Are you soon to be on the move to Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, or any of the 5 military installations in the Pike’s Peak region? If so, you are in luck as many consider this one of the most breathtaking parts of the country to live. For those in the military, moving is an inevitable aspect of life. Still, it’s nice to have a guide and aim for a seamless transition if possible. Each move brings questions about moving in general, but also about the specifics of your next military base. There are enough unique challenges with military life, so we recommend keeping your move as smooth as you possibly can. For example, we suggest planning ahead as soon as you receive your orders. We are VA Home Loan specialists here at 1st United Mortgage, and that means we talk every single day with clients who are embarking on their next PCSing journey. We know just how big of an undertaking this can process be and how many things can go amiss unexpectedly. That’s why we created this guide – to help get you transition as smoothly as possible to Colorado Springs.
Step 1: Organize Your Paperwork
First, grab your PCS binder and locate all of the following documents:
- Moving documents (including housing and shipping documents)
- School records
- Medical records (this includes veterinary documents too)
- Family records
Place physical copies of these items in your binder. Then, scan them electronically as well. Too many people overlook this step, but it’s invaluable in the event that something is lost or permanently destroyed during your move. Though you cannot foresee what might go wrong accidentally, you can be prepared to minimize any long term repercussions.
Step 2: Know Your Entitlements
Visit Move.mil and get clarity on your entitlements for this transition. See if you qualify for extra financial assistance, which depends on your rank and whether or not you have dependents.
Step 3: Determine Who’s Moving Your Stuff? DIY or Military
What type of move you will have and how many people will be involved in it? As a general rule of thumb, the more people involved the more potential there is for delays. All the more reason to be organized from the beginning!
- Military – Schedule movers at a time convenient for you where you will be present during the loading/unloading. You will want to be polite but your presence allows you to also keep a close eye on the entire process. Do not forget to document valuables as well in case anything is accidentally damaged or stolen: take photos and make a list that includes the value of each important item.
- DIY – Now is the time to get rid of anything that you don’t truly love or truly need, so pare down as much as possible and pack efficiently. Some prefer a DIY move simply because no one else touches your belongings that way. It also keeps the moving process on your timeline.
In either care, keep ALL copies of receipts and documentation that are move-related. You will submit for reimbursement later and typical PCS expense allotment will apply.
Step 4: Decide If You Should Sell or Lease Your Home
If you are not currently renting, you’ll need to decide if you prefer to sell or rent your existing home. Home value, market trends and personal preference can all impact this decision. If you are currently renting, you will need to notify your landlord of your move date.
Step 5: Research Your Base And Colorado Springs
Even if you do not get the opportunity to visit the base before the move, you can learn a lot about the base and surrounding areas by researching online. There are many things people love about being stationed here. For starters, the climate here is mild and the school districts are well regarded.
There is also a VERY strong military presence here, which makes the area extremely supportive and full of easy to access amenities. If you’re considering a career as a contractor, you can find licensing requirements and courses online. Another thing that almost everyone can agree on is the natural beauty in and around Colorado Springs. From Pike’s Peak to Rocky Mountain National Park, there is no shortage of outdoor day trips to take to explore the great outdoors.
Step 6: Find A New Home
Once you have researched the area, it’s time to plan your next living situation. If you think you want to live on the base, contact the appropriate housing office to get on the waiting list. It may take some time for housing to become available and you’ll want to make other arrangements in the meantime. If you plan to buy a home, consider using the VA Home Loan program, which is a popular choice for many in the armed forces to realize the American dream of homeownership. You may be shocked at how simple and streamlined the process of home ownership is thanks to the VA Home Loan program. If you think you’d like to learn more about VA Home Loans and how to qualify, contact one of our VA Home Loan specialists today!