Trish: Hi everybody. This is Trish with Military Home Base. I have Chloe Yeager here. She’s a milspouse, and she’s going to talk to us a little bit about her PCS experience. So Chloe, how many PCSs have you been through?
Chloe: So far, three.
Trish: And were they all a little challenging or do you have a favorite?
Chloe: Yes, every single one has been challenging. The first one was the first time I left home and we moved to Maryland. Quite a long drive. The first day was 24 hours straight.
Trish: Oh, wow.
Chloe: With two dogs, a cat and a hamster that tried to kill himself at a gas station. And, the most recent one we did with me being nine months pregnant when we moved so, that was fun.
Trish: Wow, that must’ve been really hard. I can’t even imagine.
Chloe: Yes, totally.
Trish: So I need to know more about the hamster.
Chloe: So we knocked off the wheel, he was in the back seat, and we knocked off the wheel at a gas station, and he jumped out the side of the cage, was running around the gas station ground as we were running after him trying to save his life. And then he also, two days later, in the middle of the night, in construction zone, we knocked out the wheel again and he was in the back seat, and we were worried that he’d get like into the wires or something. So, my foot is caught in the front seat as I’m leaning over the back seat trying to capture him with one hand.
Trish: I suppose it was hysterical to watch.
Chloe: Oh yeah.
Trish: So what was your favorite duty station? Because we were in Maryland DC together, that was where I met you. And, of course our husbands didn’t introduce us until the year before we were leaving. So, we just had the one year. But, I think that was my favorite duty station.
Chloe: That was definitely my least favorite duty station.
Chloe: Yeah, totally the worst place on the planet if you ask me. Besides the people, we had good friends. So far Vegas I think is my favorite. There’s so much to do here.
Trish: Oh yeah. And you guys bought and sold last time, right?
Chloe: Just in Maryland. We rented in San Antonio and then here.
Trish: Oh right, yes. And didn’t you guys have some difficulty with your house with Maryland?
Chloe: Yes, so we purchased a home that had completely been remodeled and new bathrooms, new kitchen, new plumbing, new electric, had a home warranty, and within 24 hours it was raining in the basement and the plumbing was done wrong, and by an unlicensed contractor. Two months later we had two house fires and no electric for a week in the middle of winter because the electric was done improperly. We had multiple floods over the years, and then the last year we were there, we had a pipe burst in the basement. So yeah, it was a nightmare.
Trish: Oh my God, that is terrible. Wow. Are you buying now?
Chloe: Definitely renting now until we get to our forever home.
Trish: Well, that’s awesome. So, have you had any challenges with just being in the military and PCSing. Anything that may have popped up that you thought you wish you would’ve known before?
Chloe: Just take your time if you’re going to purchase, or even renting, we always fly out ahead of time and pick out a house. Even renting because things fall through, or the house isn’t quite the way you want it to be. So, I just recommend flying out ahead of time or if you’re going to purchase, I recommend living in the area for at least six months and making sure that you really like it.
Trish: That’s good advice. I definitely did not follow that advice when I moved here because we were not thinking about housing, and it was a mess and we ended up buying new construction, which I love, but now we’re moving and I’m terrified to sell it. And your story with selling your house does not make me feel better.
Chloe: Sorry. Yeah, if you have a motor home, I think… I told my husband, like we were ever to purchase again while he’s in the military, I need a motor home to move the animals out to and put them in and call it a good day. You’d be just out there watching TV because before we’d have to pack them up and go to a friend’s house, and unpack them, and then repack them up, and take them back home and then we’d get another buzz, they’d be like, up there going to be there in 30 minutes and repack them up and go back down the street and it would be so much easier to walk out the front door and be here, get in.
Trish: Well, your next PCS, you’ll have a two, three year old?
Chloe: Yeah, she’ll be, she’s a year and a half now. We have two and a half years left, so she’ll be four? Three? Four, depending on the time.
Trish: So that’ll be a whole new experience.
Chloe: Yeah, so we didn’t have to move with school-aged kids, thank God, and I don’t think we will by the time he retires. But, I’m sure that’s a whole other challenge trying to find good school districts and such.
Trish: Oh, I never even thought about it. Every time we moved I was just like, I either want to live on base or I didn’t even care about the location, really. If there was a grocery store nearby that was helpful, but I never thought about schools or parks or walking distance to anything. And now I need the best school in walking distance to a park. If there’s like an ice cream shop not too far away, that’d be perfect, too.
Chloe: I’m always like, where’s the closest Olive Garden? Where’s the closest Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, definitely.
Trish: Exactly. So, if you could give any advice to a new military spouse or a military spouse that is PCSing for the first time, what would you say?
Chloe: Hold on for dear life. I definitely recommend a partial DITY move. I think that it’s super worth it, especially if you have animals. Take your mattress with you, take one TV with you. You get paid for it anyway, and then if household goods take a long time, whatever, you’re set at least.
Chloe: And then, definitely with if you’re renting or purchasing walkthroughs are super important. And have a backup plan for when you get there because this house wasn’t… It was supposed to be recleaned before we moved in, and it wasn’t. So, that’s a lot and then you know, we did like a quick walkthrough in Maryland after we purchased the house, before heading to closing and we’re like, oh yeah, it looks great. We didn’t redo a home inspection, and as silly as that sounds, redo a home inspection. Just take a stopwatch, time the water. Go to the basement, look under sinks, anything that you can do, I totally recommend. If you’re purchasing, I recommend two home inspections because we had one in Maryland and look how… I mean that did not a lot for us. So, if you can do two, I totally recommend two home inspections, you know?
Trish: So a DITY, that’s when you move yourself, right?
Chloe: Yeah. Yeah, you can do a partial DITY. So, you take some of your things and TLF takes the rest of it. And you go and weigh it, your vehicle, either before or after, with no stuff in it and then you weigh it with your stuff, and then that’s what they determine how much you make off of it.
Trish: I did not know that.
Chloe: Yeah. So, it’s super worth it, especially you got animals. I mean our animals, we had to take them with us. So, we’re driving two vehicles either way. So, why not have one packed down with stuff or rent a U-Haul with your mattress in the back? I was nine months pregnant on the last one. So, air mattresses were out of the question. There was no way that I was going to be able to get up off an air mattress at 3:00 AM and go pee.
Trish: I don’t think I can do that not pregnant.
Chloe: Yeah. So, our mattress had to come with us. So, that, and a TV, and if your stuff takes two weeks then it doesn’t matter. You got a TV, you got a mattress, you got clothes, you got your food with you. So, one of the biggest struggles with moving is you have to get rid of all of your food. Well, you do a partial DITY, you don’t. You have to get rid of all your cleaning supplies. I mean, when you start adding it up, it’s like hundreds and hundreds of dollars. You don’t think of how much everything adds up, just redoing ketchup and mayonnaise, and ranch and Windex, adds up to hundreds of dollars. So, you do a partial DITY and just bring it all with you, and you don’t have to worry about it.
Trish: I don’t know how that would work with overseas.
Chloe: Yeah, I don’t think that they’re going to let you. I don’t know, you could have a bunch of suitcases weighed down with ranch and stuff.
Trish: If I get to bring a mattress with me, that’d be fantastic.
Trish: Well, thank you so much, Chloe. Do you have anything else you’d like to add? Any other advice maybe?
Chloe: Good luck.
Trish: Luck is right. Well, thank you so much and it was so good to see you, really.
Chloe: Good to see you.
Trish: And, I really appreciate you being here.
Chloe: Of course, talk to you later.
Trish: If you have a PCS story you’d like to share, please send us a message. We would love to hear from you. And, once again, Military Home Base, bringing you home one base at a time. Thank you,