So technically we didn't "hunt" for any houses here, we merely chose between two different options the military gave us. Housing on Okinawa for all bases and branches is a little unique because all service members and their dependents are required to live on base unless housing capacity reaches 98%. When we arrived housing was teetering around 95%, which meant that we would definitely be on base. We were actually happy to hear this news because even though we'd get more of a cultural experience living in town, it's honestly just way more convenient being on base. We wouldn't have to worry about utilities,BAH or a long commute for Ben. A number of different factors affected what houses we were shown including rank, number of dependents, and proximity to work i.e. the "work where you live" policy.
Before you look at our housing selections let me first give you a bit of backstory, houses here on Okinawa are made out of concrete to withstand both typhoons and the wear and tear that comes with ocean-side living. From what I understand, military housing in-and-of itself isn't that pretty to begin with either, so with these factors combined you can hopefully understand the rather "bleak" appearances of both dwellings. Not to worry though, once we move in this Friday Ben and I are already planning to make some big changes to our place to make it feel more "homey". Although we are at the liberty of government furniture (which is actually better than it sounds) I believe that with some TLC we can make our first apartment together a comfortable home.
House #1: A 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom duplex on Camp Lester
House #2: A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on Camp Foster
Ultimately we had to go with the apartment on foster, the duplex was nice, however, it was situated in an area that regularly gets swarmed with mosquitoes. Not to mention, we didn't want to have to deal with the maintenance that comes with owning a yard. The apartment was also located much closer to Ben's work and it had a better "flow" and more updated bathrooms. We knew as soon as we stepped into the apartment that it was "the one". Unfortunately, we will have to anxiously wait to move-in for these next four days. Until then we can only hope that our belongings arrive soon....
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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