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From Active Duty to Active Listings

As a military member, we do our part of defending our country for the love of protecting our families and our country.  And we understand that financial gain is not the goal.  But why can’t a military member learn new ways to invest into assets that can return cash flow, while still serving our great nation?


The good news is, we can! We just need to know our options.

Keeping on our military theme from last week, I wanted to share some knowledge I gained during my time in the military and my time as a real estate agent. Bottom line, I wish I had known different ways to create cash flow at a much younger age. Cash flow that provides a recurring stream of income.

Before becoming a real estate agent on The Zimmern Team, I devoted a significant portion of my life in service to our country. From 1989 to 2013, I served in the Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard, completing five deployments, including notable missions such as Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Southern Watch (twice), Operation Hurricane Katrina Relief, and Operation Enduring Freedom. I retired as the Air Force Chief, leaving behind a legacy of commitment and excellence in Fire Emergency Services.

Recently I retired from NAS Pensacola’s Fire Emergency Services and spend my days fueling new passion in helping people navigate the complexities of the housing market. And an even greater passion in teaching an opportunity available to all military personnel that I wish I would have taken advantage of.

VA Loans

Military members can obtain a guaranteed home loan through the Veterans Administration (VA) to purchase a home. A VA loan requires zero down payment like other loans, that would require you to put down 5% or even up to 20% of the home loan, plus pre-paids and closing costs.

But what if…

As a military member instead of investing in a single family home, you invested in a duplex, or believe it or not, a fourplex? You can purchase up to 4 units and still apply for a residential loan vs. a commercial loan. A commercial loan would require you to put down 20% or more, in addition to pre-paids and closing costs.

By VA requirements…

You can purchase any of these residents, and for a duplex or a fourplex, but you are required to live in one of the units for a year.  If our math is correct, at least two of the 4 units should cover your mortgage for the fourplex, and the 3rd unit is your extra income to use to pay down your mortgage and build equity.

If you PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to another base, you can rent out the unit that you lived in.  Now you have 2 units paying your mortgage, and 2 units paying YOU!

The key is…

Finding a great property management company to take care of the headaches. According to iPROPERTYMANAGEMENT, rent from 1980 has rented an average of 8.85% per year.  So not only do you receive higher cash flow from rental payments, but your building appreciates in value at the same time. Not bad is it?

There are many advantages of owning investment properties including depreciation as well as appreciation and the many tax right offs for expenses needed to own and operate you investment. Make sure you have a savvy CPA who can give you a detailed description of all these expenses and tax reductions.

What we learned…

Start building your wealth at a younger age! The housing market will always be fluctuating up and down, but the reality is home prices will always increase over the years. Build up that equity, roll it over to purchase more properties, and keep that cash flow growing.

Billy Ducote, REI, MRP, CNE

Residential Real Estate

The Zimmern Team

Billy Ducote is a part of our Community Real Estate Voices, brought to by The Zimmern Team. The Zimmern Team Powered by Keller Williams Realty Gulf Coast is a team of experienced, licensed real estate agents serving the residential and commercial real estate needs of the Gulf Coast.