Off-Post & On-Post Housing near Ft Drum
20 November 2013 by Samantha
Fort Drum, also known as the Army's Best Kept Secret, is located in upstate New York. When my husband called me to tell me we had received orders there, I was shocked to find out it even existed! Being our first army post, we were unsure of the surrounding areas and elected to live on-post. Over the three years that we were there, we learned and visited the most popular areas off-post as well as all of the neighborhoods on-post.
On post housing is broken up into four different communities: Monument Ridge, Adirondack Creek, Crescent Woods, and Rhicard Hills. We lived in Monument Ridge and although the house wasn't my ideal living space, it was so convenient and enough space for our little family.
Consistent with most army bases, housing is based on soldier's rank and family size. We elected to live on-post for convenience, unfamiliarity of the area, and community. We felt as though living on-post would be easiest for us since we only had one car at the time, and because we knew my husband was deploying within a few weeks of arriving there.
BAH goes directly to the community center and you don't have to worry about paying rent, utilities (except for cable and internet), etc. Although we may have "saved" money by living off post and looking for a cheaper rent, we weren't sure that was the best option for us at the time.
We also liked the idea of having planned activities on post, playgrounds, community centers, and convenience to the PX, gyms, etc.
Most people that choose to live off-post live in Eagle Ridge Village or LeRay Heights. Within minutes of the main gate, these townhouse style apartment communities also offer convenience and sense of community as most residents tend to be military. As you head closer to Watertown, you get further away from post and therefore decrease the chances of having military families as neighbors.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to availability of housing on post and your personal preference. Some people like to keep work and pleasure separate and choose to live off post for that reason. We liked living on post and I don't think we would choose to live off post at any future duty station.
Which option do you prefer?