Private Rental Allowances and Information

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Overseas Housing Allowance

  • Overseas Housing Allowance is paid to service members living in private rental housing at overseas duty stations.
  • Family members must be living overseas on an accompanied tour (whether command sponsored or not) to receive OHA. If family members stay in CONUS while the military member is overseas, they will receive BAH.
  • Unaccompanied service members receive OHA only if government housing is not available.
  • OHA is calculated in the local currency and paid in US dollars. This means that you will receive a different amount each month, depending on the exchange rate in effect.
  • You will need an account with a local bank (BNL, Community, Global) to pay your rent and utilities. In Italy it is illegal to make any transaction over 1,000 without a local bank account.

OHA covers three (3) components for private rentals: Continue reading

House Hunting Tips for Vicenza

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If you have read my post on housing options, you know by now that there are three possibilities when it comes to housing: 1) government owned, 2) government leased, and 3) private rental. This post pertains to the latter two, government leased and private rental houses.

Factors for Choosing a House

  • There are many factors to consider when searching for a house in Italy. Some factors may be more important to you than others.
  • Make spreadsheet of all the houses you are interested in. Include things you find important like square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, distance from post, etc.
    • My spreadsheet included: unit #, neighborhood, distance from post in minutes, price, square footage, year built, # bedrooms, # bathrooms, type (apt., duplex, house), features (yard, garage, fireplace), pets allowed, date available.spreadsheet example
  • Important factors to consider:
    • Location: work, school, daycare, bus stop
    • Commute: travel times (including rush hour), traffic patterns, autostrada or tangenziale, gas rations, public transportation, bike trails, travel during snow/rain (mountainous or isolated areas)
    • Nearby: restaurants, groceries, shopping, markets, gas stations, festivals
    • Safety: crime rate, gypsy and refugee population, proximity to other Americans, street lights
    • Security: gates, fencing, lighting (porch, yard, street), alarm system, solid front door with double bolt locks, peep hole, window locks, window shutters, shutter locks, and enclosed garage.
    • Space: square footage (does it include non-living areas like the yard/garage?), # bedrooms/bathrooms, kitchen size, counter space (kitchen, bathroom), yard, storage, garage, # parking spaces (street parking).
      • Keep in mind that larger homes (which Americans typically like) tend to be older homes built during the 70’s, therefore utilities may be quite expensive in the summer and winter seasons.
    • Amenities: air conditioning (some houses don’t have A/C), ceiling fans, window screens (mosquitoes), laundry hook ups, wood fire ovens, tool shed, wine cellar
    • Internet/Cable/Phone: some services will not work in certain areas, check your cell phone signal strength, ask if the house is set up for DSL (hard-line) or if you will have satellite internet (usually slow)
    • Maintenance: landscaping, mowing, repairs
    • Pets: acceptance, weight restrictions. Don’t avoid looking at houses that say “no pets allowed”. If the landlord meets you in person, they might be willing to make an exception or negotiate it into the lease.

Choosing a Neighborhood

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Internet, Phone, and TV: PCS Italy

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Housing Options in Vicenza: PCS Italy

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