April 2, 2009

new developments: pros & cons

So, even though Jason and I have been happily living in our fabulous apartment-home, we're still waiting for that phone call from base housing. They have this nifty little online system that you can log onto, enter the active duty member's social security number, and find out your place on the housing list. (Remember this post, when we were #56 with a four month wait ahead of us?) Well, as of March ninth-ish, we were only #43 according to the online system. Then last Monday I checked and I received this message: "WE FOUND NO HOUSING INFORMATION FOR THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERED ENTERED. PLEASE TRY AGAIN." Eh? Slightly freaking out, I tried three more times before I hollered for Hubbs. Confused (both), freaked out (me), and slightly ticked off (him), I dialed up the housing office.

After about ten minutes of insisting they had called us in February, and Hubbs telling the woman she was shoddy at her job since if she called she never left a message, she informed us that they had merely been calling to see if we were still interested. I wanted to reach through the phone and clock her over the head! Of course I'm still freaking interested! Did I call you and tell you to take my name off the list?! To her credit/defence/excuse, she said most families go out into town and get houses, then forget to call and tell them to take them off the wait list.

Long(er) story short, she put us back on the wait list and now we're #25 as of today in the online system (which I don't entirely trust since technically when it was telling us we were #43, we weren't even on the list anymore). But thankfully, at this point we're on the "other side" of the wait list and they know we want to see a house before we decide not to take one. So here's what been going through my mind:

Pros of staying in apartment:
1. No pets allowed.
2. Utilities all included.
3. Like the apartment.
4. Like the management (for the most part).
5. Washer and dryer included in apartment.
6. Rent is covered by BAH (basic allowance for housing).

Cons of staying in apartment:
1. The extra rooms are on the small side (not good if/when a baby arrives).
2. There's zero storage space, except for our outside storage room.
3. $50 cap on gas (and all our heat sources are gas, which makes for a cold winter).
4. On the street, which means lots of solicitation.
5. Neighbors have dogs (which I block out with ear plugs usually).
6. Maintenance is really slow to fix things (I called on a shelf falling down in my laundry room in March, and it's still not fixed yet).
7. Our neighborhood is becoming questionable. For example: last night a neighbor up the street played their music so loud we could hear the bass. Earplugs to the rescue and all, but...

Pros of living on base:
1. Utilities all included, no caps.
2. On base and close to just about everything we need/use (and Hubbs would only be 5 minutes from work, and not have to contend with traffic going on base, and be closer for lunch, and be closer for check-ins...).
3. Usually a larger house (haven't seen it yet, so can't say for sure, but have left a message trying to find out what size we're potentially looking at).
4. Rent is BAH.
5. Maintenance usually answers issues within 24-hours.
6. No solicitation allowed.
7. We'd have a garage as opposed to the carport we have now.

Cons of living on base:
1. Pets allowed, which means my neighbor could have a loud huge dog that barks all the time (but can also be remedied with ear plugs and I can complain to the management).
2. Rumored monthly inspections (may be totally false).
3. No washer and dryer--and since we left ours behind for renters in North Carolina, it means buying new ones and using the laundromat until then.

So you can see the small dilemma we're in. While living on base has less cons, they're still big cons. I am really not up to shelling out $1000 for a new washer/dryer, nor am I a fan of laundromats. Of course, with the economy the way it is, we may be able to get a nice washer and dryer for a decent price, and since it's already April, we probably wouldn't move until May and May brings great Memorial Day sales... I guess only time will tell and we'll have to see what the house looks like, hear what the housing company has to say about those "inspections," make sure I can complain about dogs that are left outside to bark all night... Oh they're going to love me!

Don't forget about the Reader Giveaway going on. So far Karin is the only competetor!


  1. FWIW, we live in privatized military housing (Lincoln) and the house had a washer & dryer in it, there's no monthly inspections, and they make an effort to contact people when their dogs are noisy at night. So if the housing there is run by Lincoln, you should be a-ok.

  2. Yes Molly, that's exactly who our housing is run by. But we're in 29 Palms... The website says that they have "washer dryer hook-ups," so I wonder if not all bases run by them have the set?

  3. I say go for the house on base.

    More storage, larger rooms and hubs being so close to work far outweighs the cons IMHO :)

    Plus, you'll have a yard for if/when kidlets arrive and you won't have neighbours beside and above you sharing walls/celings/floors.

  4. When we moved here, we were told W/D hook ups only, so we brought our W/D here instead of selling in NC. Then we moved in and there was already a washer & dryer, so ours are sitting the garage.


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