The pros and cons of military housing

The military life can be tough. But, it can also come with many benefits. And the same goes for being housed by the military. There are pros and cons of military housing that you should be aware of if you will be lodging in a military facility. For that exact purpose, we have decided to compile this article. In it, we aim to give you a broad overview of what you can expect from military housing. Both the good sides and the bad. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Pros of military housing

When it comes to military housing there are many pros. The military, after all, tends to take good care of its residents. So let’s start off with the positives:

Military housing is safe

If safety is your concern, is there anything safer than military housing? After all, military facilities have guards on duty all day round, every day, for the whole year! and these are not your classic, mall-cop types that might fall asleep at their job. We are talking about military professionals that keep it their top priority to make the base safe from outside threats. You might notice that we mentioned outside threats, so what about the inside ones? Well, even in a military facility you may become subject to petty crime. A small item might be stolen from you, for example. However, violent crimes are very rare, just as are the more serious ones. Especially with all the guards around.

A girl holding on to a soldier
When it comes to safety, there is no beating military housing!

Bills are lower

Another advantage of military housing is the bills. They are almost non-existent! You might be charged with an electricity bill, but, only if you exceed a certain limit of consumption.  The bills for other utilities have been suspended by the military, meaning a lesser strain on your budget than normal living would entail.

Fantastic amenities

Most military housing will be surrounded by various free amenities. Anything from cheap shopping, free pools, gyms, and other recreational facilities can be found near military housing. There usually are well-equipped playgrounds near military housing as well, for your children to enjoy! There also might be Morale, Welfare, & Recreation (MWR) centers that include cinemas, food options, and even childcare services!

Communities surrounding military housing are tight-knit

Military bases develop tight-knit communities, where there is always someone willing to help you out! Even if you hire a relocation company to conduct your professional military move, you might find yourself still needing assistance. Especially if it is your first time living in military housing. Luckily, the tight-knit communities here are always willing to help a new face out. This will become an especially important factor in stressful times, like when the military professional in the family is deployed. As this is a stressful time, having the support of the community that is going through the same stress will be invaluable. Here too, the military provides with professional options like outreach programs.

Four people holding hands.
Communities here are close and tight-knit

The short commute

Something we always mention when talking about relocations, especially when moving to a different environment, like moving from the suburbs to the city, is to pay attention to commute times. After all, time spent in a commute is free time gone to waste. Luckily, when it comes to military housing, commute times for military professionals are seriously shortened. Especially when you consider that military bases are constructed in a way to avoid jams. So, say goodbye to hours spent in your car, moving at a snail’s pace in a long row of cars.

Cons of military housing

Now that we’ve gone through the good sides of military housing it might seem like it’s all rainbows and easy living. However, there are also some cons to living on a military base that you should consider.

Waiting lists are long

To even get to military housing, you must first apply for it. If you decide to opt for military housing, you should apply as soon as possible. Depending on the base neighborhood, you might be put on a waiting list that is months long! In some cases, these can stretch out to a full year even! Unfortunately, there isn’t much you could do to avoid these waiting times except apply as you decide to live in military housing. This especially goes for moving to a base overseas. Packing and moving overseas is an adventure in itself, even without having to find a temporary housing solution until you get to live in military housing.

The enclosed community

The close-knit community we mentioned before comes with a con of its own. While a close community such as the one found around military housing can be of tremendous support, it can sometimes feel encapsulated. This can make you feel like everyone is snooping in your business because gossip inside a closed off community spreads like wildfire.

A man talking to a woman while pointing at a laptop. Military housing comes whit close-knit communities, however, they are also encapsulated.
The life on a base may make you feel like everyone has a nose in your business

Always close to work

This con can have an impact on the military professional in your family. Even though being close to work will mean they will have a shorter commute, it will also mean they will be surrounded by their co-workers and superiors. This may lead to them feeling unable to relax completely, especially with the aforementioned spread of gossip.

Strict rules

As with many things in the military, military housing comes with strict rules. There will be rules on a lot of thing ranging from how you keep your lawn and garden to how tidy you must keep your home. In addition, there are housing inspections that ensure these rules are kept to. Some people chose to keep their possessions to a minimum, for this reason, entrusting their excess belongings with moving and storage companies. While this does help with keeping the place tidy, it also places a strain on the budget. In addition, strict rules and inspections might make you feel oppressed.

The loss of BAH

Finally, a definite con of military housing is the complete loss of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). It is used to cover your living expenses such as rent and bills, and it is taken away no matter the rank or promotions. This might be unappealing to families that could use the BAH to find cheaper housing and save the rest for their own use.

Is military housing a good option for you?

As a final point of this article, we wanted to address the question of whether military housing is a good option for you? However, it is all very subjective. Some people might enjoy it immensely, while others might find it restraining. So, this one we leave for you to answer. We just hope that by looking at the pros and cons that we laid out, you might have an easier time making that choice.


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