FORT KNOX, KY (WAVE) - Housing needs continue to expand as more military families relocate to Fort Knox. Rental properties are tougher to find according to Realtor Johnny Melloan based in Elizabethtown.
"A lot of people moved here from Fort Hood, Texas and moved here toward the end of last year," Melloan said. "They ate up a lot of the rental units that were available. It is more difficult to find a rental right now."
The movement is part of the BRAC transformation announced in 2005. By the end of next year, 11,500 people are expected to have relocated to the Fort Knox area through base realignment and closures.
"That 11,500 enlisted soldiers will include the Department of Army civilians, government contractors and, of course, the family members of those folks," said Kenny Rambo, a spokesperson for OneKnox, a community liaison with Fort Knox.
The challenges don't stop there.
"Some of the outgoing organizations are still with us as some of the incoming organizations are arriving," Rambo said. "As a result, we're seeing a swell in the population and demand on infrastructure. If there is a challenge that exists, It is in the rental market."
The strain finds more families expanding their search radius to find housing. Counties impacted include Hardin, Meade, Jefferson, Larue, Nelson, Grayson, Breckinridge, Washington, Marion and Bullitt according to Rambo.
"Kind of sorted over a ten county region," he said.
Most families prepared to relocate are coming from St. Louis, Indianapolis and Alexandria, VA said Rambo. The housing search finds families exploring new options according to Realtor Melloan.
"There were many people who initially thought about renting and found out they could buy something far better than they would have expected and they wanted to do that," Melloan said.
Mellon said he is working with a family moving to Elizabethtown from Alexandria, VA in two weeks. He called the cost to buy a home in Kentucky comparable to their current rent in Virginia. The size of their new house is twice as large.
"For the money they were spending on rent, they could get a home just like this," Melloan said of the $350,000 four-bedroom, 4 1/2 bathroom home between Glendale and Elizabethtown.
Business continues to grow for the realtor who said he "had 11 closings in one week, one of those closings was not related to BRAC." He called it a "pretty typical situation" in the current market for the Fort Knox area.
"Melloan Real Estate has been in business for 15 years. My wife has been selling real estate for 30 years. It's the busiest we've seen," Melloan said. "This has the potential to be what Toyota was for Georgetown (KY)."