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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On or Off?

On or off post that is!

We decided early on to live off post once we got to Alabama. We're getting about $1300 in housing allowance there and we can easily rent a house for $900. Something that has a big backyard, three bedrooms, two bath, and plenty of room inside. The utilities will be anywhere from $150 to $250. We should be able to save some money.

But then Brandon has been chatting with a new friend of his who is already in Alabama. His friend chose to live on post. The houses are actually pretty darn nice and fairly new. They're pretty comparable in size to the houses we would get off post, too, except the backyards are much smaller. I was looking forward to  having a large place for Dexter to run around and for Penny when she gets to the walking stage.

Anyway, it all comes down to money. If we live off post, we could potentially save money, but then Brandon is spending more on gas to drive to work, and he'll probably have to buy breakfast and lunch instead of coming home. If we're on post we'll be forfeiting all our housing allowance for the convenience of proximity to work and coming home for breakfast (and a shower) and lunch.

We have a few weeks to decide, and we don't even know if we'll get offered a house we like, but it's still been rattling in my brain. We haven't had a bad experience living on post here in Hawaii so I'd be willing to do it again.

What do you prefer? On or off?


  1. I'd live on! Personal preference! ;) Having lived off-post then on here, I much prefer having Steve come home during the day for breakfast and lunch.

    I hope y'all find the situation that works best for you! Can't wait to hear where you end up! (Please email me if you're seriously considering off-post though! Would love to help steer you clear of any "questionable" neighborhoods!) ;)

  2. I guess it depends where you live. I know in Jacksonville, NC a lot of people prefer to live off of base. You save SO much money. However, if move somewhere that has a high rental cost...I'd live on base :)

  3. We enjoy living on post. However, here in DC finding a place off-post for the amount of BAH we're given is not really a possibility. So we wouldn't really have the option to save money living off-post. I love the convenience of having Zach home for lunch and he is SO GLAD he doesn't have to deal with traffic on his way to and from work. It's definitely a personal decision that you guys will have to make together. Another advantage to living on-post is that you can usually find some other wives/moms who are home during the day to hang out with or have play dates for the kiddos. It's pretty common for military wives to stay home with the kids, so you're bound to make a few friends that way. They may be able to introduce you to more people or show you things around the area too.

  4. In Riley for a SSG his BAH is 1400 and we live on post...WISH WE DIDNT DO THAT! But concidering I had a 2 month old and a husband deployed when I moved back, we lived on and I LOVE my home.
    In Bragg we are living on post. We wouldnt bank ANY money living off post and we're actually going to end up with a single home.
    It all depends on where you end up on post too. My home here has a playgorund 10 feet away from the door. But in Bragg looks like we'll be walking.
    I personally perfer living ON since he can come home and we dont spend so much on gas. Its so nice to have them come home especially when the babes are so little, Evelyn just lights up when her daddy walks through the door, its too cute!

  5. I would live on post if the housing is decent. I currently live off post and although we have a bigger house than what we would have got on post, I enjoy being minutes away from the gym, commissary, px and for my husband to come home for meals. I also like the safe feeling of living on post and there seems to be more activities around the area for stay at home mom's with children.
    We live 10-15 minutes off post and he leaves for work an hour before he starts work, it takes him at least 30 minutes to come home after finishing work, we spend a good amount of money on gas for the commute and even more money on gas when he was coming home to shower and have breakfast. Our BAH covers rent and all the utilities so we don't save any of it.
    My husband prefers living away from his job since he likes to separate work from his home life. But I'm trying to convince him to live on post in the future especially when our children are school age.

  6. Off post.Husband likes to leave work when he's done with it. But, he's kind of a baby with the commute so we always end up close to post anyway. When we were there for flight school in 2006 we lived in Daleville. People will tell you it's a hole, and it is. But! We lived out by Cairns airfield so it's not right in town. It took Husband seven minutes to get to work and he was home for breakfast/lunch all the time. And we payed $600 in rent for a 3bed/2bath single family home with a huge backyard! Way more bang for your buck in Daleville than Enterprise. Of course that was six years ago and they only had the crappy old housing on post. We saved a ton of money though!
    I'm excited for you to live there! I almost can't wait to go back. Almost. Please eat at Big Daddy's and at Milky Moos! Yum.

  7. I really do like living on post but I would also want to look around in person and see what I could get both places. In Hawaii looking at what we could get within BAH was no where near as nice as what housing offered us. But, if it had been the other way around we would live off.

  8. We've done both, and I've enjoyed living both on and off. How long will you be at your new post? If only for a short time, I might steer towards living on post. However, depending on the BAH and the area, it may be worth it live off post. Here, we rent way under our BAH and have a larger house than what we would have if we lived on post. Hope you find a good solution!


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