Soldier Purchasing a Home

Using military housing allowance to purchase a new home in San Antonio

Basic Allowance for Housing is a blessing, but which military service members qualify? Learn how a soldier or airman can use their BAH to purchase a house in San Antonio.

San Antonio is  home base to over 80,000 personnel stationed at one of our nation’s most revered joint military installations. According to the city’s website, Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) is the “largest and most diverse joint base in the Department of Defense (DoD),” with two air force bases (Lackland AFB and Randolph AFB) and two army installations (JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis). In addition to being a major military training facility, JBSA is the site of the DoD’s largest hospital, employing some of the country’s most talented healthcare workers. The good news for thousands of military personnel is that, if government housing is not provided for your family, your BAH can help you purchase a new home.  

Who Qualifies for BAH in San Antonio

With so many military families making their homes in the area, it is especially helpful to understand the benefits of a Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) in San Antonio. Designed to assist military families who do not have access to government-sponsored living arrangements, a BAH helps to cover housing costs.  According to the defense department, several factors such as location, pay grade, and status of dependents are considered when determining the amount of your BAH.

Quite simply, if you’re a service member assigned to permanent duty in the United States and government housing has not been provided for you, you’re eligible for a housing allowance. The DoD has created a Calculator Page that makes it easy to determine your BAH, beginning with your zip code and pay grade. A detailed FAQ list provides comprehensive information for those who would like to learn more about the program.  

Here’s a guide to the BAH for soldiers and airmen seeking housing in San Antonio.

Recent research shows that investing in San Antonio is a good value for those planning a move to the Alamo City. Military families will also be pleased to learn that JBSA ranks #11 for the BHA among joint bases, with a housing allowance that has increased over the past year. 

According to, key components of the BAH program include:

  • It is provided for soldiers and airmen in privatized housing.
  • BAH rates correlate with costs of rental housing in local markets.

While the BAH rate fluctuates based on the previous year’s mean housing costs, you may see an increase in your housing allowance, but rarely a decrease (as long as your situation remains unchanged).  However, the BAH rate may decrease in certain instances, related to a new location, a demotion, or a change in dependency status.

Be sure to visit the Defense Travel Management Office for more detailed information about the program, including different types of housing allowances that are used in various circumstances. As pay and benefit services change, many soldiers and airmen in the San Antonio area can stay up to date on the latest developments by subscribing to

What other resources are available to soldiers and airmen relocating to San Antonio?

In addition to the BAH, your military service entitles you to other home-related benefits to help to make the move easier. provides a variety of relocation resources for families planning a move to the area, including the latest information about BHA rates. In addition, there are a variety of other relocation programs available, including the Military Family and Readiness Center and Relocation Assistance Program which lists the addresses, phone numbers, and websites of helpful services at each base. These resources are in place to assist with costs and logistics related to home selection, moving, child care, schools, cultural needs, spousal employment, and more.

How can I make the most of my housing allowance benefits in San Antonio?

Now that you know more about the BAH and other relocation opportunities searching for homes for sale in San Antonio is the exciting part. Using your BAH allowance to help cover the cost of a new home puts you ahead of the game. Start with an experienced regional builder such as Hakes Brothers, which offers a variety of home selections in the San Antonio area with convenient access to military installations. Known for their architectural innovation and professional customer service, this is a builder that will be with you every step of the way, from design and mortgage qualification, through move-in and beyond. When you meet with your Hakes Brothers sales consultants, be sure to ask about the benefits of a VA loan.  

What else does San Antonio have to offer?

Once you’ve settled into your new home, you and your family will be part of San Antonio’s thriving local culture.  From museum outings, contemporary galleries, and historic excursions to summer activities and sporting adventures, you’ll find that something is always happening in the Alamo City.  You’ll have year-round access to fun, festivals (like the ‘Fiesta San Antonio’), and delicious Southwest cuisine. Whether you will be living here on a full-time basis or later plan to use your new home as an investment property, it’s easy to see that there are many benefits to buying a home in San Antonio. Why not get started on your home search today?

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