What do you guys think about owning rentals while going to school

7 Replies

I have no hands on advice but I do have a plan. My eldest is 7. I have no intention of her paying for boarding in college (assuming she goes). Under the assumption she would be required to stay on campus as a freshman, she would be looking to get her first house hack that year to live in the next three years. She should easily be able to cover the mortgage charging her friends rent. And if she maintains good contacts, even keep it as a rental beyond her years there. Else she could sell it and use the proceeds to rinse and repeat with her first employer. 

So should you invest? Absolutely. And I would do it as house hacking. You can then be on sight to supervise your tenants, learn leases, learn minor repairs, and rent collection. You could potentially take the hands off approach even and have a property manager run it, and you just be a "tenant" to everyone but still get to see things from a birds eye view. 

Anyway you look at it, figure you are going to make mistakes (I still do all of the time). Better to get them out of the way early when you have a long runway to recover. 

@Austin McCully What is your 'why'? What are your long-term goals? How does real estate fit into those goals? The VA loan is an extremely powerful wealth building tool available to military folks like us, but too many people just buy a house on the VA loan with the intent of it being an 'investment' without doing any research to see if it makes sense as an investment!

I recommend you consider the house hacking strategy with the VA loan. Its a great way to own a 1-4 unit property with little/no money down, and you become your own property manager for your tenants in the other units. There are lots of articles and posts about this strategy.

Best of luck and keep us updated!

@Douglas Spence

First of all thank you so much for your reply. It made me think about my reasonings for investing in property.

My "Why?" is pretty simple. I want to learn how to generate massive value for people so that my family can create generational wealth through cashflow investments. This will give my family the knowledge to do the things they actually want to do in life without the burden of worrying about money.

House hacking is exactly the strategy I want to do and the VA loan is a tool I'm planning on using. I want to start immediately with a small property that I know I can manage with a down payment through a tradition FHA loan. Keeping that VA loan in my pocket for that first sweet deal. Most likely a four unit property. After landing in Texas I would be looking at homes as often as possible. After 100 or so viewings and assessments I'm sure the right deal will be in front of me.

My question was more specific with doing house hacking while going to school. It seems to be a pretty normal thing to do and I'm really excited

Underwrite as many deals as you can before pulling the trigger. You should definitely purchase something if you can qualify while in school. If you hold long term and it cash-flows, I don't think you can go wrong.

Expenses to consider:

- Taxes

- Insurance

- Repairs and Maintenance

- CapEx

- Trash Removal

- Flood, Snow Plowing, Sewer (market dependent)

@Austin McCully I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to do this while you're in school. Even if you got a 4-plex (which you should if you can find one), managing 3 tenants likely won't be so time-consuming that it detracts from your schoolwork. 

You're in a great position to start investing post-military service because you'll have access to the VA Loan. My understanding is that you can get into a property for 0% down with a VA loan and the down payment is often a barrier to entry when just starting out. I would consider using that VA loan to buy a duplex, triplex or 4-plex and house hack it. Presumably, you'll need a place to live while going to school so live in one side, rent out the other(s) and let your tenants pay the mortgage. You can use the VA loan more than once if you meet all the qualifying criteria. According to investors who use it it can be a very powerful tool. Regardless, if you're thinking about getting started, just do it. Rarely ever do you hear anyone say 'I wish I would have started investing later.'

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