Active Duty Military: Attempting to invest from overseas

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Hey everyone, I'm currently stationed in Germany on active duty. Own a few SFH rentals and flipped a few, still a newbie. My wife and I plan on staying in Europe for a few more years but we are looking into purchasing a 2-8 multifamily unit either in TN or NC around the large Army bases where we have previously lived and know the area. I have a trusted realtor at each location as well as management firms that I currently use. The management firms will arrange for necessary repairs after purchase and then take over managing the place. I would not be able to get a first hand look personally, would rely on realtor and inspection report. This is risky I know, looking for what are the immediate concerns that make you experienced investors cringe at this idea.


Hello Christopher.  Thank you for your service.  

I would prefer boots on the ground other than a realtor.  There are services now that you can hire that will take 100's of photos for you and send them to you.  BP also just put out a book called Long Distance Investing by David Greene.  

Sounds like you have done some homework if you have a trusted realtor and management team.  I find that no one is going to look at a property like you do when it isn't their money being invested.  It would be worth paying a friend in that area a few hundred to look over the property for you and take lots of photos to send to you.  An employee of a management company that was head of maintenance I connected with offered to look at a property with me.  He was very valuable because he had seen all the issues that were coming my way with the specific type and age property that I was considering.  

I am in VA and familiar with TN and NC. Let me know if I can help.

I guess it is 2 for 1 day on advice from Sewells….

Find another investor that you trust who has both experience and cash.  Somebody that knows the multi-family game, and knows that local market.  If they have skin in the game, like you do, then you can feel comfortable.  

That said, finding a good partner is harder than finding a good property.  So tread carefully there, too.  Probably your property managers will be the best source for that.

Thanks fellas.  Currently working with one of my property management companies that actually sells, buys, and manages properties, also will arrange for repairs.  A one stop shop and I've worked with them since 2006.  Going to try and purchase a condo through them on the lower end of the scale to test the waters before I hopefully move onto more and bigger deals.