Hi Bridget! First I would like to thank you so much for having your Ask Bridget column. I enjoy reading it every week, even when you write about other stuff. Anyway, I just married a soldier; how long before we can move into housing? I feel like we have a million things to do. Right now he is still in the barracks and I assumed we could move in the same day we got married. Also, do we have to live on post?
Thank you for those kind words! Congratulations on your marriage!
In response to your question, the amount of time you will have to wait depends on the wait list that housing has. However, before you can even be placed on the wait list you will need to make sure you are enrolled into DEERS. Your soldier will know what this is and how to do it. You will actually need to do this before you can do anything within the military such as getting an ID card or insurance.
Once that happens you will go to housing, fill out the paperwork and be placed on a wait list depending on your husband’s rank and your family size. It’s also important to note that each duty station will have different waitlist lengths.
I am not sure of your living arrangements right now, but your husband now that he is married can move out of the barracks even though you are not living in on-post housing. Is it possible for him to move to where you are until housing becomes available (assuming you already live near post)?
Also, keep in mind that you do not have to live on post; you can choose to rent off post. For some, living off post is actually more cost effective. I would suggest sitting down with your husband and making two budgets, one for living off post and one for living on post. For help in creating your budget and for free downloadable forms visit the Finance 101 page.
Once you have both budgets figured out, you will be able to see which will be more cost effective for your situation.
Welcome to military life! Hold on and get your puke bag out, because it will be a rollercoaster!