From exciting, stressful, and everything in between, a military move can be a lot of things. If you are on the brink or in the midst of navigating a military move, we can relate. As a team, we have collectively navigated over 30 military moves. Along the way, we have learned a few things about preparing for a military move that can make the process a little less overwhelming—no matter how much you prepare, it’s impossible to avoid all the overwhelm!
Understand Your Military Move Allowances
One of the very first things you should do when you find out about a military move is ask about your allowances. Knowing exactly what you’re entitled to throughout the move, what the military covers, and what they won’t will help manage expectations over the next few months. It will also eliminate any surprises (and frustrations) regarding non-covered expenses you might come across.
Consider Your Packing Options
To pack or be packed, that is the question. You’ll typically have a few options when it comes to packing for a military move. You can let the military handle it, you can handle it with a personally procured move (PPM), or you can opt for a partial PPM where you transport some of your belongings and the military transports the rest.
Like most things, there are pros and cons to each packing option. If you are short on time, letting the military coordinate all things packing might be less stressful. Of course, using movers runs the risk of damaged or lost items. PPMs or partial PPMs give you more control over the packing process, which can ensure better protection for your belongings, but they are also extremely time consuming.
Purging your home of anything you can live without will simplify your move. The less stuff you have, the less there is to get damaged or lost in transit. Of course, you can’t get rid of everything you own. But if you are lucky enough to have a decent amount of notice regarding your move, utilize the extra time you have to go through that junk drawer or clothes bins that haven’t been touched in years.
Connect with a Trusted Military Real Estate Team
Finding a real estate team that specializes in military moves is one of the best ways to mitigate stress. While you can easily work with any real estate team, one that specializes in military moves has a better understanding of the nuances of military life and relocation orders. If you need help finding one, Homefront United can help!
Consider Renting vs. Buying
Will you live on or off base? Will you rent or buy a home in your new city? Talk through these questions with your partner and real estate team. As experts of both the local housing market and ideally military moves, they can provide sound advice on the pros and cons of each housing consideration. If they don’t initiate a financing conversation, you should inquire about financing options so you can make the best choice for your long-term goals.
Research Your Future City
We understand that, depending on how much time you have, in depth research on your future city may or may not be feasible. If you plan to live off base, any time you dedicate to looking up school districts and neighborhoods can help you when you arrive at your new location. This is where your trusted real estate team comes in handy. Use them as a resource! Ask them questions about the area, schools, neighborhoods, local traffic, and anything else that you would like to know. That’s what they are there for.
If you find that your real estate agent or team isn’t proving to be helpful in this regard, it might be time to find a new team. Our team can help connect you with a team that is familiar with the ins and outs of military moves.
Take a Deep Breath
No matter how much you prepare, there are bound to be some curveballs thrown your way during a military move. But we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know—after all, that’s military life for you! Prepare and plan for all the things you’re able to, then take a deep breath and remember that some things are out of your hands. Doing everything you can upfront to control the controllable will make the curveballs a little less stressful.
If you are currently navigating a military move, the Homefront United team is here to help. We have helped thousands of military families navigate the home buying and/or selling process, and we would love to help yours, too. Our team may be based in Texas, but we have connections with trusted military real estate agents all over the country. So whether you’re moving to or from Texas or not, we are at your service. Contact us today!