- Adam Catledge
From Boot Camp to Building a Profitable Real Estate Portfolio: Our Active Duty Journey
As a United States Marine, I've learned to adapt to change and tackle challenges head-on. When my spouse and I decided to pursue real estate investing while serving, we knew it wouldn't be easy, but we were determined to succeed.
Our journey started in 2016 when we used our VA entitlement to buy our first property. We had no experience, no mentor, and no idea what we were doing, but we jumped in anyway. We started house hacking and even tried our hand at Airbnb, renting out a single unused bedroom.
The first few months were rough. We had to deal with lack of privacy and endless cleaning. But we also learned a lot about the rental market, the importance of cash flow, and how to be creative with our space. We renovated our downstairs to create a studio suite, and the revenue generated from Airbnb paid for the renovation costs.
Real estate investing has been a game-changer for us. As active duty military members, we've experienced the benefits firsthand. We've been able to generate cash flow, pay off expenses for our primary residence, and build wealth for our future. Plus, the flexibility of managing our properties remotely has been a huge advantage, allowing us to adapt to military life, PCS moves, and deployments.
Transitioning our property to a full-time short-term rental was a big step for us, but we knew it was the right decision when we received orders to PCS to California. Managing a short-term rental remotely can be a challenge, but building a reliable team has been the key to our success. Plus, we've had some incredible experiences, meeting guests from all over the world, and even renting to a few not so famous characters!
If you're interested in real estate investing while serving, we have some tips for you. First, research the local market and laws, and know the risks involved. Attend meetups, network with other military real estate investors, and find a mentor. Financial preparation is also essential, so start understanding financing options, and budget for expenses.
Scaling your real estate portfolio while on active duty is possible, but it requires a strategy. Consider house hacking, buy and hold, or the BRRRR method, and work with a team of property managers, real estate agents, lenders, and contractors. Don't forget to leverage your unique military benefits, such as VA loans, BAH, and tax advantages.
Our most positive year was in 2022, where we generated over 70k in gross revenue, covering our expenses and creating passive income. We're excited about the future and can't wait to see what else we can accomplish.
Join us in building a community of active duty real estate investors. Let's support each other in achieving financial freedom while serving our country. Stay tuned for more stories, tips, and adventures in real estate investing as an active duty military member.
Hint Hint: You don’t need to use your own money to buy a house, Stay Tuned!!!!