Looking to make my first Buy

5 Replies

I recently found out that my family and I will head to Ft. Hood around August. I’ve followed bigger pockets for a short while looking forward to being able to make our first purchase. In the short term my wife and I would like to buy our first house, put some work into it over the likely two years we’ll be there, and then rent it out.

I’d appreciate any suggestions or advice for a first time buyer. We’d also appreciate any suggestions on area’s to live in and up and coming zip codes. My wife would prefer to be as close to Austin as possible so we’ve begun to look at areas like Salado, Jarrell, Georgetown, Florence, etc.

@Taylor Majure I covered Fort Hood for 3 years as a TV reporter in the area and lived in both Killeen and Belton during that time. I would look at Harker Heights, Belton and Temple as your top targets. Anything closer to Austin is just too far of a commute, plus prices will be much higher.

Hi @Taylor Majure - excited you'll be headed to Texas! Many of the areas around Fort Hood are extremely price capped since they're tied so closely to military BAH, so you'd have to find a deeply discounted home to make that strategy work well for you near base. It sounds like you've been researching the area quite a bit and have a good feel already. Jarrell is experiencing a bit of a boom right now but it's still very much a bedroom town, there really isn't much other than the housing communities there now, but that will change over time and the houses are VERY inexpensive right now. Salado is a small, sleepy touristy town but has an actual identity (and there's a great glassworks you can visit there). Florence has an amazing vineyard, but hasn't really been able to capitalize on tourism just yet. A lot of military families live in Georgetown to take advantage of the schools, culture, shopping, and home appreciation. Especially if you are going in to base at the south gates, Georgetown is only a 40-45 min drive, and about the same into downtown Austin, or 30 minutes to the Domain. You won't find a shortage of houses to rehab in any of those locations, but finding a buyer may be more challenging in some.

What are your investment goals for this property? Do you want higher cash flow or higher appreciation? Keep in mind, the closer you get to Austin, the higher the appreciation, but also the lower the cash flow. The reverse is true for the closer you get to Killeen. Me personally, I live in Hutto, TX and commute 50 minutes each way. I have no issues with this commute and take advantage of the time by listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

Take advantage of BP's calculators and see if the property will still make financial sense after you PCS.

@Taylor Majure Hello, and welcome! As what @Derek Harris mentioned, having a goal is the first thing. I know it's corny but it is important because it lines up everything else. You mentioned this would be your first house and fixing it up. You can use the VA loan to wrap in the repair costs but you would have to plan carefully because this is your primary residence. I don't have any idea to what extent the repairs would be too but you can imagine where I'm trying to get at. Also when you decide what you would like to invest in, it will definitely narrow down the possible areas.

I hope this help and I wish you the best of luck on your investing journey!

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