Top 7 Best Military Housing Resources for Your Next PCS
Getting military housing assistance can be a pain; finding a real estate agent who’s also a military relocation specialist can get frustrating and pricey, too. Lucky for you, great options for PCS house hunting can be found online. Finding housing online can be pretty easy, as there are new real estate websites popping up every day. Keep reading to learn about some of the top 7 online options for finding housing for military members.
Do You Get Paid for Military Housing?
The military offers great benefits for its service members, from healthcare to loan forgiveness to pension benefits. So, does the military pay for housing?
The short answer is yes… mostly.
The military will pay for some of your expenses, but not all of them. If you’re living off base, the military will provide a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and a Dislocation Allowance (DLA), but these allowances often aren’t enough to cover something like the entire purchase of your own home.
If you’ve got a home in mind already, this link to a BAH calculator can help you calculate just how much the military is willing to shell out for your housing.
For military members looking to buy their own home, it can be difficult to save for the big purchase, but there are resources available to help military members take the plunge into homeownership. Homes for Heroes helps heroes like firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military members, teachers, and healthcare professionals buy their own homes without breaking the bank.
PCS House Hunting
For some military families, renting is the preferred option. For others, buying is the preferred option. For whatever needs you have with PCS house hunting, leave the hard part to us. Below are some great resources you can use to find military houses for rent and for sale.
MilitaryByOwner is a great website to use to find military houses for rent and for sale. Created by a former Marine and his wife, MilitaryByOwner is designed with the needs of military members in mind. On this website, you can filter your housing search by state and by base.
This website will list some of the options available for renting and buying a home. Many military families have found their homes before a PCS by using this resource; it’s a great one!
2. Automated Housing Referral (AHRN)
AHRN is similar to MilitaryByOwner in that it’s designed for finding houses for military members. On this website, you can search by a specific base.
AHRN also lists the options for homes available for rent, as well as the monthly rates of the home. This is a great resource to add to your list of potential PCS house-hunting options.
If buying or renting a house isn’t something that fits your needs, but renting an apartment is, there are still resources available to help you find your next place to live.
There are several websites geared towards apartment rentals, so keep reading to learn about some of the best options for finding an apartment online. (P.S. If you’re searching for a home, several of these websites are also great for finding homes for sale and rent!)
Zillow is one of the more commonly known websites for apartment hunting. It’s fairly intuitive, and you can customize your search by location, price point, size, and more.
On Zillow, you can find contact information, local schools, and the option to request a tour, as well as the option to request an application. The downside to this website is that it doesn’t provide information about the neighborhood, so some more digging may be required.
Overall, this is a solid site for finding apartments for rent.
Trulia is similar to Zillow in the fact that the searches are extremely customizable. On this website, however, the option to search for pet-friendly apartments is much more obvious than on Zillow.
With Trulia, you can also contact the leasing agent to request a tour/application, and it lists the local schools, as well. Trulia also offers a “Shop & Eat” feature, giving you recommendations for local stores and restaurants. Trulia is another great resource for apartment hunters.
ApartmentFinder.com is another great resource for apartment hunting, but the search features are not as obviously customizable as Zillow or Trulia.
There’s an option to contact the leasing agent, but searching by price seems to be the only search filter option for this website. This can be a great resource for those looking for something simple, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
Apartments.com can initially seem limited like ApartmentFinder, but once the location search has been entered, the other searching filters become available. You can search by price point, number of bedrooms, move-in date, and more.
7. Other Helpful Resources
Sites like Craigslist and Facebook can also be great resources for finding apartments for rent; however, proceed with caution. While these sites can be reliable, scams are also common. Be careful while searching through sites like these.
Military housing can be a struggle. Sometimes, it can seem like there are no resources available to help, and other times it can seem like there are too many resources available! Hopefully, this article has helped you find some resources in your PCS house hunting (or PCS apartment hunting) journey.