Mountain Home AFBCommunity
Housing & Real Estate in Southwest Idaho
Mountain Home Family Housing is a privatized housing community managed and maintained by Balfour Beatty Communities. Information about housing services can be obtained by contacting the Community Office at 208-832-9900 or at www.mountainhomefamilyhousing.com.
Mountain Home Family Housing offers move in ready two-, three- and four-bedroom homes in both single-family and townhome styles. Located on-base, residents enjoy a secure and comfortable hometown environment with the convenience of 24-hour maintenance, lawn care services and community events.
Spacious homes are equipped with a variety of attractive features such as central heating and air conditioning, walk-in closets, fully-equipped kitchens and a one- or two-car garage. Average monthly utilities and exclusive amenities, such as the community center and splash pad, are included in the monthly rent, allowing residents to maximize the value of their rental dollars.
Elmore County, bound by the Snake River to the south and the Boise River to the north, was born from the early riches of fur trapping, with a big boost from the region’s bountiful gold and silver. The county itself takes its name from nearby Owyhee County’s Ida Elmore mines, which produced more silver and gold in the 1860s than any other mine in the region.
Small farmers and ranchers followed on the heels of the rough-and-tumble miners, lured by the promise of up to 320 acres to anyone who could locate water and make required land improvements. By the 1880s a strong agricultural economy was taking hold, first to supply the miners, and then, with the coming of the railroad, to ship products to world markets. Elmore County was created in 1889; while county lines were being thrashed out, there were briefly peripatetic county seats: first Rocky Bar, then Hailey, then Rocky Bar again, then finally, in 1891, Mountain Home. Elmore County’s agricultural boom lasted until a slump in the 1920s that dragged on until World War II and the construction of what became Mountain Home Air Force Base, which has underpinned the region’s financial stability ever since.
On the south, Elmore County is bounded by Owyhee County, on the west by Ada County, on the north by Boise County, and on the east by Blaine, Camas, Gooding and Twin Falls counties. Of the county’s 3,000-plus square miles, about 60 percent are rugged and mountainous, and the remainder gently slope down to the Snake River Plain to the south. About 22 percent is farmland, but 70 percent is federally owned and overseen by various government departments, among them the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Water is precious, and this has limited agricultural expansion.
Recreation tends to be part of daily life. Elmore County has two national forests — Boise National Forest and Sawtooth National Forest — both with hiking trails, backpacking and wilderness camping; the two largest sand dunes in North America, the Eagle Cove Depression, are just 20 miles south of Mountain Home. There are more than 250 maintained campsites in Elmore County, varying from full RV hookups to cleared tent sites.
A low cost of living, moderate climate and abundant outdoor recreation in Elmore County contribute to a high quality of life not often found in larger metropolitan areas. In 2016, an estimated 26,018 people called Elmore County home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the population density in 2010 was 8.8 people per square mile.
The county’s communities give newcomers plenty of choices when selecting a home. Enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent to help you sort through the area’s home options. The Idaho Association of Realtors is a central source of local real estate information and services. Visit www.idahorealtors.com to find expertise and professional services for those interested in purchasing a new home.
Communities near Mountain Air Force Base include Mountain Home, Grand View and Glenns Ferry. Boise is the nearest metropolitan area to the base.
110 E. 2nd Ave.
Glenns Ferry, ID 83623
The area known as Glenns Ferry was one of the most dangerous river crossings on the Oregon Trail. Pioneers forded the Snake River at Three Island Crossing, at the cost of many animals, supplies and wagons, until Gustavus Glenn came up with an alternative. In 1869, Glenn set up a ferry about a mile downstream so people could cross the Snake River without the danger of driving horse and oxen teams through the treacherous waters. His ferry could hold two wagons and cut nearly 20 miles off the former route. By this time, traffic on the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail was heavy in both directions. Shortly after, in 1871, the city of Glenns Ferry was established. Construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad through the town in 1883 gave the city its first major employer.
This residential community is 2 square miles with a 2015 population of about 1,137. Mean travel time to work for Glenns Ferry residents is 16 minutes. Median rent is $588, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $925.
425 Boise Ave.
Grand View, ID 83624
Grand View is a small, residential community in Owyhee County with a population of around 470 in 2015. It is 20 miles west of Mountain Home AFB and 59 miles south of Boise. The town rises 2,356 feet above sea level, has a total area of 0.6 square miles, and lies along the Snake River, which forms its border with Elmore County.
The area’s history is closely tied to irrigation projects. In 1887, the Snake River Land Irrigation Company of Rhode Island began building a dam on the Bruneau River, a Snake River tributary, to provide water for the valley. Floods washed out that dam within three years, in 1890, but another Rhode Island firm, the Owyhee Land and Irrigation Company, rebuilt it in 1892. This time the dam held for 18 years until floodwaters took it out again, in 1910. At that point the local Grand View Irrigation District was formed to reconstruct it.
By 1904, the Dorsey Ferry was working the Bruneau River near its mouth, but after several years the ferry moved to the Snake River, where it became the nucleus for a town first called Dorsey and later renamed Grand View. The town’s first bridge across the Snake was built just a few yards upstream from the old ferry.
Mean travel time to work for residents is a little over 10 minutes. Median rent is $583, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $750.
160 S. Third East St.
Mountain Home, ID 83647
Mountain Home, the largest city in Elmore County, had 13,730 residents in 2015. Mountain Home was originally a post office at Rattlesnake Station, a stagecoach stop on the Overland Stage Line about seven miles east of the present city, but when the Oregon Short Line Railroad was built just to the west in 1883, the post office was moved downhill to the rail line, and Mountain Home grew up around it.
Mountain Home Air Force Base is 12 miles southwest of the city. About 8 miles to the northwest are the Crater Rings, a National Natural Landmark, and Boise is 44 miles northwest of the city via Interstate 84. Recreational opportunities are virtually unlimited in the Mountain Home area. CJ Strike Dam and Anderson Ranch Dam provide boating, skiing, fishing, etc. Elmore County has elevations from 2,200 feet up to 9,400 which provides a wide variety of habitat for game birds and big game in the Mountain Home area.
The city has a total area of a little over 6 square miles. Median rent is $738, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,098. Mean travel time to work is a shade over 17 minutes.
150 N. Capitol Blvd.
Boise, ID 83702
Boise sits about 40 miles east of the Oregon border, 110 miles north of the Nevada border and 50 miles northwest of Mountain Home AFB. The city’s 80 square miles were home to more than 218,218 residents in mid-2015, by the latest Census estimate.
The City of Trees, as Boise is known, was originally established as Fort Boise by the U.S. Army in 1863. It was designated as the capital of Idaho Territory a year later and officially named the capital of the new state of Idaho in 1890. Gold was discovered in the Boise Basin in 1862. As a result of the gold rush and frequent raids by Native Americans, the military needed a new location for Fort Boise, chose one on July 4, 1863, and started building. With protection from the military, a new town next to the fort grew rapidly, benefitting also from its location on the Oregon Trail.
Today, Boise is still Idaho’s largest metropolitan area and the hub of commerce, banking and government for the state. The city has a lot to offer outside working hours including museums, an award-winning 2,030-seat performing arts facility on the Boise State University campus, outdoor recreation at one of the 136 parks, reserves, pools, greenbelts and rec centers, Boise State University collegiate sports, minor league baseball (the Boise Hawks) and hockey (the Idaho Steelheads). The Boise River, which runs through downtown, is a popular spot for tubing, canoeing and fishing. Bogus Basin is less than an hour outside the city, and adventure seekers can enjoy day and night skiing there. The nearby mountains are favorite hiking, fishing and camping locations, while the nearby Payette and Salmon rivers are known worldwide by kayakers and rafters.
Homes range from well-established neighborhoods to new housing developments. Median rent is $805, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,267. Mean travel time to work for those living in Boise is 18 minutes.