Getting into real estate

4 Replies


As recently posted my wife and I are interested in real estate investing. I am active duty military and we both know we wont be able to buy our dream home and raise our family in it because we will be moving quite often. We feel that getting into real estate investing is a good alternative that will likely set us up for our dream home in retirement. I do have the great benefit of using the VA loan however, where I am stationed now we are already renting a place. To use the VA loan to purchase a single family home would require us to move once again which is costly, not to mention it would be the sixth time in 3 years for out family. We are looking for a way to purchase a home and not have to live in it, something we could purchase and rent out immediately and put no money down. We are stationed in Champaign, IL at the University of Illinois. We will be here until the Summer of 2020. We will then get stationed at Quantico, Virginia for about 9 months possibly a year, but we can never be sure.

We were also thinking about using the VA loan when moving to Quantico. My wife's family lives there so after we move out and starting renting the house her father would be and excellent hand in helping with the property. But then again the requirements for the VA loan are that you live in it for at least one year and we just can't be sure we will have that time there.

In short, we are seeking advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation. As I am sure there are many options we aren't thinking about. 

Thank you in advance for your time,

Michael and Sarah 

Hi Michael,

First, thank you for your service!

I would start by doing some research on property managers in the area, and networking with local investors. If you could rent it out when you move to Virginia then it makes sense to buy now. 

You have almost 2 years to figure all that out, while adding value to something that is yours. You wont be wasting your hard earned money.

No legal advice here. But if you wanted to use the VA loan in Quantico, I don't think it would be an issue. Lot of it has do with intent, I think ppl use a year as a safe guideline, but if you're going to be there for at least nine months, but potentially beyond and you really don't have a definitive end date, I don't think using a VA loan would be acting in bad faith.

@Michael Andre

I just used my VA loan in Champaign as well. I did Army ROTC program here at the University of Illinois and decided to jump into real estate after graduation.

As long as you have the intent to live in the property for more than a year, then you should be good (just confirm with your lender). Job change, family change, etc happen, so don' t think the 1 year is a hard rule like in your case.