Moving from Santa Clarita CA to Norfolk VA HELP PLEASE

Desiree - posted on 08/11/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi,
My husband is in navy and just finishing training camp, after he is done with A school we will be uprooted to Norfolk, Va where he is stationed. We have a 2 month old daughter a small dog and we are 20. So my question is does anyone familiar with the area? Is it safe? Since i have no family out there i dont want to live in an unfamiliar unsafe area with my daughter since my husband will be working a lot. Does anyone recommend anywhere to live? Or have any websites that could help? And how is the rent out there? Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated

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Michelle - posted on 08/19/2012

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Hello!! My husband is also Navy. I have been a Navy spouse for about 10 years now and have lived in many places including on base housing and overseas. I will say that since you are both just starting your military life your best bet is going to housing! Your hubby isn't going to be making much money and the ulitilies and what not are already covered!! You are not oing to find the same kind of deal living on his BAH and not incurring out of pocket expenses!! Housing will also be a safer bet until you get to know some people in the area! , myself, have nver lived in the Norfolk area, but have many friends who are currently stationed in the area!!you definitely have to get in touch with LMH before arriving there...so your transition into housing goes smoothly...as it can be a lengthy process!! Your hubby should also be assigned a sponsor who should send nd give plenty of information to you as well as him on the area and the base. You can look for FB groups specific to that base as well so you can get in touch with the spouses there. You should also consider taking the spouses class they offer called Compass...it will give you much needed information to use during his career! Great class...the class will also tell you about the area!! Some really great websites to use are

www.militaryonesource.com
www.move.mil
www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil
www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/
www.navytimes.com/money/pay_charts
www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/moving/moving-checklist-00000000000208/index.html
www.upack.com/moving-resources/checklist.asp
www.flylady.net/pages/Flying_MovingTios.asp
www.soaratthehome.org
www.Read2kids.org
www.MilitaryStudent.dod.mil
www.DeploymentKids.com
www.buildasign.com/Troops
www.daddydolls.com or www.hugahero.com
http://flatdaddies.com
www.navywives.com
www.military.com/spouse
www.navywivesonline.com/id2.html
www.bootcamp.navy.mil/military_spouse.asp
www.milspouse.com
www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil
www.nko.navy.mil/portal/reference/home/econtent-audiobooks


All these websites will prove helpful at one time or another in your military life!! The NKO website....you will hear from others...mainly the military guys....that it is only for the member...thawas correct information at one time, but NO longer. NKO (Navy Knowledge Online) now offers things for the spouses...it is a great great place to get books and other things!! I hope all this helps you...if you need to talk or just need to ask more questions about anything (there are No bothersome questions) please feel free to email me at my personal email shell_287@yahoo.com, inbox me on Facebook www.facebook.com/shell_287, or send a message here....however I don't get on here too often!! Please don't hesitate...building a support amongst fellow military spouses is a great way to begin your journey...we have all been in your shoes a time or two or maybe walking the same thing now!!!

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Rosemary - posted on 08/25/2012

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oh also, the rent here isn't too bad. I don't work, and my husband is E5 and we can afford a nice enough apartment in a safe area :) we dont have a ton of extra money, but we live comfortably. :)

Rosemary - posted on 08/25/2012

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Hi! My husband and I were in a similar situation, we moved her about a year ago. I'm 19 and he's 21, we have a 3 week old son. I'm from a very small town in Connecticut, so it was a HUGE adjustment for me to move to the Virginia Beach area. We are looking at apartments and condos in Chesapeake right now, out of the surrounding towns (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth) Chesapeake is the safest, in my opinion. My husband is on a sub and out to sea pretty frequently so it's important to him that the baby and I be somewhere safe, which is why we're moving out of Virginia Beach and into Chesapeake. There are nice areas in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, but you have to hunt around. My friend lived in a very nice apartment complex, but just over her fence was a low income apartment complex with frequent shootings, so it's kind of hit and miss, Chesapeake is a pretty safe bet. Your husband will have a farther commute to base though. The traffic here is horrendous during rush hour.. and navy rush hour isnt normal rush hour, it's busiest between like 5 and 7 am and then again between 3 and 6 pm. There is a lot to do in the area, in my opinion, but like I said i'm from a very small town. For me I've found it hard to meet people and my biggest complaint is that it can be really lonely. My husband's boat seems to be all older couples with kids (like a good 20 years older than us) or young single guys who date a new girl every week, so it's been a little difficult to make friends here. But that's why i came on here :) Oh and i forgot to mention, some of the Lincoln Housing is nice, and some is gross. My friend nannied for a family in the Ben Moreel housing (idk if i spelled that right) and when they moved in their place was INFESTED with cockroaches. it was DISGUSTING. not to mention it wasn't all that safe, we were driving one day and saw a group of kids beating up another kid, we went to the housing office to tell someone (security, or something) and they said they were busy with other concerns and had no time to deal with it.. so I would stay away from it if you could, you can find an apartment for less and then pocket that extra BAH money. :)



as far as things to do, there's a lot. the boardwalk in virginia beach is a lot of fun in the summer. I don't know what kind of music you like but there's a really fun country bar in Norfolk called the Banque that we go to quite a bit. There's amusement parks, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA aren't too far away. There are quite a few malls in the area, I like the MacArthur Center Mall in Norfolk and the Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach.



if you have any other questions feel free to ask :)

Navy - posted on 08/12/2012

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Actually, I guess I could add this. As far as safety goes, LMH would be the best bet all around. They provide safe and friendly housing. They're not gated or anything, but they are private communities, therefore, anyone who isn't supposed to be there is breaking the law. (They post big red signs and stuff). The also have a security service that monitors the streets and makes sure things are going well. Notify them of any problem and they'll be there pretty quickly. Also, the police are only one call away, too.

And LMH is pet friendly, so your dog would be welcome. They do have a few breed restrictions though. They don't allow any aggressive-type pooches. I don't remember the specific breeds off the top of my head but you can ask. Also, the pet minimum is two, or supposed to be anyways. That's not to say people don't have more. Lol. I know you only have the one dog right now, though, so you should be fine.

But seriously, you should definitely check out LMH. I know I probably sound like the spokes person for them but I can't help it, they really did help us out when we were fresh in, too. We will continue to be with them until we find a better deal somewhere else. Which we haven't yet, so that says a lot.

Navy - posted on 08/12/2012

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Oh boy! I know this one! Lol. My husband and I are in the Navy as well, and live in Portsmouth, VA. Which is just a hop over from Norfolk. Pretty much neighbors. Anyways, Norfolk and the surrounding areas are a pretty busy area. Lots of folks crammed into one place it seems like. Lol. But don't let that discourage you. We've lived here in VA for three years now. First in Virginia Beach, now in Portsmouth. I'll just tell you not to 'judge and book by it's cover'. I didn't want to move to Portsmouth AT ALL because the area where we would always have to travel, when going to the main Naval Hospital, was crazy. The traffic in downtown Portsmouth sucks big time, so if you ever need to go to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, be prepared, especially at rush hour times. Good freaking grief. But, I digress, once we got into the city and found out where we would be living, it was good. It wasn't in the heart of things, but it wasn't too far away either. The area has a lot of great attractions. It's very quiet and nice where our off base housing is.

As far as Norfolk goes, I can't help you with the nitty gritty stuff since we obviously live a city over, but we travel over there often enough so I should be able to help. As far as where to live, I would say talk with the LMH (Lincoln Military Housing) over there. They do housing for the Navy, off base. Don't let off base housing discourage you either. It can be very nice and just as good (also, in our experience, only officers and such get to actually live ON the bases in the Navy--Don't know why). LMH takes good care of it's people. If you would like their number, I can give that to you. Their main office is in Norfolk, where you go to sign up and such. It's good to call them early before arriving to set stuff up. Appointments and what not. Also, that option is only if you don't mind every penny of your BAH (Basic Allowance of Housing) going to them. No matter where you live, how small or how big, LMH takes all of your BAH, sadly. But everything is included. You don't have to worry about rent, sewer, garbage, electric, etc... You pay only your personal bills like cable, phone, internet. It really is nice to not worry about it.

Then again, if you DO mind, then you'll want to look into apartments or other in the area. But I will say this; you won't find a better place for your money in Norfolk. You will probably end up spending all of your BAH and then some on rent alone. Unless you try a city outside of it, like Portsmouth (but still pricey in my opinion), Chesapeake (gets a little better), or MAYBE further to Virginia Beach (twenty minute drive on a GOOD day but pricey again, in my opinion).

If this is your first duty station, and your fresh in the military, I suggest calling up LMH, actually. Unless you know the area you are going to (and you said you don't), it's the best idea. LMH can provide you with an array of information for and about the area. They can help ease the transition, and limit your worry and hassle of finding a place in an unknown area. Plus, they have great activities for the family on a regular basis. It really is a wonderful first time experience, or has been for us. That's not to say you won't get here and hate them. (I'm sorry if you do. Lol.) http://www.lincolnmilitary.com/lmh/

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