Unexpected Landlords


Summer means PCS (Permanent Change of Station) season and military families across the country are packing up and heading off to other states or faraway lands all over the world for their next duty assignment.  This is an exciting and stressful time, leaving what’s become familiar and normal to start all over again somewhere new.  For those who purchased their home, there’s the added stress of selling or renting it out while looking for a new place to live in an unfamiliar city.

Constrained by the reporting date to their new unit, military members may need to make the tough decision to sell at a loss or become landlords.  Oftentimes, military members are unable to sell their homes and are forced into unexpected, long-distance landlording.  For others, buying homes and subsequently renting them out when they PCS is part of a deliberate wealth-building strategy.

In our case, we purchased a house at each of our duty locations.  We currently own three homes: our primary residence and two rental properties.  We initially intended to sell each of our first two homes when we moved; however, in both cases there was a much stronger rental market at the time we left.

Combined, our rentals generate a modest $250 in positive cash flow per month which is applied straight to each loan’s principal.  Our tenants are paying our mortgages and building our stash in the process!  We manage both properties ourselves.  This is a fairly hands-off process the majority of the time primarily since we bought new homes that haven’t required any major maintenance and prefer longer-term tenants.

That being said, the tenants in our second house, who have been great, just notified us they will be moving out at the end of July and within 48 hours of posting availability, we’ve had 11 inquiries!  Wish us luck finding a new family for our home.

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