As a retired soldier, I retired in 1980 with 27 full years of service. I bought my first home in London in 1966. I was a Cpl, and after being offered a 2 bedroom PMQ, when I had a wife and 2 kids...the home was not big enough for a family. So I went out on the market bought a brand new home. I scraped together the downpayment, the interest rate was 7% then. After getting transferred to Montreal in 1971, selling my home in London, then buying a home outside of Montreal. I got posted to Calgary 1976. I sold my home outside of Montreal. I couldn't take time to go to Calgary to find a place...so I was lucky and got a 4 bdrm unit semi-detached. I had 4 children now. . The neighbours told me that that was the dirtiest home in the PMQ's. The soldier who was there had walked away from the army and his family. So when she left, she packed up her kids and walked. The unit was then painted with gloss white paint...right over all the dirt...when we arrived..it was take it or walk...A truck load of furniture, and a wife and 4 young children. I then started looking for a home off the base..I did, I bought a place, and only spent 3 months in PMQ's. I was then posted to Toronto in 1979. I sold my house for a considerable profit.
My story is...I would never live in a PMQ again. I got some wifes in Calgary to picket the front gate of the base over the housing conditions...and their husbands got in trouble...or as I said they "chickened out" and let the army screw them...that's them not me.
I see people living in PMQ's and making good money...and don't tell me you don't make good money. I see all the pickup trucks, the boats, the campers...all the toys..Joe down the road gets a new truck ...you all got to get a new truck.
I see people retiring, who don't have a pot to piss in, they then have to adjust to a new life, and maybe try to buy a home, and start a mortgage...it's too damn late.
Just stop buying the "Toys for Big Boys" and save some money for a down payment...the interest rates are at lowest in over half a century...I was paying over 14% on a mortgage once. I invested in a home, and to me it payed off in spades...it's your choice...Toys for Big Boys....or a home for your family...all paid off when you retire.
I only made it to Sgt., pay level 6...my top pay in 1979 was $20,000/year
So the moral of the story is don't complain...buy a home and move out, or rent off base, and get away from that PMQ mentality
The choice is yours