =)

  13. Housing was tough for us because we have a family of 5 and 2 dogs. I would have loved to live on post but realized very quickly that they could not accomodate us. Our oldest is a teenager and really needed his own space. We moved from Arizona to Ft. Bragg. The toughest part was getting out here to spend some time looking for housing. We looked in what we thought was a desired area of town, but it was either too small, not fenced, or too expensive. We were very blessed to find a home that we LOVE in a very safe area of town with great schools so far. Our BAH doesn’t cover the rent, much less the utilities! But I am working as well and it is worth it to feel safe and secure. I do miss a lot of activities because of not being on post. There are pros and cons to everything. You just have to decide what the priorities are for your family and your situation.

  14. Carly Dombroski

    My husband and I choose to only have one child, and since he is an E-6 we usually don’t qualify for 3 bedroom housing. We end up paying several hundred dollars more for the same house as our E-2, E-3 or E-4 neighbors, which I feel is completely wrong to make one person pay, in some cases, twice as much for the same exact thing as another person. In situations like ours, I feel the military housing system punishes some people, specifically JRNCO’s, for not having more children. We currently live off post in Savannah, GA and my husband drives about 45 min every day to Ft. Stewart. (Anyone who have ever been to Hinesville knows why we prefer Savannah, LOL) We have a 3bedroom, 2 bath house with a great yard and fantastic neighbors for about $150/month less after utilities than what we would be paying for a horrible 2bd apartment on post that the army should be completely embarrassed by. However, we lived on post at Ft. Riley in KS and loved it. I think it will just depend on the post and their housing policies.

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