Exploring the 360: Welcome to Bremerton, WA

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You’ve finally gotten your orders, and surprise: you’re transferring to Bremerton, WA!

Wait a minute…Bremerton, WA? Isn’t that almost in Canada? I don’t know anything about that area, and now I’m moving my family there?

Here at PCSMoves.com, we're doing an ongoing series of posts about potential new duty stations and how to get your family situated. Each month, we’ll cover different regions, served by the nationwide network of real estate professionals that make up PCSMoves.com. Click here to read our last post about Newport, RI.

Bremerton is in Kitsap County, WA. The 2016 population was listed at 40,500, making it the largest city on the Kitsap Peninsula. Bremerton is home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Bremerton Annex of Naval Base Kitsap. Bremerton is connected to Downtown Seattle by a 60-minute ferry route, which carries both vehicles and walk-on passengers along a 17-mile sailing route.

If you’re moving to Bremerton without a place to live, check out Navy Lodge Everett in Seattle. Staying at the lodge for a week or two can take off some of the pressure you might feel while looking for a place to live. The Navy Lodge offers rooms with private kitchen and dining areas, as well as two queen-size beds and microwaves.

And if you’ve got a family pet with you on this move, check with the Navy Lodge before you arrive to find out if they have any of their pet-friendly rooms available. If not, the staff may be able to give you some local kennel information. If pets are allowed, be sure to ask if there will be pet fees due at check-in.

Temporary lodging at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton is also available at the Bachelor House Navy Gateway Inn and Suites. Rooms at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton are offered at a discounted rate and offer rollaway beds and cribs at no extra charge. Call 360-770-9100 for more information about available rooms and reservations.

If both facilities don’t have anything available for you, Bremerton Naval Housing suggested securing a letter of non-availability from those facilities to take advantage of other local (civilian) lodging, which generally has competitive features and military specials.

Should you decide to buy or rent a home, “The average price of a home Kitsap County is about $275,000, which is not much different than the Washington state average of $273,000. Rent in the area ranges from $700 to $1,300 per month.,” according to the Naval housing website.

NB Kitsap-Bremerton on-base housing is managed privately by Forest City Military Communities, together with NB Kitsap-Bangor and NUWC Keyport. The historic homes on base at Kitsap-Bremerton are for officers; other ranks are assigned to housing neighborhoods in nearby Silverdale or on board Kitsap-Bangor. Waitlists may apply and vary in length. Call the NB Kitsap housing office to learn more about types of homes and availability, at (360) 396-4399.

If you’ve made a PCS move with the military packing you out, a bonus is not worrying about storing your personal belongings while you’re looking for a place to live. Your household belongings may take longer to get to you, but your items can be stored for you if they arrive while you're still looking for housing.

If you’ve made this as a personal move, chances are you didn’t bring everything with you from your previous home. If you need to pick up a few items for your new home, Yelp has a list of the 10 Best Thrift Shops in Bremerton. There's also the usual assortment of Target and Wal-Mart stores in the Bremerton/Seattle area as well, so finding your favorite brands of everything shouldn’t be a problem.

The Bremerton area is also home to two separate military veterinary clinics.

The clinics have different working hours. Due to their limited manpower and resources, most veterinary emergency cases are best served by a full service civilian veterinary hospital.

Because all pets living on-post must be registered with the veterinary treatment facility upon arrival, if you’re hoping to live on-post with your pet, contact Bremerton housing as soon as you know you’re transferring. This gives you a chance to find out if your pet will be allowed in on-post housing. They may limit the number and breed of pets that can live on-post.

Make sure you start getting plugged into your new community as soon as you can. The Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Department has a monthly newsletter to which you can subscribe. NS Everett has its own Facebook page, as does NS Kitsap and NAS Whidbey Island. MWR’s mission is to provide quality support and recreational services that contribute to the retention, readiness, mental, physical, and emotional well being of the military and their families.

If you have young children that may need care because of your work schedule, be sure to look into Kitsap's Child Development Centers.

And speaking of work, Kitsap’s Fleet & Family Support Center has a Family Employment Readiness Program, if you are, or you have, a spouse that needs to look for a job. Long gone are the days where the thought was that wives aren’t issued with a sailor’s sea bag, so that must mean they aren’t important.

Depending on what your current needs are, your local Fleet & Family Support office may be a place you want to check. From Family Employment, Ombudsman Support, the Exceptional Family Member Program and more, they can assist in supporting your family. When family members have the resources they need, service members can focus on their jobs, proving family readiness is directly linked to fleet readiness.

But your new life in Bremerton can’t revolve around what’s on-base! Get out and live like a local! Take a road trip to Seattle and check out 1, or maybe all 6, of the restaurants Guy Fieri has featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network.

If you’re still looking for more of what Bremerton is like, follow PCSMoves on Pinterest and check out our, “How To PCS Like A Pro,” and our, “Life in Bremerton, WA,” boards.

Where has been your favorite place to live? Share with us in the comments! Thinking about looking for a new home because of a PCS move? Start your search with us!

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