Written by: Bridget Daniels Carlson
Q. I’m moving from overseas back to the United States, specifically Okinawa, Japan to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. When we called to check the housing conditions and wait lists we found out that we would have to wait about a year and a half to get housing since we are around 240th on the list on a base that has roughly 660 privatized houses. From everything I am seeing online for off-base housing it sounds like we are supposed to choose a house before we even get there. We will have to find a car, a house and do all this with a nine month old baby. Any advice or up to date information on whether we need to look for houses online before we get there as well as cars or if we should have enough time to look around once we get to the base. I’m also wondering if there is someone assigned from the housing office who takes you around to view houses and apartments (which they do in japan) or if you have to find a real estate agent yourself. Sorry if this is a bit rambling I am just anxiety ridden with PCS fever.
If you will be living off post, it is best to start looking for a house before you arrive. Doing so will cut down on the time that you stay in a hotel once you PCS. We currently live on post, however, with our last duty station we lived off post due to a very long wait list for housing. About a month or so before our PCS date we found a realtor in the area we were moving to and worked with her on finding a house to rent. Luckily, we were only 10 hours away so we were able to drive up to that area for a weekend to look at the houses and narrow it down even further. Once we found a house that we wanted to rent, we did all the paperwork through email, mail, and faxes. However, since you are overseas and assuming you want to move into a house right away, you may have to rely on the pictures and info the realtor supplies you with in order to make your choice. Usually all paperwork can be done through email (by scanning the documents and emailing them back to the realtor). Doing this will allow you to have a house waiting for you when you get back stateside. You can check out http://www.rentals.com for housing listings or http://www.realtor.com to find realtor’s in that area.
We have only ever been stationed stateside, and I can tell you from the 4 different posts we have sent to, no one has ever taken us to look for housing. So I will have to assume that is an overseas “thing”.
Hope this has helped you some. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.