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Military Home Buying and Building Your Real Estate Portfolio in Columbia, SC

July 21, 2023

Military Family

The average military family moves every 2 to 3 years, making it necessary to rent or purchase multiple homes in a relatively short period of time. Although a military move can be stressful, it also creates an opportunity for you to build a valuable real estate portfolio. Using a combination of VA loans and other financing options, it's possible to purchase a home and then rent it out once you move on to your next assignment.

What Is a VA Loan? Who Can Qualify?

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several benefits to individuals with a history of military service. One of those benefits is the VA home loan, which makes buying a house in the military a little easier. VA loan programs have extremely favorable terms, reducing your out-of-pocket costs and making it possible to buy a home even if you don't have a stellar credit score.

These are just a few of the benefits of using a VA loan for military home buying:

  • VA loans come with competitive interest rates. The federal government "guarantees" every VA loan, which means it will pay back your debt if you go into default. This guarantee allows lenders to charge lower interest rates than they do for other types of mortgages.

  • There's no requirement for private mortgage interest (PMI). With other loans, you have to pay for PMI if your down payment is less than 20% of the home's purchase price. VA loans don't have this restriction.
  • You may qualify for a VA loan even if you have some negative items on your credit reports.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs limits the closing costs on each VA loan, saving you even more money.

Who Qualifies for a VA Loan?

If you're currently in the military, you must have at least 90 continuous days of service to qualify for a VA home loan. For veterans, the service requirements vary based on when you served. Generally, you need to have at least 24 months of continuous service to meet the eligibility criteria for a VA loan. You may also qualify for this type of loan if you served in the Reserve or National Guard.

Even if you don't meet the minimum service requirement, you may qualify for a VA loan if you were honorably discharged from the military for one of these reasons:

  • You received a hardship discharge.
  • You developed a service-connected disability.
  • You received an "early out" after serving for 21 months.
  • The military completed a reduction in force.
  • You have a qualifying medical condition.
  • You served at least 20 months of a 2-year enlistment before being discharged for the convenience of the government.

Homes for Sale Near Fort Jackson, SC and Shaw AFB

If you're in the military, buying a house in Columbia, SC, is a great way to meet your current needs and get a head start on your financial future. As of 2023, Eastwood Homes has eight communities in the Columbia area, giving you access to beautiful homes with all the amenities you need to enjoy life.

Hadleigh Park

  • Located in Lexington, SC, Hadleigh Park offers easy access to Lake Murray, Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens, Mercer House Winery and multiple restaurants.

Autumn Pond

  • Move to Autumn Pond to enjoy everything Blythewood, SC, has to offer. The community is ideal for employees of the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Museum of Art.

Woodleigh Park at Lake Carolina

  • Woodleigh Park features single-family homes in a community packed with amenities. Residents have access to multiple swimming pools, a 200-acre lake, a tennis court and a well-maintained dog park.

Kensington Place Townhomes

  • Every townhome in this community has designer features and sits just minutes away from coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and recreational opportunities.

Wessinger Farms

  • If you're looking for peace and quiet, check out Wessinger farms in Chapin, SC. It's just a few minutes away from Interstate 26, making it easy to commute to Columbia.

Cobblestone Park

  • Eastwood Homes is currently building homes in Cobblestone Park, a small community in Blythewood. Each home has spa-like bath features, a spacious kitchen and plenty of room for entertaining.

Ashton Lakes

  • Every home at Ashton Lakes features a dedicated work-from-home space, open living areas and spa-like bathrooms. Residents also have access to a community pool and cabana.


  • Work with a professional designer to create the perfect home in Riverside, one of Eastwood's communities in Lexington, SC. Floor plans feature open living spaces and plenty of room to learn or work from home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a single soldier buy a house?

Absolutely! With a VA loan, there's no requirement that you purchase a home with a spouse or domestic partner. You can buy a home as long as you meet the lending requirements.

How many times can you use a VA loan?

Technically, there's no limit to the number of times you can use a VA loan. However, there is a limit to how much of the loan the Department of Veterans Affairs will guarantee. This may limit the number of times you qualify for a mortgage under one of these programs.

Do VA loans have PMI?

No. That's one of the many benefits of getting a VA loan. You don't have to pay for PMI, reducing your monthly mortgage payment. For example, if a lender charges 1% PMI on a mortgage of $200,000, you'd have to pay $2,000 per year, increasing your payment by $166.67 per month. No PMI means more money in your pocket.

Can you use a VA loan for an investment property?

You may read some conflicting information about using a VA loan for investment property purchases. Although a VA loan is supposed to be for your primary residence, there are some circumstances that make it possible to use the funds for an investment property. For example, you can use the loan to purchase a 4-unit building. As long as you live in one unit, you can rent out the other three, increasing your monthly income.

The Power of Creating a Real Estate Portfolio

Whether you're moving from Hawaii to Columbia, SC, or just across town, you can still become a real estate investor to create the opportunity to build wealth. You have to manage your portfolio carefully when you are buying in various areas, but with a little effort, buying homes and renting them out can net you thousands of dollars per month in extra income. The amount of pay you receive for your military service doesn't always match up to the sacrifices you make, so it's wise to have other sources of income. While you're serving your country, you can be building wealth and setting yourself up for a better future.

Invest in Your Future

If you're ready to start the military home buying process you can schedule an appointment or contact an Eastwood Homes Professional to learn more about communities in the Columbia, SC, area. We can help you find just the right property for your real estate portfolio.

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