COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Thousands of empty houses and apartments across the Valley could come with the expected loss of nearly 3,400 soldiers on Fort Benning.
Despite local pushes to keep soldiers in the Valley, thousands of Third Brigade soldiers are expected to be re-assigned within the next few months.
The packing process has already began for some, and apartment complexes across the Valley are gearing up for an influx of empty rooms.
"The rental side will see more of an effect," said Real estate agent Tashema Johnson as she explained how military members can legally break their leases if the job forces them to move, leaving a leasing agents busy filling their vacancies.
Managers from Greystone properties who own nearly a dozen complexes in the area say 28 percent of their tenants are military members or their families, but not all have ties to the Third Brigade.
Still, they say they are expecting a two to three percent lower occupancy once downsizing is complete, despite currently having a wait list at multiple properties.
"The rental side will see more of an effect than the buying and the selling side, because they can get out of the orders," said Johnson, also adding that now is the time for renters and future home owners to hop on incentives, specials, and discounts.
"If we can get those renters educated and qualified and eligible to purchase, then we can get some of those people to purchase some of the those people that will be leaving," said Johnson.