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3 Key Considerations for Military Living: On or Off Base

Military Storage

January 7, 2019

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5 min

A row of military houses in a military base

You’ve got orders in your hand. Whether it’s your first station move or not, you have some important planning ahead of you. The main question you find yourself asking is: Should I live on base or off? There are many factors that come into play for this decision, and it’s important to know that there isn’t always one right answer for everyone.

Once you know where you’re headed and start to learn the rules the military has for living off base, it’s easy to make a snap decision about what you think is best. But, it’s important to take your time and think about how the decision impacts you and your loved ones. Don’t worry, we’re here to help by showing you the top three factors you should consider when deciding to live on base or off.

1. Basic Allowance for Housing

Whether you live on base or off, you will get a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payment each month. If you’re on base, that amount typically cover some of your utilities, rent and yard maintenance. It’s important to note that your BAH doesn’t cover some modern essentials such as insurance or internet. It can be nice not to worry about your yard, but similar to a condo complex, you’re paying for that privilege.

If you choose to live off base, the military BAH rules can be very beneficial to you. There’s a chance you can save part of your monthly allowance if you pick a home or apartment that is priced below your BAH value each month. This can be more of a challenge depending on the area you’re stationed but having control over where your monthly allowance is spent can help you save money.

2. Convenience Matters

Convenience is often the first thing people think of when living on base. From having no morning commute, to having plenty of military base amenities like the commissary, there’s no shortage of convenient perks to living on base. When making your decision about your living situation, it is important to take the time to look at your unique situation. There are some inconvenient things about living on base too.

If you currently run a side business, it’s important to understand that before you can run your business while living on base, you are required you to submit an application. Getting approval isn’t guaranteed. If you’re expecting visitors who are not from the military, living on base means you’ll have to get them a pass every time they come to visit. We recommend learning the gate schedules, so visitors aren’t stuck outside.

3. Take an Inventory of Your Belongings

There’s no question that there are some benefits to living on base, but a lot of military housing is small. While the other factors we’ve listed are important, the decision for living on base or off can come down to space. Moving into military housing might mean that you have to get rid of some of your personal items. While downsizing your items before a move is normal, when you are moving into military housing, you don’t have control over the square footage. Take stock of what you plan on bringing on your move and compare it to the housing options at the base.

ezStorage Has Storage Facilities Near Baltimore and Maryland Military Bases!

Military living can be tight. After moving into your new home, you may have discovered that you simply just have too many items. If you are looking to free up space in your home, consider a storage unit rental. ezStorage has storage facilities near military bases in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD areas, including: U.S. Coast Guard Yard, Fort Meade, United States Naval Academy and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Reserve a 5×5, 5×10 or 10×10 storage unit today!

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