I'm 22, in the U.S. Navy.

20 Replies

Well being a former Marine and now a real estate investor I would say to save your benefits. Utilizing your VA Loan would require you to actually live in the property. I would recommend you do it the way everybody else is with no money down or lenders.

Welcome to BP....what are your goals?

I am 29 yr old  - USAF overseas w/ a family and I am able to still invest in real estate ..

Are you seeking to build a monthly income (rentals), increase your retirement account (SDIRA deals), do flips or many other options?

It is important that you educate yourself and network on here because it is free. Start attending several local REI groups to network and learn more.

Understand that with a VA Loan you can find a property up to a 4plex and purchase it with $0 down...so you could live in 1 and rent the other 3. If you do this right you will have income coming in that pays your mortgage and you live rent free. Then when you PCS to another location you can just rent out the one you lived in and buy another property with a FHA loan with little money down. Great ways to start out and also gives you the opportunity to also build your cash on the side or build your retirement account to use for more real estate deals!

Thank you, my goals are to have multiple rental properties giving me income by the time my first contract is up. I just really want to increase my net worth. Are VA loans given by the bank? I have little to no money for a down payment. Is this an achievable goal? Thanks again.

You could use the VA Loan to purchase a 2, 3, or 4 unit, live in one and rent the others out to create cash flow while you continue to receive BAH. Up to four units is consider a home loan by the VA.

This is great insight. How long are you required to live in the home if your going VA?

yes VA loans go through the local bank or credit union. find out more information from them directly on that one. how long do you have left on your enlistment?

First , thanks for your service to our great country. Freedom is not free! You can try VA, FHA and other government Loan programs. I would look for a good mortgage broker to explain what options are available for someone like yourself. Have you considered 'Turn Key' RE investments? Generally lower initial costs and lower required down payment.

@Alexander Forrester

Thanks for your service.  They named a carrier after you!

VA mortgages are zero down and you should ask the seller to pay your closing costs and pre-paids. Its possible for you to actually buy a 1 to 4 unit property with no money using the VA. You have to live there for at least 1 year then you can do it all over again with another property.

Read a good real estate book, PM me if you want a suggestion!

PS listen to my Bigger Pockets Podcast #82 where I talk about how I started with nothing.

Use your VA loan to buy a 4-unit owner occupied property with 0% down. Check the county loan limits for whatever county that you're in. Can't be beat. I have three clients who are using it to get duplexes or triplexes here in California.

So many ways you could go here. This is what I tell my sailors.
1. Get you personal finances in order, minimize liabilities and increase your income through advancement. Right now your job is the best cash flowing asset you have. You can still invest while doign this.
2. Read, read, read.
3. Start learning how you can use your VA loan. to start. One of my sailors wrote a book about the very method others are talking about. I think it is $ 7.99 on Amazon. Everyone on our crew thought he was crazy, and called him slumlord. Now I get called slumlord and people think I'm crazy.

Stand a taut watch!

The VA would require you to live there for 5 years minimum and they have a lot of strict requirements. I recommend to save that for your personal home. Go through FHA. Your only required to live there for one year then you can structure your next rental property. Saves a couple of years.

Save your money while in the navy so you have a big chunk of change to start when you get out!

Use your VA loan as soon as you can. Depending on your credit, debit, BAH, and if you get COLA determines how much you'll get pre-approved for. Usually Navy bases are in prime locations where real estate values are on the high side. Go for a SFH or duplex if you can for cash flow. Just make sure to run your analysis before buying so when you PCS you know when it comes time to rent it out you'll be able to cover your mortgage at least.

Joe Sillaman, Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers | [email protected] | 808‑561‑8384

Welcome to PB!!

Ill leave the advice to the professionals:)

Thank your for your service!

What are the other loan programs that I should consider other than the VA loan? I want to save that until I get out. Thoughts on that? I would also like to know some good real estate books to read while I prepare myself for a future in real estate.

The number one this you want to do is build up or work to keep your good credit then save as much money as possible. The more money you save the more things you will be able to do comfortably and the better your credit the better you can use other people's money to pay you end of any real estate deal. You can use your VA loan for your own personal residence if you like.

Just learn all you can and make a plan. Plan your work and work your plan. 

First, thank you for your service.  You really do have a grateful nation behind you!

Second, don't ignore USDA Rural Development loans if you're going to owner occupy for any time at all.  These are available in less densely populated areas of the country.  There's an online map here: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/we... You'll be surprised at how loosely they interpret "rural".

You might want to save your VA benefit for your own home. Or not. Either way, check out USDA. I'm using that to move renters into homes they never thought they could afford because of the down payment.

Other than that, keep your overhead down.  No unnecessary debt.  I wish I had learned that at your age!

- Charlie

Updated over 2 years ago

I forgot to mention the reason for looking at USDA loans - 0% down.

Medium clear sailing logo  1600x489Charlie MacPherson, Clear Sailing Realty | 781‑412‑4151 | http://www.ClearSailingRealty.com

Alexander so there have been some changes with the VA loan since the last time I checked. You can use your VA to purchase multi-family properties and only have to occupy the property for 1 year. You can also have sever VA loans out at one time. I apologize for the misinformation.

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