Active Duty and ETS in 5 months looking to start investing.

11 Replies

I'm currently stationed in Ga. when my contract ends in January, I plan on moving back to Maine and get started in BRRR. Interested to hear advice and suggestions on what to do during these last few months in the military to get me ready for starting this next chapter.

- I purchased the house I reside in near augusta Georgia, my first ever purchase. Thoughts on renting or selling this house?

- I've been trying to 'sponge' as much info as possible from BP and miscellaneous YouTube info-casts, etc.

-- I'm new and will gladly take any and all information!!

--- thanks!

If you can rent your current place in the CSRA and stay Cashflow positive then rent it. If not, sell hopefully at a profit as soon as possible. The builders are constantly building in the area and it's just a matter of time before the building is overdone. I just left Augusta to start a new job in Fl. I bought my house (in Grovetown) knowing that I would rent it and be cash flow positive. Good luck in Maine, thanks for your service and pm me if you want to talk more.

Where in Maine are you looking to resettle?  If you can find a good property manager that you trust and the cashflow, try keeping them.  Consider one that is a realtor or has connections with a good realtor so that if you do decide to sell you can use them for that as well.

Sell the house now. It's a seller's market almost everywhere and still ok in Augusta.  Or keep it for a long long time.  The market could take a turn in the next couple years or three and if you "needed" to sell then, it would likely be difficult in that market more so than a bigger city.  

Ive only been in the house since April of 2017. I used a VA loan. Heading back towards either Bangor or kittery area (dependent on jobs). I don't know if I'd get much more than my mortgage in rent (pay about 1k/month myself, probably wouldn't get over 1200 in rent?). Paid 159900 for it (3bd/2ba - 1600sq/ft)

If you are definitely exiting the military within the next 12 months, to be eligible for a VA loan, you must provide verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the release from active duty.

I believe that type of loan program only allows you to have one active property in the VA loan program at any one time. You can always re-finance out of the VA and that would make that option available again I think. I am spit balling a little here, but I know FHA and RD loans also only allow you to have one property under that loan type at a time..

We currently have an FHA on one property and had to purchase our second through private investment. We are going to now re-fi the FHA and likely do another FHA once it is a conventional loan. It's like a rotating wheel of options. If you don't have good re-fi options, I would sell and get ready to invest here in Maine, market is going well if you know how to watch it and get deals.

You can have more than one property utilizing a VA loan. I can say this, because I previously had 2x properties until just last year. Your eligibility is based on your entitlement, which when all of the math is done, is more than likely around $417,000 in Georgia (may be slightly more by now). If your first house was less than $417k, then you have a bonus entitlement that you can use for a second property.

For example, if your first house was $160,000, then you have $257,000 (417,000 - 160,000 = 257,000) that you can use on a second property and still have a $0 downpayment. If you decide to purchase a 2nd home for $300,000, then you will most likely have to make a downpayment on the difference of $43,000 (300,000 - 257,000 = 43,000) and it would still be a fully backed VA loan.

Here are two resources you can use for accurate information regarding VA Loans: VA Benefits and Vets United

As far as to sell or rent, you should take sometime to run the numbers on your property. Find out the rent you will likely get and subtract not just mortgage, but insurance, interest, taxes (assuming those aren't already included), vacancy, property management, CAPEX, maintenance and any utilities or other miscellaneous expenses. If the math tells you that you will be cash flowing negatively (as it seems it might from what you have described), then it may be the better option to sell.

Also, consider managing from a distance. Are you willing to deal with management issues from Maine or come out of pocket $120/mo to pay a property management company to do it for you? If no, then it is probably best to sell.

Having a rental near an active base can be a good thing, but you don't want to overly stress yourself out and end up hating real estate after your first property. Again, based on the info you provided, if the numbers do not work and you can come close to breaking even, it may be best to sell and start investing locally in Maine.

Thanks for the replies!

Odds are I will try and sell. This is a great area to invest in, however, due to a large increase and expansion in military personnel and the effect that has on local economic expansions, which are all taking place within 5 miles.