Hello! I was hoping some of you might be willing to share information about Holloman and the local area. We are due to arrive around August/ September.
Have one daughter who will be starting Kindergarten (school info would be nice).
How is the crime rate there? We have been previously stationed in Tucson and the crime rate was high.
How is the housing market? We are debating on base or buying off base. I saw the base housing has been privatized, how do you like it?
I'll stop there...lol. Sorry so long, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.
Hello and first of all, welcome to Holloman! I moved here August of last year. =)
Let's see, to answer some of your questions. I live in base housing and at first I thought it was a bit of a pain with it being privatized but when my husband deployed a few months ago, it was great to have base maintenance to fix my house when something went wrong and it not cost me anything. I had my heating mess up and a waterline burst and they fixed it really fast! If you have pets, I think its a little excessive with all the rules but maybe that's just me with being new to military rules and such. Overall, I like being in base housing.
As for crime rate, I think its kind of high in certain areas off base. I haven't felt not safe or anything on my street and there have been nights where I walk to my friends for movie nights and I don't walk home till like 3 in the morning. lol Just like with every other place, there is problems but I prefer on base to off. As for the schools, I don't have kids of my own but I do daycare for a couple kids and one of them is in pre-school. I know that the lady I do daycare for has had really no problems with them other than starting mid year he had troubles getting on a bus schedule for school. lol That's about it. He loves going to school and its done wonders with his social skills.
Hope that answers some of your questions. There may not be a lot to do here but once you start meeting people, it makes this small town not so bad. There are always home based business parties and get togethers going on. Anyways, I wish you the best in PCSing here and if you need anything else, just let me know! If you have other questions, ask away!
We do not mind answering questions!! =)
Hi Sarah, thanks so much! I appreciate any info I can get =)
I remember living on base in Tucson, they were a stickler about the grass. Of course it was more like straw than grass, and when you cut it you would stir up so much dust! We are thinking since they take care of the landscaping with the privatization it might be less stressful.
With us only having one child we are worried they will offer us only the 2BR, and we are computer people. Here we have a bedroom used only as a computer room. Do you know if that happens often? We got lucky when we came to Japan they had a 3BR available right away. Did you wait long to get into housing?
My husband and I was just discussing the privatization today. We weren't sure if you get paid your BAH and then pay the company or if it were all prearranged and you basically do not get BAH. Do you know anything about that?
We don't have any pets, but are talking about a dog once we get settled in. What kind of rules do they have about pets?
Do you know if there is a car rental place somewhere nearby? We sold our vehicles when we came over here, so I'm a little concerned about the time before we find a car....lol.
Thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions. It really helps you feel like you aren't just sitting there waiting for things to happen....lol.
Hi Christine! Welcome to Holloman! My husband and I have been here for 3 1/2 years and have had our two children here.
When we first got here, the housing office was jerking us around, so we chose to live off base for the first year that we were here. We rented a house in town. Houses in town rent for expensive prices because housing prices here are based on the German Air Force whose housing allowance is much higher than ours. So renters jack up their prices hoping that they can get a German family to move into their house and so the Americans have to suck it up and pretty much pay German housing prices. As far as buying a house, houses here are priced high (I think) and you have to be careful of what section of town you move into. Lately, I have been hearing from people just moving here that it is very hard to find a house.......I guess a lot of people are PCS'ing here and there are not enough houses to go around. There are plenty of realty companies here to help you find houses though.....
So, after our first year off base, we decided to move on base and have lived on base for the past 2 1/2 years. I like living on base because as Sarah said, maintenance takes care of your maintenance issues, we don't pay utilities and it is like living in a gated community. The military police patrol the neighborhoods and base seems to be relatively safe. I do not know what the crime rate is in Alamogordo, but I would not walk around town by myself at night. Just my personal opinion. When we moved on base, we had no children and got a 3 bdr house and I know a couple who has one child that just got a 4 bdr house....so I don't think you have to worry about getting a 2 bdr house on base. You are only allowed to have two pets on base and if you have a dog, they need to be either leashed or you have to put up a fence at your own expense. A lot of the houses have fences already, but it is just luck of the draw if the house you get has a fence or not already. The privatized company can sometimes be a pain in the butt (not doing maintenance right away or yelling at us because we actually have grass that grows and they think it is too long), but overall, we enjoy living on base.
Our oldest child is almost 2 so we have not encountered school issues yet, but I have not heard good things about the elementary or high schools here. I would recommend living on base just so your daughter can go to the base schools......I have heard they aren't the greatest either, but are higher ranking than the town schools. I have also heard that if you live off base, your children have to go to the town schools, they are not permitted to go to base on school. You will need to verify this with someone that has children, as I have only heard this and have not experienced it for myself and don't want to give you wrong information.
There is not a lot to do in town, but my husband and I got out and explored and find stuff to do. That is the most important thing here........if you just sit in your house, you will be bored stiff and hate it here, you have to get out and experience the surrounding towns.
To answer your above questions....from what I have heard, the wait for base housing is long, so as soon as you get your orders, I would contact the housing office and get your name on the list....even if you decide later that you don't want to live on base. Your BAH is automatically taken every month.....you never see it, they will just take it out of your husband's paycheck automatically.....and they charge your entire BAH to live on base, whereas if you live in town, you get paid your BAH and then would pay your rent or your mortgage, etc.
There are both an Enterprise and a Hertz in town for you to rent from.....there are also a TON of car dealerships to shop for cars at.
This is all I can think of at the moment, but we have been here a while, so if you think of anything else, let me know and I can probably answer it for you! Good luck and if you need anything during your PCS or when you get here, please let me know, I would be more than happy to help or to show you around!
Hello Christina! Welcome to Holloman, well soon to be :) We just got here in January. We live off base at the moment because the waiting list for us is a year. Although, I think my husband and I have decided that we will stay off base even when we come to our place on the list. We live in a great neighborhood that is very quiet. Actually we have about 3-4 sheriff and local cops that live on our street and neighborhood. So that is always nice. But like everyone else said, there are parts of the town that I would not live in! We had a hard time finding a house to rent here. If you can look now and find something you love, then i would take it! Things go fast around here. I have an 18 month old son, so we also are not into the school thing yet. Sorry! Well I know I havent been here long, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask! Take care!
Hi Christina, welcome to Holloman. We live on base as well. They told us it would be a year on the waiting list and we got our house in 2 months. I love it on base. It's nice. They do take care of the front yard, which is pretty much all rocks and the grass is yours to take care of. We don't have any kids, so I can't offer much help on the size of house. I think it's base on rank, which sections of houseing you can get into. But we love it and feel super safe here. There are some decent parts of town with some really nice houses. One of my friends bought a house and it's lovely. I know a great realator to reccommend if you need help. We haven't had any issues with maintance. They seem to fix stuff pretty quickly. The only thing that was annoying was the colors they would let you paint. Let me know if there is any other advice you need!
Hello Christy, thank you so much! You know it is the same way here in Japan, the landlords build larger western style houses and then ask for rent right at or just above your OHA. Of course the COLA helps, we will surely miss that!
Were thinking that it will be easiest to live on base. It sounds like it isnt worth it financially unless you are buying. I hope it isnt too busy when we get there.
I need to find out what to do if my daughter and I need to come early alone, because of school. I have no idea when the start of the school year is there. Our RNLTD is 30Oct, and with everything involved in PCSing she would not get to go for very long before we came there.
Not worrying about maintenance would be nice, so if you have grass you have to take care of it? Is there grass in the backyards? There was in Tucson, well kinda, if it crunches it isnt grass to me .lol.
What utilities are included? What do you guys have to choose from as far as internet and television?
Living on base in Tucson, before the privatization they were really big about how tall the grass was Im talking rulers .lol.
I do hope that my daughter can go to the on base school, because I fear that if we come ahead on our own we might have to find a cheap apartment for a couple months. Then when we move on base we would have to move her schools, and avoiding shuffling her around is the whole point of coming early .lol.
Thanks so much for all the info, and I am glad to hear about the car rental places, because being stuck at a new place without means of transportation is no fun haha. I am open to anyones advice on car dealerships, we plan to get one car nice (new or gently used) and the other is a to-and-from work one. We have been checking online and are shocked at the prices now.
We will definitely need to get out and about especially with our little girl. Thanks again, I appreciate it!
Hi Katie, thanks for the welcome and info! I worry about finding something if my daughter and I come early. I might have to ask your advice on which areas are better! I am thinking if we have to stay off base for a bit, and since my husband wont be here right away; a small apartment would get us by. Really dont want to sign a year long lease though. Here in Japan they have 6 month leases, I wish they did that in the States as well.
Sounds like you guys got lucky living so close to the law!
Hi Stars, thanks for the welcome and info! It seems like we are headed in the direction of living on base (as long as it isnt a 2 BR lol). Im just not sure how it is going to play out for us.
I am curious what did you guys do for the 2 months you were waiting? With the dates we are dealing with it looks like I may need to come down early with my daughter so we can start her in school. It just doesnt make sense to us to start her here for maybe a week, and then shell miss all the school time during the PCS, and wind up in a brand new environment. Trying to make it affect her school as little as possible, but I worry about where we would live in the mean time. I dont think they will put us into a house if my husband has not arrived yet . Unsure on that though.
So what is the deal with painting, do they only allow neutral colors then you must paint it back before you PCS? We do like dark colors =(
Hi Claudia! I really hope so, at least the odds are with us in this case .lol.
You know I have been trying their website all day and it isnt loading for me. Hopefully it comes back up soon, or whatever is stopping me from getting is resolved!
Hi Miss Christina,
My husband and I just found out that we will be going to Holloman afb as well! We do not yet have orders so we don't have an exact date, but his deros is mid September and we are taking leave en route. But I am in the same boat as you (except I have a toddler so I don't have to worry about the schools)-I also live in Japan at the moment! We live on base and are hoping to get base housing at Holloman as well and hopefully a 3 bedroom place, we currently have a tiny 2 bedroom apartment style home and it is terrible! I hope to find out more information with you and so far this site is extremely helpful :)
Can I also ask a few questions?
Stars, where did you stay while you were waiting for housing? This may seem like a silly question, but this will be our first official PCS since I came to our current base after my husband. We are completely unfamiliar with "real" family PCS's and don't know what to expect.
I am hoping to find a job right away, is this very likely? Does anyone have a child or children in the CDC, if so, do you/they like it? I have a toddler and she's never been in daycare.
Thank you all for all the information given already, my husband and I were a bit disappointed when we found out we will be going to Holloman because of all of the bad rumors but I'm happy to say that we are now looking forward to it :) Life is what you make it!
When we were looking for a place to stay, the best website i found was www.ahrn.com its for the military and goes based on what base you are at! I really like it! I think most people stayed in TLF until base housing (although I am not sure how long they will let you stay there) or some people rent an apartment,there are quite a few apartment complexes in the town. If you would like the names of them, let me know and I can get them for you. This was our 4th PCS, so if you need any help let me know! As far as jobs go, I heard some people are having trouble finding ones and some people are not. Probably depends on what you want to do. Good luck with everything!
Jessica and Christina-
We were in TLF for two days and then we got our house, here on-base. When I asked about the brand new housing on-base, they told me that a few would be open Aug./Sept., so you may get lucky. Just check out the housing on-base before you make any final decisions.
Most people complain about living on base, but I honestly love living on base. The privatized housing has spent more than $20,000 on the renovated housing and then I'm sure much more on the new housing and then people wonder why they charge $$ for small to large damages. But after putting so much into the homes to make them nice for us, that is to be expected. It's easy to not let things get damaged though, so no worries.
They have many playgrounds for children. We live in the renovated housing and our house is gorgeous, especially compared to what it was like before (we have friends in the older housing &the older housing is awful.)
Unless you are looking to buy a house, you may not find many options for living off-base. I don't like being out in town much... people say the drive to &from base to town isn't far, but if you're like me than it seems longer than necessary. Which is why I enjoy just staying here.
I'm having trouble finding a job, but I'm just going to keep trying. I'm trying to work at the Teen &Youth Center on base.
I love NM so far, except for the insects. I was born &raised in Seattle, WA, so maybe I just love the weather here. The people seem friendly. There is like a little corner of the base where the German Soldier have training or something. Their actually a lot of fun to converse with.
Anyways, I wish you all luck!
Ohh, and we have a 3bed 2 bath... lots of storage, a large living room, a large dining room and kitchen. Two patios, one private uncovered patio in the front, and a medium sized backyard with a patio. A brand new two car garage. I love it.
We don't have children yet, so I'm sure you'll get one too. I think it might depend on the waitlist, but get on it ASAP, because it gave us the advantage to get in this house over the old one our friends got. :) They said that there is a possibility that they might close our housing from Junior NCO to just Officer housing, but you should still check into on-base housing before anything else.
I moved here from Cali about 3 years ago. There's alot of nice houses in Alamogordo. I have heard both good & bad about base housing. There are some good schools in town. It is a great time to buy and there's very affordable housing here. Id doesn't make sense to rent a house for over $1000/month when you can buy one for a payment around $800-$900. Not only do you get $1,000's back every year due to deductions, even if you have to move you can easily rent it out. I have several rentals in town & have had no problems renting in the last 5 years. Getting a job depends alot on word of mouth and the good ones tend to go pretty fast. Hope that helps! I have a house that I am selling. Let me know if you decide to go that route. It is almost 2000 sq. feet and beautifully remodeled. We just moved to a bigger one and are tired of renting it out. We want to sell & build :)
Thank you Jessi and Christine :) I think for the time being we will try to live on base. We live on base now and it is just so nice to not have to worry about paying the rent/mortgage or any other related bills. I also feel like people who live on base generally make more/closer friends with neighbors or people in the neighborhood...but maybe that is just the case here because housing is so tight (I live on Kadena in Okinawa Japan...very populated for such a tiny island!) We've also looked online for rentals and the pickings seem to be very slim, and I agree that it's just so convenient to live on base and have such a short drive to work.
What is the nearest airport? Do many people shop at the commissary or go off base? The commissary here is pretty much our only option for groceries so we are very limited and having never lived on any other military base I don't know if other commissaries are as busy.
Nearest airport is El Paso, TX, it's about an hour and a half away. There is a shuttle called "The Alamo Shuttle Service". It goes back and forth from Alamogordo to the El Paso airport. It cost $35 one-way for one adults, but it's nice because you don't have to pay for parking at the airport.
The shuttle picks up at the Best Western Desert Aire Hotel.
Hi! I have lived at Holloman, on base, for 3yrs. There is a pet deposit now which I avoided because I moved in before privitization. Other than that there is no difference in the pet rules than any other base housing.
I have a son in the elementary school and one in the middle school. We have a new principal that covers both schools so things have changed for the better. The schools look old but we have great teachers. There isn't a lot of money in our school district but the base community helps with activities.
We almost bought a house but with the German AF here the houses were overpriced at the time.
There are things to do here if you keep your eyes open. Google Alamogordo, Cloudcroft and Riudoso, NM and you'll find some good info about the local area.
Not sure if anyone answered your questions you asked me.. but I don't think you'll have a hard time getting a house on base. I don't have kids and I have a 3 bedroom and I know a two 3 bedroom houses just became available on my street even! =) I know what you mean about wanting a computer room, I sell Avon and have my own office in one of the extra rooms. There is a car rental place not too far from base so you would be set there. Oh, we do get BAH and it pays for everything with on base housing. As for the rules for pets, you have to try to get a house if you get the choice with a backyard. If not, you'll have to fence it yourself. If you do not have pets, maintenance on base will mow the little grass we get lol Once you get a dog, you'll have to mow your own back yard.
I'm glad I'm able to help answer questions. I know what its like to be in your shoes and wanting to know. hehe If you have any other questions and such, let me know. I'm here to help! When you do get into town, you'll have to come to one of my Avon parties to meet some of the awesome ladies here!! =)
If you want to paint your house, you have to get the colors approved by Soaring Heights.........although, we have relatively dark colors painted in our house and didn't have any problem getting the colors approved........You are responsible for painting the walls back to white before you leave.
If your yard is not fenced in on base, maintenance mows it, but if it is fenced in, you are responsible for mowing it. We don't really get grass here, it is the crunchy stuff you are talking about.......my husband is bound and determined to make our grass grow like it grows in Ohio, so he is constantly spending money to try and improve it..........the new houses had sod put down and they actually have green grass (at least for now).
As far as phone, internet and TV services......it is pretty limited. We currently use Baja Broadband and had Qwest before that. We dislike both services, but that is about our only option. There is also Direct TV and Alamogordo has quite a few cell phone companies.
As for what to do if you guys come early........I think with your husbands orders, you could probably get into a house before he gets here, but you would need to call Soaring Heights and ask about that.......if not, I would recommend living in TLF while you are here, it is relatively nice and I don't know if you want to stay in the cheap apts in town. It would probably depend on how cheap you are talking, but there was just a double murder up by some of the cheaper apts in town a couple of weeks ago........so just get suggestions first before you go looking for apts in town. I don't know for sure how long you are allowed to stay in TLF, but I'm sure as long as they are getting paid, it shouldn't be a problem.
To both Christina and Jessica, when your time to PCS gets closer, please let me know and I would be more than happy to show you around or help you with anything you need.
Also, I have started up a playgroup.....you are both welcome to come and meet the other women in the playgroup.......you don't have to have children to come and hang out with us.....it would get you out and about and introduce you to other Holloman Wives!
Oh, I would personally recommend the Toyota dealership in town.......they have helped us tremendously with our cars and have a great maintenance dept.......they are on the ball at that dealership!!!!!!
Jessica- To answer your question about the commissary...
I prefer to shop (mainly) at the commissary for food and cleaning supplies. We have a Walmart in town for anything that the commissary doesn't have. :)
There aren't many stores in town, but there is a Hastings, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart a few cell phone providers. There's a zoo in town, and IMAX Theater, Space Museum, JcPenny, K-Mart, and a few other places. I believe that Walmart is the only grocery store though... correct me if I'm wrong ladies.
Verizon works best for cell phone service. I have Verizon and my husband has AT&T. Apparently AT&T doesn't have a 3G tower here, so he rarely has reception. Verizon is your best option.
BAJA provides great 7.5 internet for a reasonaly price. Direct TV was our cheapest option for Satellite. (Although we HATE satellite and have never been big Direct TV fans, this town does not provide good cable.)
Maybe other people have ideas for that stuff too, but this was what we found helpful when we first moved here. :)