Living overseas has its challenges, and a commonly agreed upon one is finding that perfect place to live. To help those of us who are curious about the different options for living on Okinawa, readers have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about on-base housing. If you live in an on-base house that has not yet been featured on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.
Here’s a great link to access, too, if you’re on the fence as to whether to live on-base or off-base.
CONTRIBUTED BY ALLISON
What military base is your home located on? Camp McTureous
What area of the island is your home located on (i.e. North Island, Central Island, South Island)? Central Island
What is the name of your neighborhood in which your home is located? Camp McTureous Old housing
Generally speaking, most on-base homes are approved for occupancy based on military or government rank. If you would like, please provide the range of ranks that your home is approved for? Most of the families that live in the 2 bedroom houses on McT are the lower enlisted service members or the families with only 1 child or no children at all. Although E-7 and above do rate a 3 bedroom, sometimes they will get put into a 2 bedroom if they only have one child and there are no 3 bedrooms available.
What DODDS school district is your home attached to? Is there a school bus system available?Elementary: Bechtel Elementary (McT) – no bus service
Middle: Ryukyu Middle School (Kadena) – bus service available
High: Kubasaki High School (Foster) – bus service available
Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, level of safety, friendly neighbors, spacious, etc.) Our neighborhood is very small and generally quiet. Camp McTureous is only a housing base but it also has the elementary school, school age care, a fire department and a small Shoppette. The gate guards here are extremely friendly and love for you to engage in conversation with them. We know most of them by name. The base is small but very pet friendly and child friendly. There are two playgrounds on base, a swimming pool, and a soccer/football field for the kids to play at. The base is all around very safe and everyone is very friendly.
Please describe the style of your home (i.e. detached home, duplex, apartment, age of the home, etc.) All of the homes on McT are multiplex. The 2 bedrooms typically have 3 units on top and 3 units on the bottom but some have 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. The 2 bedrooms have not begun renovation so they are fairly old.
Please provide general information about your home such as square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, number of stories/levels, special amenities, etc. I do not know the exact square footage but I would say somewhere around 800 sq ft would be about right.There are 2 decent sized bedrooms and 1 full bath. The bedrooms have very large closets that take up one whole wall in each room. Above the closets are very deep cabinets for more storage.
The only downside is the air conditioning units protrude from the wall under the window so that takes up a wall to use for a dresser. There is a linen closet in the hallway right by the bathroom. The living room is very big! There is a large sliding glass door that leads out to the patio or balcony depending if you are on the bottom or top floor.
The kitchen and dining room are a pretty decent size as well. There is a large pantry in the kitchen and lots of cabinets to hold everything. The washer and dryer are provided here so there is no need to bring your own. There is also a fairly large storage unit just outside the front door for each unit so it makes it very convenient to store your lawnmower or to bring everything in for a typhoon.
What places of services are available near your home such as restaurants, shops, commissary, playgrounds, parks, etc.? There are 2 playgrounds right on our base and a Shoppette as well. The commissary is less than 5 minutes down the road on Camp Courtney so it is not very far. The all ranks club is also on Camp Courtney which is called Tengan Castle. They have pretty good food. There is also a SNCO club and an enlisted club on Courtney.
How is parking provided for your home? The parking is one large parking lot for all 3 buildings in the cul de sac. Each unit is provided one designated parking spot but there are marked visitor spots if you have a second car or if you have friends over. If the spots are full in the parking lot there is room on the road to park.
Is there any yard space or outdoor spaces provided for your home? Each unit has their own yard that you have to maintain. It is required to mow the lawn and if it is not mowed you will get a citation from housing. The size of the lawn just depends on if you have a middle or end unit. The middle units typically have the smaller yards.
What do you feel is special about your home or neighborhood – what makes it feel like “home” here on Okinawa? As far as my home I feel it is special because we brought all of our things with us. Many people are told not to bring a lot of furniture because they can use government furniture. Although that is true, for me it wouldn’t feel like “home” if it wasn’t for all of our stuff. These houses are not perfect by any means and they are not super nice but if you decorate it and put your own personal touches on it then it will feel like YOUR home! As far as the neighborhood I feel like it is very family oriented and very welcoming. It is definitely easy to make friends on the smaller bases.
What housing expenses are included with on-base housing (i.e. utilities, rent, appliances, etc.) All utilities are included. You do not pay extra for anything. All appliances are provided as well including the washer and dryer. The only extra appliance you will have to purchase is a microwave if you want one.
Are there any expenses or fees associated with on-base housing? We have not encountered any fees so far in the last 2 years we have lived here. The only real expense you will have is purchasing stuff to decorate your home and to buy a lawn mower and weed eater.
Are you satisfied with the maintenance services provided by your on-base housing organization? Any issues that we have had with the home maintenance has come out within a day or 2 to fix it.
Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel have been your experience living on a military base here on Okinawa? Overall we have really enjoyed living on base here in Okinawa. We have not lived on base before. Living on base has given me the opportunity to meet many friends that I would not have met if we lived off base. It also makes me feel safer to live on base since we are in a different country. The main disadvantage is that if you live in a bottom unit, like us, sometimes the upstairs neighbors can be loud, without doing it intentionally. Even though we have made many friends here it can sometimes get annoying having everyone so close in proximity to you all the time. Ultimately I am glad we have lived on base for the last 2 years.
Please provide any COMMENTS that you feel would be helpful for others about living on-base. Although these houses have not been renovated, they will be soon. So far only the 4 bedroom homes and some of the 3 bedrooms have been renovated. If you do get into one of the 2 bedrooms and during your tour they get renovated, housing will move you to your next house. You will not have to worry about moving yourself.
If you live in on-base housing OR off-base housing that has not been featured on Okinawa Hai, or in housing that has been renovated since its last post, please contact our Content Manager for the on-base housing template and instructions on how to share your little slice of Okinawa with the rest of us.
Want to see more? Take a look at this video by The Lovelys, who have included an example of this housing area in their Okinawa Military Housing Compilation video on YouTube from May 2016: