Beginning out of state from west coast to east coast

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I’m new to this app, and new to real estate investing. Basically have a general understanding how it all works and my idea first is to house hack. My wife isn’t fully on board with the idea and I believe getting her on board by having a duplex would be perfect stepping stone 1) for her to get on board and 2) I see it being a little bit safer for a beginner. With that, the problem I run in to is being stationed in California, and hoping to get stationed in Virginia. I will be looking to purchase in Virginia, but know absolutely nothing about it. I know I’ll be in Virginia Beach and willing to travel up to 30 min. If anyone knows the area, and what’s good areas for rental properties as well as family for myself it would be greatly appreciated. I have a few ideas in my head that I’ve been following through real estate books etc and I think what Will really get the ball rolling is understanding the area and making some connections out there.

@Anthony Triano Welcome to BP and congratulations on your upcoming move! My wife and I just moved from California to Virginia Beach last summer, purchased a foreclosure and used a VA rehab loan to get it all spruced up before we moved in with our two little kids. We've been in and out of Hampton Roads for about 11 years and know the area decently well and can certainly speak to commutes, neighborhoods, and bases. Please let me know if you have any questions! There is also a great meetup hosted by @Melanie McDaniel that will get you plugged in and up to speed in no time!



Hi @Anthony Triano .  Lot's in your post but let's start with: Thank you for your service!

Being a veteran has perks in real estate.  Make sure to do your research so you can maximize your perks.

  • VA Loans:  The VA offers amazing offers for mortgages. These might be outdated. You can get a mortgage for 100% LTV (loan-to-value), not sure how closing costs work. You get up to $450k in loans. I have a friend who used this twice because both homes were bought in the recession and he had a remaining balance. Unfortunately you can't go over, so he had to stop. They have to be primarily as well.

Starting in real estate, with a significant other.

  • Wife:  Trust me on this one, it's worth the time to do all the renovation work BEFORE you move in!  My 4 month rehab is about to start year 3.  Living with somebody else during a remodel sounds great, until your in the thick of it.
  • Duplex:  This is a great way for you to start.  Common advice here is not telling the tenants you're the landlord, you've been hired by the landlord.  That helps you avoid awkward situations on repairs or rent: "that's what the landlord said, not me".
  • Not knowing the area:  Real estate is all about due diligence.  Whether it's personal or investment. Here are some suggestions to help to get to know the area.

            Realtor:  Hire a local realtor since their job is knowing the markets.  Interview a few of them and let them tell                                 you the good areas.  Then compare their responses to see if there are common areas.

                Schools:  Research the best school districts

                Property Managers:  Any ways you don't plan to hire a PM, still call a few to get an idea of the best areas and the                                 average rents.  They will know where better quality tenants are seeking to live.
                Developments:  Read the local newspaper or check the economic development website for major developments                                 in the area.  In Arizona, you can follow trends by commercial and residential developments.                                  Commercial could be new restaurants, Fortune 1000 businesses or even multifamily.

There is a lot more information but hopefully this will help give you a path of direction to navigate in.  Best of luck!