Military PCS …Renting a home and how to start my search?

homeflagYour orders are in hand and you are deciding do I live on Base/Post or the economy?  Where do I start my search ? There is  also a valuable  resources for renting at a new duty station by using Military by Owner.   These homes are listed by current home owners and some Property Managers in Duty Station Areas. Also check out the AF Housing page for your specific area.  Remember to check on your new BAH rates for 2014 for many have changed.

Many of us are used to looking up homes to rent on ARHN which was sponsored by DOD. Effective 1 January 2014, the Department of Defense sponsorship of AHRN will expire.

The website will remain active as a commercial site. The housing offices continue to provide support services to members and their families; military housing encourages service members to visit the AF housing public website at

Look the properties   over carefully and be sure to ask questions about any apartment or house you are   considering renting. Consider the following:
Some quick questions to consider when living off base or post:

Does the rent cover all   utilities, or will you be responsible for paying for them yourself? If you will   be paying for heat, water, or other utilities ask whether the landlord can   provide an estimated monthly or annual cost for the rental   property.

What kind of security does the building have? Are the doors,   windows and entrances secured? Are the stairs safe and well lighted? Are the   fire escapes easily accessible?

What sort of commute will you have to   school or work and what is nearby in terms of restaurants, shopping,   entertainment and other places you frequently visit? Also, what are the   neighbors like (students, families, retirees) and is this the right setting for   you?

Who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of common areas   (stairwells, hallways, etc.) and appliances, furnace filters and other items   within the property which may need to be serviced?

Is the landlord or   property management readily available during nights and weekends and what are   the procedures for emergency services, repairs or lock-outs?

What kind   of parking is available? Is there an extra charge for a parking   spot?

Are storms windows, screens and shades   provided?


A Few Tips When Looking at Rental Property Near Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Are you PCSing to Ft. Eustis or Langley AFB?  If you are planning on looking at a rental property this week in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads, keep in mind several things to help you with your search.  You will be viewing many properties bring with you a camera and a notebook.  In your notebook, note what is important to you before you start our search.  Are amenities important? Is space a priority?  What is your budget?  Is location very important you?  All of these should be put in your notebook so that you can take notes on the properties you have seen to make sure your criteria are met. Take pictures, this is so important because when you begin looking at properties it is so hard to keep track of which offered this versus that.  If you have pictures, you will have a visual catalog of what you saw.  It might point out something you missed during your visit, one of the best benefits to pictures.

Keep in mind the Williamsburg and Hampton Roads rental market is competitive, so make sure you are ready to act if you want a property.  Bring with you your checkbook so that you can offer a deposit.  Also, have with you several references so you are prepared when filling out the lease application. It is always best to be prepared and get your first choice instead of settling for second because you were not.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates  Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team    which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex.  When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA  you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you  for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 or e-mail me at

PCS Orders to Ft Eustis or Langley AFB: Special Considerations for Military Renters

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Active duty service members face a big decision when they receive orders sending them to a new assignment: live in military housing, government-leased housing, or buy or rent a place in the nearby Williamsburg or Hampton Roads Area.

In some situations, that choice is made for you. If there are no vacancies on the installation, you may be forced to find your own housing. On the other hand, if there’s ample room on the installation, the local command may require you to live in military quarters.

If you do end up renting a place, be mindful of these unique aspects of being a military tenant.

Government-leased Housing

The Privatized Military Housing Initiative was developed to provide up-to-date housing for today’s military families. But because these facilities are privately managed, the government is not responsible for personal property losses or damages.

Commercial property managers provide a token amount of coverage, but it’s a smart move to purchase a cost-effective renters insurance policy to safeguard your belongings.

Military Housing Allowances

If you’re not living in military quarters, you’re generally eligible to receive a tax-free, monthly allowance that helps cover your housing expenses. It isn’t a blank check — the amount depends on your duty station, pay grade and whether you have dependents.

There are three types of housing allowance:

■Basic Allowance for Housing. The most common housing allowance — BAH — is calculated separately for each location to let service members afford comparable housing no matter where they’re assigned. The amount is recalculated annually. While it can increase if costs in the area rise, an individual service member’s BAH won’t be reduced during his or her tour.

■BAH II. This is essentially a minimum level of BAH that doesn’t vary by location. If it’s greater than what the BAH formula indicates, you’ll receive this higher amount.

■BAH Differential. This allowance is for service members who live in single quarters on a military installation and pay alimony or child support. It’s the difference between the BAH II married and single rates.

Keep in mind that the amounts are completely independent of what you actually pay for rent. If you pay more, you’ll be eating into your regular income. If you can find a home , you’ll enjoy a monthly surplus.

An Important Lease Consideration

As a military service member, you face several scenarios that could prompt you to move out before your lease has expired, including:


■Orders to move onto the installation

■Permanent Change of Station

■Retirement or separation from service

To protect yourself, it’s important that your lease include a so-called “military clause” that lets you terminate it in any of these situations. Your installation’s military assistance officer can help you draft a clause that gives you the protection you need. Also an Realtor can help you with the process . I am available to help you through the rental process

Should I Buy a Home or Rent in Williamsburg Virginia

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

With mortgage rates at a record lows and housing prices remarkably low, it may be a very attractive time to buy a home in the Williamsburg area.  However, before you decide to take the plunge, think thoroughly.  There are several factors you should consider ahead of time very carefully.  First, how long do you expect to be in your new location?  If you are only going to be somewhere for a year or two, depending on the location renting may offer the most flexibility with the least risk.  Second, assess the market conditions of the new location carefully. Have your Realtor share the rental trends.   If you are planning on retiring or pursuing a civilian career after moving, you may consider purchasing a home because you will be there long enough to realize a gain in your investment.  In any event, nothing is guaranteed but thinking it out ahead of time will keep save you from making a potentially costly mistake.  Also, keep in mind that you may not always be comparing apples to apples. The house you are buying and the house you are renting are rarely comparable.  The Trying to predict the future of home prices or mortgage rates, both of which would impact, the rent –versus-buy decision, can be just as challenging. Consider your gut as well as the numbers.  You do need to be rational about the choice, but it is also based on your feelings about the kind of life you want. If you have any questions or need any assitance please feel free to contact me at