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Housing -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
Are there any rules I need to know about if I live on post and will be going out of town?

Answer:
If you are living on post and depart your quarters for a period of thirty days or more, you need to inform the Post Housing Office.

Question:
Are there standards imposed on government furnished quarters?

Answer:
The standards that apply to government furnished quarters for active duty Soldiers and their families are outlined in Chapter 4 of AR 210-50, Housing Management. Government quarters are supposed to be safe, maintained, and adequate for Soldiers’ needs. There are instances, due to great need, where some government housing remains in use past its expected useful life. In those cases, the facilities are maintained and still safe to live in. However, Soldiers who reside in them may receive a portion of their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to compensate for the inconvenience.

Question:
Can I accept on-post housing if it becomes available while my sponsor is deployed?

Answer:
If you are waiting for on-post housing and it becomes available while your spouse is deployed you should a Power of Attorney (POA) to sign for and receive your household goods shipment. However, exceptions can be made in certain circumstances.

Question:
Can I move out of on-post housing while my spouse is deployed?

Answer:
If it becomes necessary to voluntarily terminate your occupancy of on post housing while your spouse is away, you will need a Power of Attorney (POA) to effect shipment of household goods and to clear quarters.

Question:
Can I operate my own business in my on-post quarters?

Answer:
To increase employment opportunities for military spouses, home-based businesses are permitted in military family housing. However, some restrictions apply. Individuals wishing to engage in commercial activities in government furnished quarters should submit a written request to the installation commander for authorization to do so. Commanders must consider issues such as local government licensing requirements, potential government liability, overseas Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), host nation business practices, and prospective advertising practices before granting approvals. Additionally, commanders may not authorize commercial activities in family housing areas that jeopardize military community tranquility, harmony among neighbors, or safety.

Question:
How can I tell what a fare price is for a home or rental property in my new community?

Answer:
Local real estate listings can provide some idea of the housing market in your new community. Real estate agents can also show you price comparisons of homes you may be interested in both for purchase and/or rent. Your military housing office may be able to assist you, and you can also do some research online to see what homes are available for rent or for purchase.

Question:
How do I go about establishing basic utility services when I move into a new residence?

Answer:
If you found your new home or apartment using a real estate agent, he/she can probably provide you with the contact information for the water authority, gas and/or electric company, and other utility companies that service your neighborhood. You can also ask your landlord, if renting, for this information, the previous owners of the house, or your new neighbors. The Relocation Readiness office in your military community can also assist you in finding out which utility companies service your neighborhood.

Question:
How important is it to get a home inspection prior to buying it?

Answer:
It is recommended, and often required by lenders, that you get a home inspection prior to finalizing a home purchase. It is important for you to learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy to minimize unpleasant surprises after the fact. A home inspection generally covers a review of the home’s heating and central air conditioning systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems, the foundation, basement, attic, roof, etc. Home inspectors also point out the positive aspects of a home and typically explain some of the maintenance that is necessary to keep it in good shape. They also look for any visible signs of termite damage, lead paint, mold, and often radon testing.

Question:
If I live on-post, how soon do I need to contact the Housing Office when I am relocating?

Answer:
You should make an appointment with the Housing Office as soon as your departure date is established.

Question:
Is it better to own or rent a house?

Answer:
Deciding whether to rent or buy a house when you relocate to a new community is an important personal decision. Research the areas you are interested in and compare the cost of renting to the cost of owning using. Review your personal finances to determine whether you can afford to take on a mortgage and if so, how large a loan would you be comfortable with. Consider historical trends on rent increases and home appreciation (or depreciation). How long do you expect to live in this house? These are just a few issues to consider when making a decision on whether to rent or buy a home. There are a number of resources that can assist you with this decision such as books and websites, real estate agents and relocation specialists, and home ownership seminars.
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