Family of 2, currently Active Duty Military

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Hello, I am currently active duty Air Force in Indianapolis and should be up for a move in the next couple of years. We plan on buying at our next location but we want to make a smart buy our first go round. My fiancé doesn’t really like the area we live in currently and suggest we do not buy. She’s not a big fan of real estate investing either. I am very eager to get started with real estate investing and have an intermediate knowledge of the process. I hate paying rent! Any advice for military members getting started with investing and how to ease significant other on the risk of investing in real estate? Thank you!

I agree with @Scott Weaner . If you buy a single-family home to occupy as your personal home, it probably won't translate to a good rental down the road. You're better off buying a multifamily. Live in one unit while renting the others out. When you move, rent our your unit.

There are nicer multi-family with 2-4 units so you can still live comfortably.

The largest benefit to purchasing a 2-4 unit to live in is the ability to use the VA loan program allowing no down payment or PMI if you choose you do not want to make a down payment. This requires that you intend to live in the property so you fit that requirement by living there until you PCS at which point you can rent out your unit. This is a great advantage for those of us in the military over typical lending programs. I would explore this strategy while looking into potential markets where you want to be stationed next.


HI Chavis - To help get your spouse on board with real estate investing have her read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Either that or bring her to our Cashflow game meet up. If you haven't played cashflow before it is a great game to learn about finances. 

it depends on what part of Indiana you are looking to invest in. I'm an active duty captain that is doing flips remotely in the FS area and looking at a couple other places. You have substantial opportunity if you know what you're looking for. If you're looking for something you can turn into a rental once you PCS you need to look at purchasing in the districts with great schools.. i.e. greenwood, CG, Carmel, Noblesville, Bloomington, People will pay more to live in those areas and you can most likely cover your expenses with a renter after you move out. You're not going to get a crazy deal out of those areas unless you're looking at fixer upper or something you can buy at Auction VIA the courthouses or Online.. There's always a large auction that occurs in October and I would look there as well as get on an auto mailer for and HUD.

@Matthew Dunaway great info! We’re on the south side. My plan is to buy a 3 bedroom 2 bath family home that will have an estimate mortgage of $850-$880 with my VA home loan. We would have to live in it for at least a year but we will be living there for at least 2 years due to my current military assignment. Once we leave our plan is to rent it out for $1200 which is what I see the average family home being rented out for in this area. We ere planning on using a property manager and just paying the $100 dollars or percentage of rent. In return we should make about a $300 profit to either pay more on rent or save. Is that not a good plan?
@Chavis Kendrick Southport is a good thoroughfare for people trying to get to different areas of the Indianapolis. It’s connected to the highway system and some big feeder roads. Idk too too much about Southport school systems but I do know if you look a little further like greenwood you are looking at good districts. I would say that people are really willing to pay to get their kids into the greenwood and CG districts. I’m sure property taxes reflect accordingly though. As far as Southport goes I do know theee are some private schools around that area too that people want to be close to so depending on where you buy those figures sound reasonable for sure

@Chavis Kendrick I think the best way to start off any two year plan is with a ton of market research, schools, market rents, local trends in jobs, housing demand, any defined cycles you may be able to take advantage of, contractor availability, etc. The list of research is really endless but I recommend you think through the first year and what could really derail you and identify risk mitigation measures for those cannot eliminate risk but you can be prepared for it and make informed risk decisions. Then I would find a place to buy with a value add opportunity via rehab, addition, or buying the smallest/ugliest property in the nicest neighborhood you can...something along those lines. I would avoid bad neighborhoods as they can be a handful and my personal opinion is to target good school districts and sacrifice a little of the potential cashflow for a more enjoyable experience which has a value to me. Then execute the plan and make a purchase. Nothing fancy, just smart evaluation followed by action. Best of luck to you!

@Chavis Kendrick the Chashflow game was created by Robert kiyosaki the guy who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad. It teaches people about investing. Google search the game and you’ll find a lot of information about it. Hope you can join us some time. 

@Chavis Kendrick If your fiancé isn’t in to real estate or doesn’t see the benefit of it then you have a much larger fundamental problem then what type of real estate to purchase at your next duty station. I would tackle that one first and if she isn’t on board then find a new fiancé.
Originally posted by @Chavis Kendrick :
@Scott Weaner nice! I think they may be a good idea! Did you manage the property all by yourself or did you hire a property manager?

I currently self-manage. It is still worth it at this point. In the future, I may consider a manager.