On average, military members move every two-to-three years from one base to another and frequently get deployed away from base. The regular moving makes home ownership difficult, so Mark Uh of Trulia looked at the most and least affordable Military Housing Areas (MHAs) for active duty military members in honor of Military Appreciation Month in May.
The results show that small rural towns offer the best value to live off base with their housing stipend, while rentals around bases in the Florida Keys, Fla., Chicago, and New Orleans are least affordable.
Bigger cities and top travel destinations tended to have the lowest share of affordable rentals for these entry level enlistees without dependents. For instance, areas well-known to be expensive such as San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Cape Cod, Mass., had housing allowances that are only $100 to $200 higher than inexpensive places such as Huntsville, Ala., and Beaumont, Texas.
To calculate the results, Trulia compared military housing stipend — which vary by housing area, rank and whether or not you have dependents — with local rental costs in order to estimate how affordable each military housing area is.