Living on-base: pros and cons

Will living on-base work for you?

Many single servicemembers of relatively low enlisted rank will make the choice to live on-base in dormitories or barracks. However, these military members could also decide to use their base pay and rent a house or apartment off-base.

Which should you choose? There’s no right or wrong answer. So the best you can do is simply compare the pros and cons.

Living on-base: Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages
Cost savings. No rent, housing, utility, or even transportation costs (also, no commute). Availability. On-base housing may not be available, and you’ll need to find temporary housing.
Added convenience. You and your family will be close to Base Exchange (BX), Post Exchange (PX), and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). Condition. Many military bases do not have updated on-base housing.
Security. The military police and on-post security provide safety for you and your family. No equity. Living on-base means you’re not reaping the benefits of homeownership or building equity.
Community. The base is full of like-minded people who understand your job, and your family and living situation. Size and space. On-base housing may not fit the size or needs of your family.
Privacy. Living on-base may feel like you don’t have a home as you’re always surrounded by other military members.
Isolation. Soldiers living on-base may feel less connected to their community, which can hamper making civilian friends or using community resources.

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