Young Navy Dentist looking to start investing

5 Replies | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

My wife and I are are two recent dental school graduates. My wife works in Brookfield and I work at the Naval Base at Great Lakes. Together we carry about $350,000 of student debt. Now that we finally have paychecks rolling in we are interested in real estate to maximize of investment potential to get out of debt sooner and develop a passive stream of income. 

Being in the Navy, I’m currently only guaranteed a year (maybe two) at Great Lakes.

We love the condo that we are currently renting on Prospect Ave and know our landlord is interested in selling. The plan would be to live in it (and possibly improve the place) until the Navy moves us. Then, we would rent the property. 

We understand there are drawbacks of purchasing condos especially just the one unit, but we’re hoping for some preliminary insight and guidance on our initial entry into the world of real estate investing. 

Thanks is advance for any and all insight!

Chase, congrats on graduating! I would say to pay down the student debt using the cash flow you will receive from your investments. Once you are accredited investors (300k joint income for the past two years), you will have access to the best deals that provide the passive income you're desiring. 

Tackle those student loans, first and foremost. What are the interest rates on those student loans? If the interest rate were lower I might suggest otherwise, but generally on average (and some of this is dependent upon the lender) anything 6% and over, it is best to drive that debt down first. I hope this helps! And I'll defer to others on the matter but best of luck. Once you do decide to get things moving with a rental, I definitely have some recommendations to make managing your rental process easy.

Dentists should not invest in individual properties since it is not scaleable.

You guys are entrepreneurs which means all you TIME should be spent on your practice not buying a small rental which is not you highest and best use. 

Welcome to the forums @Chase Gottschalk and congrats on the graduations! 

We used to have an office on Prospect near the Whole Foods. I know the area well and it looks like there is tremendous potential for appreciation. Try using the BP calculators to analyze the numbers if you haven't already.

Best of luck!

@Chase Gottschalk congrats on graduating. I grew up right by the base, and have a lot of military friends to this day. The struggle with investing while in the military is that you can't build your network in an area to manage and do repairs. You are constantly being pulled to a new duty station. I have recommended to military folks in the past that they focus instead on buying properties in the place they want to retire. If you can figure out where you want to land post military, why not start picking up properties there? Sometimes this is where family is, and you can have family help manage. Other times you can just use professional management from the beginning.