Friday, May 13, 2016

How To Pass The Final Inspection For Base Housing

We recently PCSed (moved) from Tinker AFB in Oklahoma to Joint Base San Antonio. (Lackland.) We lived on base in Oklahoma so when it was time to move, we knew we'd be going through an inspection. This means someone comes into the house and makes sure everything is clean. (There's also a pre-inspection. I wrote about that here.) You cannot leave until they sign off. It can be rather daunting, but I have tips.

1. We paid them to clean. No wait! Don't go! Even though we paid them to clean, we still were responsible for some things. Take a look:

Now, personally if I'm forking over $300, I shouldn't have to clean a damn thing. But Balfour Beatty is mean.

2. One thing we had to do? Clean all the outdoor light fixtures. Bugs will get trapped in them so we had to unscrew them. A tip? Put them in the dishwasher. I'm serious. It works! If you need to clean things before you pack them, I recommend Sonic Soak. Sonic Soak is the newest evolution in washing technology that uses ultrasonic technology to result in a deeper clean, saved time, water and energy all in a compact package that can be taken anywhere. You can experience ultrasonic cleaning with this! I love that it's portable too, so it's perfect for hotel living. It ends up being more gentle than a regular washing machine and even hand washing. I would clean many toys with this.

3. Keep out a vacuum until the last minute. The packers are generally nice and will allow this. When they DO pack up the vacuum, make sure you have a friend who can loan you one. You MUST have clean floors otherwise they'll charge you.

4. We just made sure we started to clean as soon as the movers packed up all our stuff. Even though we paid them to clean, we didn't want to wait until the last moment to do what we were in charge of. My husband cleaned out the trash cans the day after the movers left. You'd think this was an easy task, but sometimes food and gunk gets stuck on the bottom. It took him about a half hour to clean it all away. My advice? Routinely clean out your trash cans.

3. We were polite. Maybe TOO polite. I was not pleased when they claimed a piece of carpet was not able to be fixed. I reminded them we had lived there for almost 5 years. We have kids. Pets. It's not going to look perfect. But because they weren't able to patch it, we had to pay for it. (However, if you have renter's insurance, call them, because they might cover it. USAA did cover the carpet!) But I think because we didn't show up at the final inspection with foul moods, it made the lady inspecting the house maybe a little kinder. After all, we had a stain under the sink when my shampoo spilled out and she didn't say a thing. I worried we'd have to pay for it.

4. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your friend. We used this to clean the fridge. There were some stains on the bottom and the eraser got it right up. We also had some stains on the floor. Also, set aside some cleaning sprays. The movers won't pack them anyway.

5. Be careful when pulling out your stove and fridge. Another thing we had to do was clean underneath these. My husband and I each took a side and pulled slowly. Then we used the vacuum, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and the cleaning spray to get the floor. It really wasn't as bad as I thought.

Inspections are never fun. In fact, I made this:

It's nerve-wracking. Uncomfortable. And irritating when you're told you owe money. But it's what comes with living on base.

Good luck!


  1. You're making me so nervous for when we move out of military housing in September! We got off really easy at our last base (Tinker) because we were living in the housing that they were knocking down so they didn't really care about anything except the appliances.


  2. That reminds me about when I went away for a weekend and Cassidy took the kids to Chuck E cheese and came down with a wicked virus while there. Can you imagine?
    These seem like great tips. I'm glad you were polite. I probably would've screamed at the top of my lungs, but moving stresses me out in general.

  3. These are definitely great tips! We have been through several housing inspections and each one gets tougher and tougher.

  4. Awesome tips! I'm pinning this in case we ever end up on base. I wouldn't mind living on base but Cass has heard too many horror stories from his friends while out processing to ever willingly do base housing.

  5. I'll bet you're glad that's over!

  6. Or you could hope your trashcan breaks just before you pcs. Bam! Brand new clean trashcan lol.

  7. Or you could hope your trashcan breaks just before you pcs. Bam! Brand new clean trashcan lol.

  8. It's insane that you pay $300 for them to clean and still have to clean stuff. Seems extremely counter productive. Haha. But good tips none the less.

  9. I think this kind of moving has been ingrained, so every single time we move I treat it as a final inspection. I lived on base when I was younger, but not for long, my dad still made us keep to inspection standards though. :D And because my dad and my mom owned property, we (the kids) had to help clean the properties before showing... boo! I'm glad you passed and your in my home state now. :)
    Enjoy your new chapter.

  10. Our inspection in Corpus Christi was pretty easy (it wasn't Balfour Beatty). I guess it varies. Our carpet was in bad shape, but I think they were replacing all the carpet on my street anyway. We were only charged for the two piles of dog poo that I missed when I cleaned the yard. We didn't have to clean the exterior lights. I am always surprised at how much they charge for cleaning, but the houses never look that clean when I move in.

  11. Not sure how I missed this post - I blame Bloglovin! Anywho...! Hurrah for passing final inspection! Unfortunately I don't get such a list and I''m sure when I move out of my apartment, my landlord is going to rape me and not give me my deposit back. Except I won't know what I'm being measured up to. Sigh.

  12. Thanks for your post, it was very helpful. I think it is essential to keep the house clean, especially the floor, where the dirt is quickest and the inspectors can see most clearly. I have to use all of vacuums to keep the floor clean before and during testing.


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