Preparing For Your Upcoming Military PCS Move

Receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders doesn't have to incite panic within your family. Sure, there are a lot of things that need to be taken care of to ensure your move goes smoothly, but there are also a lot of resources available to military families with PCS orders. So before you start to panic, take care of these things — they'll help you feel more organized and ready for your move.

Call Your Base Transportation Office

Scheduling a meeting with your base transportation office should be one of the first things that you do after you've received your orders. During your appointment, you'll get the information that you need to determine whether you want to move your own things move, have a personally procured move (PPM), or have the government you.

If you decide to move yourself, the government will pay you 95 percent of the total amount of money it would cost them to move you. And, if you don't spend all of the money you receive, you get to keep it. However, if you choose a PPM, you're responsible for packing and transporting all of your own belongings and vehicles. When you choose to have the government move you, everything, including packing, unpacking, and transporting your belongings, is handled for you. The decision is completely up to you, but you should discuss both options during your appointment with the base transportation office before making a decision.

Call the Family Center at Your New Base

The family center at your new base can provide you with a wealth of information about your new community. Additionally, most family centers have relocation assistance programs available for military families with PCS orders, which can help make your transition a lot easier.

Talk to the Base Finance Office

Moving can be expensive, and if you choose a PPM, you need to make sure you have enough money to cover your move until you receive your check. So you should consider making an appointment at the base finance office to discuss your financial options, as well as the relocation benefits that you're eligible to receive.

Hire an Experienced Realtor

You should hire a realtor that has experience with military PCS moves to help you sell your current home and purchase a new one or find a new property to rent. The government assists military families with some of the costs associated with selling their old home and buying a new one, most specifically broker's fees, real estate commissions, loan origination fees, mortgage and transfer taxes, and the cost to break a rental lease. However, you can't file a real estate entitlement claim for money that wouldn't customarily be paid by you. For example, if you move to a location where it's customary for the buyer and seller to split the cost of the real estate agent's commission, you can't offer to pay all of it and expect to be reimbursed when you file your claim. Because of this, it's important to hire a real estate agent that's experienced with military PCS moves.

Preparing for your upcoming military PCS move in advance will help put your mind at ease. Of course, you still have to get things finished in a timely manner once you've prepared, but you'll have a plan of action that helps take the stress out of your upcoming move.