After months of contention members of the real estate community on Guam and the Navy Housing office look are reaching an agreement on what constitutes fair market rentals for off-base housing.

Board members of the newly formed Military Liaison Committee of the Guam Association of Realtors met with David Matthews housing officer at Naval Forces Marianas on May 26. Air Force housing personnel from Andersen Air Force Base were not in attendance at this particular meeting but have been in attendance at other meetings that have been held since Dec. 16.

Meetings were to try to work out mutually satisfactory methods of assessing fair market rental for housing units off-base. Additionally the two sides hoped to reach a greater understanding of each others’ needs after a history of stormy relations (See “Navy and Realtors continue to meet on rental issues ” in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal; “Navy and Realtors hold powwow in rental row ” in the Dec. 27 2004 issue of the Journal; “Rental rancor in the ranks ” in the Dec. 13 2004 issue of the Journal and “Rental rancor ” in the Nov. 15 2004 issue of the Journal.).

Christopher Felix president and principal broker of Century 21 Realty Management Co. and chairman of the Realtors’ committee told the Journal “It was a very positive meeting. A final meeting is scheduled for Tuesday [May 31]. Right now everything looks very positive for settling a fair market value for off-base military housing. Appraisers were chosen. The challenge was the process and that was worked out and resolved. The key to that was the appraisal process.” He said the “methodologies and final wrap-ups” would be concluded on May 31

A perception reported to the Journal by Navy spouses that the housing office was emphasizing on-base housing was inaccurate Senior Chief Petty Officer Jonathan E. Annis acting public affairs officer for Naval Forces Marianas said. “It’s policy to offer base housing but living in the community is a common alternative.” He said the choice of on- or off-base housing was “Based on the availability of government housing and the desire of the service member. When service members check into the command one of the first stops is the Navy Housing Office. They are typically offered government housing or put on a waiting list. They are given at least one chance to accept the housing or not. There may be service members that have already made up their minds but they are at least offered the opportunity. I think they are surprised what housing can offer.” Where to live is generally a decision based on many factors Annis said. “It rests on quality of life and can be determined by many things. It’s a personal decision to some degree.” MBJ