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Blount Island Command Marine Corps - Military BAH

Blount Island Command Marine Corps is a military base located on the eastern side of Blount Island, Jacksonville, Florida.

The command center served as a logistic base and was built for maintenance operations and coordination of maritime ships. More than 250 active military troops are stationed at the base working with over 1000 civilian contractors.

Military personnel working inside the base can live on or off the base. Those living off base often receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to help offset the cost of renting or buying a home in nearby neighborhoods.

Whether you're currently stationed at Blount Island Command Base and looking to buy a home or have received a PCS order to this station, you may want to learn more about the military BAH in the area, housing options, cost of living, and everything in between.

We have discussed more on Blount Island Command Marine Corps Military BAH in the sections below.

Overview of Blount Island Command Marine Corps

The Blount Island Command Marine Corps is one of the newly built military bases in the United States. This base was built around a small camp set up in 1942.

Today, the Blount Island Command base houses some of the most sophisticated technologies and infrastructure with oversight from the Marine Corps logistics base in Albany, Georgia.

The mission of Blount Island Command Marine Corps is to provide a viable command that supports the development and deployment of military resources for combat readiness and operational and administrative needs.

Blount Island Command Marine Corps also serves as a focal point for coordinating Marine reserve component support for U.S. military operations worldwide.

History of the Base

In the 1970s, the Marine Corps envisioned the idea of a Maritime Prepositioning Force (MFP) to offer logistics, operational support, and maintenance to the various U.S. military assets worldwide.

At the time, naval ships were stationed in Diego Garcia, Okinawa, and the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. Until the early 1980s, the Marine Corps was determined to acquire the MPF and use it to improve combat readiness.

During that same period, the Marine Corps leased some ships for the MPF program, forming three MPF squadrons. The over 1,100 acres of land that the base sits at today was purchased from Gate Maritime Properties for $160 million in 2004 after the release period expired.

Blount Island Command Based coordinates primary maritime operations, where ships are loaded with items required for logistical and security support before being assigned to different destinations.

Understanding Military BAH

The basic allowance for housing (BAH) is a monthly allowance paid to service members stationed away from home who aren't living in government housing.

Besides using this allowance to pay rent or mortgage, it can also help cover other expenses related to living in the area where you're stationed. The amount of your BAH depends on where you work, whether you have dependents, and your rank or pay grade.

Most qualifying service members use the BAH allowance to qualify for a VA loan. And depending on the home value and the area you are stationed in, the BAH can cover most or even all of your monthly mortgage payments.

The Blount Island Command Marine Corps Military BAH ranges from $1,437 to $2,226, depending on your job grade and whether or not you have dependents.

Using BAH to Qualify for VA Loans

If you plan on using your BAH payment to settle monthly mortgage payments, you must first understand that every person's situation is different. Those interested in owning a home can use this tool to make their homeownership dream a reality.

VA loans have some unique requirements, but they're generally easier to qualify for than conventional loans. Below are some VA eligibility requirements:

  • You are an active service member who has served in the military for at least 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.

  • You have six years of service in the National Reserves or Guard or are a veteran discharged under honorable conditions.

  • You intend to use the home as your primary residence. So if you're renting and want to buy a home, you are eligible for the loan.

  • Your credit score must be at least 620 to qualify for a VA loan, depending on the lender's requirements. It's worth noting that VA doesn't set the credit score requirements, but the lender will.

  • The home you want to buy must be within the VA's housing limit for your particular duty location.

Since BAH payments act as a non-taxable income source, VA allows lenders to gross the borrower's income, adjusting the non-taxable income upward. If, for instance, your Blount Island Command Marine Corps Military BAH is $2,000, it can be grossed up by 25% resulting in a monthly qualifying income of $2,500.

Suppose that your monthly debts are $800; the debt-to-income ratio becomes ($800/$2,500) 32%, below the 41% DTI threshold required by most VA lenders. The lower the DTI, the higher chances of qualifying for VA loans at competitive rates.

That said, homeownership isn't the right fit for every military member. You should align your priorities before choosing, as home ownership is always a significant commitment.

Living Off Base in Blount Island Command Marine Corps

Living off base in Blount Island Command Base can be a great experience. You'll find that the area has great neighborhoods and plenty of amenities to support your day-to-day life and ideal lifestyle off base.

Whether you are considering moving off base or PCSing to Blount Island Command Base, several housing options exist. If you need help determining which one is right for you and your family, there are housing representatives happy to help answer any questions that may arise during this process.

Before deciding to live off base, you want to consider how such a move will affect you and your family's quality of life. Typically, living off base is advisable if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Here are some aspects to consider before renting or buying a home off-base.

  • Community - Everyone desires to live in a welcoming community that allows children to thrive and become responsible adults. Always ensure that the community or neighborhood you want to relocate to serves the interest of your loved ones.

  • Security - On top of the list of critical aspects to consider is the level of crime rate in the area you want to settle in. If the area has low crime rates, typically below the national average, that's a good sign. You should also choose areas that aren't prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

  • Transportation options - More often, living off base means you'll be commuting to and from work every other day. If you live off base, ensure you can quickly drive or commute to the base. This will save you a lot of time and money in commute costs.

  • Basic amenities - Last but not least is the availability of basic amenities, from health services, good transportation networks, schools, and playgrounds, to mention a few.

Light bulb inside wooden house

The Cost of Living Off Base

The cost of living off base in Blount Island Command Base is comparable to that of Jacksonville, Florida, which is 8% lower than the Florida average and 7% lower than the national average. Depending on where you choose to live, the cost of living can be higher or lower, which can translate to spending more or less compared to living on base. Every individual or family's needs vary, so the cost of living will also vary.

Most active duty military personnel stationed at Blount Island Command Base choose to rent apartments or own homes instead of living on the base. This is especially true for those with families, as it allows them to have more space and privacy. They also live a more relaxed lifestyle while blending in with the civilian communities.

The House Hunting Process

Now that you know more about Blount Island Command Marine Corps and how military BAH is determined, it's time to look for a home for sale. As you would expect, the house-hunting process can be tricky.

There are many factors to consider, which can sometimes be overwhelming. When you're ready to start searching for your new home, these tips will help you make the best decisions possible.

  • Do Your Research - Before looking at houses, make sure you understand what's out there. The more information you have about the housing market in the area, the better prepared you'll be when it comes time to make an offer on a property.

  • Know what you want - Knowing what kind of house you want is essential before going to the market to find one. That way, you will only look at properties that fit your needs or budget requirements. Once you've got a good idea of what type of house will work best for your lifestyle needs (and financial situation), it's time to start looking!

  • Pick a realtor you trust - Make sure that they are someone who you feel comfortable speaking with about your needs and wants for your future home! Your realtor will be with you throughout the process and help guide you through all the necessary steps.

  • Take your time making decisions - This is your home, and you should feel comfortable with it. Take some time to relax before choosing where you'll live next. You should also remember that they are military families out there who are going through the same house-hunting process. Talk to them about their experiences, or share yours with them.

  • Keep records - Write down the pros and cons of each potential property so you can compare them later on and be sure that what seems like an insignificant detail now won't be a problem later on (like a small yard or no garage).

  • Always get pre-approval before making an offer - That way, your offer will be more competitive in the market. Similarly, you'll know exactly how much money is available for closing costs, moving expenses, furniture purchases, etc., and whether there will be any unexpected costs down the road.

Once you've found the ideal home, your realtor will help you negotiate costs, review the contract offer, and plan for the inspection exercise. From here, you'll comfortably proceed to close, having understood all the contractual terms and your obligations as a new homeowner.

The Five Best Neighborhoods to Consider When Looking for a Home near Blount Island Command Base

When looking to buy a home near Blount Island Command Base, a few neighborhoods stand out as the most ideal for military families.

These neighborhoods have several private, public, and charter schools, outdoor fun activities, shopping centers, and restaurants. They are also close enough to the base and Jacksonville city, making it easier to access significant services.

That said, below are the five best neighborhoods to consider.

San Mateo

Located west of Blount Island Command is the San Mateo neighborhood common among military personnel and civilian contractors stationed at the base. The area has several residential developments that date to the late 1990s and features a variety of home styles, including single-story brick, contemporary, colonial, Craftsman, and Mediterranean Villas.

The median home listing price in San Mateo is $269,900, and most are three or four-bedroom modest tract homes. Not more than 20 homes are often listed for sale at a time, and the lowest listing price may go slightly below $200,000.

Fun things in the San Mateo neighborhood include fishing, boating on the Broward River, and exploring the nearby Imeson Park and Jacksonville Zoo.

Chandlers Crossing

The Chandlers Crossing neighborhood is a popular residential hub after the Blount Island Industrial Zone. The area features custom-built homes, apartment complexes, and luxury homes built on extensive tracts of land. Most homes were built in the 2000s and featured modern facilities and furnishings.

As a relatively small, close-knit neighborhood, few homes are always listed for sale due to the high demand, thanks to the perfect location and reasonable pricing. Most homes in Chandlers Crossing are three to five bedrooms and go for $340,000 to $400,000.

Located close to Chandlers Crossing are the Sheffield Park Playground and regional park, a nearby Lake Dumont, hiking trails, and the Jacksonville Sports Center.

Beacon Hills and Harbour Neighborhood

Located south of the military base are the highly desirable neighborhoods of Beacon Hills and Harbour. The area offers an exciting blend of traditional and modern architecture, with most homes being ranch-style and single-story brick houses. Those looking for an extensive tract of land find these neighborhoods an ideal option.

The median home listing price in Beacon Hills and Harbour is $465,000, with home prices ranging from $320,000 to $820,000. If you are to rent a three-bedroom apartment in the area, you'll part with around $2,250 every month.

Some fun things ideal for families includes visiting the Ed Austin Regional Park and the Fort Caroline National Memorial. You can also boat on the St. Johns River or spend quality time at the Hidden Hills Golf Club.

Little Marsh Hill

Located east of the Blount Island Command Base, Little Marsh Hill is an attractive residential neighborhood common among military families and civilians working at the military base. The neighborhood is surrounded by the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve and is a 10 minutes drive east of Blount Island Command Base.

Most homes in the neighborhood are two-story colonial, single-story brick, luxury mansions, and ranch-style homes. The median home listing price is $510,000, with most homes ranging from $250,000 to $1.9 million. Some fun things to do in the area include boating on the St. Johns River, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and swimming.


Another neighborhood you might want to explore is Ortega, located along the Ortega River, southwest of the military base. Most houses in the area date back to the 1970s and the 1990s. They are a mix of estates, mansions, and luxury homes with extensive tracts of land.

The neighborhood is about 20 minutes drive from the base, and the median home listing prices are slightly above $570,000. Even so, most homes sell from $295,000 to $3.8 million.

Bottom Line

Now that you know more about the Blount Island Command Marine Corps and Military BAH, it's time to explore those homes that meets your housing needs.

Whether you've been newly posted to the Blount Island Command Base or just received your PCS order to this military base, getting yourself acquainted with the housing options in the area is a good first step. Some of the neighborhoods highlighted above are among the best picks in Jacksonville, Florida.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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