Military Housing: Should You Live On Base Or Off?

Being in the military influences your lifestyle and certain important decisions like where you live.

Living on base or off is entirely up to personal preference. There is no rule or law that governs that decision. As much as it is believed that those in the military live on base, some do live off it. Let us consider reasons for living on and off the military base.

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Living On Base

Militants’ quarters are based on position, location, and family status, but almost all recruits usually begin their military career sitting down.

In addition, there are post offices, shopping centers, medical and dental clinics, and other businesses. Basic services are open to all community service members and may be available to individual guests.

As members of the service increase in rank, they find better housing options to choose from, if any. Members of the same service can live in houses such as a modern college dormitory, which may have one room or shared living space.

In contrast, many members of the higher ministry, or those married, may choose a variety of apartments and singles. – family houses.

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Reasons for Living on Base

Many people in the military choose to live on Base for the following reasons:

  • Value For Money

Depending on where you live, the military might have more to offer than just living in a city. On Base, the buildings are a short walk from the beach, with yards and a central AC, and although they are not in the latest real estate trends, they are timeless.

  • Financial Allowance

If you live in a private barracks, your Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) pays the monthly rent and utilities. It is a clean, simple procedure that eliminates the hassle of paying your bills on time. Although many costs are included, you may need to set up internet, cable, etc., alone.

  • The Military Community.

Those in the military are known for their solid and supportive community. There is something special about meeting people you may not have met and contacted.

If your whole life happens off Base (work, school, etc.), living on Base is a great way to keep your foot in the community while pursuing your interests.

  • Easy-To-Use Resources

Living on Base puts you close to everything you need like commissary, exchange, health clinic/hospital, gym, lawyer, church, counseling, mechanic, and gas. A ministry member is also around the corner from work, which would be great!

Reasons For Not Living On Base

Some choose not to live based on the following reasons:

  • Better Schools

In some cases, military recruiting has available schools for students living on the Base. Those schools can be beautiful, with small classroom sizes and parents actively participating in the classroom.

Living off Base allows parents to choose where they live and which schools their children will attend.

In some cases, children living in a military facility go to school outside a school, a private, a public school, or a public school. Sitting down means your kids will have fewer options (if any) in their learning.

  • Housing Offices Are Complex.

Working with private companies that own a housing base can be a nightmare. Problems that you can address promptly, poor communication about housing availability, and overpayment/fines for breaking the law or damage are just some reasons why some military families choose not to live on Base.

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Living Off Base

Service members who qualify to live without a foundation are given a Basic Housing Grant (BAH) as part of their compensation.

BAH is a monthly amount that considers the service member’s local living costs and service level and the number of dependents.

Finally, BAH ensures that everyone gets the money to cover their living conditions.

Reasons To Live Off Base

When a member of the military decides to live off Base, they have the opportunity to save part of their housing allowance by choosing a house or apartment with a lower value than what you get with BAH.

While it may be easier in some areas than in others, it is good to know that you can control where that money goes and how much it costs to rent compared to other expenses. Reasons for living off Base include:

  • Freedom Of A Home Business.

All the small business insurance in the world will not save you when the basic authorities refuse to permit you to run your home business outside of your basics.

Military officials require local business owners to apply to run their businesses regularly, but their blessing is far from guaranteed.

If the home business conflicts with the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) office or the exchange service that may work, you will be given a “big” no. The best way for a military partner to make sure they can run a home-based business to live off Base.

  • Easy Access In Your Home.

Of course, there are good things about life on Base, such as proximity to work and a functioning military commission.

But there are also many unpleasant things. If you usually have guests, not military family members with ID cards, staying on base means getting them a pass every time they arrive.

And although the bases have at least one 24-hour gate, your homes may be close to the gate that closes very early in the morning or does not open for the holidays, which adds excellent driving time to any trip from the area. Living off base means trading so that you and your guests can easily access your home.

  • Strict Rules On The Environment.

Most military bases have strict rules on operations in the environment, how often you have to mow your lawn, and more. Although some non-base rental properties may have similar rules, they are less common and rarely come with the kind of coercive force you will see in the military environment.

Underground pools, for example, are seldom allowed in military residences. At the same time, many rental owners who are not under a solid foundation will not consider you if you decide to install them. By living off Base, you can always control what you can and cannot do in your yard.


  • If you choose to live off base and government buildings, the Department of Defense owns the property, and the service member does not pay the rent.
  • If the housing base is private, the property management company acts as the property owner. You will receive a Basic Housing Grant in your check to pay for accommodation and utilities.
  • If you live off base, the government pays your house up to a certain amount, which gives you the freedom and flexibility to get the type of house and property you choose, though it does not count the cost of homeownership as property taxes. Or insurance.
  • Although service members residing overseas receive a monthly allowance, rental fees do not automatically receive at a fixed rate.

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