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    Here’s What $1,500 a Month Rent Will Get You Near These Military Bases

    Ever wonder how far your money goes at varying duty stations across the country? It only takes one PCS move to realize that it’s not just the culture that fluctuates between the coastlines; the prices do, too. Of course, we notice that each time we get those new orders as we watch our BAH rates rise and fall.

    But have you ever stopped to compare? Most of the time, we don’t give it much thought. There’s always the initial budgeting phase, but the comparison ends once our finances and home are all set up. 

    But let’s look at what your money is worth at a handful of military installations across the country. When you look at them side by side, it’s fascinating. And who knows, maybe you’ll even get some ideas if you’re headed to one of these locations this year!

    What Will 1500 Rent Get You

    Here’s what $1,500 a Month Rent Will Get You At These Military Bases

    National rental prices continue to increase (your mind isn’t playing tricks on you).

    “The monthly median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States is about $1,078 per month, as of the end of 2019. A two-bedroom apartment rents at about $1,343 per month. According to Abodo, in 2019, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States increased by 4.1%, and a two-bedroom apartment increased by 5.5%.” — Average Rent By State 2020

    Don’t forget these numbers. They provide a good baseline as we dive into more military-specific regions! 

    Naval Base San Diego, California

    Naval Base San Diego

    San Diego ranked number nine on the top 10 list of U.S. cities with the highest average rent in 2020 in Highest Rent In The US By City 2020. But California as a whole ranks second only to Hawaii as the state with the highest average rent. So, what does $1,500/month rent look like in this area? 

    The median rent in San Diego is $2,124 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. Of course, this all depends on neighborhood, number of bedrooms, and the amenities and finishes you’re on the hunt to find. 

    In the heart of San Diego, you won’t find a single-family home and rarely an apartment or even a room to rent for $1,500/mo. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom rental in the city goes for around $1,700/mo. Anything larger in size jumps into the $2,000 range up to $4,000. 

    See Naval Base San Diego 2021 BAH Rates here with zip code 92136

    Further out, you may find more rental options like a room for rent or partial rental, and sometimes a single-family home like this one for $1,200/month in Imperial Beach south of San Diego: 

    352 Bonito Avenue, Imperial Beach, CA, 91932

    MilitaryByOwner Listing MBO1464812 

    Imperial Beach Home for Rent

    Carmel Valley, North City, and Torrey Hills are among the highest rental neighborhoods, whereas Miramar Ranch falls in the middle, and Cortez and East Village are on the lower end. 

    San Diego homes

    Beyond knowing how much house you can afford, it’s a good idea to know how much other things like utilities, gas, transportation, etc., cost as well so you can adjust your budget to accommodate these other expenses. 

    Other San Diego average cost-of-living numbers to help you budget: 

    • Utilities: The average cost of utilities is $138 a month. If you’re renting an in-home room or apartment, this cost might be built into rent for you already. 
    • Gas: $3.79 per gallon.
    • Groceries: Bread is $4.99 and a gallon of milk is $2.19. 

    Offutt AFB, Nebraska

    Omaha NebraskaDowntown Omaha, Nebraska - image via Canva. 

    Nearly as middle of the country as you can get, the average cumulative rental price in Nebraska is $833. At Offutt AFB, right outside Omaha, the rental market falls below the national average and a two-bedroom apartment goes for, on average, $987 a month.  

    See Offutt AFB 2021 BAH Rates here with zip code 68113.

    A two- or three-bedroom single family home, especially in Bellevue versus Omaha, is within your reach at $1,500 a month. If you’re looking for newer and nicer (think granite countertops, newer appliances, etc.), you’ll find more options by narrowing your search to an apartment. The bonus with downsizing is greater access to amenities like a pool, fitness center, and more. 

    Offutt AFB

    Other Offutt AFB average cost-of-living numbers to help you budget: 

    • Utilities: $179.79.
    • Gas: $2.26
    • Groceries: Bread is $2.32 and a gallon of milk is $2.18.

    Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia

    Norfolk aerial view

    The state of Virginia ranks number 10 with the highest average rent. The average cost for a two-bedroom rental in the near Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the overall Hampton Roads area is $1,147 a month.

    Depending on the neighborhood, you’ll most likely be able to find a small single-family home for $1,500 a month and a studio apartment for well under that. However, something newly renovated that features the latest trends and finishes will nearly always come with a higher price tag. 

    See Naval Station Norfolk 2021 BAH rates here with zip code 23511

    Most single-family homes for $1,500/month or less in this area won’t feature new updates. Newer single-family homes or renovated ones go for around $1,700 a month, depending on how many bedrooms the property has. And it’s worth noting that most of those lie further out of the city center toward Chesapeake and Suffolk.  

    Norfolk Area Single Family Home:

    4312 South St Portsmouth, VA, 23707

    MilitaryByOwner Listing MBO1441388

    $1500 Single Family for rent near Norfolk

    If newer finishes and furnishings are more important to you than privacy, an apartment, room for rent, or condo should fall perfectly within a $1,500/mo. budget no matter where you’re looking, be it Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, or Virginia Beach. Take a look at these listings.

    Norfolk Area Room for Rent:  

    1124 Crossway Rd, Virginia Beach, VA, 23454

    MilitaryByOwner Listing MBO458008

    $1500 Room for Rent near Norfolk

     

    Something with Character near Norfolk: 

    4312 South St Portsmouth, VA, 23707

    MilitaryByOwner Listing MBO1464648

    $1500 Character

     

    Duplex Near Naval Base Norfolk:

    4312 South St Portsmouth, VA, 23707

    MilitaryByOwner Listing MBO1460215

    $1500 Duplex

    Norfolk average cost-of-living numbers to help you budget: 

    • Utilities: $142.41.
    • Gas: $2.15 per gallon.
    • Groceries: Bread is $2.25 and a gallon of milk is $3.31.

    Norfolk homes

    One of the greatest perks of military life is the opportunity to explore different areas of the country. The culture, economy, and amenities vary so much. And for those of us who grew up outside the military lifestyle, it’s an interesting and eye-opening ride to say the least! Hopefully, this side-by-side comparison gave you perspective as you gear up for another PCS. 

    For kicks and grins, here’s a quick look at a few other military installations and what you can get for $1,500: 

    MBO househunt

    Danielle Keech

    Author

    Danielle Keech

    Danielle is just like you — another down-to-earth military spouse learning every day how to navigate the craziness. As a mama of two, she knows what it takes to juggle solo parenting, a work-from-home career, and the demands of military life. She’s a firm believer that community is a key part of thriving and hopes to remind readers that they’re not alone through her writing. Want to connect? Find Danielle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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