Buying duplex or single family home before moving for job

9 Replies

So I have been living in Atlanta for six years and recently was selected to be an air traffic controller. I am currently working at another federal agency while going thru the background check process which should be completed around April or May 2018. At that time I will have to relocate from Atlanta to Oklahoma City for three months for the academy and then relocate from there to another city that is unknown until after I pass the academy. I've been following BiggerPockets for two years and really want to take action now to purchase a buy and hold property in Atlanta to get experience with real estate investing, but when I've told family and friends about this they quickly tell me it's not a great idea because I'm going to have a long distance real estate investment. So I thought why not ask BiggerPocket members and followers what do they think?

I've had long distance rentals with no problems. The key is to find a good property manager. You have an advantage now because you are still local and can do interviews pretty easily. Interview property managers before purchasing anything and if you cam find one you are comfortable with, only then would I move forward with an investment.

Long distance real estate investing can be easy of you have the right people in place.  You should also consider buying in Oklahoma City, you'll get more property for your money and better cash flow than Sandy Springs but probably not as much appreciation.

@Rob Nichols has a great place to stay here in OKC while you are at the academy!

I have heard great things about the Oklahoma City market and will definitely consider it but living in The Atlanta area for over six years makes me feel more comfortable investing here before I move. If I choose this route I will definitely make sure interview property managers before moving out of town. Thanks for both of your input.

i went through the ATC program. Good luck!

Thank you can’t wait to start the career!

Your idea is brilliant. You have the opportunity to purchase the property as a Primary residence. This means a lower interest rate, and possibly lower down payment.

1. Find a quality property that cash flows
2. Find a quality Property manager

Best of luck

@Phillip Mosley - There are definitely advantages to getting started here in Atlanta. You can take advantage loan terms only available for primary residence with lower rates and down payment requirements. Then use a property management company to handle everything else. I can give you a great referral if needed. In order to really maximize the strategy, you may consider buying a multifamily (duplex, triplex or quad). You can still get same loan terms and generate a lot more revenue. If you're willing to invest in certain areas (aka in town not Sandy Springs) you can even get down payment assistance in the form of a grant. Not a loan that needs to be repaid, but FREE MONEY to cover the down payment. For example, we helped one of our first time investor clients purchase 2 duplexes in 30310. Each one was 2 units, 2 beds, 1 bath each. We bought both from 1 owner. Paid $60K each, rehab was $40K each, so $100K each duplex. Total of 4 units for $200K. Our client qualified for down payment assistance for one of the properties through the Invest Atlanta program because he is going to live in one of the units and got $15K to put down. Each unit is rented for $895 a month. so he's getting $2,685 in rent from 3 units. His expenses including property management, maintenance and the like is only $1,200. So he is living for FREE and netting $1,485 a month. He's moving to LA in a few months and renting out the 4th unit. so his rental income will go up to $3,580 and he will net around $2,380 a month from his 2 duplexes in Atlanta while he's pursuing his acting career in LA. He's only 24 at the moment and not looking at the appreciation at the moment, but the duplexes are right on the path for the future beltline expansion so he will surely see some significant appreciation over the next 15 to 30 years. My advice is GO FOR IT. If you need anything, let me know. Best of luck.

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