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Blog: Military

Top 5 Advantages of Off-Base Housing in San Diego

Living off base has some wonderful advantages! True, you'll be farther away from the military community on-base, but some of things you can gain include building equity, avoiding training noise, and being able to choose your child's school district.

Here are the top 5 advantages of off-base housing in San Diego and why your family might benefit!

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1) Building Equity

By owning your own property, you'll start building equity. Even if your next PCS takes you out of San Diego, you can choose to rent out your property while you're away. Our Relobase agents would be happy to speak with you about your options for purchasing in San Diego!

2) Rent Costs

There isn't any question that most on-base living has major restrictions. Some of them don't allow pets and rent is usually set at exactly the military BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) rate. If you decide to rent off-base rather than purchase a property, San Diego has an abundance of rentals to fit all budgets. You may find a rental at a better rate than you would get on a military base. Some military families have even found special rental deals for military members!

3) Luxury of Choice

While most on-base communities provide plenty of activities for families, you have to live with what's available. Living off-base gives you the luxury of choice. Whether you want to be walking distance to shopping and dining or closer to the beach, San Diego's varied communities offer just what you're looking for!

4) Peace and Quiet

It's true. Living on-base means you'll hear the "Sound of Freedom" on a regular basis. The boom of artillery and the chatter of gunfire may be a very typical part of your day. If you prefer peace and quiet, you might want to consider off-base housing. This is also an important consideration if you have pets. Loud noises can cause them anxiety.

5) Choice of School Districts

Determining the best school district for the kids is nearly always a consideration when PCSing. By living off-base you can choose the school district you want to be in rather than going with the one the base is located in.

Not sure where to start? Our Relobase agents would be happy to speak with you about your specific situation!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

Stationed in San Diego? Let's Talk Housing!

You know that "dream sheet" you filled out? Well, you just hit the U.S. military's version of the lottery. You've been assigned to San Diego!

Let's get your boots on the ground and talk about things to consider for San Diego housing!

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San Diego and San Diego County: San Diego is the second largest city in California, second only to Los Angeles and is home to 28 zip codes. It stretches from the U.S. southern border to Escondido, its most northeastern point.

San Diego Bases: Click the links below for more information about each of the military installations in San Diego.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO

NAVAL BASE CORONADO

NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO

US COAST GUARD STATION SAN DIEGO

Off-Base Housing: Off-base housing in San Diego isn't cheap. The average two-bedroom apartment is San Diego rents for $1,823, depending on the location. Buying vs. renting in San Diego could save you about 15% over time.

On-Base Housing: If you need base housing as an option, apply through Housing Early Application Tool (HEAT) now, if you haven't already done so! It's not the waiting list for housing, but it gets you on the contracts you need to get on that waiting list the moment you're eligible. Dependents or active duty members can fill it out and you can get it going even before you have your orders in hand.

Weighing Whether to Buy or Rent?

If you're an active-duty military service member, you have even more to consider than the average American when considering whether to buy or rent. Here are just a few of the things you need to think about:

-The base you're stationed at

-The specific needs of your family, including school districts for the kids

-The housing wait-list, if on-base housing is your preference

-Your budget

-Credit score and ability to qualify for a loan, including the military's special programs, VA and Cal-Vet loans!

Need help sorting out whether it makes sense to buy or rent a home in San Diego? Talk to one of our qualified Relobase agents in San Diego!

Once you get your housing settled, and you can finally take a deep breath, it's time to start enjoying all San Diego has to offer!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

6 Things to Consider Before Your PCS With Pets

Many military families have four legged members. Preparation for both national and international travel will make the process as simple as possible. After all, an organized PCS in a smooth(er) PCS. Here are 6 things to consider before you PCS with your pets!

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Crate Train: Before moving with a pet, "crate training" is imperative. Cramped quarters are inevitable on a flight or in a car. Familiarity with small spaces and spending some time in them will prevent him or her from defecating and/or urinating in the tight quarters. (Which would make for an unpleasant trip).

Microchip: Have your pet microchipped. This will make them much easier to find should they get lost. Tags and collars can fall or be torn off, but a microchip inserted under the skin is a safe and easy way to ensure your pet can always be identified.

Health Certification: Any travel across international borders requires a health certificate. Some states may also require the health certificate. Following a full physical exam and evaluation, your veterinarian can provide a certificate ensuring that your pet has up-to-date vaccinations, is free of any diseases, and is medically ready for travel. Not only is the document absolutely essential for travel, it must be dated no more than 30 days prior to the expected travel dates. If the 30 day window is passes, the entire process must be repeated.

Service Animal Verification: Service animals require not only all the health certificates and veterinarian exams, but current service papers. In some countries both family pets and service animals may be required to remain in quarantine for a certain amount of time.

Safety Check:  If you're flying, bear in mind that not all airlines put pet safety at the top of their list. Thoroughly research the airline requirements, and safety protocols before your pet is loaded on the plane. If European travel is on the agenda for your pet, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends traveling with Continental, KLM, British Airways, and/or Lufthansa Airlines (note: most of these are part of the StarOne Alliance), who all have optimal guidelines in place for the four-legged traveler.

European Laws: If you'll be abroad in Europe for an extended period of time, you may be subject to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the council. What that means is simple: every European country (with the exception of the UK, Sweden, and Norway) requires your pet to have a microchip and a series of up-to-date vaccines if they are to stay with you for an extended period of time. For dogs, the required vaccines are: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Leptospirosis (DHLPP), and Rabies within the last 12 months or a minimum of 4 weeks before arrival. For cats, the required vaccines are: Feline Viral Rhinotrachetis, Calicvirus, Panleukopenia (FVRCP), and Rabies within the last 12 months or a minimum of 4 weeks before arrival. Finally, but certainly not less importantly, your dog and cat must have a completed EU certificate of veterinary health in order to remain in Europe for an extended period of time. Forms may be downloaded at PetRelocation.com -- and brought to your veterinarian for completion. If you'll be in a non-English speaking country, a list of local, English speaking veterinarians will be a must in case your pet becomes ill.

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

How to Pack and Move in 30 days: The Reality of a Military PCS

A quick Google of military moving and stress will generate tips on how to organize your household goods as if keeping organized will eliminate the stress. But managing the physical move is only one aspect of dealing with PCS.

The second, and perhaps more important aspect, is the emotional side of moving. Moving is more than just packing up boxes; it’s packing up a life.

Military families move often and after a few times, become pretty efficient at it. But let’s be honest, fear of the unknown, the dread of saying goodbye, the worry over finding a new home, and wondering if the kids will find new friends never goes away.

Every member of the family experiences the stress of moving and at some point it’s bound to erupt. Whether it’s the unavoidable “moving spat” between spouses or a teenager yelling at a younger sibling for seemingly no reason, there will be drama.

Here are some tips on how to face the reality of a military PCS and survive it with your sanity intact!

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Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

If you’ve ever been on an airplane you’re familiar with the flight attendant’s emergency instructions to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. This isn’t being selfish. It’s because if you are oxygen deprived, you can’t help someone else. The same principle applies to handling the stress of a move. As the physical part of the move fills the calendar, be sure to take some time to destress as a couple and as an individual. If you are overwhelmed with stress you can’t help the rest of the family deal with their emotions surrounding the move.

Acknowledge that the stress of leaving the familiar behind is real. It can be easy to ignore it in all the rush of packing and making arrangements, but that doesn’t make it disappear. Go to dinner and talk about anything other than the move. See a movie or let the kids stay the night with friends and have an evening home alone.

Take advantage of CDC (Child Development Center) to let the kids have some fun and to give you some time to pack uninterrupted.

Reach out to the relocation manager at your new base. Make this person your best friend so you and your family can get assistance throughout the moving process.

Download the free Relobase app here. It provides you with invaluable resources to organize and take control of your PCS.

Kids Need Special Care

Children who move a lot can experience what Freudian analysts call “repetition compulsion,” or a Goldilocks complex, when they become adults because they are always looking for just the right place. Helping your kids cope emotionally with a move is as important as making sure all their belongings get to the new home.

Tell them as soon as you know you’re moving so they have time to mentally prepare. One military mom suggested talking to the kids about possible locations even before you find out where you’ll be deployed. Have regular family meetings to talk about their role and check in on how they are doing. Make time for a special evening out. Visit their favorite ice cream place or playground or let them have a party with their friends. They need to have closure as much and maybe even more than adults do. If your kids are older, give them the job of head researcher. They probably know how to do research on the internet better than you do anyway, so let them find out the history of the new place, what kinds of things there are to do, what the weather’s like and so on.  This will help them feel involved and help them connect to the new place.

While the move can be stressful, it can actually be a great bonding time for the family. If you do it as a team and involve every family member at the level appropriate for them, lessons will be learned and you’ll grow stronger as a family.

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

6 Reasons to Use Relobase For Your Next PCS

San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel–nearly 100,000 in total. What you may not know is that more than 45,000 military personnel predictably relocate to or from San Diego every year, like clockwork. In 2015, San Diego’s military population purchased more than 35,000 VA-home loan properties totaling more than $13B sales outstanding. Unfortunately military personnel and their families are given a fragmented network of information, resources and tools to navigate the process.

Relobase is the nation’s first fully comprehensive relocation management tool assisting active duty service members and their families relocate from military installation to installation. With the mobile app, users now easily manage tasks and timelines with confidence and convenience. One of the many challenges service members and families encounter is housing and Relobase is here to assist.

Relobase was designed with you, the military service member, in mind. Here are the 6 Reasons You Should Use Relobase to Plan and Manage Your Next PCS!

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One Stop Shop

Relobase not only automatically helps create and manage your PCS schedule and structure, it even embeds solutions. That means checking off a to do item is just a click away.

Task Management

Just tell Relobase where you are, where you are going, and when you need to be there. They will put together a schedule and task list for you.

Total Coverage

Relobase covers over 150 bases in the US and they are constantly adding more. Chances are, if you are PCS-ing to or from a US installation, they’ve got you covered.

Confidently Pack

Use the Relobase Inventory tool to track, record, and itemize your possessions and valuables. Your personal inventory is like a resume, it should be a living document. Relobase makes that easy!

Cut Costs and Save Money

Relobase has lots of tools and resources to make sure you aren’t wasting time and money. Not to mention, they’ve got killer deals for you too!

Force Protection

Relobase knows your data is sensitive. They enforce strict security measures to keep that data secure.

Military relocation isn’t easy. Relobase helps you manage tasks, budgets, and life.

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