Veteran on the prowl for my first deal in Tacoma, WA

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Hello Bigger Pockets Community!

I'm A.J. and I've become obsessed with Bigger Pockets and real estate investing since I read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" on vacation in late June. I've listened to probably 40 podcasts and just finished Brandon Turner's "Intro to real estate investing" I really wish I had jumped on the investor train 5 years earlier before the Seattle market creep hit the Tacoma area side!

My goal is to buy a duplex, triplex, or 4plex by the end of the year so I can stop throwing money away on rent and I cant get started in a lifetime of real estate investing. I've been scouring the

One question for all of you out there, I'll be able to use the VA Loan for a house, but I also have enough saved up for a 20% down payment for a median priced home in the area (or maybe 2 down payments for below market prices). Would you all recommend starting with the VA loan on my first purchase? Or using my savings for a down payment, and the VA loan for an investment (that I'd move into) later?

Thanks for all the wisdom, advice, and experiences you all have shared on here. I hope to be an official real estate investor by the end of this year and I know this community has already been a huge help!!!

A.J.

Hey AJ, congrats on taking the first learning steps to investing! If I understand your options/plan correctly, I would suggest stop paying rent and using your VA to get into your first 2-4 unit deal. Assuming it would need some improvements and have at least a little upside in rents, live there while you work on maximizing the properties potential then move on to the next deal, possibly using the 20% you've saved up. If you're looking for something anywhere near Tacoma (or S. King), let's connect this week. I have a lot of experience in the area, investing and currently working to find off market opportunities as well.

Also, I have a really great lender that works a lot with Vets and VA loans. Let me know if you'd like a referral.

Happy to share my knowledge and experience. Cheers!

Hi @Anthony Matthews ! Welcome to BiggerPockets and thank you for your service tnour country. Glad to hear you’re starting your journey into the world of real estate investing! My wife and I own and self manage several rentals in the Greater Seattle and are really excited about all of the positive developments going on in the market. Let me know if you’d like to chat! 

Welcome to Bigger Pockets AJ.  I grew up in Tacoma, Lakewood actually and used to have a group of duplexes in Puyallup.  It was a excellent investment.  I have not lived in Tacoma for many years but know the area well.  I have always told my kids that for your first home, buy a duplex or 4 plex and live in one unit while renting the other units out.  They will pay your mortgage, tax and insurance so that you can save for the next purchase which could be your home or could be another investment property.  That is what I would recommend for you as a young investor as well.  Good luck!!!!

@Natalie Kolodij , always appreciate the shout out. 

@Anthony Matthews , Hell. Yes. That's exciting. I remember what it was like to just be a sponge and soak up everything I possibly could. There's SO much info out there. But as a vet that's been investing since 2011, there are some tricks you can learn without having to learn them the hard way. We should definitely grab a coffee or something and talk strategy. Hit me up to set a time! My contact info is in my profile. Thanks! 

@Anthony Matthews Welcome to BP! You've come to the right place to get started real estate investing! I teach a class twice per month for new investors, and we'll go over everything that you've talked about here. Let me know if you're interested and I can get you on the list for Monday!