My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Good News & some resources

Finally a tad bit of good news amongst the chaos.  We're staying here for 2 more weeks than originally planned, thus wiping out our previous housing rent issues.  But it's rather ridiculous how we lucked out into staying 2 more weeks.  After housing basically refused to speak with us anymore on the matter, hubby decided to go to his boss.  And here's the pathetic part - his boss decided to change his orders instead of just calling housing.  I have a feeling that it wasn't the first time that someone had approached him with the same issue, and I guess it was easier to just change hubby's orders than to speak to housing.  I'm so grateful for the extension, but seriously...how pathetic is the fact that military orders are bending around military housing...and not the other way around?  It's pretty sad, but I'm not complaining too much since we do get 2 extra weeks now.  I just feel sorry for everyone before and after us that have been sucked into the same hole but didn't have such a nice (or resourceful) boss, and I really do wish I could have done something to change housing's attitude so this would never happen again to someone.  But right now, I've got bigger fish to fry.

Today it's official that we did not get the house we offered on.  Not really a blow or shock to me, considering we weren't expecting to get it anyway.  But I have already found another agent, and as soon as I'm done with this post I've got a few houses to look at.  Obviously, buying a house isn't something you can do online or over the phone, but the point is to narrow the field down before we even get there, so hopefully we'll be able to be in a house within a few weeks. 

Just to respond some comments quickly - we do have a year lease, and the orders allow us to break the year lease without penalty but not the 30-day notice.  We do have a DLA, and travel advances, but the problem with tapping into those allowances to cover things like pointless rent is not exactly a good idea - considering that money is given to you for a purpose.  For example, the DLA is supposed to help out with any security deposits that you'll incur in a new place.  And travel advances are so you can pay for hotels on the way there, and gas, because they do understand that not everyone has money to front.  Since we are buying a house, we could technically tap into our DLA without feeling the pain afterwards, but the problem is that we'll be in a short-term rental, and will still have to provide a deposit.

And I thought I'd just take a quick moment to share some of the resources that I've found so far, in case anyone else out there ever needs it:

PCS/Relocation Allowances FAQ - all you ever wanted to know (and then some) about available allowances

Navy Housing OneStop - technically for housing, but you will find all other gems of information on here about your area from schools to childcare.  They also have nice little calculators to help with money matters.

Operation Homefront - provides emergency assistance and morale to troops, and also sponsors some fun community programs.  We haven't used any of their services or been to any of their events yet, but they've been a great resource in providing some vital phone numbers and suggestions.
 
Military Moving Station - will set you up with an experienced real estate agent to help you either buy/sell a home.  These agents have worked with military in the past, so it's great not having to explain every single bloody thing.  Not only that, but you have a coordinator that will keep in touch after the referral is made to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Military Homefront - look up any and everything you ever wanted to know about your destination base.  I mean, their phone directory is so complete I have the phone number to the flower shop and McDonald's. 

Guardian Angels for Soldiers' Pet - a great organization that fosters pets for deployed military members or families in an emergency hardship situation.  There is no cost (beyond regular pet car such as food or vet bills) to the military member.  I mean...how great is this?  It's bad enough that these people are basically dropping their lives to go fight for us...they shouldn't be forced to abandon their pet at a shelter to possibly die. 

Thank you so much to those of you that have offered your help and support during this time.  I really appreciate it.  Hopefully, no one else ever has to go through a move from hell.  Moves are hard, but it's a part of military life that we're prepared for.  Moves from HELL, on the other hand, are a different story.  But hopefully these resources will be able to help someone else out. 

1 comment:

Ginger said...

A sigh of relief from me over here for you and your family. As for finding a house over the Internet...we did! So there is hope. The important part is to work diligently with your agent. We would critique houses we liked the most. Point to things in pictures, styles, fence, yard and anything else. We had a fantastic agent and she nailed it with all of my lists of priorties, likes, dislikes. I HIGHLY suggest you use Google Earth to get a good look at your neighbors. You can tell if they have yards full of junk, do a virtual "drive by" and so much more now that really helps.

I can't stand sirens so Google Earth helped me filter out hospitals, fire stations, community weather alert sirens, school zones, high traffic areas and being in areas that were apparently decaying. It's nice to know if you are under a flight pattern to the airport too!

Use zillow.com for comparables. Google the address to find other nuggets of info.

If you were only going to El Paso, TX. I'd make you a DEAL on this one!!!! http://www.elpasoidx.com/listing.php?mls=364196&site_id=270

Keep hanging in and holding on...better days are coming. You just learned a lot of lessons and can now help many others through your trials and tribulations.

I'm proud of you and sounds like hubby did the right thing going to his commander about the housing issues. It is more and more apparent to me that our entire government needs overhauled.

Continued prayers for you and the family...

Ginger

 
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