What happens when you hang that uniform up for the last time? Are you beginning to think about retirement? If not, DO IT! It is never too early to start planning and real estate is a great way to begin investing. Ideally, if you take steps early in your career, you can set yourself up well for the future, but it is never too late! You don’t have to be a real estate tycoon to own investment properties. You can view frequent moves as a burden or you can use them to your advantage. Here’s how we got started:
In June of 2005, Fort Hood called our names. It was not until February of 2007 that we bought our first home. Due to deployment, and college, we rented up until that point. I did not even consider owning a home until we began dealing with inconsiderate property management and the restrictions (like no pets) that come along with renting. We sat down with a realtor who got us in contact with a lender, and to our surprise, we were pre-approved for a VA loan! The search began, and within about 30 days we were settling into OUR home; where we could have pets, paint the walls fuchsia, and stand on the countertops if we wanted to. All at the ripe old age of 22.
As fate would have it, I was offered an amazing job opportunity a year later. We heard that we would likely be at Ft. Hood forever, so one day out looking at houses on my lunch break, I found “the one”. We made a very rookie decision to move on up to a bigger and better home! Little did we know how it would impact our future. We rented our first home that had been purchased on a VA loan, and bought our second home on an FHA loan. We followed the advice of the lender and made sure to have three months (I encourage you to save six months!) of the expenses for the rental saved up, and we entered into the world of Landlords.
About 6 months later we got orders to Alaska! Uh oh… We were headed for the world of Landlords x 2 and leaving our precious real estate behind.
Here’s a thought, if we rent our homes for $200 more than what we pay in mortgage, and make extra mortgage payments with the additional money, we can have the homes paid off in 18 years… by the time our oldest child starts college. With ONE investment, ONE rental home, we can pay for her college. Click the graph below (courtesy of www.daveramsey.com) for a great visual and stay tuned for Military Homeowner to Investor (Part 2).