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Houses for Sale Near MacDill Air Force Base | Florida

Housing is one of the first things that come to mind following a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Getting assigned to MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) has many advantages, including plenty of affordable housing options on and outside the base.

However, finding the right house that suits your needs and preferences isn’t always easy. It is essential to do your due diligence by studying and understanding the base and local housing market.

Here is a comprehensive guide on finding houses for sale near MacDill Air Force Base, including a brief overview of the base and the surrounding areas.

MacDill Air Force Base – A Brief History & Overview

The Army Air Corps built two significant bases in Tampa before World War II, with the MacDill AFB being the biggest. This Air Mobility Command base was opened in 1939 and dedicated in 1941, and it is currently home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing and the 92nd Air Refueling Wing.

It is named after Colonel Leslie MacDill, a World War I Army Air Corps pilot killed in a crash. The base is best known for its ability to provide air refueling support to all types of aircraft anywhere in the world.

MacDill AFB has 51 tenant units, including the United States Special Operations Command and United States Central Command.

It is home to nearly 20,000 active-duty personnel, including more than 3,000 U.S. Airmen and 12,000 service members – staff from more than 50 mission partners makes up the rest of the population.

MacDill AFB has several on-base housing options, including barracks for unaccompanied junior enlisted personnel and five private housing communities. Some of the amenities and infrastructure available here include the following:

  • MacDill Commissary
  • MacDill AFB Exchange
  • MacDill AFB Post Office
  • MacDill AFB Finance Office
  • MacDill AFB Legal Office
  • MacDill AFB Library
  • Barbershops

Overall, MacDill AFB has everything you and your family need to live and thrive here. Military personnel looking for on-base housing options can get help at the MacDill Housing Office at 8414 Fortress Drive, MacDill AFB, FL 33621, and reachable at (813) 828-3166.

Finding Houses for Sale near MacDill Air Force Base

Military personnel posted at MacDill AFB can opt for on-base or off-base housing options. Fortunately, this is the most extensive base in the region, with a large housing infrastructure.

It is also located conveniently close to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and other cities, giving you access to a wide range of flexible and affordable off-base housing options when looking for houses for sale near MacDill Air Force Base.

On-Base Housing Options

Harbor Bay manages all on-base housing at MacDill AFB. You can choose housing options from five communities. Each community features all the amenities and infrastructure you need to thrive here, albeit some are better than others.

However, your rank will determine which community you can join. Here is an overview of what each community offers:

Chevron Park

Chevron Park is open to military personnel in E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, and E-5. The community gives off a suburban vibe with a homey feeling. Some of the community amenities available here include a dog park and a human park with a playground and picnic, making it ideal for families.

The houses have varying floor plans, including single-floor ranch homes and multi-level duplexes with two, three, and four bedrooms. The single-floor ranch homes feature a porch, attached garage, multiple bathrooms, and large closets. The multi-level duplexes feature an open-concept living area with a living room, dining room, and kitchen area.

Freedom Cove

Freedom Cove is open to military personnel in E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, and E-5. It gives off a suburban feel, just like Chevron Park. Some community amenities include two playgrounds, soccer fields, a basketball court, and a dog park, making it ideal for engaging in sports and other outdoor activities.

The only available floor plans here are duplexes with three or four bedrooms. Each house also features 2.5 bathrooms and other essential amenities such as oversized closets and living areas. Interestingly, the floor plans are themed and named after different predatory birds.

Heritage Cove

Heritage Cove is open to military personnel in E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, and E-5. It is a luxury community with an ideal suburban and homely vibe. The community amenities include a butterfly garden with exotic species, ideal for butterfly enthusiasts.

Other amenities include a community center, two playgrounds, and a dog park. The entire community is also landscaped with palm trees, capturing the essence of The Sunshine State.

The homes at Heritage Cove are spacious, feature large open floor plans, and come with two, three, or four bedrooms. They also feature one to 2.5 bathrooms, and every home has double carports.

Independence Park

Independence Park is open to military personnel in O-1, O-2, O-3, O-4, O-5, and O-6. It is a luxury community with many community amenities, breathtaking views, and large homes fitted with luxury amenities.

The exclusive community features curated landscaping dotted with palm trees and fountains, making for spectacular views. The community amenities include three playgrounds, two multi-use sports fields, several ponds, and a dog park. The residents also have easy access to the community center and elementary school.

The homes here are luxurious and spacious duplexes with majestic water views. They have varying floor plans, including three and four bedrooms. Each home features a front porch and backyard deck. Other features include 2.5 bathrooms, large closets, and vinyl floors.

Liberty Cove

Liberty Cove is open to military personnel in E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, E-5, E-6, E-7, and E-8. It is a community of townhomes located next to the golf course. The amenities include a playground, community grills for BBQs, and running and walking trails, which are ideal for relaxing and constructive outdoor activities. Overall, the community gives off a homely, communal vibe, making it ideal for families.

The townhomes here feature varying floor plans with three or four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Each home has a spacious main bedroom, a patio out back, and a large storage room next to the garage.

Real estate agent and buyer discussing home purchases

Living Off MacDill AFB – Benefits, Communities & Consideration Factors

Living off MacDill AFB has many benefits. However, it also has some profound implications, including driving and getting to work on time.

Here is an overview of the benefits of living off-base, the best communities for living near the base, and three critical factors to consider when looking for houses for sale near MacDill Air Force Base.

Benefits of Living Off-Base

The benefits and shortcomings of living off-base vary depending on your situation. Freedom and convenience are the most significant benefits of living off-base. MacDill AFB has many strict rules and regulations about what you can do, including how you can use your house and when you can come and leave. For example, you must get a pass for your visitors and seek permission to run a home business.

Civilian communities also have rules and regulations but are much more relaxed. You can come and go as you please, start a home business, redecorate and remodel your house, keep pets, host visitors as frequently as you like, and do more. You can also choose a location with better public amenities and infrastructure, including a good school district.

Living off-base also creates an opportunity to save money on your housing allowance. When living on the base, you must give the housing contractor your entire BAH monthly payments. In contrast, you can save on housing costs and keep some of the BAH money when living off-base.

Best Communities to Live Near MacDill Air Force Base

MacDill AFB is close to several major cities and towns –about eight miles south of Tampa and 21 miles west of St. Petersburg. This means that military personnel seeking to live off the base have many housing options and communities from which they can choose.

Here is an overview of five of the best communities to live near MacDill AFB:

South Tampa

South Tampa is the most popular community for living near MacDill AFB, primarily because of its proximity to the base. It is only eight miles (about 15 to 25 minutes) from the base.

Besides its proximity to the base, South Tampa is preferable because of the many housing options available here. You can choose from single units to large houses with multiple bedrooms and other amenities. The average home price is about $305,000, while rental prices vary wildly – the average monthly rent price for an apartment here is about $1,900. Some of the best neighborhoods include Hyde Park, Sunset Park, and Davis Island.

South Tampa has located a short distance from downtown Tampa, where you can find amenities such as schools, shopping centers, hospitals, parks, beaches, churches, and more. The city also offers many fun and productive outdoor activities, including exploring theme parks, sunbathing, and water sports.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is also popular with military personnel posted to MacDill AFB. It is located approximately 21 miles (about 36 minutes) from the base.

Homes in St. Petersburg are more expensive to buy or rent than in South Tampa. The average home price is about $439,000, while the average monthly rent is about $2,200. However, prices vary depending on factors such as the type of house and its size and location – overall, you can find many affordable options around the city. Some of the best neighborhoods include Downtown St. Petersburg, Snell Isle, and Old Northeast.

St. Petersburg offers many fun and exciting things to do and see. Interestingly, it is nicknamed The Sunshine City because it enjoys 365 days of sunshine. It is also home to the Sunken Gardens Museum, the world’s oldest museum. Other attractions and fun activities include the Florida Holocaust Museum, beautiful beaches, and exciting nightlife, thanks to the many bars and restaurants.

Apollo Beach

Apollo Beach is a small community covering about six square miles with a population of about 7,000. It is located about 30 miles (48 minutes) from MacDill AFB.

Houses at Apollo Beach are relatively affordable, with an average home price of about $470,000 – rent prices vary wildly. However, the homes come in varying types, designs, and sizes – the prices vary based on such factors.

Apollo Beach is best known for its easy access to some of Florida’s best beaches. Unsurprisingly, water activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports are some of the most popular outdoor activities here.

Other attractions and fun activities at Apollo Beach include the Apollo Beach Golf & Sea Club – the golf course offers military members discounts, but you must call for tee times. The Tampa Bay Martial Arts Academy also offers fun and productive activities for children (as young as three years old) and adults.


Brandon is a dynamic city with a population of about 124,000 people. The city is about 26 miles (approximately 40 minutes) from MacDill AFB.

Houses in Brandon are more affordable than in the other cities and communities on the list. The average home price is about $390,000, while the average monthly rent is about $2,000. However, your options are flexible because housing prices vary depending on various factors.

The atmosphere at Brandon is generally quiet and relaxed. The city has all the amenities you need, including many public and private schools in the elementary, middle, and high school categories – the city, is under the Hillsborough School District.

The Hillsborough County Fair is the biggest attraction here – it involves festivities and fun events such as dining and live entertainment. You can also enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking or walking your dog at Bertha and Tony Saladino Park.


Riverview is a small town with a population of about 14,000 people. It is located approximately 26 miles (38 minutes) from MacDill AFB.

Riverview offers many housing options, from simple single-unit homes to luxurious houses. The average home price here is about $401,000, while monthly rent prices vary wildly. However, you can find cheaper homes by considering space, design, and location factors.

This town has all the amenities and infrastructure you need to live and work here. Some of the most notable attractions here include Little Talbot Island, where you and your loved ones can take in beautiful views of the desert dunes, maritime forests, and salt marshes.

Other attractions include the Young Historical Museum. It also offers many fun and productive outdoor activities, such as picnicking and walking dogs.

3 Factors to Considering When Picking the Right House

Living off MacDill AFB has severe and potentially limiting implications, which is why it is essential to consider the following factors:

Location & Distance from Base

Living off-base entails driving to work, and lateness is a potential problem. Living far from the base entails driving longer distances, so choosing a location close to the base is prudent.

Besides the distance from MacDill AFB, location also affects other factors such as housing and living costs. For example, houses in Brandon are cheaper than in Tampa, but the latter is closer to the base. Other factors to consider when choosing a suitable location include public infrastructure and schools.

Housing Costs

You can find cheaper or more expensive houses for sale near MacDill Air Force Base. However, ensuring that your preferred housing option is affordable is essential. Besides rent or purchase costs, other housing costs include maintenance and HOA fees.

It is advisable to crunch the numbers and ensure that you can meet the housing costs before shaking hands – you will have to cover all costs that exceed your monthly BAH payments out of your pocket. Fortunately, housing costs vary based on size and location, so that you can compromise based on your budget.

Infrastructure & Amenities

Schools are some of the most critical public amenities to consider when looking for a house – some school districts are better than others.

Other critical public amenities and infrastructure include roads, parks, shopping centers, hospitals, and hotels. Some communities near MacDill AFB have more and better amenities than others.

Make an Informed Decision

Finding a house and moving in are prerequisites for settling in at MacDill Air Force Base. You can live on or off the base, and each option has its benefits and shortcomings.

This is why it is prudent to do your due diligence when looking for houses for sale near MacDill Air Force Base and consider all relevant factors to make an informed decision.

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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