It didn’t take long after becoming a military spouse, to recognize that plans on my calendar should be written in pencil. (Yes, this was long before digital calendars!) The abundance of white-out on my archaic time tracker left me sad and disappointed in the number of plans that shifted or disappeared, due to military readiness. Missed birthdays, holidays, concerts, vacations, deployment returns, PCS plans, and so on.
As a planner, this was not an easy shift to make, and yet those who had been living this life longer than I had would often encourage me with the saying, “Semper Gumby – always flexible.” (Referring to the green bendable kids toy of many decades ago.) This was almost as annoying as being told that I knew what I was getting into!
But somehow, as we face a global pandemic and a colossal shift in our lives, the battle cry of “Semper Gumby” seems most applicable. As military families across the world await word on PCS orders and pack-outs, there has never been a moment where flexibility is more important.
Whether you are anticipating orders, or you have them in hand, what you do now can set you up for an easier transition when it’s time to pull chocks.
The military network is an amazing resource for things like neighborhoods, schools, gyms, hairdressers, property managers, and real estate agents, so phone a friend or jump on a Facebook group to ask for referrals.
If you are trying to make decisions about housing at your next duty station, then now is the time to call that expert agent or property manager. They will be able to share valuable information about the local market and guide you through the process of buying or renting.
On Oahu, we have a lower than normal inventory of homes as we remain on a stay-at-home order until May 31. So, if you are hoping to have a place to move into when you arrive on island, then exploring the process of buying sight unseen would be an important consideration. And even if you want to wait until you arrive, having a solid feel for where you would like to land and what is available in your price range is important.
Tech, Tech, Tech
Thank goodness for an advance in technology, as I cannot imagine weathering this storm without the plethora of tools we have at our disposal. For Buyers, there are great options for viewing homes through online virtual tours, or your agent can do a showing using Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, and so on. These tools really can give you a close up look at a property, and your agent can even take you for a walk around the neighborhood! Want to see nearby shopping centers? Done! Dog parks? Done! That is one of the value-added services that can be offered during this time, as it is still in alignment with state orders, and you’ll feel like you are here in person.
Find an Expert
I know I have already touched on this, but it is worth repeating! Having a real estate agent that has vast connections can help when it comes to performing a home inspection, needed repairs, cleaning professionals, and moving companies. Whatever help you need to make your PCS move to Oahu easier, they will have a resource for you. When speaking with an agent, ask them if they have these types of resources and how they plan to assist you in this unusual period of time.
We are in the service business, and I am here to serve you! Remember to stay flexible, find an expert, utilize the array of tech tools, and find someone that will go above and beyond to make this transition as easy as possible. Whether you are PCSing to Oahu or another duty station, I have resources that can help you in your transition, so give me a call!