Skip to main content

7 Ways Your Base Housing Review Will Help Military Families

by PCSgrades Staff - October 1st, 2022

7 Ways Your Base Housing Review Will Help Military Families

With every move, military families spend hours deciding whether to live on or off the military installation. There’s a lot to consider, and a lot of reasons many military families love to live on base and an equal number of reasons to live off base.

Your basic allowance for housing, or BAH, will cover all of your rent for housing on base, however, the homes off base are usually bigger. On-base housing is close to the commissary and exchanges with military neighbors are nearby. Off-post housing offers the opportunity to explore the local area and interact with the civilian community.

You can calculate BAH for your current and future duty stations here.

Sometimes, you have no choice. Either base housing isn’t offered, it's full, or their a crazy long waitlist. Alternatively, sometimes the local area doesn’t offer viable housing off-base, or your family can't afford an off-base house. One thing is for sure, the more you know about the choices, the better. The most useful input comes from other military families who have lived there, faced similar situations as you, and can provide useful insight to all the pros and cons of each choice. The reviews available on PCSgrades make it possible to share housing experiences, and have been helping military families make informed housing decisions for years!

7 reasons to submit a housing review on PCSgrades

  1. Reviews from the military community can provide peace of mind that the housing you choose will be what is best for your family.

  2. Every review submitted strengthens the voice of our community, providing a little more transparency for our fellow military families that has never existed before in the PCS process.

  3. You can be prepared to handle issues in advance of your move using thorough reviews that highlight the shortcomings of a particular privatized housing management company. Likewise, privatized housing management companies that do a stellar job can also be highlighted.

  4. Base Housing reviews offer information in a concise format that you cannot find anywhere else. Learn whether certain neighborhoods are family-friendly. Are the jogging trails well maintained as advertised? What is the parking availability? How about the social atmosphere? Does the staff respond in a timely manner?

  5. There are a lot of factors that influence your choice of whether to stay on base or search for housing options in the local community. One of the typical advantages of living on base includes amenities like childcare and youth centers, recreational areas like campgrounds, movie theaters, golf courses and sporting options.

  6. You can arm Military and Veteran Support Organizations with unique and reputable data from your reviews so they can wield even greater authority when engaged in advocacy on behalf of military families everywhere.

  7. You can impact the future of the PCS experience for military families. Legitimate reviews from verified military members in an open, third-party forum have a much bigger impact than anonymous/un-verified reviews…and certainly more so than venting in a closed group on Facebook.

What you can review on PCSgrades

While on-base housing may be the first stop for military families facing a move, there are many things to consider when moving. Families with school-aged kids will spend hours researching schools in the area. Those who need childcare will ask about local facilities, and spouses will start looking at jobs.

Along with reviewing your on-base housing options or experiences, there are other things you can review on PCSgrades that will help military families facing their next move. You can review your current neighborhood, or any neighborhood--both on or off base--where you have lived as a military family.

Off-Base neighborhoods

About two-thirds of military service members live off base, which means housing reviews for off-base neighborhoods are incredibly helpful. You can review neighborhoods, sharing what amenities they have, photos of shared spaces, and information on homeowners associations. Families moving to the area want to know about the commute to base, the overall security of the neighborhood, the local school systems, and whether the neighborhood is popular with other military families.


Did you know you can leave a review for apartments on PCSgrades? This is incredibly helpful for those who are geographically separated and need a small space, small families, or single service members who don’t want to live on base. Accurate apartment information is often difficult to get, so your review is very helpful.

Moving companies

When it comes to the actual PCS move, there can be mountains of frustration. And while military families can’t be guaranteed that they will get the moving company of their choice, reading reviews of moving companies can help manage expectations. Your review can help other families prepare for their PCS more effectively, ask the right questions, and understand their responsibilities on moving day.

Mortgage lenders & real estate agents

It's hard enough explaining all the logistics of a PCS move to your family members. When you're making a major decision like buying a house, you don't want to have to keep explaining your PCS timeline to your real estate agents and mortgage lenders! If you’re buying a house, you want to have a lender or agent that understands the military lifestyle. Reading reviews from other families (or leaving some reviews based on your experiences) can be a huge benefit when you're moving to a new area.

Our reviews really do make a difference for military families as they PCS. To leave a review on PCSgrades, start here.

PCSgrades Staff