Moving into your home within 30 days of moving to Naples Italy Navy Base is unheard of. With determination and these few tips, it’s possible.
When we tell people that we attended area orientation on the 8th of July and are already moving into our off base home, they can’t believe it. Moving-in within 30 days is fast but rare. So how did we move-in so soon?
In order to move-in fast you need to be really motivated – it’s not something that will happen on its own. My motivation came from being in a hotel room with a 3- and 4-year old. My kids do well when they have a routine, and going from Japan to half a week in the USA to Italy threw everything off. Add to that the fact that since the middle of April we have been living out of our suitcases, and we really wanted to get settled!
Since we were coming from Japan, we knew things would be different – opposite, in fact. In Japan, everything is neat and orderly. Time is valued and honored so when you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, you better show up at that time. The Japanese are extremely efficient. They work hard and fast and their dedication to quality is incredible.
So take everything I’ve said, apply the opposite and you have Italy. It’s great and chaotic and we love it; prepare for it now, and you will arrive ready to embrace it. When it comes to getting housing, though, the attitude is the same – it’ll get done…sometime, and on their terms, not yours.
We have friends who lived here before, and they told us they were in a hotel for over 80 days. I knew that it was possible we would be in a hotel for a long time, but its reality motivated me to not let it happen!
Finding a Home on or off the Naples Italy Navy Base
If you know you want to live on base than the process is pretty simple. Show up, submit your request for housing, and wait for something to open up. If you want to live off base, you need to wait to be approved since there is an automatic assignment to base housing in effect. You can live off base if there are 5 or less units available in the home size you qualify for.
With this in mind, we chose to move at the busiest moving month, July, to give ourselves the best shot of base housing being full.
Pro tip: If you want to live off base and your orders are flexible, try to arrive in the beginning of July to have your best chance!
On Base – Support Site
Most families that choose to live on base have school age kids or don’t want to have a long commute. There are pros and cons to living on or off base but we were hopeful to live off base.
Even if you want to live on base there is no guarantee that you will be able to move-in right away. There were several families that arrived at the same time as us that were on a waiting list because there wasn’t anything available yet. If you are PCSing to Naples during the summer, there is high turnover but with everyone moving, there are families taking their place.
There are two categories of people who live off-base. If you are military with dependents and are PCSing to the Naples Italy Navy base, you are automatically going to be assigned to on-base housing. If you want to live off base, you need to apply for off base housing. Next are civilians, they usually live off base with active duty members having priority for on base housing.
What is the process? There are a lot of steps to take before you finally move in to off-base housing.
- Receive a Certificate of Non-Availability
- Set up an appointment with a realtor who will show you different homes
- After finding a home, place a temporary hold on the residence
- Once you decide for sure that’s the home you want, place a permanent hold
- Set up an appointment for a document review (make sure the landlords have all the paperwork they need)
- Pre-contract appointment (negotiate for things you want the landlord to provide)
- Home inspection
- Final contract
Which area is the best to look? During the Area Orientation they give you numbers for break-ins in all the areas. One thing to remember is that they give you how many break-ins each area has, but they don’t tell you how many Americans live there. For instance, there are a lot of break ins in Lago Patria but there are also many more Americans there, too.
There are several realtors that will take you to different homes. Usually they each have their own designated area so they only show you the homes in that area. It’s ok to use different realtors. We were extremely lucky; our realtor only needed to take us to 4 homes. We loved 3 of the 4 homes but one of them checked more of the boxes on our wish list than the others so we went ahead and put the permanent hold on it.
Pro Tip: Give your realtors detailed information about what you want in a home!
It’s understandable that people take a long time looking for housing: this is where you will live for the next few years. Landlords can make or break your experience so you want to make sure you get a place with a great landlord.
Once you find the home you want, it’s a waiting game. The housing office will set the appointments up for you. We placed our permanent hold on July 15 and learned that the next step, the document review appointment, wouldn’t be until August 22!
Moving the Process Along
After stewing on the fact that we wouldn’t even have the document review for over a month, I decided to go to the housing office and see what could be done. The biggest hint that I can give is to talk to the right person. Always ask for the administrative support specialist or a supervisor – they are the ones that can help.
Tips for moving to the Naples Italy Navy Base:
- During your week-long area orientation make sure to attend and pay attention to all the housing info.
- Ask questions. Go up afterward and introduce yourself. They might become your new best friend and your key to moving in early.
- Don’t just call the housing office, physically make your presence known. If you have kids, bring them. They can help you “make your presence known!”
- Don’t settle for any answer given to you by the front desk. They don’t know.
- Go into the housing office everyday – multiple times a day, if you need to, have no shame!
- If you have an appointment for weeks later, go back in a couple of days to see if you can move it up. They will probably say they can’t do it, but ask to talk to a supervisor about moving it up.
- Be friendly and patient with all you meet. Sometimes there really is nothing else to do, and you’ll just have to wait.
We are so excited to be in our new home, and to be getting settled. With all the traveling we plan to do and have already been doing, having our home base set up is essential. Now, bring on the adventures!
Check out some of our early weeks adventures here: