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On post or off!?

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JustcallmeSuz 1
ShamWow 1
Sandra 4
kristi 1
a1125604uu 2
fam0f3 2
CarolinaGirl 1
Brenda E 3
Leesah 1
details 2
QueenOfHearts 2

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QueenOfHearts --- 6 years ago -

Hi ladies,
We are pcsing to Lewis the end of April from ky,my husband is going ahead of us to try and secure a place to live. I looked at the housing waiting list and I just feel like it'll be September b4 we would get a place on post. I've been looking at places in Lacey and really like what I've seen and read about the area and it's schools. My question is it best to hold out and try and get housing or go ahead and just get a place off post? Which is nicer Lacey or base?
I just don't want us apart for so long, living in limbo but I want whats best, we have a 5 yr old and a 2 mnth old. Lacey looks amazing but so does base, I've only gotten to see the pictures on the Lewis communities website Of the homes on post so I kinda feel like I'm going in blind.
I appreciate any help! 

a1125604uu --- 6 years ago -

Did/do you live on post in KY?
Usually it comes down to personal preference. Most of the kids go to schools on base that are run by the state in the clover park school district www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us, there are only 3 elementary schools that have full day kindergarten. Most of the homes have the same basic layout, except the newer ones. There are parks within walking distance, a water/spray park, bowling, a theater, roller skating, a few fast food places, libraries, and gyms.
I live off base, but not in lacey.
You will need to take into confederation how far and long you plan to drive to base, especially with gas being $4 a gal. 

fam0f3 --- 6 years ago -

I've lived in both. When we originally got here we live at The Village at Union Mills apartments in Lacey. Loved it! Our friend also lived there and she had a 6 year old daughter and she loved the school district there! We also lived on base, which we are also on the wait list to get back in to, and I really liked that too. Everything we do is basically on post so it didn't make sense for us to live off post. We moved off to save money since BAH went up 100, but then gas went up too and that just threw everything off. We currently live in Lakewood on the Steilacoom border, which I like, but I personally liked living on post since we both work on post and there is so much to do there. 

Sandra --- 6 years ago -

If you go off post be prepared to fork over a lot of $ on gas and spend lots of time in traffic. 

QueenOfHearts --- 6 years ago -

No we live off post here in Ky. I see on google map Lacey is a bit far, esp witg everyone saying i5 traffic is bad. but Tacoma just doesn't seem like the place for us. But with the mention of gas being $4 a gallon( holy crap btw) and hubs drives a ram with a hemi maybe I need to put more faith in getting on post housing.
Thanks for the info =o) 

Sandra --- 6 years ago -

Well, lemme rephrase that, if you move to Lacey you will. Other neighborhoods just depends. It's a long line to get off post in ALL the gates plus traffic is kind of bad and housing is expensive, the plus is you only have 2 kids and they're young so you don't need a large place, just make sure if it's not in Dupont, that you don't have to get in I5 to get home cause lots of people commute between Olympia, Lacey, Tacoma, Seattle and both bases in between so there's lots of traffic and if God forbid there's an acciddent, you're screwed! 

fam0f3 --- 6 years ago -

There are a couple wait lists that aren't too long, depending on what your husband's rank is. With the way gas is, I'd say try for on-post. 

CarolinaGirl --- 6 years ago -

I live off post in Puyallup. I love it here!! Super schools, get houses and close to everything! We are also close to 512 which takes you to base, drive is 15-25 mins depending on traffic.

We have never lived on base. So can't give you details on that. We are Air Force. 

details --- 6 years ago -

I used to live off post in Lacey and now live on post. Which was nicer? Lacey hands down. Our house was newer, larger, and nicer. We were really close to lots of shopping and restaurants, there were nice clean parks for the kids to play, and I loved the schools my kids went to. The downside was it took hubby a ridiculous amount of time to get back and forth to work most days and cost a ton in gas. He works all different hours and mostly either 10 or 12 hour shifts. So when you add 30-45 minutes each way of commute time...doesn't give a guy a lot of time to sleep and spend with family. 

Sandra --- 6 years ago -

So when you add 30-45 minutes each way of commute time...doesn't give a guy a lot of time to sleep and spend with family.

My friends are dual military and lived in Lacey and when they moved on post, they loved it. They spent a lot more time at home. Their daycare is now literally down the street and they save in gas and also in food because they can now go home to eat. 

a1125604uu --- 6 years ago -

My hubby drives a Hemi too. We spend about $100 a week in fuel. We live about 10 miles from base in Lakewood. I personally like my privacy and space, though it (housing) can get expensive if you don't shop around. 

JustcallmeSuz --- 6 years ago -

My best friend lives in Horizon point in Lacey, Takes her husband 20-25 minutes to get to work. He takes all back roads! It can be done. When we lived in Lacey my husband did the same thing! 

Brenda E --- 6 years ago -

We lived on post for three and half years in New Hillside and just moved to Lacey this month.....we pay the same total(bah covers garbage, rent and elec) off as we did on..as an E6 to be in a TINY 1000sq ft house with no storage was just not worth it..now we have a HUGE two bay shop big enough for a boat, rv AND all hubs tool, PLUS a 1700 sq feet house with a two car garage..hubs is home and back in 25 minutes TOPS..we live off exit 111, if you are further South you can get caught up in the Traffic of Olympia, which is the State capitol

I enjoyed living on base, but for a family of five, and my husbands hobbies of working on his truck, hunting etc, on post had very little to offer....

So it really depends on what you are looking for.. if my husband was still an E4 or we had a smaller family we may have just stayed on post..but IMO for and e5/e6 ranks there is very little that is worth your bah- Discovery houses are very nice and have enough room, but, that is ONE neighborhood...to us Davis hill, beachwood, New Hillside etc(they all have same floor plans) were not worth our 1650 nearly in BAH......there are fantastic houses for E7 and up and then as e4 and below, I feel like they have really good choices too.
But it was killing us to pay 200 more a month for the same house--my Grandma has a bigger kitchen in her RV!!(and that's not joking) 

FL GIRL --- 6 years ago -

We are a family of 5. My husband is a E5. We live on post in Discovery. I prefer it over living off post. We lived in Spanaway several years ago. It wasn't worth paying $1000 for rent plus utilities and gas. At the time my husband was a E4.

We have lived in New Hillside, Evergreen, and Discovery.

Lacey is nice. That is where I go to do most of my shopping. Dupont if very nice. But I'm sure it has a nice little price tag to go with it. It is pretty much right outside the gate. Spanaway was nice when we lived there. Just hated the drive if I ever had to take my kids to the doctor (on post) or wanted to go to the commissary. 

kristi --- 6 years ago -

I live in Tacoma/parkland n our lil circle that we live is quiet n our neighbors r nice. My sons school is awesome with him he has ADHD n has a iep for learning n they r on board 100% about getting him what he needs n with his daddy deploying soon :( it takes us about 10-15 minutes depends on flow of traffic n about 25 mins with stopped traffic 

Sandra --- 6 years ago -

Kristi what school does ur kid go to? District? Curious cu zi live off 102nd but kept my kid on post n was curious about whether he goes to the school my kid belongs to 

Brenda E --- 6 years ago -

Oh, and I do have to add that I like the schools so much better, my kids school is now k-6...so NO NO WOODBROOK! and no throwing my 11 year old dear daughter on the bus and in school with 14 year olds..there is SUCH a big difference! but the middle school model really is a WA thing, but I am super happy with her new school and what's best is they do switch classes all day, just like in middle school, so they are ready com Jr. high, but they remain with their own age group...

Discovery is nice and I think it's worth the BAH at E5/6 especially the duplexes

BUT..like I said, that is ONE neighborhood, and the wait list is Loooooong..you also have very little privacy sharing a porch and being so close in with neighbors and an ittttty biiiiittty yard. 

ShamWow --- 6 years ago -

Dupont is nice and expensive. You can plan to spend atleast 1350 or more a month for a rental not including utilities, garbage and water. Thats usually for a smaller 3 bedroom with about 1300 sqft. Unless you look at a townhouse, they usually have about 1600 sqft for a 3bed. Schools are great in Dupont and the drive to post is pretty fast and you wont spend alot for gas money. They have lots of parks and trails and a few restaurants and a library in Dupont. Closest store is the commissary on main post.

Personally, we prefer living off post. We own a house in South Spanaway what is more considered Fredrickson/Elk Plain. It takes my husband about 30min to get into work in the morning and about 45min to get home at night. We prefer were we are because we have a half acre and a 5bed place in a quiet community. We are still close to all the shopping within a 10 to 15min drive. It's much quieter out here and we just got tired of spending all of our money renting when we can own for alot lower than bah.

It really depends on if you prefer privacy and space off post than a noisie and the closer living on post. 

details --- 6 years ago -

BUT..like I said, that is ONE neighborhood, and the wait list is Loooooong..you also have very little privacy sharing a porch and being so close in with neighbors and an ittttty biiiiittty yard.

Speaking of the itty bitty yards, Lacey has plenty. If you have a dog that needs room to run, or you want your kids to play in the yard, that could be an issue. I would say at least 3/4 of the houses we looked at had more square footage in the bathrooms then the yard. Horizon Point was the worst. The older homes tended to have bigger yards and more space between houses. We lucked out with one on a corner lot in a new development that had a bigger yard but it took awhile to find it. On the plus side most of the homes we looked at had privacy fencing already installed. 

Leesah --- 6 years ago -

We love living in Lacey, it's kind of close to everything. We rent a house and have a big yard and a bigger kitchen than we would ever get on base. My husband wouldn't want to live on base anyway, he says he'd feel like he was always at work. My son is going to start school later this year and all I ever hear are good things about the schools in Lacey, not so much about the ones on base. You guys could always find a month to month rental while you wait for on base housing, being apart when you don't have to sucks. 

Brenda E --- 6 years ago -

I guess most new developments have smaller yards and great big houses, the triplex in Discovery have like a strip, lol

We didn't have any trouble finding a big yard in lacey, we are on a half acre, and everyone that I know who lives here has great big fantastic yards... When I searched Lacey on Craigslist there were TONS of homes...we lived in Spanaway before too and most homes had good sized yards, and the commute from there isn't too bad. (We lived in Elk Plain too, we enjoyed it as well)

And Shamwow is right, it's just kind of a trade off, what is most important to you? 

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