How to House Hunt During PCS Season

I’m feeling homesick for Italy. As of today, we’ve been back in America for eight months (how has it been that long??), and I’m really missing the lifestyle out there. I miss the markets, the ability to travel so easily to another country; I miss our pizzeria and the gelateria down the street; I miss our crazy neighbor and her cats. To be perfectly honest, living there feels like it was a dream.

I shouldn’t have done this, but just for the heck of it, I went to look at our Italian home. I signed back into AHRN.com, did a little search and BAM, I found our home again. I don’t know why it’s still available—it’s prime real estate in such a fantastic little town—but it is. The house had a few quirks that could be off-putting right off the bat: hard to find (it’s tucked away just off one of the main streets), nestled in the middle of an apartment complex (they never bothered us), could use a coat of paint (photo doesn’t make it look all that appealing), but once you actually see inside, it’s perfection (well, it was for us, anyway). I’m so glad we didn’t give up on that house and judge it by its cover, because we loved it, and I owe it all to AHRN for finding it, because it helped us hit every single one of our must-have items for a home.

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From the day we arrived, we only had 10 days to house hunt, which is a daunting task when you’re talking about finding a home without a car, dealing with culture shock, and moving to a completely new area. Luckily, I was on AHRN months before we moved out there, and I scoured that site until I knew it like the back of my hand.

Their search feature lets you save custom searches for future visits, which is invaluable when you’ll be on there often. It also lets you include useful search items like, if a place is pet friendly, what sort of amenities the house offers (dishwasher, gas/electric stove, garage, etc.) It also has a new feature called RentSmart that lets you see how the rent works with your BAH amounts, so you can make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

When we moved out there, we used the customized search feature, which was such a time saver, but since then, they’ve gone one step further and now users have a housing profile. Basically, you input your wants and needs (number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.), how much you want to spend on rent, and more, and it sorts through homes in the database to show you exactly what’s available. Perfecto!

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The best part is that the site isn’t just for OCONUS moves, you can use it for US-based duty stations, too. When we found out we were coming back to Georgia, I jumped back on AHRN.com and started searching the area for a new place to live. We weren’t sure if our home (that we put up for rent) would be available by the time we got back, so I got to virtually house hunt all over again. While I didn’t have to follow through with the search once we arrived in GA (our renters moved out and we got our house back), it was fun to look at new home prospects for a little bit.

As PCS season is upon us, if you’re moving—even stateside—check out AHRN.com. They even have a new blog with fun decor inspiration for your new home and helpful tips from those who have been there and done that (many, many times), and while you’re at it, like them on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and follow their Pinterest boards for the latest news, fun facts, and up-to-date info about all things regarding moving.

How do you search for a new home when you move? Have you had any luck using AHRN.com?

*This post was sponsored by AHRN.com, but everything I wrote is my own opinion and from our experience. It is also my own opinion that if you’re affiliated with the military and don’t have an account with AHRN.com, you should probably get one right now!

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4 Comments

  1. We used AHRN to search for a house when we got to Aviano, but we ended finding our place through word of mouth. I had no idea we could use it back Stateside too. I'll definitely be hitting that up when we PCS.

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