Congratulations on PCS’ing to the United States Naval Academy! This will be one of the best assignments of your career. The USNA is located in Annapolis which is the state capital of Maryland and the unofficial “Sailing Capital of the World”. The Academy is on the Severn River which opens up to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Annapolis is 33 miles east of Washington DC and 30 miles south of Baltimore.
A Brief History of the United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy was first established October 10th, 1845 on a 10 acre Army post in Annapolis MD known as Fort Severn. The first class consisted of 50 midshipmen and 7 professors. In 1850 the school was officially named the United States Naval Academy and they began requiring attendance for four years as well as assignments to ships during the summer.
Today the USNA has expanded from it’s original 10 acres to 338 acres, the original student body of 50 midshipmen has grown to over 4,000 midshipmen and the old wooden structures of Fort Severn have been replaced with beautiful granite structures.
Over the years there have been several notable graduatesof the academy including President Jimmy Carter and congressman John McCain. In total, the USNA has produced 1 President, 24 members of Congress, 5 state Governors, 2 Nobel Prize winners and 53 Astronauts.
Every year the USNA opens their doors to the public for their annual air show performed by the Navy’s Blue Angels. Watching this performance has turned into a regular treat for many local Maryland residents. With your assignment to the USNA you get a front row seat to this awesome show. Some of the best viewing of this air show is on the Naval Academy grounds or on a boat in the Severn River.
On Base Recreation
Carr Creek Marina
Located at the mouth of the Severn River, Carr Creek Marina offers a wide range of recreational options including boat slips, Boat and Kayak rentals and even sailing lessons.
The outdoor rec offers rentals of everything you need to have a great summer. A few items you can rent from them are: Tents, Grills, Mountain-Bikes, Sports Equipment and even Inflatable Slides
USNA Golf Course
Yes! There is an 18 hole golf course at the academy which is managed by the Naval Academy Golf Association. This golf course is open to all active duty and retired military members. https://usnagolf.com/
The Liberty Zone is meant for E1-E6 service members and features televisions, video games, pool tables, and free wi-fi. Call 410-293-9200 for more information
Downtown Annapolis “Nap Town”
With it’s charming cobblestone roads and beautifully preserved 17th and 18th century architecture, Historic Downtown Annapolis is a tourist destination for many and a favorite of many locals. Besides the history, Downtown Annapolis also offers many shops, activities, bars and restaurants! In fact, it has a reputation for great food! Here are just two local favorites!
Chick and Ruth’s Deli
Where to Live When PCS’ing to the United States Naval Academy
The USNA is located in Anne Arundel County and because of this, offers some of the highest BAH rates in the nation. For example, as of 2017 an E-6 with dependents will receive $ 2,349.00 a month in housing allowance. You can find your specific BAH here http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
Anne Arundel County also offers higher then average maximum VA Loan limits. This is due to the high cost to live in this area. The standard VA Loan limit is based off of the county you are purchasing in and for the majority of counties in the US the standard is $424,100. However, Anne Arundel County’s max VA Loan Limit is $517,500 and there are other counties within driving distance with even higher. More information here and here.
What does this all mean for you? It means being stationed at the United States Naval Academy gives you a unique opportunity to purchase a home rather then rent and put your monthly BAH towards building a large amount of equity in your home in a relatively short period of time.
If you are willing to have a commute into Annapolis then you have the opportunity to choose whether you want to live in the City, Suburbs or the Country. As a general rule of thumb the further away from downtown Annapolis you move the larger the home and lot you can get for the same price compared to purchasing a home near down town Annapolis.
Here are some of the most common area’s people move to:
A common area for people to live is down Forest Drive. There are many residential communities only a short distance from the USNA in this area and many offer water access and even water views. As an added benefit you have Quiet Waters Park near by. You will find a wide range of ages of homes from some that date back to the 1800’s to brand new construction. One concern about living in this area, however, is there is only one major road, Forest Drive, which gives access to many of these communities, so traffic in the morning and evening can get congested.
The Broadneck Peninsula is located between the USNA and the bay bridge and would be considered the suburbs. It offers many communities established in the 80’s and 90’s and may be a little more spaced out than many communities in Annapolis. This area may require you to use rt. 50 to commute into the USNA, however, there are many back roads you could use instead. Living here also gives you easy access to Sandy Point State Park which is a popular destination for many locals who enjoy fishing, swimming or lounging around on the beach.
Edgewater is on the other side of the South River and is a good alternative to living in Annapolis. Like Annapolis, it offers many well established communities, many with water views and water access. You are also just a short drive from local shopping, restaurants and a bars as well as down town Annapolis.
Kent Island is located across the Bay Bridge and would be considered the suburbs. Out of all the previous options, Kent Island is probably the most spaced out and would probably be your best bet if you are looking for a large yard. Kent Island offers abundant shopping and has even turned into a tourist destination for many. Even if you don’t plan on living there, Kent Island is worth a visit. Make sure to check out Kent Island’s Historical District and enjoy some crabs at the Kent Narrows.
Annapolis Official Site https://www.annapolis.gov/
USNA Navy Lodging https://www.navy-lodge.com/lodge_page.html?p_lodge_number=23
Navy Support Activity https://www.usna.edu/quicklinks/support-activity.php
Navy Annapolis MWR http://www.navymwrannapolis.com/