Phoenix v. Houston with VA Loan

5 Replies

BiggerPockets Family,

I am active duty Air Force currently in Denver, CO but am about to move between December and May 2019. I bought a condo in Denver (plan to Air Bnb or rent when I move) and am looking to refinance in order to recapture my full VA loan, then buy a duplex/tri/quad in either Phoenix or Houston. I have an active duty job offer for Phoenix and a National Guard offer for Houston. I plan to House Hack the duplex/tri/quad and keep them as long term rentals with the exception of the unit I'll be living in. The VA loan covers a $450k purchase (given that you qualify...I will) with no downpayment. I have 3 questions for you as I'm relatively inexperienced and definitely not familiar with either location.

From a real estate perspective only:

1) Would you choose Phoenix or Houston? And why? I'd prefer a property that only needs cosmetic work and is located near a good part of town as well as an "attraction"- ie baseball stadium, hospital, concert venue- so I'll have the option to Air Bnb if I choose to.

2) Generally, which city has a higher profit on rentals?

3) Where would you find the deal?

4) For those of you in these areas, does 450k even cover a duplex/tri/quad?

Thank you all so much for your help!

Updated almost 3 years ago

I made an extra question. 4 questions...whoops :)

Originally posted by @Bain Craddock :

BiggerPockets Family,

I am active duty Air Force currently in Denver, CO but am about to move between December and May 2019. I bought a condo in Denver (plan to Air Bnb or rent when I move) and am looking to refinance in order to recapture my full VA loan, then buy a duplex/tri/quad in either Phoenix or Houston. I have an active duty job offer for Phoenix and a National Guard offer for Houston. I plan to House Hack the duplex/tri/quad and keep them as long term rentals with the exception of the unit I'll be living in. The VA loan covers a $450k purchase (given that you qualify...I will) with no downpayment. I have 3 questions for you as I'm relatively inexperienced and definitely not familiar with either location.

From a real estate perspective only:

1) Would you choose Phoenix or Houston? And why? I'd prefer a property that only needs cosmetic work and is located near a good part of town as well as an "attraction"- ie baseball stadium, hospital, concert venue- so I'll have the option to Air Bnb if I choose to.

2) Generally, which city has a higher profit on rentals?

3) Where would you find the deal?

4) For those of you in these areas, does 450k even cover a duplex/tri/quad?

Thank you all so much for your help!

 For AirBnB I'd definitely go with Phoenix.

If you are going to do Houston, you would probably want it somewhere near the 'medical center' which is close the stadium and downtown. Houston holds the largest rodeo event in the world, lasts damn near a month, and you'd probably make a big part of your ROI during that period. NFL home-game weekends would be nice also.

And the other end of the fun-misery spectrum, you have some of the world's leading cancer treatment centers just down the street, and so there are always people coming in from out of town for long periods of time for treatment.  Or the doctors sometimes want a place to stay until they find something long term.  

Not sure you'd get much more than a duplex however in that part of down.  Maybe...

Thanks, @Mark Sewell ! Those would be perfect areas...but it's a shame I'd only be looking at a duplex. What's your recommendation on where to find deals in the area? Any good wholesalers that you know of? Or maybe just go with the normal MLS listings and offer a lower price?

You can actually find deals that way, Bain, just bashing the phones and making offers on MLS listings but it is a lot of rather tedious work. I've done it, but not with duplexes or MF.