Advice for the New Guy - St Louis

6 Replies

I am about to get my feet wet in REI and looking for some advice based on my situation.

I have a degree in construction management and work for a large commercial construction company. I have grown up doing construction with my father who owns a small construction company in MO. I also have served in the Army for the last 10 years in a reserve component. My wife and I recently sold our house that we did a live in flip on and will be moving to St. Louis. 

I was planning to house hack by purchasing a duplex or a four-plex with a VA loan that would allows me to put zero down. My wife will be finishing up her degree and will start working as a Physician Assistant at the end of the year. Her parents have graciously allowed us to crash in their basement for as long as we need. I was prequalified for 300k personally and my wife will be making more than i am currently.

I am looking to get a solid foundation of rentals over the next several years and wanted to make sure that I didn't make any avoidable mistakes right out of the gate. I want to become a full time investor within the next 5-10 years. What advice would you give to someone just starting out with relatively no experience other than construction skills and the several books I have read.

Thanks in advance for your welcomed advice. 

I would say it is great to get the VA loan to buy your primary residence. The one mistake I made was over leveraging my rentals so that when I had some vacancies during the economic downturn I didn't have enough savings to cover the mortgages. I would also suggest getting a property manager if your not experienced with screening tenants. A bad tenant can cost you thousands of dollars. Property managers only cost 10% of the monthly rental income. It might be scary at first but in the long run you will be better off than the person who never gets into the property investment business.

Gordon Cuffe, Lender in CA (#1037464)
916-261-2381

@Jeffery Neal Hi Jeffery, welcome to BP and thank you for your service! I am an investor in the STL, I have lived here most of my life. It sounds like you have the background which is great and reading books is important, you can never know enough about investing and it is always changing. 

We have some great Real Estate Investment associations or clubs in St Louis, once you get here I would recommend coming to some meetings and start networking with other investors. That would be a great start and a great way to push your investment goals along. 

If you would like to learn more about them let me know and I can Private message you details.

Good luck and maybe I'll see you at an event sometime.

Travis

@Jeffery Neal

Sounds like you have a pretty solid foundation and some good ideas. Learning from the members here on BP, with posts and podcasts is an important tool. Good Luck.

Hey @Jeffery Neal , welcome to the forums... I think you would definitely enjoy the BP Podcast Show 103 which is all about how to levergage VA loans to your REI advantage.

House hacking a 4-plex sounds like a great idea, especially with 2 incomes, you should have no problem with financing.

@Jeffery Neal

Sounds like you are heading in the right direction. I just started out myself and would recommend the resources on BP. The blogs, forums and podcast have pointed me in the right direction so far.  

One piece of advice I received was to keep your focus in a smaller area and to crunch the numbers often using the 50% and 2% rules.  

Build a good team

Good Luck !

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.