Posted on Jan 12, 2018
SPC Cannon Crew Member/ U 6
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I am currently a specialist in the Illinois Army National Guard. I am a community college student who will be joining ROTC and transferring to Illinois State University with plans of receiving the Universities GRFD 2 year scholarship which includes:

-100% tuition/fees OR room/board ($5,000/semester)
-$1,200/year book allowance
-E5 pay grade (Drill)
-Eligible to retain GI Bill if completed AIT
-Eligible to receive the SMP Kicker Bonus ($350/month) if completed AIT

When considering my living options I thought "Why rent a place and give my money to someone else when I can invest it back in myself?" So, I took to the internet. Over the passed couple of months i've been searching and scouring, trying my best to find a property that suits me. I think I found one that is a good fit.

Here is the monetary breakdown:
+62,500 (estimated purchase price)
+5,000 (estimated taxes and escrow?)

I am assuming it will be somewhere shy of 70,000...

-20,000 (x4 semesters)
-5,500 (Down Payment)
-8,400 (Friend rents out a room for two years)
-8,400 (paying rent to myself out of WORKING money)

70,000 COST - 42,300 OVER TWO YEARS leaves me at a balance of around 30,000.

I get it... there are expense, insurance, utilities... I am not factoring in already saved money and work money...

Here's the catch: My two younger siblings plan on going to the same University and with having a property near campus they can wave having to live in university dorms saving my parents upwards of 40,000... As soon as I graduate, one will be incoming, and as soon as she graduates the other will...

It's a no brainer for me, I am extremely confident I can have the place paid off in 6-8 years.

MY QUESTION TODAY IS... WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET A MORTGAGE? BROKER...BANK...CREDIT UNION?
WHAT ARE THINGS I SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A PLACE?
DO YOU THINK THAT IT'S A GOOD INVESTMENT IDEA?
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU BOUGHT YOUR FIRST PROPERTY?

Note: I am 20 with 3 years TIS... I am not eligible for a VA Loan
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