Once you have your orders to Quantico the next thing to do after locking on lodging is decide whether are you buying a home, renting, or going to live in base housing. In the past 15 years we have usually moved to our new duty station to find out that there is a waiting list for us to get into housing and we will need to find something out in town. In these cases we have rented for several months and accepted base housing when it was available. Only once have we arrived to find a house waiting for us and I seriously kept waiting for the shoe to drop because that move from MCB Hawaii to Camp Pendleton was way to easy!! This last duty station, here at Quantico is the 1st time we have bought a home. In all instances some prior planning makes the transition so much easier.
I suggest learning as much about your new duty station as possible. Search the internet for information!!! There is so much out there!! If you plan on living in base housing, call them or check out their website which is listed below. You can find out how their process works. Check on the waiting list for your pay grade. You most likely will get a feel for the housing climate. You can also see what kind of homes are offered. Are they duplexes, apartment style, or single family. Would you want to live in the offered type home? Ask your friends, anyone you know who has been stationed here, what they liked and didn’t like about base housing. People who have had experiences here are a plethora of information. You can ask them about neighborhoods, schools, shopping, whatever it is you feel you might want to know. I remember sitting with a mom of one of my son’s teammates with a map and a highlighter as she showed me neighborhoods and schools she was familiar with. I can not tell you how helpful this was. Ask, ask, ask and learn, learn, learn!! If you find that you need to rent there are search engines that can help you look before you arrive and see at least what is out there.
If you are thinking about buying a home around Quantico the above info about learning as much as you can is double important. You cannot start to early. I started “looking” at homes on the internet about a year out. We found our Realtor not long after that. It is important to build a good relationship with your Realtor and find one who will explain the process to you. Again and again if necessary J.
Once you have your Realtor, keep in touch with then. Let them know what you are looking for but also look yourself. Ones idea of something may not match anothers. They will not “know” you!! If they are a good realtor they will do their best to find a home to suit your needs, but you need to be an active partner in this process. Make a list of homes you like that are on the market. I think our list was about 65-70 houses. All looked pretty gosh darn good online. About 10 or so of them where in a neighborhood that would be so “perfect” for us, as they would be a very short commute for my husband to get to work, which was one of our priorities with all of the horror stories we had heard about Northern VA traffic. They were also the right size, and had the right size lots. Having all those bench marks met, surely our new home would be here. We are so thankful that we arrived at Quantico a couple days before we were to meet with the Realtor and drove around to look at the houses on our list. Once inside this “perfect” neighborhood we realized that it wasn’t even going to be an option for us for various reasons. Right off the bat we marked all of them off our list and many many more!! Our list had shrunk down significantly by the time we hit the road with our Realtor. I can not tell you how much time we saved ourselves . If we would have had the Realtor drive us around to all of the homes we crossed off it would have added days to our search and frustration to our quest to find the right home, for the right price. Not a good thing, added frustration in a stressful time. We learned so much by previewing the homes and neighborhoods. I highly suggest this to anyone who has never lived here before. A picture online speaks a thousand words and is immensely helpful, but it is not the true picture.
So in closing I want to stress again the importance of prior planning. Do your research no matter which housing option you will be using. If you are renting or buying, arrive a couple days early and preview the neighborhoods. This area has a great map of all of the streets. It is fairly easy to navigate if you have an A and B driver. It also provides “bonding time” with your significant other!! Choose wisely who will hold the map and who will hold the wheel J!! Also choose wisely your Realtor. In our case he was the best we could hope for. Remember to ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors about their experiences living near Quantico. You will be glad you did. So far Marine Corps Base Quantico and the surrounding area seem to be a great place to live and raise a family. As always if you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to find answers for you. Below are some helpful links and phone numbers.
This site shows average housing costs, hours of operation, housing allowances, procedures for applying for housing, housing applications, and wait times.
MCB, Quantico Housing Office
13201 Perkins St
Quantico, VA 22134-5047
Ph# 703-784-2711 http://www.quantico.usmc.mil/activi...on=Housing
Great military oriented Realtors. They are also working on a site that lists rentals that you can link to from here.
Ph# 703-754-3036 (office)
877-878-7726 (toll free)
We used this site to looks at for sale homes and rentals.