A little more than six years ago I drove away from the first and only house we owned. It was our first major purchase the year we were married, where we started our married life and brought our first son home to. But, sadly it wasn’t our forever home because we were ordered overseas and so our journey into government housing began. There are pros and cons to this type of living and I try really, really hard to focus on the pros because it is where I’m at for now and it isn’t changing anytime soon. Some maybe reading this thinking, “Pros? There are NO pros to housing! It was an awful experience I never want to visit again!” Trust me, I have those feelings, too. However, I am not the sort of person to choose to focus on the cons because I have these two little people who need to see good in the world. Here is how I do it:
1. Make “nice” with the neighbors. For the past six years while living in housing we haven’t had one issue with our neighbors. If a problem arises we simple talk to them about it, like loud music or kids fighting. We have to live next to these people and the last thing anyone wants is to be in constant turmoil with your neighbors. So, even if the family next to you isn’t your “cup of tea” just be nice, say “hi” when coming and going. This makes it so easy to just live day to day without the worry that security will be called for something simple and mundane.
2. Follow the rules and regulations. Following the rules and “regs” may seem so simple but you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you do) the amount of people who will go out of their way just break those rules because they don’t like them. But… when you do, it makes life a little easy to just live. There are no annoying notes on the door or calls from housing or stress about what will happen if maintenance workers are in the house or what will happen if the neighbors report you and so on. Do yourself a huge favor and just follow the policies you agreed to when you signed your lease. If is too much to ask, then don’t live in base housing (PPV).
3. Know where your kids are and stay outside while 5 and younger play. Small children need parental supervision and most bases require it (see tip #2). If you children are old enough to play outside alone know where they will be and who they are with. Housing can be a safe haven for kids to freely run and play and for us, milspouses, to catch a break BUT the base has rules and the kids need to follow them, too. You, the parent, are responsible for them if they get into hot water. Keeping track of their whereabouts on base and/or in housing will help keep them out of trouble. I always make surprise visits to my son when he is outside just to make sure he isn’t doing something he isn’t suppose to.
4. Follow posted speed limits. This is strictly about safety! Also, stay off your cell phones! Kids will dart into the street without looking. Following the speed limit will also help keep the neighbors happy (see tip #1). Enough said on that one…..
5. Follow Management Company on social media. Social media has become the way to disseminate information the quickest and it is the best way PPV companies can communicate with residents. It is real time and there is no need to wait for flyers to go out. Another advantage is that you can post questions here if you are moving into the area or questions for the management company. Just keep in mind that it is social media and everyone can read what you are posting. Be polite and remember OPSEC always!
While we are ready to move on from housing and own a home again, living in base housing has been a good experience for us. It has given me an instant community, safe place for our children to play and worry free home care on our limited budget. Base housing can have it’s cons for sure, like when our water heater died when family was visiting or coming home to a broken AC unit after spending all day at an air show. There is also the loud neighbors and random children playing late at night BUT we are all in it together and if you use one more of these tips it can be manageable and even pleasant. I have met some of my best friends living in housing. So, with the bad comes the good.