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Investing Near San Diego Military Bases Makes Sense


Investing near military bases makes sense. That’s because they lead to big profits.

First, we explain the benefits of renting to military personnel. Then we describe the military presence in San Diego.

Read the following reasons:


Volume Renters


Military bases always bring in high volumes of incoming personnel year round. This gives your rentals more exposure and decreases vacancies.


Stable Military Families


Military families crave stability. Many military families move every few years making stability very attractive for them.

If they can stay put for extended periods of time they will. The same goes for renting a home. They don’t need any moving or big changes during their time at a military base.


Military Families Rent, Not Own


Constant moving makes buying a home unpractical. They must rent as their station may only last for two or three years.

When new orders come in transferring the military family to another “Fort XXX” they typically get three months’ notice. What’s the housing market at Fort XXX? They often contact a Realtor at their new base to find out about available housing.

Smart investors advertise in military publications about their attractive family-oriented rentals near a military base.

Military families generally make better tenants than individuals and tend to stay longer.


Basic Military Allowance for Housing


Military personnel gets a government housing stipend called the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). This helps service members to pay their rent.

Guaranteed rent money from Uncle Sam. The stipend amount depends on the service member’s years of service, current rank, and if they have dependents.   

Military personnel must budget their BAH to cover all housing expenses including rent and utilities. Also, enough money for home renting accessories like appliances, lawnmower, furniture, etc. not included with the rental.

Typically, service members look for rentals costing around 80% of their BAH. They reserve the remaining 20% for utilities. 

You need to look up the BAH for your local military base to adjust your rent so you don’t overprice. Teaming up with a local Realtor whose niche is service members’ rentals will advise you on attractive rents without giving up profits.


Chain of Command


A great benefit of renting to service members involves getting their military command on board if they stop paying the rent. A soldier’s chain of command influences their personal affairs including the inability to pay their rent.

Military commanders know that their soldiers’ poor home life adversely affects their work. Contact your renter’s chain of command when the rent dries up or is late. While their commanding officer won’t write you a check they will help you get paid. This includes financial counseling and helps with their military stipends for housing.


Better Tenants


Renting to military families usually gets you better tenants. Military personnel tends to become responsible tenants. Especially true when renting to officers and senior non-commissioned officers. They’re past the late teens and early 20’s wild days. They usually have families with children.

In addition, they bring a higher BAH rate and seek a large, nice home to raise their kids and entertain friends.


Summary of Investing Near Military Bases Makes Sense In San Diego


Service members offer better tenants promptly paying rents with a high volume of new tenants coming to the base year-round. Also, they seek a stable home to avoid moving while stationed on the same base.   


San Diego has a High Number of Military Personnel that Rent


A recent SDMAC Military Impact Study revealed this about San Diego:

  • San Diego home to the country’s biggest concentration of military service members;
  • Over 100,000 active-duty military personnel live in San Diego;
  • San Diego home to over 35% of active-duty U.S. Marine Corps force; and
  • Military spending accounts for 25% of the jobs in San Diego.


Military Veterans


Don’t forget about military veterans.

According to the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, the local military community offers:

  • Over 15,000 active duty military members stationed in San Diego leave active duty each year;
  • More than half of them want to live in San Diego; and
  • San Diego is the top destination for new veterans returning from the Middle East.

Veterans maintain a strong presence in San Diego according to the “San Diego Chamber of Commerce Report on Military Employment”. Source This report states:

  • Over 240,000 veterans live in San Diego;
  • Nearly 14% of all San Diego businesses owned by military veterans;
  • San Diego County number one destination in the U.S. for new returning veterans; and
  • San Diego County maintains the third-highest number of veterans of all counties in the U.S.


Military Bases


There are plenty of Military bases near San Diego that offer rental investors many opportunities to profit.

Contact information for all these military bases along with their public affairs offices and local USO offices to reach out with your available rentals. Here           

Here’s a summary of every military base in San Diego.


Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

The primary amphibious training base for the U.S. Marine Corps on the west coast. Home to the Marine Expeditionary Force. Sea-to-shore amphibious training occurs at several key points on the 17 miles of base coastline.


Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

The Navy and the Marine Corps maintained advanced pilot training here during World War II.

Famous for its post-war Top Gun training program focusing on fighting Russian and Soviet jets tactics. The Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun” made this a famous tourist attraction too.

Currently, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing home base. Part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.


Marine Corps Recruit Depot – San Diego

Provides initial training for enlisted USMC recruits who live west of the Mississippi River.

More than 21,000 recruits train at MCRD every year.


Naval Base Point Loma

Holds a rich military history as the only significant natural tactical peninsula guarding surrounding coastal waters.

Currently, contains the following major commands:

  • Commander Third Fleet;
  • Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command;
  • Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command; and
  • Submarine Squadron Eleven.


Naval Base Coronado

Comprises the Naval Amphibious Base – Coronado and the Naval Air Station North Island.

Contains 5,000 on-base military personnel and 7,000 reservists and students.

Maintains two aircraft carriers and 22 fixed and rotary wing squadrons. Along with SEAL teams and Specialized Boat Units.


Naval Base – San Diego

The U.S. Navy’s largest base in the West Coast. Homeport of the Pacific Fleet.

Homeport for 55 ships with 13 piers covering 978 acres of land and 325 acres of water.

The on-base population of 21,000 military personnel and 5,000 civilians.


U.S. Coast Guard Station – San Diego

Conducting Maritime Federal Law Enforcement from San Mateo Point down to the U.S. Mexican border.




Why investing near military bases makes sense in San Diego.

As you just read, San Diego military bases maintain over 100,000 military personnel year round. As a real estate investor appreciate a large number of service members transferring into San Diego on any given month.

San Diego military bases offer nearby rental homes, apartments, and condo units a great opportunity to fill up vacancies quickly with good renters desiring long-term stability.


With All Your San Diego Rentals Experiencing Long-Term Renters Consider


Hiring We Lease as your San Diego Property Management Company. We’ll keep track of the comings and goings of your military personnel renters to keep vacancies at a minimum.  

Contact Us to find out more about renting to military personnel in the greater San Diego area.


Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger


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