Hi friends! I wanted to touch on a topic that could be very useful for military spouses. Military moves can be very stressful, there’s a lot to do and often so little time to put everything together. The most important thing is once your service member gets their orders, it is important to look for housing first. Depending on where they are going, there are housing offices that are specifically to the base/station they are going to. They will always provide resources like websites you can use to navigate through the housing process.
There are a couple options for housing; you can either live on base or live off base. This is purely a preference and it’s important to talk to your Marine about what’s best for you and the family. For me, this happened right during coronavirus, so in terms of my career, I pretty much had to start fresh. For the spouses, please know in the Marine Corps there is an application you can fill out that can compensate you money because you are uprooting your life and career to go with your service member. They also give you a housing allowance for different ranks as well, you can find out this information through your Marine or on military websites where they update the allowances every year. The housing allowance is called BAH (Basic Allowance Housing), and depending on which branch, you can ask what the rules are for BAH.
BAH can work a couple ways; on base living usually has different rent options depending on what your preference for your home is. You sometimes have to use the full BAH amount or there can be a set rent price. If there is money left over you can keep it. I am not sure if living off base is different, but I have heard instances where they don’t let you keep the left over amount. It’s important to check with your housing office about this! If you decide to live on base, contact your housing office and they will send you the applications that you need to fill out in order to qualify for a home. These can also be found through the specific military base website. You would need their military orders (web form is fine), housing application itself, and other forms that involve your consent for background checks.
For us, we had a cat so there were additional papers we needed to get from the veterinarian’s office to add with our basic housing papers. They wanted to make sure our pet was registered into the system, had their chips functioning properly, and that all vaccinations were administered. For dog owners, please check to see if the base allows your breed, they have some strict rules on the type of dog breeds. Depending on the waitlist, you will have to wait patiently for a response. If by any chance you can’t find a home by the deadline, your Marine can apply for 10 days additional for house hunting. Always take the opportunity because it allows you to be able to furnish your house and take care of important documents if you move to another state/country. The military website also provides military moving companies where they can ship your items for free or be reimbursed if you move your stuff yourself! Keep all your receipts, I cannot stress that enough cause most of the time you can get reimbursed back.
I will update you guys more on housing as we get closer to moving, I hope this has helped you guys so far!