Moving to Lawrence in June, will be there three years. Should we rent or buy?

Asked by Brian.bria.collins, Sumter, SC Tue Apr 9, 2013

I am a military officer who is contracted to teach at KU for three years starting in June. We are first-time buyers interested in a single family home of three bedrooms that is within 30 minutes' drive to campus and has enough backyard space for two 50 lb dogs. HOA must allow for a tall fence. Garage space for two cars, fire place and basement are ideal. I will be in Lawrence next week to see houses and I am looking for a knowledgeable realtor that has experience dealing with VA home loans and is available to show next week.


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Rob Lang :), Agent, Lawrence, KS
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Hi Brian,

You will not have an easy time finding a rental property with any pet no less two 50# dogs. Just check CraigsList for rental properties and search for the ones that allow pets to confirm this. You don't have to worry about that if you buy.

The next thing is the tax savings you have on a property you own vs all your rent money being thrown away and no tax savings or equity.

You do have to be careful about which type of property you purchase and you will want a local real estate professional on your side.

Many buyers also desire to keep the property afterwards and build wealth by having the tenants pay off the mortgage and use a property manager like myself who is also in real estate and who also owns a national tenant screening company to find the best tenants.

You don't need to email me but you can. The key thing is to use the link below to search for your fenced yard three bedroom property with a fireplace, 2 car garage and basement. You can even set up email alerts with your search criteria so you will be notified first.

I just wrote up a VA offer last night and have a few VA transactions every year. I can recommend a great lender who just quoted 30 Year Fixed Rate VA Loan @ 3.250% to that buyer.

Thank you for serving our country! Best of luck to you in your new home search.

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. At Home Kansas is not a mortgage lender and you should contact a mortgage lender directly to learn more about specific mortgage loan products and your respective eligibility for such mortgage loan products.
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Nathan Parad…, Agent, Lawrence, KS
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Hi Brian - thanks for doing your homework and asking some questions.

I'd say the market in Lawrence certainly looks quite a bit better than it has in the last few years. Sales volume is up almost 40% on the year and the average price is up to almost $204k from ~$177k. Generally, I'd look for at least 5 years of ownership for an average owner-occupied property to mitigate potential loss when selling, but there are always exceptions and deals to be found. Teaming up with a plugged-in Realtor is a good way to stay abreast and make sure your interests are held in the forefront.

Thirty minutes could take you quite a distance from campus and I wouldn't expect an HOA that far out. Is it exterior maintenance you're looking for in a home owner's association? Some other benefit you'd like to take advantage of?

I'm a 9.5 year USAF vet (enlisted) myself who has been helping buyers and sellers in Douglas County since 2008 and would love to at least hear more about your goals and help you evaluate your situation. I've got a couple great loan officers that could set you straight with VA financing. Have you used your VA loan benefit yet in the past? Do you own other VA-backed properties at the moment?

Feel free to give a call anytime if you'd like to set up an appointment to talk things over. You certainly don't need to answer any of my queries here in this public forum. Please leave me a short message or send a text if I'm unable to take your call.

Best wishes for your tour in Lawrence - I'm pretty sure you'll find lots to love about our little town.

Nate Paradis
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Stan Trekell, Agent, Lawrence, KS
Tue Apr 9, 2013
I have worked with a fair number of military personnel who rotate in and out of Lawrence. Most choose to buy because nice rental properties can be scarce and rental fees are high in Lawrence. If you would like to email me at strekell at, we can begin an online search for your housing needs.

Welcome to Lawrence, you will love it here.

Stan Trekell
Realty Executives Hedges Real Estate
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