Your Name (if you would like it to appear): B
Base Location: Homestead, FL
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present) August 2006-present (September 2009)
What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy? There is no housing on post. Off post there are two pretty good neighborhoods-Keys Gate and Waterstone. Stay away from Florida City and Naraja which are the next towns over. The average price to rent is around $1700/mth. Our BAH doubled coming here from Ft Bragg. Be careful with renting though; they’ve had a lot of problems with landlords not paying their mortgage with your rent money and then you have to move because the house goes into foreclosure. If you are coming here check on the SOUTHCOM website for all the housing info.
Rate the PX & Commissary. Ha! There isn’t one. We have a “Shopette”. It was small when we got here and it just keeps getting smaller and smaller. It’s more like a 7 11.
Activities on base? Not much of anything. There is a barber shop, an all ranks club, a flight line, SOCSOUTH, a few other buildings and that’s about it. SOCSOUTH is working on putting together various programs though so it may get better.
Active Spouses Club? Yes. We have a Yahoo Group message board that we use to get info out and we typical meet once a month for lunch/coffee.
Things to do in area? We are 20 minutes from Key Largo to the South and 20 minutes from Miami to the north. So there is a TON to do here you just have to go to one of those cities to do it!
School System? Horrible. Homestead is in the Miami-Dade School System. Most of the families that have kids and live in Homestead either homeschool their kids, send them to private school, or try to get them in one of the 3 charter schools in the area. There is a new charter school that opened this year called Somerset SoHo and they will take all military kids regardless of enrollment. The other two charters-Waterstone and Keys Gate require that you go on a waiting list and wait for the “lottery”. A lot of families choose to live in the Kendall area which is in Miami-they have better schools.
Any colleges in area? Yes. Miami-Dade College and University of Miami.
Jobs? (on post and off) I am a teacher so it was easy for me to find something. I don’t know about other areas. Depends on if you are willing to drive to Miami for work-I’m sure you could find something up there.
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city? Being close to the beach, the keys, and a big city.
Least favorite aspect? Traffic, very rude people, hard to get around if you don’t speak Spanish.
Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)
Any other tips? A lot of the people/families stationed here do not like it and can’t wait to get out. It’s VERY expensive to live here because it’s such a tourist area. Make the best of it while you are here. We are so close to Key Largo you could just go down there for lunch.