Anyone Live on Ft. Belvoir? (Arlington, Fort Belvoir: apartments, rentals, credit)
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My husband and I are moving to Ft. Belvoir this October and I'm looking for some insider information from people who live there or have been there. We are a new military family and this will be our fist time living on base while my husband works at the Pentagon. We considered apartments closer to the Pentagon, but living on base seems like a simpler, safer first move.
From what I can research online, the newer housing is very nice, as is the town center.
I'm wondering what the other housing is like if we can't get into a newer unit - and especially what the neigboring towns are like. Is it a comfortable place to live? It seems like this is a nicer neighborhood than Andrews or Bolling - which are our other choices, but we were concerned about the neighborhoods outside the bases in PG County. Is Belvoir in a better area?
I am going to be working from my home, and don't want to feel trapped on the base!
Have you talked to housing at the base? I was told there is quite a long wait for on base housing. (maybe it is the newer housing) I was just there for medical appointment and the housing I saw was nothing I would consider living in! The area immediately outside the base is stetchy. You can find decent rentals about 5 miles away... You can commute to the Pentagon easier from other locations...What do you mean by new military family? 2nd LT?
The new housing area on Ft Belvoir looks really nice. I was on base a few months ago and was very surprised and impressed to see the change. I had not been on base for some time (military retiree spouse) and I couldn't believe what a difference. The new housing area and town center are very nice. It's about time the Army provided new housing for it's troops! I do not know about any older housing that remains on the base or what condition it is in. I personally would not consider living on Bolling or Andrews. The areas surrounding these are not as safe nor as good as in Virginia. If you cannot live on Ft Belvoir, I would suggest renting an apartment/townhouse in Kingstowne, which is not far from Ft Belvoir. It is a nice community (newer area with a lot of places to eat/shopping/large movie theater, and also has a branch of the Pentagon Credit Union). It is close to a Metro subway station, which your husband could take to the Pentagon easily. Living in the Kingstowne area would be convienent to Ft Belvoir for using the commissary and medical facilities. Your husband will receive an off-base housing allowance that will help cover the higher cost of renting in the Northern VA area.
Thanks for the feedback. By new military family I meant my husband just joined the Navy in February - so the Pentagon is his first assignment and this is our first time living on base. He will be E4 status.
We did talk to the housing department and there is housing available. We will find out this weekend what type of units are available when he visits.
It will be really hard to live in this area on an E-4 pay. Definitely try to get on base if possible. Don't worry, the base isn't that confining and it's easy to go on and off. The old units on Belvoir are old, but everything is very safe. The cheaper rents off base are not in great areas. That said, the area around Belvoir is not great, but definitely better than the area around Andrews and the area around Bolling. Push hard to get on base - I don't see how they can expect an E-4 to live off. You may have to get on a waiting list, so get on as soon as you get orders.
Kevbros, I definitely agree that it will be difficult for an E-4 to live off-base in the DC/MD/VA area, even with an housing allowance to off-set the high cost. Getting into base housing on Ft Belvoir, whether it is the older or new housing area, is definitely the best/smart way to go. Maybe it's possible to get on a waiting list to transfer to the newer housing from the older housing area once you move on base. Good Luck with getting Ft Belvoir housing!
We lived on Belvoir about 2 years ago and are back in the area. We decided to buy. What you need to do is start calling about 30 days prior to your arrival and see what is available. I would not recommend living in Woodlawn Village and that is what they will offer you as there is no wait for that area. It is off post housing and just not a nice area IMO. We kept calling and were finally offered a house in Lewis Village which is only about 2 years old. They get notices every day so if you are within a 30 day window they can offer you that. As someone else mentioned the area is very expensive and it would be difficult to live on E4 pay, but, you said you will be working so that is for you to decide. Fort Belvoir is a very nice post and we enjoyed living there we just decided it was time for us to buy and try to stay in the area awhile.
I hope all goes well for you and welcome to the Military!
Thank you everyone for the honest comments. Our sponsor also told us that living on base is just the smartest thing to do for covering the cost of living starting out. We decided to play it safe and we can always look at other options once we are more familiar with the area.
I noticed Woodlawn was the only village that mentioned immediate availablity. What do you mean by off-post exactly?
The housing office told us they would show us multiple units when we visit this weekend. Hopefully if we get stuck in Woodlawn at first, we can at least get on a waiting list for something better.
You could move to Prince William county and slug to the Pentagon. Many military members live in PW county and slug to Pentagon and Crystal City. It is only a 30 min drive on the HOV. or carpool or vanpool to Pentagon.
If you dont know what slugging is, its the NoVa idea to commuting. Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as "Instant Carpooling" or "Casual Carpooling". It's unique because people commuting into the city stop to pickup other passengers even though they are total strangers! However, slugging is a very organized system with its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop-off locations. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it’s FREE! Not only is it free, but it gets people to and from work faster than the typical bus, metro, or train.
locations. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it’s FREE! Not only is it free, but it gets people to and from work faster than the typical bus, metro, or train.
I agree with other posters about living on base. E4 pay won't get you a nice place here. It would force you to live on the south side of the base/post along Rt1 or even further out. But make sure when you visit that you go out the gates on the north side of the base to look at the areas there, Kingstowne and surrounding area. That will give you a different vision for living on base, you will have access to much more than what you see along rt 1. Some people never see that side.
There are also some apts near there that you might be able to afford.
And a little bit of advise from someone who has now moved 12 times (6 states, 4 countries)...enjoy each and every move. We have lived in some real crap places...but look back fondly on each one. Visit everything there is to visit in the area you are stationed, we still spend each weekend doing something, went to Annpolis last weekend, China town and Arlington Cem the week before. And this is our second tour here. There is plenty to do that is free here. Don't be a base rat...someone that stays on base and lives in fear of the rest of the world, whether that is DC or some other country. And enjoy the fact that he is stationed at the Pentagon and not on a ship.
And lastly, thank him for his service...when my husband entered it was a different world...as corny as it is he takes every opportunity to tell those that are entering now how important it is.
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