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Old 01-31-2012, 11:32 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,976 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello,

My wife and I are moving to Colorado Springs in Sep. 2012 to be at Fort Carson. We are considering using the VA loan to purchase a home and then when we leave in 2-3 years rent it out through a property management company.

We would prefer to live in a 2 bedroom home with high walkability scores. But we are up for anything, like a duplex or triplex. The most important part is that we are looking to hold onto the property when we move away and have a competent property management company run the show.

Or should we shelve the idea and rent for our time there. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:45 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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IMO you should rent and avoid the property management biz, as I suspect the market will see no appreciation for 6-10 years. If Carson loses a Brigade in the expected downsizing of Army brigades from 45 down to 37 then it will tend to soften the market around the base. Hard to say though, no ones crystal ball is worth a damn these days.

It's a good time to rent and with mortgage rates below 4% it's a good time to buy if one plans to stay in the area, but it sounds like you aren't.

You can start out by renting, and if you decide to stay or come back, then perhaps buy a home in a year after you've learned the area and what it is you like here.

Look for rentals on padmapper.com or ppar.com or realtor.com or zillow.com

Best of luck to you whichever you decide.

Lots of Army families like the Fountain area (zip code 80817), it's safe, it's near the base, and it has good D8 schools, etc.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:49 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,976 times
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Good point, I guess the downsizing is still trying to fit in to my Psyche.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,651,785 times
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I'm with Mike on buying instead of renting here. Remember also that historic low interest rates are a great deal when buying, but if the rates rise off their historic lows (likely) and are higher at time of sale, you'll eat a loss in the price of the house to sell into the same market, as the price must drop to keep payments in the same range for the prospective buyers. This is a deadly trap for someone like a military person that is likely to have to sell at a time and under conditions not of his choosing.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:55 AM
 
88 posts, read 115,674 times
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As someone who was forced to rent out their house I can tell you that it is a huge pain. And this is for a house that was brand new construction so there really weren't many structural issues. I'm not saying it can't work out, but make sure you do plenty of research before heading down that road.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
583 posts, read 1,300,546 times
Reputation: 488
Rent or live in military housing. I know too many military personnel who could not sell or had problems with renters after the PCS. Not worth the headache.

Consider also living at the Air Force Academy (you're eligible)...great schools too.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:43 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 18,513,116 times
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Finding responsible renters is increasingly difficult these days. You will not have to ask around much to hear real horror stories. Don't do it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,954,687 times
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Wow! I don't want to get too far off topic, but is it that the renters trash the house, or is it payment issues, or all of the above? Don't property management companies help??

My neighborhood has seemingly turned into a renter's paradise.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:51 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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TeryT, here's a few true stories from friends who rent out homes.

- Investor A got a great price on a foreclosure down in the SW part of town. A retired senior Army enlisted chap, a nice guy, wanted to rent it for his elderly mom in Kansas, so the rental deal got done. The rental property then became the clubhouse for a couple hundred members of a motorcycle club, revving their engines at all hours of the night.

- Investor B has 4-plexes, one occupant was a single German woman who has since moved back to Germany. She was a hoarder, and left behind so much junk and trash that my friend / spouse had to remove it all themselves and it filled four of the small dumpsters....

Every time someone vacates, the place gets needed repairs and fresh paint, and these folks live here and do this work themselves. If you live elsewhere then you have to pay your property management firm to tend to all this, which is an expense that surely detracts from any cash flow.

IMO the primary issue with renters is payment, followed by trashing the place.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,954,687 times
Reputation: 423
Yeah, those scenarios would be a real headache and drain on the bank account, but I suppose so many folks do it these days because they can't sell in the current market.
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