Young Military Investor in Colorado Springs, CO

18 Replies

I am currently attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My current background consists of reading Bigger Pockets books and others, speaking with individuals in the real estate community, and searching online or in forums when I have questions. I have a small amount of capital at the moment, but ideally want to start by wholesaling in order to get a good understanding of the numbers involved with analyzing a deal, and to build up my capital. After that I hope to get started in Single Family or Multifamily homes. Any advice on what direction to go in or individuals I should connect with would be greatly appreciated. I can already tell that the Bigger Pockets community will be a great wealth of information.

@Vinny Martin Look for some local meet-ups/REIA meetings and just go and listen. I would start there and by figuring out how to live as cheaply as you can (should be easy in the service) and stack cash. My opinion is you need some more info before you jump in, to make sure you are getting into the right thing. Do not feel pressured to "pick" what you want to do.

Hey @Vinny Martin !  I know we're already chatting, but I wanted to put a post out there that will hopefully help others as well.  I love how WAY ahead you are compared to my own journey.  It took me 4 years once on active duty before I even considered real estate investing.  

One of my favorite suggestions, which was too late for me by the time I started, is to use a VA loan to purchase a fourplex and live in one unit at your first assignment. I have two friends who are doing this in Dayton, Ohio with great success. Living for free is the perfect way to boost your initial savings.

But you're talking about getting started even sooner, while finishing school.  Everybody loves to start with wholesaling (at least in theory).  I have a hard time understanding that because it is a LOT of hustle, negotiating, and marketing (yes, a blanket generalization).  Also be mindful of state laws as well as state/national Do Not Call lists.  But there are TONS of successful wholesalers and it IS a good way to build up funds, as long as you keep in mind it is just a job by another name. 

Definitely look in to BRRRR as another avenue to get started.

If it is helpful, I'd be happy to chat with you more about multifamily (my wife and I purchased 24 units in 2 years), send you some example wholesaler emails from the Florida panhandle area, and hook you up with investor-friendly real estate agents anywhere you need.  

I'll let someone far more knowledgeable than me talk to wholesaling.  Don't let my own view of it discourage you in the slightest, just always do your homework and due diligence no matter what you do in real estate!  

Best of luck to you!

@Vinny Martin @Charlie Cameron    I agree with Charlie, some very good advice.  Owning real estate is the best way to generate long term weather vs. an active business selling real estate (wholesaling, flipping etc) those are both fine, they are just jobs vs. investments (of course there is some overlap.)    Buying a 4 plex, living in 1 unit, renting the other and rinse and repeat is a WONDERFUL way to build up a portfolio!  I would say NEVER pay for a seminar until you have ready literally every book that BP publishes plus some of the good book lists on here.  Sure paying is not always a bad idea...just 99% of the time it is  ;)

@Charlie Cameron Great advice as well! Id love to chat with you as well about the local area, im especially interested in your multifamily story. Ill send you over a connection request!

@Vinny Martin

First let me say congrats on entrance to the academy that is no small feat.

Secondly I'd say wait till you graduate so you qualify for a VA loan which allows for 0 money down on a residential property that is up to 4 units. Get something you can add value to do you can refinance it and maybe pull money out while you rent the other units.

I believe you can use the VA loan more than once as well but I think there has to be a few years in between.

@Vinny Martin @Vinny Martin

House hacking a four-plex is great. Use property management while you are in the home so when you PCS you have already positioned a tried and true company. It may sound like a waste of money but while active duty you will be a dabbler and traveling, you’ll lose substantial money by not establishing a team.

Also, most likely you’ll be by a base, advertise for tenants on Get the full advertising package, if you get military renters you can hold them accountable through their chain of command if need be. Plus they are usually pretty responsible tenants.

With a multiplex factor in the utilizes you pay vs what the tenant pays, look at taxes as well. Also, verify if the city will still pick u trash or if multiplexes are responsible for private trash (this was an unexpected monthly bill for me).

Living in a home for two years will provide you tax breaks when you sell. Plus military are excluded from capital gain if they lived in a home in the last ten when they sell. This exclusion is only good for five years for civilians.

VA loan usage is as time sensitive if you've received PCS orders. Va does have a cap on the amount.

@Vinny Martin : +1 to most of what everyone above has said. The VA Loan is an incredibly powerful tool, so read up on it and talk with folks (like me) who have leveraged it.

Let me add in a note of caution, because you are in a unique situation as a cadet.

Be hyper-cautious about fraternization.  It is punishable under the UCMJ.  As an officer, you need to take responsibility here.  The Air Force considers both lending to or becoming endebted to enlisted members to be fraternization, as well as entering into business relationships with enlisted members.  It's no joke, so don't even go near it.

That's my "under-the-cherry-tree" moment for you.

Thadeous said it well be careful in that situation, things can go south real fast. Plus ingle, O1/O2s can be a huge money maker for you (higher BAH rates).

House hacking would be a great way, especially at your level, if your single you don't need too much and after a year or two, move out and do it all over again.

I would, however, recommend using a property manager as you are just starting out, and your schedule might not be conducive to being a landlord.

Best of luck!

This thread has some great advice and I commend you @Vinny Martin on starting your REI journey early! I served just over 9 years on active duty in the Army and only towards the end of my career was I turned onto real estate as a wealth building tool! All the best to you and every other veteran on here!