Odd Living Situation... Need Help Getting Started

5 Replies

Hello all,

I am new to the site and I am looking at buying property as an investment with my wife of 6 months.  We currently travel for work... I am in construction management and she has followed me to Texas and taken an awesome travel nursing position.  Neither of us own a home and never have.  We both receive per diems with our salaries and live in an apartment in Houston for the duration of my current project.  We are both debt and nearly expense free and have a good chunk of savings between us, some of which my wife has earmarked for her Masters.  When this project is over we will pack up and move to the next one, though we won't know where that is for some time.  Our current plan is to complete one more project (while she works a travel position in the same area) and then move back to Louisville where she can start school and we can settle down.

My question is this;  Given our situation, what would everyone think a reasonable course of action is as far as acquiring our first property.  We are looking at SFHs and have made an offer but to no avail.  It seems reasonable to me to go ahead and buy a house to rent, then buy a home for us to live in when we move back or when a deal comes along that makes good financial sense.  The current plan was to buy the first house as a primary residence since we don't currently own.  I assume we would have to convert this when we do settle down and buy a house that we will live in.  I would want to keep acquiring properties but don't want to screw up our prospects of receiving a decent mortgage on our residence once we purchase it.  If anyone could offers some suggestions to consider it would be greatly appreciated!



@Adam Hicks  

Do you or your wife have a two year history in the same field and at your current job? Per diem work needs a two year history to qualify for financing...... You have a good idea, and concept going though. 

Welcome to BP!

Before you make that first purchase there are a lot of other things to consider.

Start with the learning tab on top and read all the how to guides.  Also listen to the podcasts.  That should answer 90% of your questions.

Be sure to do the calculations before buying if your intent is to rent it out.  Otherwise it will be negative cash flow.

Not sure about the per diem.  On mortgage apps I've just put it under "other income" since it is not part of my salary.  My wife's per diem is built into her hourly rate so I haven't even broken it out in the past. 

@Jerry Padilla Being a lender, do you see any issue with buying the first house as a primary residence? I don't know why any of the parties involved would balk at that but I just want to be sure.  Any issues down the road when we actually do buy a property to live in?

First talk to a Lender and find out what they say you can and can't do. If you buy a home to live in initially that is in a good neighborhood where families would like to rent it out after you leave AND it will cash flow (this means you or someone on your team needs to be able to calculate cash flow, like a Realtor), then it shouldn't hurt you at all. 

Just keep in mind for capital gain tax deferral, you would have needed to live in it for 2 of the last five years (also talk to a CPA). Jumping in to buy with an eye towards investment requires some planning and getting advice from key people, so start there and find some advisors before you do. Good luck!

@Adam Hicks as long as you intend to live in the property and then you move to another location and purchase a new primary and rent the previous primary out..... I don't foresee an issue. I would suggest you live in the first property for at least a year or at least close to it ..... If possible. If you stay in the same area...... It may look suspicious to an underwriter. 

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