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PCS to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base | Florida

Moving to a new location can be both exciting and overwhelming. If you're considering a PCS to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base in Florida, you're probably wondering how to make the transition as smooth as possible. Worry no more! We're here to help you.

We will discuss everything you need to know about your upcoming move, from what it's like living off base to the house-hunting process and the best places to live around the base.

This blog post will give you all the information you need to make your PCS to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base successful. Read on to learn more!

What is a Permanent Change of Station?

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is the term used to describe when United States military members move from one duty station to another. A PCS move often involves a change in location from one state or country to another.

The PCS process can be an exciting and stressful experience for service members and their families, but with some preparation and understanding, it can be a smooth transition.

When transferring to a new station, many details must be considered. These may include housing arrangements, transportation, financial planning, and school enrollment for dependents. PCS moves also involve official paperwork, such as travel orders, claiming expenses for relocation costs, and filing for military entitlements.

The House-hunting Process When PCS-ing to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base, Florida

House-hunting in Florida can be daunting, especially if you're new to the area. To make the process easier, we've put together a list of seven tips to help you find the perfect home for your family.

From researching the local area to ensuring you know the local housing market, we'll cover everything you need to know about the house-hunting process when PCS-ing to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base.

Consider Your Must-haves and Create a Budget

When it comes to house-hunting, the first step is to know what you want and have a budget. Before you even begin searching for a home in the ISC Miami Coast Guard Base area, make sure you know what type of home you're looking for in your target area.

Do you need something close to the base? Are you looking for a single-family home, a condo, an apartment, or something smaller? Consider all your needs before beginning your search.

Once you've figured out what type of home you're looking for, it's essential to create a budget and stick to it. Research housing prices in the area and determine an amount you feel comfortable spending. Remember to include the cost of maintenance and utilities when creating your budget.

Consider Your Commute

The commute between your potential home and the ISC Miami Coast Guard Base is one of the most critical considerations when house-hunting. Generally, depending on where you choose to live, it can take time to get to the base on time for duty each day.

Here are a few tips to help make your commute smoother and more efficient:

  • Research driving routes before selecting a home. Observe the traffic patterns, construction, and other factors that might impact your drive. Drive the routes yourself at different times of day to get an idea of how long it takes.

  • Consider if you can carpool with a fellow service member or friend. Not only will it cut down on fuel and parking costs, but it's also a great way to meet new people and make friends.

  • Check if public transportation options like buses, trains, and light rail systems exist. The Miami-Dade Transit website has information about routes, schedules, and fares so you can determine which option works best for you.

  • Look for neighborhoods close to the base. If you can choose a home near ISC Miami Coast Guard Base, it'll significantly reduce your commuting time and hassle.

  • Map out bike routes from your potential homes to the base. This could be a great way to exercise while reducing your commute time—and it's free!

  • Check if you can take advantage of local car-sharing programs like Zipcar or Car2Go. They allow you to rent cars for short periods to get to and from the base without owning your vehicle.

Start Your Search Early

The sooner you start looking for a house, the better. The more time you give yourself to search, the more options you'll have to choose from. Plus, this will give you time to weigh your options and make a well-informed decision.

Start your search by researching the local area and learning about any housing restrictions specific to ISC Miami. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the market rate for housing in the area and look into average utility costs and any incentives or discounts offered by local landlords.

Next, compile a list of potential properties to visit. Don't limit your search to online listings only, as there may be some homes that haven't been listed yet.

Utilize Online Resources

One of the best ways to start your search is by using a local housing website or app. These websites and apps will provide detailed listings of homes for rent or sale near ISC Miami Coast Guard Base.

You'll be able to view pictures, read reviews, compare prices, and even get directions to the property. This will help you narrow your search and find the perfect place for your family.

Use a Real Estate Agent

You can also take advantage of local real estate agents to help you with your search. Real estate agents can answer questions and provide helpful tips on making the most of your house-hunting experience. They can also provide valuable insight into the local housing market, so you can ensure you're getting the best deal possible.

A real estate agent has access to listings that you won't find online and can give you inside information on different neighborhoods and available properties. When choosing a real estate agent, ensure they're familiar with the area and understand your needs. Ask them how long they've been in the business and how many military clients they've had.

Visit and Inspect Each Property

It's essential to ensure that the property you choose for your family is the best fit. The best way to do this is to inspect each potential property thoroughly. Here are some tips for an effective house-hunting process:

  • Ensure you know what amenities and features you're looking for in a home, such as size, location, parking, and more. This will help you narrow down your choices.

  • Take pictures or videos of each property so you can compare them later.

  • Ask questions about the neighborhood and surrounding area. Are there any parks, shops, or restaurants nearby? How close is it to the base?

  • Check the overall condition of the home. Are there any major repairs or improvements needed?

  • Test out the plumbing and electrical systems. Check all the faucets and light switches, and turn on all the appliances.

  • Inspect the floors and walls for signs of wear and tear or mold.

  • Open the windows and doors to see if they open and close properly.

  • Ask about heating, cooling, water, and energy bills to ensure that you can afford to maintain the home.

You can do the home inspections or hire a professional home inspector to give their expert opinions about your target property. A professional home inspector can help you uncover hidden issues like mold, foundation problems, poor-quality painting, roofing issues, water damage, and more.

Know Your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

When PCSing to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base, it's essential to know the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to understand what kind of housing you can afford. BAH is an allowance given to military members to help offset housing costs when assigned to a new duty station. The amount of BAH you receive is based on your rank, location, and whether you have dependents.

Knowing your BAH rate can help you decide where to look for housing. You may want to find a place that falls within your estimated BAH rate, or you may choose to look for a place that costs a little bit more and adjust your budget accordingly. Knowing your BAH rate before house-hunting will also help ensure you spend your money wisely.

House model and key in real estate agent hand

What It's Like to Live Off Base

Whether you're looking for a taste of traditional Miami culture or a break from the hustle and bustle of life on base, living off base can be a significant venture. Living in a civilian community as a military member provides some exciting opportunities and experiences you won't find living on base.

Below, we'll take a closer look at what it's like to live off-base when stationed at ISC Miami Coast Guard Base in Florida.

Housing Options

Various housing options are available, from purchasing a house to renting an apartment or cottage and living in a hotel or resort. Many military members consider renting or buying affordable homes in one of Miami's many neighborhoods, such as South Beach, Downtown, or Little Havana. Purchasing a house allows you to customize your living space and have more control over your day-to-day life.

If you're looking for something with more amenities, there are also luxury buildings offering pools, fitness centers, and other services. Most rentals are available for short-term or long-term leases, so you can easily customize your living arrangements to fit your lifestyle and budget.

The Cost of Living

Before deciding, it's essential to consider the cost of living in the local area. By researching rent prices, utilities, transportation, food, and entertainment expenses in the local area, you can make an informed decision about your living arrangements.

When it comes to renting, most people living off-base opt for apartments or condos due to their affordability. It's important to remember that to find the best rates, you must shop around and compare different neighborhoods and communities. There are other costs associated with living off base. Utilities can vary monthly depending on usage, and transportation can also be expensive depending on whether you own a car or need to take public transportation.

The price of groceries varies from store to store, so it's important to look for places where you can get the most bang for your buck. Some supermarkets offer discounts on various days; this is a great time to go shopping since many stores will also have specials available.

Food trucks are another option if you're looking for lunch on the go or quick dinners after work; they usually serve everything from hot dogs to sushi rolls. If cooking isn't your thing, don't worry! There are many restaurants nearby, too - but ensure what you order won't break the bank (especially drinks!).

It would be best to consider entertainment expenses when budgeting for living off-base. With Miami being such an exciting city, there's always something fun to do! From cultural events to beach days and bar hopping, entertainment options are endless, but it's important to note that these activities can add up quickly.

The School System

One of the main benefits of living off base is access to the area's excellent school system. Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) provides quality education to over 357,000 students. The district operates 392 schools with approximately 19,400 teachers, in addition to several magnet programs, charter schools, adult and vocational educational centers, and alternative education centers.

Whether they want to pursue a college preparatory path or a career-ready program, the school district offers many choices. At MDCPS, students can take advantage of specialized programs and curricula designed to meet their academic needs. With a vast selection of clubs and extracurricular activities, students can explore their interests outside the classroom.

The Healthcare Facilities

Fortunately, there are numerous healthcare providers for those who live off base in the greater Miami area. There are many options for getting quality medical care, from large hospitals with full-service emergency departments to smaller urgent care clinics. For those seeking primary care, there are a variety of private clinics and physicians' offices in the area.

Additionally, many local pharmacies offer convenient walk-in clinics where patients can get primary medical care and treatments—several highly reputable clinics for specialized services such as mental health care or addiction treatment.

The 5 Best Places to Live Around ISC Miami Coast Guard Base, Florida

If you're looking for a great place to call home near the ISC Miami Coast Guard Base in Florida, we're here to help you! The guide below will share the best places to live near the base, offering excellent access to activities, attractions, and amenities.

Whether looking for a laid-back beachside lifestyle or something more urban, you'll find something to suit your needs in the following guide.

South of Fifth (SoFi)

South of Fifth (SoFi) is a vibrant neighborhood located south of Miami's city center, just minutes from the ISC Miami Coast Guard Base. The neighborhood has plenty of dining spots, shopping options, and activities for residents to enjoy. With its convenient location and proximity to the beach, SoFi is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Miami Beach, Florida.

The area is known for its luxury condominiums and high-rise towers, many of which feature breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and the nearby beaches. The median home listing price in South of Fifth is $1,005,000. Most of these homes are "Hot Homes," meaning they sell quickly.

Key Biscayne

Located just south of downtown Miami and only a short drive from the Base, Key Biscayne offers an array of amenities and attractions. Residents can enjoy gorgeous beaches, various shopping and dining options, and outstanding recreational opportunities like fishing and kayaking. Key Biscayne also boasts some of the best schools in the state, including MAST Academy and The Village Green Elementary School.

The home value in Key Biscayne is $1,678,329, and values have increased by 28.2% from last year. Generally, Key Biscayne has a wide range of home prices, with most starting around $500,000. Most homes on the island have at least one bedroom and one bathroom.

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is a vibrant and charming community that offers many great amenities, like easy access to downtown Miami, world-class shopping, top-notch restaurants, and plenty of entertainment options. Living in Coconut Grove also offers you the convenience of being close to many excellent schools and universities, so it's a great option for families.

The neighborhood is also filled with unique boutiques, galleries, and antique stores, making it the ideal place to explore. The home value in Coconut Grove, Miami, is $1,139,455, and the values have increased by 37.5% from last year.

Golden Beach

Located just a few minutes from the ISC Miami Coast Guard Base, Golden Beach is an ideal place to live for anyone stationed at the base. Golden Beach offers gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife, and easy access to a large city's amenities. The area is home to various outdoor activities, including swimming, kayaking, fishing, and sailing.

Golden Beach boasts excellent schools, so your children will be well cared for academically. Additionally, you'll find great neighborhoods with beautiful waterfront homes and open spaces to enjoy some of the world's best sunsets right out back. The home value in Golden Beach, Florida, is $6,281,401, and the values have increased by 26.9% from last year.

Little Havana

Little Havana is a vibrant, historic community full of colorful buildings, restaurants, and Cuban-influenced culture. You'll find a variety of shops and restaurants offering classic Cuban dishes like ropa vieja and arroz con pollo.

Little Havana is conveniently located near the base and other parts of Miami. The area is well connected via public transportation, so you can easily access the rest of the city. The median home price in Little Havana is $540,000, which has increased by 116% from last year.

Bottom Line

If you're planning to relocate to ISC Miami Coast Guard Base in Florida, the transition can be an exciting yet daunting experience, but it doesn't have to be. Preparing yourself beforehand will ensure that your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) process is swift and successful.

Do your research and ask around to understand the paperwork, timing, housing, budgeting, and more to help make your move as smooth as possible.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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