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Moving Off Base . . .

are you financially prepared?

Author:  Family Support Center

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This is a very good page.  as a supervisor, you must be aware of your troops.  Do not be afraid to have your Airmen fill out a spending plan/budget or use the Military Pay Calculator.  This will do two things, it will give you insight on their responsibility, and it will help prevent many trips to the first shirt or CC explaining your Airmen actions....  Text is as follows:

Moving off base is a major event and warrants serious planning and research.  It’s one thing to desire to live off base and another to be financially capable.  Before making any commitments, visit your first sergeant to determine unit/base policy regarding living off base and stop by the finance office to determine what your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) entitlement will be.  This is your first reality check in your quest to live off base.

There are many financial matters to consider before making the decision to move off base, especially if you are single and have the privilege of living in a dormitory on base.  From a financial perspective, one major advantage to living on base is that housing and utilities are provided; of course, you forfeit your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).  Other factors that may make living on base the right choice for you are addressed in the following questions.  Do you have the right answers?


      Would paying for civilian housing put you or your family in a financial crunch?

      Do you have sufficient money set aside in savings to cover unexpected expenses of moving?

      Would additional travel cost to and from work cut into your savings plan?

      Would staying in a dormitory or military housing, at least for awhile, give you time to set aside emergency funds?

      Is your budget surplus and BAH enough to cover housing costs?

      If your job requires frequent TDYs or has a mobility commitment, do you have a plan for on-time payment of monthly financial obligations?

After carefully considering the above questions and you still think you want to live off base, here are a few additional factors you need to consider in determining if you are financially prepared to make that commitment:

      Prepare a written financial plan/budget to assess current and projected expenses (see spending plan on reverse side); following are a few additional expenses for you to research:

q      Personal Property/Personal Liability Insurance

q      Telephone/Cable installation fee

q      Furnishings needed for apartment/home

1      Kitchen -- table & chairs, toaster, microwave, coffee pot, refrigerator, etc.

1      Kitchen Utensils -- dishes, pots & pans, glassware, silverware, cookware, etc.

1      Living Room -- couch, chair(s), lamps, wall decorations, TV, stereo, etc.

1      Bedroom:  Bed/bed frame, box spring & mattress, chest, bed table & lamp

1      Other Household Items -- window blinds, curtains, fans, etc.

q      Deposits (security, utilities, rent, insurance, telephone)

      Military members are expected to pay their just financial obligations in a proper and timely manner.  Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including adverse administrative measures or UCMJ action.

      Before signing your lease, consider getting a FREE consultation with an attorney at the base legal office. 

Now you have a good idea of what to expect, but there is still much to learn about renting and home ownership.  Are you familiar with VA loans, mortgages, interest rates, lease agreements, loan origination fees, closing costs, safety/security/school considerations, home resale in case of PCS, or capital gains taxes?  If not, here are a few websites that can further assist you in making an informed choice regarding living on or off base.

VA Loans:                       

Mortgage Center:

Looking for the Best Mortgage:

Home insurance and Property insurance resource:

Insurance Planner:

Free Insurance/Mortgage Quotes:

Truth in Leasing Facts:

The ABCs of Capital Gains Tax:

HUD Home Buying Guide/Mortgage 101:


NOTE:  Any reference to another website is not an endorsement of the site, nor of their products/services.

Before jumping into renting or homeownership, use your resources and stop by the Family Support Center.

Then have an FSC staff member review with your spending plan to address your financial preparedness in moving off base…planning ahead really does pay off!



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Page Added on: 15 February 2006