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VA Loan for Real Estate Investment.


John Ballard Saint Petersburg, FL

Looking for real estate guidance.
I'm currently in a great cyber career, working on a couple of certs, and an empty nester. I am wanting to seize this as an opportunity to expand. I am about to purchase my first of multiple duplex / triplex / quadplex with my VA home loan. I will live in one space and rent the others out. I would like to repeat the process of buy, relocate, fix up, and then continue on to expand or refine the process.
Is there anyone that has done something similar or found a better way and would like to give insight or guidance?

1 August 2019 8 replies General



Sonya Potter Fort Lauderdale, FL

I have similar interests as you, and I do not know whether or not you listen to podcasts, but Biggerpockets is a great one, and will help you gain extensive real estate knowledge from tons of people already doing what you want to do. For free! They interview a different investor each episode and they all have insightful little nuggets that you accumulate and use to create the investing strategy that works best for you. So I would say you are already on the right track! Have fun and enjoy the process!

25 August 2019 Helpful answer


Randall Short Pasadena, MD

I’m no real estate expert but I bought my retirement home with the VA while still owning the home prior to my terminal PCS. I had two VA loans, even rented the old one while trying to sell, at once. Most mortgage brokers will say it’s not possible, but because the price of both homes was under my regional VA price cap, it was possible. Good luck!

12 August 2019 Helpful answer


Darrin Carey Dayton, OH


What you are doing is a great way to get started. I know several people who have done the same, and now own several rental properties.

As I recall, you can actually have more than one VA loan up the the limit of your guarantee. For many regions, that can be a single property. As you acquire more properties, you will quickly need to use other loan programs for your acquisitions.

I've been a full-time real estate investor since I retired from the AF after 20 years in 2008. If you'd like to chat, feel free to reach out.

11 August 2019 Helpful answer


James Mingey Oregon City, OR


You are on the right track. However, You can only use the VA eligibility once until you pay it off. You might consider making it a condo later on after your "live in" requirement expires. You could also consider a FHA 203K then as well. It's a rehab loan for a fixer upper which can work well if you can get a permanent loan but can't get a construction loan for the rehab.

Good luck with you 4 family!

5 August 2019 Helpful answer


Jeremy Serwer Woodstock, CT

Hello John --

I'm a licensed real estate broker and consultant, and have bought and sold income properties on my own account -- some fix-ups involved. While I haven't done the relocation concept you describe, I do have 40+ years of real estate background.

Would be happy to either e-mail further via ACP, or my e-mail address(, or 860-928-7660.


4 August 2019 Helpful answer


Elliot Young Brooklyn, NY

Great idea. I think when you qualify you can qualify for up to 4 properties (4 being the max including the original) and get the same break you did on the first one using VA status. Qualify: Get your credit to 740 and up by reducing your debt ratio to about 20%. If a credit card has a $1000 limit dont spend more than $200 on it. Do this with every card you have. Don't to a balance transfer for a lower rate on another card that takes 100 points off your score at once. Don't close any accounts, get them back on a payment plan. Once you find a property (at least 6 units to start and eventually 16 then 32) make sure to close towards the end of the month. That way the first rent roll goes in your pocket so you use that for immediate repairs. Mortgages are due 30 days after the close and more loans are closed towards the end of the year during the last quarter because banks want to improve their ledger before the years end. Fix the property up during the first three years. Raise the rent $50 to $75 when you purchase it adding appliances, paint, lighting, landscape, and video security. Don't raise the rent again until that third year is approaching. Then raise it once again. After three years of appreciation and force appreciation get another appraisal and get the difference in the old value to the new value in a check from the bank because by raising the rent in the beginning and again three years later you raised the NOI (Net operating income) and now the loan can sustain a new loan. So if the multifamily was worth $800K and now its worth $1.2Mil, the old loan was $4000mo and the new loan is $5100mo. You raised the rent (NOI) making $6000 a month, the new loan is covered justifying the check you get. The difference between $800K and $1.2Mil is $400K, (a TAX FREE check every three years). Don't be cheap, add what the neighboring properties dont to your property. Pot-filler, central vac, LED tiles in the bathroom, kitchen, hallways, ans steps (About 50 throughout the house dont go crazy) and USB outlets. Only thing missing is a dumbwaiter if you can then do it. Apartments charging $6K or more dont have those amenities and they are so inexpensive to add, any combination. If you have to live in it make sure the property is in a LLC and your company (That employs you) leases an apartment in it (corporate housing) and you write off phone, lights, electric, and mortgage. Earned Income: If you get a job and are working then you get taxed on that income. Portfolio: If you own a stock of Apple for $10 and sell it for $20 thats portfolio or capital gains income. Passive Income: Passive income which is cash flow is never taxed thats why the rich dont have jobs they have assets. Banks dont work for money, Banks let the money work for them. They take everyone's deposits and group them together to sell the loans on Wall Street (Hypothecation) earning "compounded interest daily" for a fixed period of time while you get "0.06% on checking and 0.09% on savings" annually. Thats the difference between chess and checkers folks. Whats your game? Question and investigate everything, the only way to know is to know. Relentlessly ask until you do. Its the only business that $1 can control $3-$5 worth of the asset. You can put a down payment on a $5Mil multifamily in the amount of $1.5Mil. Thats $1.5Mil controls $5Mil worth of real estate. Also get a term life insurance policy due every 10 years so by the time you get paid three times from the real estate the following year you get another payday. Do it all again and again and again.

Seek advice from an IRS tax professional and/or small business tax professional including a CPA, insurance agent, real estate agent, and professional legal advice from an attorney. This is for educational purposes only, this is not advice and financial or legal risks you take are your own. You are liable for your own action(s).


John Ballard Saint Petersburg, FL

Thank you James Mingey. I will have to look in to the FHA 203K. My intentions were to refinance with a traditional loan when I was able to. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there that I decided to move forward and make a few mistakes on my own and learn as I go.


Paul Tusting Salt Lake City, UT

Here are some resources:

Office of Veterans Business Development

Small Business Development Centers - Small Business Administration

Service Corps of Retired Executives


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