Pros: -no utility bill-this is the reason we chose to move on base- we were paying a lot out of pocket for utilities -don't have to worry about limited trash -when things break, housing maintenance is good about fixing things. -easier to network since there is a whole suburb of people that are pretty much the same demographic as you -tons of playgrounds. From my front door, I can walk 5 minutes to 4 different playgrounds
Cons: -may end up with smaller house/apartment than you can get off base, depending on your OHA -may end up in an apartment -if you're in an apartment, you may have noisy, inconsiderate neighbors -may have to deal with gangs of roving gangs of unattended children - you may have slower internet connection. Although the rental we had didn't even have a phone line to it (landlord lied)so we had to use a super-slow USB stick -you're living in closer quarters since there a lot of people living in a small area -have a harder time experiencing real village life
But things I listed as pros/cons may be a different view to another person.
We aren't military so I'm not used to and never expected to live in a foreign country. When hubby got a job offer in Germany I was excited but scared. Base housing wasn't an option which made me more than a bit nervous. We ended up living there for almost 1 1/2 years off base and I wouldn't change it for the world. Even though we lived in a very Americanized area we were still able to experience all the things about living in Germany that I don't think would have been available if we lived on base. Our kids were a bit older (7th and 4th grades) and being able to give them that experience made any minor inconvenience disappear.
I can't even really remember what I was so nervous about orignially. I just remember that I was nervous. By living off base we could walk to German stores, meet more German people, discover places we never would have known about otherwise (Pizzeria Da Nino in Miesenbach!) and just had an amazing time.
One thing you may want to consider is that if your wife is not going to be working and home with the new baby, being on base might be a little easier on her. Not saying she won't like living off base, but I have seen it happen a few times that the wife just felt isolated and lonely because there wasn't anybody around for her to connect with.
Just something to consider. I don't really advocate living on base personally, but I have a few friends that do and they are happy, even in stairwell housing.
So, it just depends. Living off base is great, in my opinion.
how things go on-base depends a lot on your neighbors but it can be the same off base if you have to live in an apartment. personally, i would live off base. i only lived on-base 2 times in 24 years, once was money related and the other was amount of snow the location gets in the winter.
twinmamma gives a good list of pros and cons but those situation are different depending on where you live.
the only thing i can say about out of pocket costs for utilities is it could be a lack of control on usage. unless things have changed you get a utility allowance. i've never received the allowance but it should cover your utilities. notice the SHOULD. with the stupid fast increases in oil prices the last few years this cost has gotten out of hand. the only way to keep it partly under control is to control your thermostat. i'd rather be a little cold than pay a fortune to the gas company!
i personally would never live on base here . the apartments are just too small for my hubby and three fur babies . and i have way to much stuff in my craft room so i know thats wouldnt work lol. we got a awesome deal off base and i wouldnt trade at all but other ppl are diffent .