Fort Stewart (Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield)
Fort Stewart is located in Hinesville, Georgia about 40 miles west of Savannah and covers Liberty, Bryan, Evans, Long, and Tattnall counties. It is home to the 3rd Infantry Division and considered the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River spanning over 280,000 acres. Fun tidbit: The gate guards say “Rock of the Marne” when you go through the gate due to the unit’s history in WWI, but as of 2017 the answer “Top of the Rock!” halted as it was discovered to have no historic meaning.
Off Base Neighborhoods
Fort Stewart is a great location to live off base and invest in a home. The median home cost in the Savannah area is $125,300. Richmond Hill is a favorite of military families and sits almost halfway between Fort Stewart and HAAF, but averages $230,700 to buy a home. For a more affordable housing area, military families recommend Hinesville, where the average cost of a home is $108,900!
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On Base Housing
Balfour Beatty manages the Fort Stewart housing. Homes range from 2-5 bedroom(s) apartments, multiplexes, duplexes, and the single-family homes are reserved for ranks O5 and up. There are amenities and playgrounds in each neighborhood, but some of the newer built homes also have their own splash pads and pools. Fort Stewart housing received the 2017 resident satisfaction property award winner and has lots of different options for families wanting to live on post.
Fort Stewart schools includes three elementary schools on post. For those who live off post, Liberty County is the closest county to Fort Stewart. It includes Hinesville, Midway, and other cities.
Cost of Living and BAH
The median home cost in the Savannah area is $125,300 making it a very attractive place to buy. Fort Stewart BAH ranges from $1,107 to $1,683 for enlisted. BAH at Fort Stewart begins at $1,344 for O1 without dependents and goes up to $1,950 for O7 with dependents.
The average sales price for Chatham County is $261,471 for a single-family home. In Bryan County it’s $293,282 and in Effingham it’s $221,760. The average price for the tri-county area is $258,245, which is up 4% over this time last year.
"It’s also officially more expensive to rent than it is to buy now,” says Carr. “For example, if you found a great 3 bedroom/2 bath home with a fenced yard in a lovely neighborhood with a pool and a playground, it might cost $1700/month to rent it and only $1500/month for your mortgage payment if you were to buy it instead.”
With the average high of 77 and low of 55, you’ll enjoy this duty station if warm weather is your thing. Along with the tropical climate, however, comes hurricanes. Hurricane season on the Atlantic runs from 1 June to 30 November and for that reason, families in this area are encouraged to download storm apps. While not all households in the area are located in a flood zone, some flooding and high winds are experienced during hurricane season. It’s a great idea to check your home owner's insurance to review your wind damage coverage and to check on flood insurance rates.
Ft. Stewart has one commissary, one PX, four gyms, and multiple CDC centers. If you are into outdoor recreational equipment rentals, you will not be disappointed with the Fort Stewart MWR! Other amenities on Fort Stewart include multiple chapels, a golf course, pools, splash pads, bowling, car washes, and three elementary schools. Kids in grades 7th-12th attend local community schools in Hinesville and buses are provided. Liberty County has two high schools and three middle schools to accommodate the kids. Military families also send their kids to First Preparatory Christian Academy which is a private school in Hinesville accepting kids from Preschool to High school and the Bradwell Institute right outside the front gate.
Tybee Island, the closest beach for vacationing, is about an hour from Fort Stewart making it a local favorite. Families can take a tour of Forts Pulaski and Screven, visit Cockspur Lighthouse, relax on the beach, or visit the Marine Science Center. The most notable restaurants on Tybee are The Crab Shack and The Deck. 1.5 hours south of Fort Stewart will land you at beautiful Jekyll Island. The beaches at Jekyll are one of a kind and perfect for a day of relaxing. You can also get out and explore Driftwood Beach, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, take a historical tour, or attend the Georgia-Florida Golf Classic.
Taking the family to a Savannah Bananas game is a must here! Starting in 2016, the team is a part of the Coastal Plain League and named the league’s organization of the year in 2016 and 2017. Tickets sell fast due to the atmosphere of the games being so fun and family- friendly. They also have been known to do surprise military family reunions!
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival: Going on its 20th year, this annual event happens in Richmond Hill. The 3-day weekend event is dedicated to fantastic seafood, live music, vendor booths, and tons of family fun. Due to its reputation, the average number of attendees has grown to over 35,000. Past featured music headliners include the Dave Mathews Band, Drivin’ & Cryin’, Greg Allman & Friends, Collective Soul, 38 Special, Travis Tritt, and other big names! Put this on your bucket list while stationed here.
Savannah’s most famed River Street is a must-see if stationed in this area. River street is paved with cobblestone streets along the river and features boat cruises, restaurants, antique stores, and much more! Above all, River Street is known for its St. Patrick’s Day celebration that ranks as the 2nd largest celebration in the U.S.! Go during the day for good family time and come back at night for a more adult celebration. FYI- you can walk around with alcohol on River Street so do not be alarmed, it’s legal!
Wormsloe State Park is the epitome of the South due to the Live Oak and Spanish moss- lined roads. This home once belonged to Noble Jones who came over from England with James Oglethorpe in the colonial days. Wormsloe today hosts guided tours and events, the tabby ruins, gravesites, and picnic areas. Most noteworthy, you can even get married there! You are so close to Florida and the options are endless. Drive two hours into Jacksonville to experience beaches, Ikea (this is the closest one!), or catch a Jaguars football game. Grab those discounted tickets from the Fort Stewart MWR and head four hours south to Disney World in Orlando! Want a more unique experience? Head six hours south to the Kennedy Space Center and watch NASA launch and meet real Astronauts.
Food and Drink
Coastal Georgia is a great place to experience living by the ocean, or at least as close as one can get with the Army. Sunshine, seafood, beautiful scenery, and the famed Southern charm make this post a fun place to live for families. You can enjoy southern BBQ, delicious peaches, and many of your favorite chain restaurants here.
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