With another round of military base closings possibly slated for 2017, we examine the pros and cons of these closings and the effect on real estate and the communities surrounding them. Also examined are the real estate opportunities that arise from the closures, and the potential for toxic waste in these lands.


We've already done the research for you.

Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

BRAC (Base ​Realignment and Closure) Updates

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Sites by State, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 8, 2016).

BRAC Is Back – but Will Congress Actually Close More Military Bases?, (The Fiscal Times, Mar. 8, 2016).

Congress expected to dismiss Obama’s military base closure proposal, (The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Feb. 17, 2016).

Realigning and Closing Military Bases, (U.S. General Accounting Office).

DOD Needs New Base Closure Round, Senior Official Says, (American Forces Press Service, May 12, 2014).

How Does a Base Closing Impact a Community?

Challenges Remain 20 years after Loring Air Force Base Closure, (Bangor Daily News, Oct. 17, 2014). E

Rebuilding Communities after the Military Leaves Town, (Yale University, Feb. 27, 2014).

Closing Bases Can Be Good for Business, Brookings Scholars Say; Some Locals May Want Them Shuttered, (Breaking Defense, July 2, 2013).

Military Base Closures: The Impact on California Communities, (Rand Corporation, July 11, 2012).

Military Base Closures and the Towns They Leave Behind, (DailyFinance, Aug. 17, 2010)

Real Estate Opportunities, and Tips for Buying Land on Closing Bases

Former Navy base in WV goes on the online auction block, (Charleston Gazette-Mail, Feb. 16, 2016).

The Ten Most Impressive Abandoned Military Bases in the World, (Jalopnik, Feb. 21, 2014).

U.S. Military Bases: Where Are They Now?, (Esquire, 2012).

Repurposing Military Bases, (Institute for Policy Studies, Dec. 15, 2011).

Under Development – Making an Economic Engine from a Closed Military Base, (NAIOP, Summer 2011).

Beyond the Fence: A REALTORS® Guide to Military Base Closure, Realignment and Encroachment, (National Association of REALTORS®, Oct. 2006).

Military Base Reuse; As Closures and Realignments March on, So Do Real Estate Opportunities, (Commercial Investment Real Estate, July/Aug. 1997).

Land Windfall, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2005).

Potential Dangers on Former Military Base Land

Toxic water near old Michigan Air Force base prompts new scrutiny, (MLive Michigan, May 20, 2016).

Chanute Air Force Base – the Air Force’s Legacy of Lies in the Heartland, (Public Education Center, Mar. 31, 2014).

Army Cleanup Program, (U.S. Army Environmental Command, n.d.).

Unexploded Ordnance, (Wikipedia, June 21, 2012).

Cleaning Up the Toxic Legacy of Closed Military Bases, (DailyFinance, Sep. 24, 2010).

Unexploded Ordnance: Hidden Danger on Military Bases, (Rand Corporation).

Commentary, UXOs at Closing U.S. Bases, (United Press International, Aug. 1, 2005).

Useful Websites

U.S. Department of Defense, (United States Department of Defense)—Federal website with updates on the latest news about base closures.

MRP, (National Association of REALTORS®)—The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification is for real estate professionals who want to work with current and former military service members.

United States Environmental Protection Agency — The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.).

Beyond the Fence: A REALTORS® Guide to Military Base Closure, Realignment and Encroachment, (National Association of REALTORS®, Oct. 2006).

Primer: Understanding Military Base Realignment and Closure, (ABC News)—Facts and figures about what it all means.

Military Real Estate Primer, (Harry H. Kelso, Attorney and Environmental Consultant)—Site includes lists of recent base closures, types of military real estate, and formerly used defense sites.

eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Military Base Closure: A Reference Handbook, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007). HC 79 So6

Military Base Closures, (Chicago, IL: Novinka Books, 2003). HC 79 L81

Life After Defense: Conversion and Economic Adjustment on Long Island, (Picsataway, NJ : Rutgers University. Center for Urban Policy Research, 1994). HC 79r

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


Realtors Property Resource®

RPR® provides comprehensive data, powerful analytics, dynamic reports, and detailed property and market information exclusively for REALTORS®.