The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a type of military housing allowance provided to service members who live off base. It helps to offset the cost of housing and is an important benefit for many service members and their families.

In this article, we will be exploring the basics of BAH, how it is calculated, and how it can be utilized to make the best housing decisions.

What is BAH and How is it Determined?

BAH is a tax-free allowance that is designed to assist service members in covering the cost of housing. The amount of BAH received is based on the average cost of housing in a specific area and is adjusted annually to keep up with changing housing costs. The calculation of BAH takes into account the size of the unit, rental rates, and utilities.

Making the Most of BAH

BAH can be a valuable tool for service members seeking off-base housing. By understanding the amount of BAH you are eligible for, you can make informed decisions about your housing options. Here are a few ways BAH can be utilized to your advantage:

Budgeting: BAH can assist in determining what you can afford in terms of rent or mortgage and utilities. Utilize the BAH calculator above to estimate your BAH rate and use it as a reference when searching for off-base housing.

Evaluating Housing Options: BAH can be used to compare housing options and determine which ones are within your budget. Consider location, size, and amenities when evaluating housing options, and use your BAH rate as a guide. If you have any questions, reach out to us for assistance.

Negotiating Rent: BAH can also serve as leverage when negotiating rent with landlords. If you come across a unit above your BAH rate, use your BAH rate as a bargaining tool to negotiate for a lower rent. We’ve seen many cases where a landlord wants to help a service member out and will lower the rent to accommodate your BAH, especially when you have a great rental history.

In conclusion, BAH is a critical benefit for service members and their families. By understanding how it is calculated and how to utilize the BAH calculator, you can make informed decisions about your housing options and budget. We have over 20 years of experience lending to military members in the JBLM area and helping them get a VA loan that can be paid for with BAH funds. Call us today or get started and approved online.