April 5, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

You are transferring to Eglin AFB, have chosen to live off-base, now “Where is the best place to live?”

Well, it is good to research early, because in my entire military career, Eglin AFB was THE MOST Difficult place to determine this, because of its unique geography. In fact, we moved 5 times in my 2.5 years stationed at Eglin trying to figure it out.  The high demand of tourism during the traditional moving season adds another difficulty in leasing. There is no easy answer … it depends on you.

Hopefully, our experiences can assist you finding your best fit in this region.
We weren’t, in fact, unfamiliar with the area, as my wife and I met in Enterprise AL, and were later assigned at Ft Rucker together. Destin was our favorite place for R&R. We used Eglin billeting, the Maxwell rec center at White Point, the Fort Benning rec area in Destin, and sometimes made it to Pensacola or Panama City.   However, visiting and being stationed at Eglin/Hurlburt are very different.

Consider where your unit is located on Eglin. Eglin consists of a large landmass with the airfield in the center, (a shared runway with Destin/FWB Regional Airport) and two main gates. The gate on the West corridor leads out to Shalimar, and ultimately to Fort Walton Beach.   The gate on the East leads to Valparaiso, then on to Niceville and Bluewater Bay. If you head North, Crestview is a short commute, with lower land prices, and closer access to I-10. Keep in mind it is 6 miles between the East and West gate, so that makes it 12 miles from the West Gate (by the hospital) to Bluewater Bay in Niceville.

If driving every day in tourist traffic doesn’t bother you, then consider areas that can offer more water access, and weekend fun, like Villa Tasso, Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Okaloosa Island (part of Fort Walton Beach) and if closer to Hurlburt, then Navarre. However, there are sacrifices of dealing with tourist traffic during Spring/Summer seasons, and high school children will also have that commute.

If you love a bigger city, access to more arts/culture or medical issues, you may look at Crestview or Navarre for faster access to Pensacola. Likewise, East Destin areas like Miramar, Santa Rosa Beach, and Freeport make Panama City accessible. The eastward areas also offer more shopping venues, entertainment and 30-A attractions. Crestview offers country living, lower housing costs, and quick access to I-10, and is convenient to the 7th Special Forces Group and 6th Ranger Training Battalion.

I will follow up with information on other factors to consider, in the meantime I recommend you make reservations at one of the military Recreation Centers I mentioned above for temporary living. It is a great way to transition and recuperate before jumping into your new assignment. But hurry! they fill up quickly, especially during the Spring/Summer season.

I would love to assist you with your transition to our area. Contact me and we’ll start planning and weighing your options as soon as possible! It is a great time to invest in property on our beautiful Emerald Coast! We can find a great fit for you!

Lee Newton


Re/Max Coastal Properties, (850) 247-8575