By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse

October is the month for scarecrows, monsters, and witches. A good ghost story might keep you awake at night. For some, issues with their military housing are enough to cause sleepless nights. While there are plenty who love the safety, security, and convenience of living on post, there are others that say living in military housing is the stuff of nightmares!

Military Housing…Yea or Nay?

Since PCSgrades opened the Base Housing Review platform, we have been pleasantly surprised, sometimes entertained, and on a few occasions downright scared by reviews left by our fellow military families.

Unfortunately, not every base housing experience is a positive one. One Air Force spouse says a serious mold and moisture problem at an Air Force Base in San Antonio was a living nightmare. “Our oldest child developed asthma and our younger two had pneumonia and chronic sinus and ear infections.”

An Army spouse with two PCSes under her belt says the age of the housing at their post is the main problem there. “These houses are falling apart at the seams and need to be torn down. Any issue isn’t actually fixed but covered up.”

Two sides of a Coin

Then there are those reviews that deliver both the good and the bad news. An Army spouse living in military housing at a Texas Air Force Base says the housing company does not maintain jogging trails as advertised. “But the low traffic flow allows for walking/jogging on roads. “

A Marine spouse with 3 PCSes living on base in California, says maintenance is really good about being on time and fixing issues for the most part. She says, “It is a nice area to live in, but not as nice as other housing in the area. We are also very close to the commissary, MCX, and main gate.”

Vintage is all the Rage!

Some do not mind living in older base housing. An Army spouse on post in Texas says, “It might look old on the outside, but the inside of the house is nice. And there’s a lot of storage and closets!” An Army spouse renting military housing in North Carolina says she is very happy, “I love how spacious the houses are.”

Arm Yourself with all the Base Housing Info You Need!

One great thing about the Base Housing Reviews at PCSgrades.com is the ability to compare reviews for the same military housing location. Sometimes, it’s easy to spot a trend for certain housing areas. Other times, all you need to know is written in a single review.

A Marine Corps spouse living on base in North Carolina says living there was a nightmare. “Immediately upon moving in, we could smell mildew. We asked them to look into it, and they claimed it was taken care of. A few months in, a brown spot started forming on the ceiling of the upstairs bathroom.” The family had to relocate after living with black mold for the better part of a year.

Another Army spouse living on post in Texas says, “If anyone is PCS’ing here LIVE OFF POST!” This family reports a problem with bugs, peeling paint, and a leaking roof! “I don’t know why they call this “The Great Place” because it’s anything but!”

Did we mention our reviews can sometimes be very entertaining?

But seriously, while none of these issues is anything to laugh about, we believe that chronicling the good and not so good sides of base housing creates more transparency in the renting process. It may also ultimately encourage stronger relationships between military families and base housing management companies.

As Army spouse Allyson Miller says, “The reviews we write not only benefit military families looking for some kind of reassurance during a tumultuous time, but can also give credit where credit is due.”  Allyson feels very strongly instead of venting about our moving company on facebook, “We need to turn those military word of mouth testaments, bad as well as good, into researchable reviews.”

Whether a review sings praises or howls something else, the information and knowledge are here to help you decide the best place for your family to live the next time duty calls. Check out PCSgrades for all the info you need or post your own review to help or even “warn” your fellow military families!

Carla Olivo has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting and Documentary Reporting. She has survived four PCS moves and currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, and their two children.

Carla Olivo

Director of Strategic Communications