13 Replies

I'm currently transitioning from the military; I'm stationed in Indiana right now and thinking about taking the real estate exam here. The sticky part is that once I'm completely out of the Army, I don't know where I will choose to settle down.  I should be completely out of the service by the first of the year and my plan was to take an accelerated pre licensing course in the mean time. I guess my question is should I wait until I determine where I'm going to settle or take the exam while idle in my current situation?

P.S. I'm not opposed to staying in Indiana, Indianapolis is a great city and from what I've read on the forums a hot spot for real estate.

First of all, THANK YOU for your service to our country!

It wouldn't make sense to study and take your license exam if you don't know if you'll settle in an area covered by that license.  That seems to me to be the first decision.

Best of luck - and if you somehow end up in Massachusetts, contact me.  I'm looking for new agents!

Mr. MacPherson,

I really appreciate the advice and If I ever end up in that part of the country I will look you up. So what do you advise I do in the mean time; I'm on this site, listening to podcast and reading nonstop. Anything else to recommend? Thanks in advance.

There are two parts to the licensing exam, the national portion and the state portion. I see no reason why you couldn't take classes for the national portion right now, and then take the state portion when you decide which state you will be in. 

That said, I also don't know how you would do that. I took classes online, and they were combined into one price. I don't know if they offer just the national portion, but it seems like you could find an online school that does. 

Mrs. Jensen,

Thanks for the reply, I've done research on schools in my area and most roll both sections into one course cost. That's a great idea and I will continue to search; the great part is that I signed up for courses a couple years back but couldn't finish due to military training. I still have the course materials and I could know the handbook cover to cover. Any other ideas? Thanks in advance

Yes, here are a couple things to work on while you wait:

Make sure your financial house is in order, student loans up to date if you have any (hopefully you don't), credit cards paid off if possible

Save all you can toward down payments on properties

Pull your credit report for free at  Check your credit score if you don't already know it.  Not the Credit Karma score, but pay for your score at one of the big three credit bureaus.  They usually offer to sell it to you when you ask for your free credit report.  Clear up any mistakes on your credit report

Read as much free on BP as you can and listen to the podcasts

Attend some local REIA meetings in Indianapolis: you may not end up there, but you may, and you may make some useful connections either way.

Good luck!

Its totally doable and requires you having a good idea of where you will settle down.  If you stay in IN then go all out in the Indianapolis market etc.  If you move you will need to get a new realtor license for that state.  How are you going to supplement your current income during the transition.  That is a big portion to worry about.


If I decide to stay in Indiana I will still be getting paid while I'm in class.

Mrs Bellamy,

I have been analyzing my budget nonstop and my credit is above average, great actionable advice to keep me going. Thanks

@James Cullins

Welcome. Thanks for your service.

Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and rehabbers (cash buyers). You can Google to locate them and go to

Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses, The Book on Estimating ReHab Costs

Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over

Good Luck


I don't believe in sitting around waiting for what might happen. I think you're better off getting your license now. Yes, if you move to another state you'll have to get licensed there but most of the principals of real estate are going to be pretty similar in many states. It will be reals simple to then get licenses somewhere else. It's kind of like the driving test.


I live in California, but invest in Massachusetts. I took Kaplan online courses and then got the licensing for California. One note is that the online courses will force you to space out your certificates exams over a period of 3-4 months. You can have all the materials at once, but you can't take all the exams at once. The idea is that if you were in a classroom this is what the pace would be. Once you test out you can go for the state licensing.

Massachusetts let me waive the course requirements and schedule for an exam right away. I recommend you buy the course material for whatever state. I got cocky and low and behold I missed the state part by one point.

Bottom line is I recommend you get a jump on your courses for whatever state your in or expect to be in, apply your course certification to whatever state you decide on, and get licensed. Alternatively if you wait, your licensing will be about 2-4 months after you decide.

@James Cullins

I would recommend just getting your license now in Indiana especially because it sounds like you have time on your hands to get it done now.  I just took mine a few months ago in Florida and it wasn't all that taxing.  If you move somewhere else just take that states exam.  Since you are thinking about staying in Indiana anyway, it will get you that much closer to your goals when you transition out of the Army.  I got mine to help my business and give me something I may want to do upon retirement from the military.  I second what @Mike D'Arrigo said, you shouldn't have a problem passing another states test as long as you study the state specific stuff.  Good luck!

@James Cullins

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