My Five Favorite Things About Base Housing


If you haven’t already, at some point you’ve probably considered base housing. Choosing where to live is a big decision and sometimes it’s contingent upon where you’re stationed. Some stations, or seasons, lean us a little more towards one or the other.

We were one of those families that said we’d never live on base. We’ve both rented and owned at different duty stations and it was something we weren’t really willing to give up for eerily similar looking attached homes. I’m sure you’d agree that life is always passing out lessons, though. I learn something new at each duty station. I could probably make a pretty quirky list titled ‘the five things I’ve learned while being stationed at (fill in the blank.) At the top of this season’s list would be housing. Almost two and a half years ago our expectation or living out in town collided with reality and we’re currently living in one of those eerily similar looking attached homes.

Almost two and a half years, maybe three years ago, our house was on the market and we were prepping for our second time being stationed in Twentynine Palms. What I’m about to share, I remember like it was yesterday. It was a late Saturday morning and I was on the computer, house hunting from the kitchen counter when I heard a crack. If you’ve ever had an injured kid, you can agree that it’s something you just don’t forget.

Our daughter was just across the room and she had smacked her head on the wooden arm of the sofa. I slammed the computer shut and ordered my husband to carry her to the counter so we could examine her head. We quickly discovered that the head smack had created a small opening that was bleeding. We secured it with a dish towel and ball cap and a few hours and two staples later I said I was done with this madness. My husband agreed. We were through searching for a needle in a vacation rental saturated haystack. Buying a home was not going to happen. Finding a four bedroom rental was also not going to happen. After dinner that evening we applied for base housing and though it’s not a choice I was happy about, it was the best choice for us in this current season.

Here are my five favorite things about living on base.

  1. Our utilities are included. 
  2. My husband has a much shorter commute.
  3. My husband gets to come home for lunch most days.
  4. Most of our kids’ activities take place on base
  5. We’re living a ‘never will I ever’

If I were writing an ordinary blog post about base housing this is where the cons would have gone. I actually had a short draft of the points of contention I had with living on base, but listing the shortcomings would sound ungrateful and I don’t feel like going there right now. Today I don’t think of myself as living in an eerily similar looking home. I mostly like the layout and I am thankful for a bedroom for each child. That just wasn’t something that was going to happen for our family when we were initially looking.

While living on base was never the long term goal (we thought we’d move out after our initial six month lease,) we’re constantly trying to make the best of where we are right now because we’ll never get these years back and we want to embrace every bit that we can.

Where are you finding yourself in the (what seems like – never ending) military housing journey?