For the first time, USAA named its top communities for military families and Harker Heights made the cut.
USAA, a financial services provider focused on serving the military community and its eligible family members, developed the 2014 “Top Military Communities” list to identify areas that offer military families looking to rent or buy a high quality of life in an affordable, off-installation location.
Harker Heights was named one of the top five communities based on cost of living, schools and access to amenities, among other things.
Rodney Shine, a Realtor with the Shine Team, has worked in the Fort Hood area real estate business since 1997.
“Harker Heights has great schools with a great reputation among the military community as well as great parks and recreational opportunities for families,” Shine said.
Close proximity to good shopping and access to services are also reasons why military families choose to buy or rent homes in Harker Heights, according to Shine.
Maj. Reggie Jamo of the 1st Cavalry Division lives in Harker Heights with his wife, Elizabeth, and their 15-month-old daughter.
Jamo said he looked at houses in other cities before buying their current home in Harker Heights in 2007.
“I like that it’s close to Fort Hood with easy access to whatever I need,” Jamo said.
Even though the couple did not have children when they first moved to Harker Heights, they were attracted to the quality of education their future kids could expect from schools in Harker Heights.
The study evaluated communities in the five U.S. metro areas with the greatest military active-duty and dependent populations, as reported by the Defense Department. USAA and a panel of real estate agents reviewed community variables, including crime rate, affordability, quality of primary schools, proximity to military installations and access to shopping, restaurants, and parks and recreation.
Other local areas receiving high marks in the study were Kempner and the south central portion of Killeen.