New to BP and seeking advice

2 Replies

I EASed (ETS) back in January and I've been saving for awhile. I recently got back pay for VA disability and that was a good chunk of money, all in all I have $35,000 saved up and have never used the VA loan. I want to invest in rental properties and was wondering which markets would be great to invest in and some advice on how to take advantage of the VA loan.

@Joett Ocasio the most important item to understand about VA loans is that you have to occupy the property to qualify for that type of a loan. A VA loan requires no down payment, has no PMI, but will require you to live in it. So if you were to use a VA loan to buy a duplex, live in one side, rent out the other side, that would be something that loan type would allow.

If you wanted to invest in real estate that you DON'T live in then you would likely need a "conforming" loan - a loan regulated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - and those require 15% downpayment minimum and they would have PMI at that down payment amount. There are lots of other loan types out there too but "conforming" is the most popular since the rates and terms are lower.

Feel free to ask more questions if you need but I hope this helps in some way.

Congrats on becoming a civilian, if it's what you wanted.  :-)  (I got medically retired and wasn't happy, but  Also, congratulations on the chunk of change! 

First, I recommend you learn all you can before spending that money on anything.  Read the forums.  Watch the webinars.  Listen to the podcasts.  Read some of those books recommended at www.BiggerPockets/Books  Interact on the forums. :-) Definitely practice analyzing deals so you know a good deal when you finally find it. Figure out if you want to do buy and hold (which is what I do), BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat), flip (not usually the best option for newbies, but if you're handy, maybe it's for you), whatever.

I don't know much about the VA loans. I've never used mine. (I buy another way.)

As for where to buy, most folks look in their town or those nearby.  But I hear it can be rough in CA.  Then again, so can buying/renting properties out of state.  If you decide to work from out of town, there's a recent blog post that might help.

Thank you for your service and good luck with your plans!

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