PCSing To Fairchild AFB - 2023 Fairchild BAH Rates
So you’re PCSing to Fairchild AFB in Spokane Washington and you’re wondering what BAH rates are, what sort of house that buys and where you should live to have an easy commute. Well stay tuned because we’re going to cover all of this and more.
My name is Phil Wells, I’m a real estate agent serving clients in the Spokane area and in North Idaho too. I’m also an Army Reservist who loves working with fellow veterans and I’m very familiar with the VA loan. I have helped people PCS from as far away as Japan, Germany and England so I’m experienced and pretty good at doing this by now.
2023 BAH Rates
So here we are 2023s BAH rates. Overall we’ve seen about a $300 a month increase in BAH rates across all ranks for 2023 when compared to 2022.
With interest rates as high as they are right now this is a really welcome increase in BAH rates. But those rates mean nothing without context right? What does that buy you? Lets find out.
How much house can you buy?
I spoke with my lender friend who is also a Vet about what sorts of price points Airmen in different situations would qualify for.
So, in this first scenario you’re an E5 with dependents, you could qualify to buy something right around the 450 mark which is actually above the median price point here in Spokane which is a great place to be - there’s a ton of options available, there’s everything from brand new homes to 100 year old homes with a ton of character.
What about an E6 without dependents. According to my lender you can afford to buy something around the 500K mark which will open up just the same options to you as the previous scenario but you’ll likely end up with just a little bit more house or be in a slightly nicer neighborhod.
What about the 03s with dependents and those E8s out there with dependents. You’ll both qualify for about the same amount as each other which according to my lender is around 750K. That price point will allow you to buy something really desirable in great neighborhoods here in Spokane as that’s well above the median.
My lender wanted me to remind you that these are estimates and what you qualify for depends on your debt to income ratio and your credit. These estimates are also based on current mortgage rates which change daily. The only way to know for sure what you qualify for is to speak to a lender so reach out if you want that introduction.
Where should you live?
So you know how much you’ll be getting in BAH and roughly what sort of price point you can shop in. But where should you live?
To demonstrate where you should live here is a map that illustrates driving distances from base. As you can see this shows you a 15 minute driving distance, a 30 minute driving distance and a 45 minute driving distance to base. You’ll notice that by the time you’re out at a 45 minute mark you can pretty much live anywhere in the greater Spokane area and even out of state in Post Falls Idaho and still make it to work on time.
I find that most of my Air Force clients like to stay pretty close to base within that 30 minute mark but Spokane really is your oyster. I know it’s difficult to tell from a birds eye view of a city but Spokane is not an enormous place and you can pretty much live where you like.
The trick is to have a easy access to I90 as that’s the main arterial that’s going to get you to the AFB.
As I mentioned I also have local lenders who are Vets too that can guide you through the process from the loan side of things. So whether this is your first PCS or your last PCS I can help.