House? What House?

Why is it that EVERY SINGLE TIME I move, I go down to the wire when it comes to finding a place to live?

Every.  Single.  Time.

When AFG and I moved to the DC area, we knew 5 weeks before we got here which house we would have.  Our rental contract had been accepted and signed and all that good stuff.  Little did I know that would be a world record for us. 

I thought it was the dawn of a new age – the age of being able to afford to house-hunt ahead of time and secure the house we wanted before we were chased to our new place by boxes, and movers, and stinky hotel rooms.

When we moved to our previous base, the housing office didn’t bother to tell us if we’d have a place to live when we got there until the day we got there.  Even though we put our names on the infamous list two months before arriving, and even though there was a house open when we put our names down, and even though it was open for TWO MONTHS!  The lady in the housing office was draconian with her petty power and decided that list be damned – we were not to get that house in case someone else who was NOT on the list showed up before us and wanted it.  I’m not sure what set her off, perhaps it was my hair.  I’ve heard that some people are unreasonably irritated at the site of red hair.

I’ve said many a bad word in regards to that woman’s name, let me tell you.  I like to stretch the rules, but I get very irate when people outright break them.  It’s just rude.

Prior to that move, we arrived on base and as soon as our boots hit the ground started a three week house hunt. 

It’s been an ongoing problem, one that has struck the Air Force Family household yet again.  This time due to a bad property management company (it starts with a W and ends with "ert" and if you need more information, please let me know because I’ll be happy to point them out so you can steer clear) that decided in the middle of a 6 month TDY of AFG’s that we could not remain in the house without a lease (which we can’t sign because as everyone subject to a military schedule knows, after 1 year the gig is up and we could move at any time.  Besides, we wanted to buy a house and not be locked into a year long lease at a rental) we are moving houses in the same community.

And by "we", I mean "me", of course.  Remember, AFG is gone right now. 

Let me rephrase a little, we’d LIKE to move within the same community.  But despite the fact that people are having a bit of trouble unloading their homes, we’re having a tough time getting the people at the houses we bid on to play ball.  We just made an offer on a house that’s been sitting on the market (as a foreclosure) since March.  The bank countered with a price ABOVE the asking list price! 

You have got to be kidding me!  Yeah, that’s really not going to happen.  It also explains a lot to me about the current financial crisis in the mortgage market.

So, with about 5 weeks to go until D-Day, AF Family is looking, once again, at a brief period of homelessness and stinky hotel rooms until this bidding stuff gets straightened out. 

Did I mention foot stomping?  I’ve been doing a lot of foot stomping.  I might have to change my name to Rumpelstiltskin.  Oh – and cursing.  If you thought I was a potty mouth before, well, let’s just say that Wal Mart restrooms have NOTHING on me at the moment.

I’ve been on record before as admitting I kind of like the nomadic lifestyle.  I love moving and seeing new things.  I love getting to know new neighborhoods; the coffee shops, the stores, the out-of-the-way places you never get to see as a tourist there for a week in the summer. 

But goodness gracious holy heavens, the house-hunting part gets on my nerves!

About the Author


airforcewife started her military journey as an Army National Guard wife, but upon experiencing base housing decided to aim high and made the switch to the Air Force. That's worked pretty well for Air Force Family so far, even though airforcewife holds the spouse world record for Come to Jesus talks with various members of the command.

Air Force Family has four children, two pit bulls, and a Mother-in-Law who lost her mind eight years ago. Despite the reputation of pit bulls, airforcewife would like to assure you that her Mother-in-Law is truly the most dangerous of the group, and is banned in more places than the dogs.

airforcewife gets through Air Force Guy's frequent deployments and TDY's by frequently attending her boxing gym, after the chance discovery last deployment that hitting things really does make life better. She also volunteers as the Ambassador for Sew Much Comfort to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and in a variety of other causes throughout the year.

airforcewife has no idea what the future holds, but decided five years ago that she wants to be Andi when she grows up.

  • Andi

    testing… Comments working now?

  • Housing is usually the first thing I look for when we are moving! But with this last move I gave up looking for a house in town ie not military housing, after about a week and just went with it. So far house is…eh.

  • tracy

    I do the same. Must be because we love the sweet sweet temporary lodging.

  • GM

    Am I the only one baffled as to why leasing agents with on post housing can’t give you a very very vague idea of what kind of wait list you can expect when PCSing? I’ve explained that I understand that what they are telling me could be completely wrong by the time I actually have orders in hand and can be placed on a waiting list, but wouldn’t history/unit rotations give you some idea on how things are going to go? Housing offices are beginning to make me think I’m the only one who asks questions about avail housing more then 2 weeks from PCS date! :)

  • JoDale

    My fiance will be going to tech school in Pensacola, Fl. He’s Air Force btw. I’ve never left West Texas and I’m really nervous about moving, but he could be in tech school for 1-2 years so I’m going with him. Does anybody know anything about the housing over there? On-base or off-base? I’m dying to talk to someone who knows about all this craziness. ^_^

  • USMC Aviator Wife

    I don’t understand why base housing is the way it is. PCSing would be a little less stressful if they would just help. I realize that by allowing people to call and ask these questions it might overwhelm their phone lines, but who wants to pack up their house and move across the country and say… we will figure it out when we get there? Sounds like fun right? I am sure there are those out there who like that chaos, but most dont, especially with kids. They are buildng lots of new digs but the system is not improving!
    There I go again… assuming that the military has common sense! Silly me!

  • USMC Aviator Wife

    As for Pensacola, They have a lot of nice base housing, but after Ivan and with the renovations there can be a waiting list. I have a close friend who just moved there, and she was in contact with the housing office about 2 months out and they were very helpful. They also gave her some companies to talk to in town to find a house. When we lived there we lived between the mall and NAS P-cola. Alot of people rent condos out on Orange Beach in Alabama, which is about 25 mins from the back gate of NAS. The area out by Blue Angel HWY is the newer part of town and the houses and apts there were nicer. The houses on base are older but they are doing some work, and when I say older think Southern Charm, not run down capehart housing in most cases.