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Thread: On-base? or Off-base?

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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KittenMittens View Post
    If you want to live off-base in Jacksonville be careful, there are DEFINITELY parts of town you want to avoid. Plus keep in mind he traffic! Getting on base in the AM is the worst part (I'd never seen traffic like that before). Look up reviews, ask around, see if you can find FB groups for advice, etc. If you can go anywhere near HWY 17 South (towards Wilmington) look into it. Holly Ridge and Hampstead aren't too bad especially if your SO can get onto base using the Sneads Ferry gate (then he will never have to go into Jacksonville itself). Plus Topsail is really nice.

    DB and I obviously aren't married but I spend a ton of time in J-ville seeing as he is up there. I would suggest checking how the wait lists are like right now for on-base housing if you want to consider it.

    Check out city-data.com for info on J-vegas, Holly Ridge, Swansboro, Hampstead, Wilmington, Sneads Ferry, and other nearby cities.


    When are you moving to Lejeune?
    Thank you for all this information! It's so helpful! I've heard a lot of Wilmington! I'll have to show him this stuff.
    & Hopefully early next year. If finances allow.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by be: pistachio View Post
    I would (and did/do) live off base for Lejuene. Your husband will HATE his commute if you live in Jacksonville and he has to sit in traffic on Western Blvd and hwy 24 everyday. I recommend living north of the base, to avoid the commuter traffic. Most Marines live in Jacksonville and have to sit in stop and go traffic for miles on hwy 24 north every morning.

    We lived in Swansboro, and DH never sat in traffic. He could access the back gate or the front gate, without issue. The back gate doesn't get bad traffic, and Hwy 24 south doesn't get backed up in the morning, so even the front gate isn't bad if you live north of the base. Also, you pretty much want to avoid Western Blvd, because the traffic is really bad there, too.

    You can get inexpensive housing in Hubert, which is also north of base and super close to the back gate.

    Pros for on base:
    Rent and utilities covered
    Easy access to amenities, like the gym
    Avoid gate traffic in the morning

    Cons for on base:
    Having to go through the gate check every time you come home. I don't even drive on base if I've had one drink, because I'm too nervous.
    Your DH never leaves work. The USMC is in all your business

    Pros for off base:
    FREEDOM

    Cons for off base:
    Traffic, unless you choose the right area of town!
    This was SUPER helpful! We have a lot of areas to look at. Everyone seems to agree that staying away from Jacksonville is probably a good idea. It's almost worth him having to drive a little more to avoid the heavy traffic. DF has slight road rage, haha.
  3. I miss Target & Trader Joe's, open roads & the smell of home
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MCPlove View Post
    This was SUPER helpful! We have a lot of areas to look at. Everyone seems to agree that staying away from Jacksonville is probably a good idea. It's almost worth him having to drive a little more to avoid the heavy traffic. DF has slight road rage, haha.
    I realized I put north and south, which is totally wrong. Oops! I meant Hwy 24 East and West. We lived east of base, towards Carteret County It was great for avoiding traffic, but we were further from Wilmington.
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    #14
    Since you aren't married yet, keep in mind that after you marry, it can take a month or more for the BAH to show up. He will get backpay eventually, but unless you can pay your rent and bills for a couple months without BAH, you will want to plan to wait until the money actually shows up before you commit to a lease.

    Also, if you are both young and have never lived on your own, some people feel like living on base is sort of a half step toward independence, while still leaving a lot of safety net. You don't have to remember to pay rent or utility bills, and you don't have to make sure to budget so that you have enough to cover the water bill*. Living on base simplifies those things. Some young couples like that.

    *Some housing is now going to a system where people who use a ton of utilities do end up having to pay something each month.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Since you aren't married yet, keep in mind that after you marry, it can take a month or more for the BAH to show up. He will get backpay eventually, but unless you can pay your rent and bills for a couple months without BAH, you will want to plan to wait until the money actually shows up before you commit to a lease.

    Also, if you are both young and have never lived on your own, some people feel like living on base is sort of a half step toward independence, while still leaving a lot of safety net. You don't have to remember to pay rent or utility bills, and you don't have to make sure to budget so that you have enough to cover the water bill*. Living on base simplifies those things. Some young couples like that.

    *Some housing is now going to a system where people who use a ton of utilities do end up having to pay something each month.
    & I totally understand. The plan is to fly down, do a courthouse wedding, get paperwork & everything started and for me to fly home, pack, and wait for everything to go through. He hasn't lived on his own really because he went straight in after high school. I, on the other hand, have been on my own for nearly 5 years now. So paying bills & responsibilities are just natural to me. The convenience of not worrying about bills on base is always nice, but neither of us are sure we want the military to surround us 24/7. Clearly, DF lives the life and could never get fully away. But being able to get out of work and come home away from work is something he really wants.
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    #16
    I personally prefer off base. I would do some research about where y'all are going and head from there.

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MCPlove View Post
    & I totally understand. The plan is to fly down, do a courthouse wedding, get paperwork & everything started and for me to fly home, pack, and wait for everything to go through. He hasn't lived on his own really because he went straight in after high school. I, on the other hand, have been on my own for nearly 5 years now. So paying bills & responsibilities are just natural to me. The convenience of not worrying about bills on base is always nice, but neither of us are sure we want the military to surround us 24/7. Clearly, DF lives the life and could never get fully away. But being able to get out of work and come home away from work is something he really wants.
    You've been on your own since you were 14? Wow. That must have been rough. If you managed that, I'm sure that paying your electric bill every month won't be a problem. What do you do for a living?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    You've been on your own since you were 14? Wow. That must have been rough. If you managed that, I'm sure that paying your electric bill every month won't be a problem. What do you do for a living?
    Yeah, I have. It was very rough. I worked on farms. I'm a deli clerk, a home health aide, and also take up seasonal & temp. jobs. I'm normally working 60 hours a week, if not more. I'm not worried about paying my bills, what I mean by "finically" is that off base housing requires a hefty deposit just like any apartment. & I just wanted opinions about every aspect of on and off base housing.
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    #19
    We never live in military housing unless there is absolutely no other affordable option. We don't generally take advantage of amenities on post (commissary, PX, entertainment, etc) and have no desire to be surrounded by military. We've lived in Army (he's Air Force, but we've only been stationed at Army facilities) housing once out of seven assignments and it was off-post. It shouldn't be difficult to set aside a deposit with two incomes, unless you have hefty financial obligations of some other kind.
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    #20
    DH and I have lived both on and off post. In Georgia, we lived in an apartment off post. DH had been at that installation for a few months before I moved there to be with him. He was local, so he was able to go and see the apartment complex and decide that it was nice enough for us to live in. We saved a lot of money that way, because it was a tiny apartment (big enough for us, though!). When we moved here, however, we had no idea where we would live. DH and I don't trust strangers to tell us a good area or apartment complex to live in, because everyone has different standards. And with living so close to the Mexican border, I wanted to feel somewhat safe. So, we went with on post housing here. Honestly, it really depends on the area though. The cost of renting in GA is lower than it is here, but the BAH rates were nearly the same. The same 500 sq ft apartment we rented in GA for $600 would cost us $780 here in TX.

    Personally, I prefer on post housing specifically at the installation we are at. The cost of living here is high. It made more sense for us to use DH's BAH to pay for rent and all of our utilities, as opposed to paying $1,000 (which is most of his BAH, for the same house we are in now) in rent alone off post. They put DH and I in a 3 bed, 2 bath -- which is huge for just us! And we get $100 back every month because signed up during a promotional period. But it's nice, because it feels like a real house, compared to places we've lived before . Plus, IMO, living on post here just feels a little safer than some neighborhoods around town.

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