Hello, Kevin. For ease of typing I am going to say "you" when I may mean you or your partner.
So, you must intend to live in the property for at least one year to use the VA loan. So if you would like to invest in a quadplex and live in one of them while renting out the other three you can do that. This is something my company and I always recommend! House hacking a quadplex with zero down on a VA loan is an amazing opportunity! That of course means you cannot invest in different location with your VA loan since you would not be able to live in it and the VA loan is only intended for the primary residence.
Now, when it is time for a military move then you can do it again at the new location with the remaining amount of the VA benefit or refinance the VA loan into a conventional loan and use the full benefit again. There are some amazing opportunities with the VA loan that are fantastic investment choices. Please let me or my partners know if we can help in any way!
@Kevin McGevna - if you are going to partner, you are going to have to figure out how you add value to the deal without being on the loan. Because unless you are a veteran, or a spouse of a veteran (depending on how committed to this deal you are... haha...) you can't go on a VA loan unless you are eligible. You CAN go on title - you just want to either put it into an entity after the fact, or close and then do a quitclaim deed.
Outside of that - your question is super broad. But I would advise this: Start with the goal. Without a goal you are basically pulling tools out of the toolbox without a gameplan. You're likely to end up with a saw in your hand standing in front of a lightbulb that needs to be changed. Don't pre-emptively make decisions on financing until you know what the preferred out come is.
A lot of times people will come into my office and say "hey - I want to do an FHA loan" but they really don't know why. Most times it doesnt make the most sense, but with a clear picture of the goal, you can work backwards and structure the right financing...
VA is great if you can use it. If you have any questions about it, I'm here to help out in any way that I can.
As you consider investing with a VA loan, you want to be extra careful to make sure the numbers work. While VA is a great way to get going with literally no money down, there are drawbacks. As @Adam L. pointed out, you must live in the property for a year first. Also, if you go zero money down, and the VA funding fee gets wrapped into the mortgage, you essentially have negative equity. So, if you just by a nice primary residence SFR at retail, it can be very difficult to get cash flow when you do move out. Many military get into trouble thinking, "if I PCS, I will just rent the place out." The never think that they may still have several hundred dollars a month in negative cash flow.
What part of Tampa are you in? We just moved from there in 2015.