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PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base | Florida

Military life often comes with the promise of constant change. Most service members hit the road after every two or three years. If you have yet to receive permanent change of station orders, you will. Responding to this call can be intimidating and confusing if you fail to prepare.

A PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base shouldn't always spell doom for military officers. Receiving these orders could be an invitation to an adventure.

You only need to master the basics and then work with installation relocation specialists for a streamlined process. This comprehensive guide can help you navigate your PCS with ease.

What does the PCS Move Entail

After receiving your orders to complete a PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base, take your time to start planning for the move. Seek to understand the process and your command's expectations. It would also help if you knew the resources available to you.

When you receive permanent change of station orders, expect a longer-term assignment lasting between two to four years. Remember that there are different PCS orders, each with unique rules and regulations.

Depending on your orders, you'll move to the continental United States or outside the U.S.

CONUS move

If you receive a CONUS move, you'll have two options to go about the move.

Let the military handle the move

You could link up with a Transportation Service Provider (TSP) who'll pack your belongings and take care of the move. The government arranges for packing and shipment once you place a request with U.S. Transportation Command. This option offers more convenience as you only need to schedule the move.

Remember to confirm weight restrictions before you start the move. Also, inquire about the limits you can include in the household goods shipment.

Complete a personally procured move

If you prefer handling your stuff, proceed with a personally procured move. With this loan option, the government will reimburse you for 95% of what it would have spent on the move.

Usually, the military will determine your allowance by weight. You can keep the difference if you move for less than what the military would spend.

The PPM also offers you more control over your moving schedule - you can choose your moving dates.


You'll have an OCONUS move if you receive orders to move overseas. Administrative weight restrictions will depend on where you're going.

Fortunately, you'll receive a regular allowance for storing your goods in the continental U.S. Remember that there are other restrictions on items, as some host countries don't allow alcohol importation or personal possession of firearms.

Your PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base orders will also include essential information about your entitlements and authorizations. While coordinating the move, keep a copy of your orders.

Preparing for A PCS Move

Are you ready to complete your PCS at NAS Key West Navy Base? Here are key steps you could follow to enjoy a streamlined move.

Contact your Transportation Office

Once you receive your PCS orders, reach out to your Transportation Office to schedule your move. Contacting your TO early on increases your chances of organizing the move on your desired dates.

During your appointment with the Transportation Office, ask about your moving options before making arrangements for the PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base.

Determine your Weight Allowance

You'll need to know how much weight you can move to decide which belongings you'll carry. Figuring out your weight allowance also helps you to see if you'll get rid of anything or store other household goods elsewhere.

Contact a family center at your new station

Get in touch with a family center to make the most of relocation assistance programs. You'll receive adequate moving information along with knowledge about the new community. Partnering with a family center also helps you get ready to settle your children.

Plan for your pets

In most instances, the government will allow you to move with your pets. However, you'll need to arrange how you'll transport live animals. If you experience difficulty transporting your pets, consider finding them a new home.

Make arrangements for privately owned vehicles

Typically, the government covers shipping costs for privately owned vehicles for OCONUS moves. You would also receive financing to store your vehicle stateside.

On the other hand, CONUS moves won't cover car shipment charges. Therefore, you'll need to decide what to do if you have a POV.

Document your Household Goods' Conditions

Create an inventory for the valuable items you'll move. This list should include things like heirlooms and artwork. Consider taking pictures or videos of your items before the move.

Prepare for the movers

There are specific things you could do to guarantee a seamless PCS to the NAS Key West Navy base. Spare time to empty or clean your refrigerator before your movers arrive. You'd also want to remove any wall mountings to help expedite your move.

Review your Inventory

Ensure that you are present during the move to ensure that the movers wrap and load everything correctly. Once you get to your station, check every item before signing off. You want your movers to stay before you can account for every item in your inventory.

Personally Procured Moves

Do you prefer to organize your move? Consider settling for the personally procured move (PPM). With this option, you won't require military moving services to complete your move. Remember that you'll take charge of all the planning and communication that the military would have handled.

Before this move, you'll need approval from your Transportation Office. Once you're ready, you could rent portable moving and storage containers for your move. Alternatively, a rental truck or trailer could serve you well. You'll have very little to worry about if you have a trailer.

While planning your PCS to KAS Key West Navy Base, you can choose between one move option and the other. You could opt to combine military moving services with a personally procured move.

Organizing the Move

Do you need guidance about handling personal property during the move? While planning the move, knowing the resources at your disposal is always helpful. The Military OneSource Moving Your Property page has all your required resources in a convenient location.

You'll find entitlement brochures and FAQs about shipping your household goods here. The resource also has important customer service contacts, packing guides, and tips. Also, check out the Defense Personal Property System for more guidance.

You could also manage your PCS to KAS Key West Navy Base using customized checklists from the Plan My Move tool. Ensure that you answer the questions accurately to build a customized checklist. This online tool also lets you create and organize your move. With this tool, you'll have an easier time keeping up with essential to-dos as you proceed with your PCS.

Relocation Resources

Besides resources to organize your move, you'll also find handy relocation assistance. These resources are worthwhile before, during, and after your highly-anticipated move. Your installation's Relocation Assistance Program offers sufficient information to guide your move to your new duty station.

Look out for pre-departure briefings and newcomer orientations. You'll also find helpful information regarding job opportunities, school liaisons, and child care. You could also look to the Military Installations website for more guidance. Access information about check-in processes, temporary housing, and the surrounding community.

At this point, you'd also want to gather sufficient information regarding your new base. A military sponsor from your unit could help you in this regard. Typical sponsors will be service members of similar family make-up and rank. You'd want to explore the Blog Brigade site for insider moving tips and insights.

House model and real estate agent talking with buyer about home purchase

PCS Allowances

Typically, the government covers most costs associated with your move. You could either receive these travel allowances before the move or get a travel card that helps you deal with the high cost of moving.

Standard travel allowances include:

Personal & Dependent Travel

The government usually provides a transportation allowance when you move from one station to the next. Expect to get a government vehicle, a ticket for a common carrier, or travel money.

You could also receive per diem payments whenever you travel. You'll receive specific amounts for meals and lodgings. Besides, the government has also set aside some cash for each authorized travel day between locations.

Household Goods and Vehicle Shipment

You could ship your belongings to your new station during your PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base. You'll have a specific weight limit depending on your rank and family status.

The government also provides authorization to ship personal vehicles if a service member will be relocating out of the country.

Dislocation Allowance

You are likely to incur some expenses during relocation. Typical costs include consumables and utility deposits that can eat into your savings.

The government offers a dislocation allowance that helps to reimburse you for some of these expenses partially. The amount you receive depends on your rank and family status.

Temporary Lodging Reimbursement

While house hunting, you might live in temporary quarters. DOD usually offers partial reimbursement for the additional costs incurred during this stage.

The House Hunting Process

Your PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base will only be complete if you go through the house-hunting process. Finding a new home can add some excitement to these frequent moves.

Here are some tips that can ease the house-hunting process.

Work on a Budget

Create a realistic budget based on what you can afford. While you'll receive a Basic Allowance for Housing, the amount usually depends on your location, dependency status, and pay grade. Consider getting a mortgage pre-approval to know how much you can comfortably afford.

The goal of creating your budget is to ensure you spend your money wisely. Besides, a realistic budget is essential in creating financial well-being, given that no one wants to live beyond their means. An ideal budget should also resonate with your financial goals. Do you want to create an emergency fund, tackle debt, or create an investment scheme? If yes, then create a home budget that reflects these goals.

Your budget should also factor in your new station's utility and commuting costs.

Perform a Need-Based Search

While house-hunting, ensure that you are clear about your needs for the new home. At this point, you'd want to set the record straight regarding where you prefer to stay. Also, consider determining the amenities you'll need in your new home.

Let your lifestyle preferences dictate what your ideal home will look like. Ideally, work proactively to find a home that works best for you. Try also matching your needs to your budget as you hunt for your new home.

You could also create a checklist of what you want in your new home. Once you begin your search, the chances are that you'll look to compare different homes.

Work with Experts

If you're moving long distances, it will help if you partner with real estate agents. Professionals will help you ease through the real estate market while making sound decisions. Besides, these agents can help you settle in the best neighborhoods.

Remember that you need to learn everything about the area. Consider everything that'll impact your comfort and property value, especially if you dive into homeownership—ask the real estate agents about the home's proximity to your base or post.

Keep your young ones in the loop

Leaving behind friends and heading to new schools are not always pleasant experiences. Ensure that your kids participate in this process to make the transition more manageable. Remember that your PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base will also affect your children.

Ask your children for their opinion on different decisions to help reduce their stress and anxiety during this period. If they're too young to share their thoughts and ideas, find a property close to kid-friendly community centers and recreation parks.

Keep Tabs on your Favorite Homes

Once you go out on the search, remember to keep track of homes that catch your eye. Save your favorite listing and review the houses as you continue your hunt. If you find homes that meet your specifications, consider scheduling open houses.

Living off Base

Do you need some space from the military community? Are you looking to save some money from your BAH potentially? Then, consider living off base once you get to Key West Navy Base.

Living off base allows you to create relationships with people not affiliated with the military. You'll still be able to participate in on-base activities. If you choose to live off base, you could find a home within your housing allowance. This option lets you save part of the money you receive from the government.

Besides, you'll have a broader selection of housing options. First, you can choose neighborhoods that suit you. Also, you get to decide the amenities you prefer.

If you want to invest in real estate, don't think twice about living off base. There's no doubt that you can't buy privatized military housing. When you receive your next PCS orders, you'll decide whether to sell or lease the home.

The 5 Best Places to Live Around Key West Navy Base

The Key West area offers tropical weather all year round and beautiful scenery, making it a suitable place to call home. There's plenty to do when you're off duty, including cycling, fishing, and boat riding.

You'll also get a decent distance from the hustle and bustle of inland Florida. Here are the top places to set camp if you live off base.

Casa East (Casa Marina)

Casa East is an ideal location for anyone looking for a laid-back community. You'll find lots of shops and attractions here. The homes offer privacy, while the walking and biking trails let you wind down easily.

Sunset Marina

Sunset Marina will suit families that need to settle in quickly. You'll find a private condominium complex with multiple community areas like the clubhouse and boat slips.

Enjoy incredible water views from the comfort of your condo that may be available for short- or long-term rental.

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach has something for everyone, regardless of your family's size. The area has multiple housing options, including condos, apartments, and homes. You'll also have unmatched beachfront access.

New Town

Enjoy a modern and quiet vibe in New Town. Choose from the wide variety of private homes that give you quick access to essential amenities.

If you find a historic home, the chances are that they'll include pools, enclosed gardens, and large lots. Besides, New Town lets you reach other communities easily.

Sigsbee Park

Choose from townhome-style houses and bedroom duplexes when you settle in Sigsbee Park. The homes here give you quick access to community playgrounds, a splash park, and the elementary school.

Plan Ahead

Do you want to settle down seamlessly? Plan well ahead of time. Also, consider working with experienced movers to guide you throughout your PCS to NAS Key West Navy Base, Florida.

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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