Moving is never easy, especially when making the transition from active military to civilian. While living in VA housing is often comparable to living in a typical American home, there are some key differences. There are often more rules and a closer community of neighbors. Those having trouble adjusting should use this quick guide to learn a few ways to make the transition a breeze.
Step 1: Decorate the Space
Make the new house look like it belongs to the family. Paint over dull white or tan walls, hang some framed photos, and unpack boxes. The quicker a family is to personalize the space, the quicker the house will start to resemble home.
In most cases, VA homes can be painted on the inside and outside. Check with the HOA to ensure the home is compliant with current rules.
Step 2: Venture Outside
Rather than knock on the neighbor’s doors, try hanging out in the front yard. Greet everyone who is walking by and invite them to join in on the fun. This helps family members get to know one another in an extremely casual setting.
Step 3: Join Clubs
Activities can be a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends. Explore a wide range of community events, clubs, and activities. Most neighborhoods offer a community board, but most people find success online. Don’t be afraid to attend events or meetings that aren’t run by the HoA or other official sources.
Step 4: Get Involved in the Community
Joining a book club or sewing circle can help people make new friends, but it doesn’t give them a sense of pride or belonging. Becoming more involved in the new community allows new residents to expand their circle of friends. They will also be working to improve the community, making it a much better place to live.
Step 5: Understand the Neighborhood
VA housing is a lot like getting a traditional mortgage. Unlike staying on government-owned property, residents are placed in communities surrounded by civilians. Not everyone is going to have the same experiences, which can make things a little harder on recent veterans. Instead of focusing on differences, try thinking about things that make everyone the same. This can help the veteran make stronger connections with others.
Feeling at home after a move isn’t easy. While VA housing in Los Angeles can be beautiful, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to move in or part of a program. The goal of the housing is to get an affordable home that can be appreciated for years to come. Moving is an investment and veterans need to feel comfortable with their decision.