An inevitable part of military life is moving so it’s nice to have a guide for a smooth transition. Whether this is your first move or your tenth, you will have questions. Many of these questions are the same and you already have an idea of the answers. Some are specific to your next base and require more research. Military life brings enough challenges, so don’t make your next move too stressful by waiting to take action. Begin planning ahead as soon as you receive orders.
As VA Home Loan specialists, we talk every day with clients who are PCSing to Fort Knox. We know just how big this undertaking can be, which is why we created this guide. Our goal is to help get you started on a seamless transition during your move.
Organize The Paperwork
Begin with your PCS binder and gather all of the following paperwork/documents:
- Moving documents (including housing and shipping documents)
- Medical records (this includes veterinary documents too)
- Family records
- School records
We suggest placing physical copies of these items in your binder AND scanning them electronically. This extra step helps immensely if something is accidentally lost or permanently destroyed.
Do You Know Your Entitlements?
Visit Move.mil to learn about your entitlements for the move. Learn the qualifications for extra financial assistance and how to determine if you qualify. This will depend on rank and if you have dependents or not.
Moving Your Stuff – DIY or Military?
What type of move will you have? How many people will be involved in that process? The more people involved the more crucial organization becomes to prevent unnecessary delays.
Military – Schedule your movers at a time when you will be present while they are there. This allows you to politely let the movers know you are keeping a close eye on the process – and them. Be sure to record valuables as another precaution for accidental damage or in case something is stolen.
DIY – The move is your chance to become lighter – toss or give away anything you don’t truly love or truly need at your Fort Knox. Edit as much as possible and pack efficiently. Another reason to DIY? It ensures no one else touches your stuff AND you stick with moving on your timeline.
Keep all records/copies of receipts and documentation regarding the move – you can even take snapshots and store on your phone. You will need them when you submit for reimbursement later. Typical PCS expense allotment will apply.
Should You Sell or Lease Your Home?
Of course, if you are currently renting, look into what happens when you break a lease agreement. If you are not renting, it’s time to decide whether to sell or rent your current home. Research home values and market trends in the area and weigh your own personal preference for this decision.
What Do You Know About Fort Knox?
In a perfect scenario, you would have the opportunity to visit Fort Knox before you move. That’s just not always how military moves take place. Though a smaller installment, most people are familiar with Fort Knox because it features the United States Bullion Depository, which allows no visitors and therefore has a lot of crazy theories about what really happens there.
Rumors aside, there’s a lot to love about living at Fort Knox. Nearby communities in Kentucky include Elizabethtown, Bradenburg, Radcliffe, and Vine Grove. For those who don’t mind a longer commute, Louisville is under an hour away. Cost of living is lower in all of these areas than the national average so many people choose to stay permanently. That means these areas are full of retired and active duty military families.
Find A New Home
Once you have looked into Fort Knox and its surrounding areas, you will need to determine your living situation.
To live on the base you’ll need to contact the housing office at Fort Knox and ask about the wait list. It may take some time for housing to become available and you’ll want to make other arrangements in the meantime.
Prefer to buy a home? Look into the VA Home Loan program to see if this exclusive program is the right fit for you. You may be shocked at how simple and streamlined the process of home ownership is thanks to the VA Home Loan. You can also search for available listings on Military By Owner.
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!