Using VA Loan to House hack New Const. with Negative CF

5 Replies

I'm looking for thoughts on a house hacking idea with new construction. 

Situation: My partner and I both qualify for VA Loans and both have 6-figure jobs. We are moving to the Las Vegas area and want to start in real estate with the goal of cash flow/equity when we retire. Cash Flow in the present isn't really a concern given the steady salaries as long as it's not a huge negative number.


"Deal": The Las Vegas market has a lot of new construction townhomes being built. My idea was to buy 3 new construction townhomes that together make up a single structure and house hack it as a triplex. I would need the builder to sell the structure as a single deed (a potential sticking point). 

Pros:

  • New construction so builders warranty applies to certain things and very limited maintenance for first 5 years if not 10.
  • Use VA Loan to leverage into a $700k property at no down payment, just closing fees and VA Funding fee(which is wrapped into the loan).
  • Can Self manage the first 3-5 years until new assignment saving that money.
  • Can pick durable materials upfront to eliminate long term maintenance costs.

Cons:

  • Negative cash flow
  • Highly leveraged if market drops(not planning to sell as goal is equity at retirement)
  • Self Manage for a few years

First year Numbers While living in it and self-managing: 

  • $700,000 Loan, 0% down using VA Loan
  • Rent 2 units: $2700, 2/2 -$1200 & 3/2 – $1500
  • P&I – $2876
  • Tax/Ins – $750
  • Vacancy(10%) – $460
  • Maint(~5%) – $200
  • Management(0%) – $0 - Self Manage while living in
  • Cost to Live in remaining 3/2 unit :$1,586

5th year Numbers as a triplex rental

  • Rent 3 units: $4600, 2/2 -$1300 & (2) 3/2 – $1650
  • P&I – $2876
  • Tax/Ins – $750
  • Vacancy(10%) – $460
  • Maint(10%) – $460
  • Management(10%) – $460
  • Cash Flow: $-405

I see the upside of building approx. $20k+/year in equity(depending on appreciation) for essentially $0 money down even with a negative cash flow.  Keeping in mind that the "why" is to have cash flow/equity in 25-30 years when I retire. 

Interesting idea Chris. The negative cashflow is almost just "forced savings" for your future. Especially with almost no money into the property initially, it leaves some leeway for paying into your property and waiting for rents to rise to where it can pay for itself and then eventually cashflow for you as well. Definitely a long term play. :)

@Chris Ingram where were you looking to purchase the three townhomes?  I do like the idea of purchasing new construction.  It will certainly make self managing a bit easier, at least when it comes to the maintenance aspect.  

@Michael Robbins the west side just outside the loop in the Sumerlin area, I believe “Ascent” was one of the developments. And to the north right around the loop. I’ve looked at a few developments that would have 2-4 townhomes in a single structure. I’m still in TX so haven’t been able to drive the area, everything is online research.

@Chris Ingram there is also "affinity" in Summerlin and if you like Henderson it might be worth checking out Inspirada. I failed to mention in the other post regarding your idea on buying three townhomes that make up a single structure. Beside looking into that being a possibility with the builder, double check with the HOA documents as well. A few years ago I was assisting someone with a townhome in Henderson and noticed on their HOA documents that one owner could not own more than two townhomes in a single cluster (not sure if that was the exact wording).

@Michael Robbins I appreciate the info on those other developments, I’ll have to look those up. I would have never thought about a builder limiting owners like that. Something to keep in mind and ask builders upfront to potentially save some leg work.