Starting out in Hampton Roads Virginia

19 Replies

My wife and I recently moved to the Hampton Roads area in VA. Upon moving we became accidental landlords with our house in Michigan. After observing the amount of cash flow it generates, I've now caught the real estate investing bug.

I am a newly graduated General Surgeon and as a result do not have a lot of cash reserves. I’m interested in seeing if anyone has any recommendations/suggestions on how to get started in real estate in the area?

I'm interested in BRRRR small multifamily properties but I'm not sure where to get started.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Welcome! And you've come to the right place. BP is the best resource around. If you haven't already, I would suggest listening to the podcast. Just go back to the beginning and chew through them. Lots of helpful stories about how people progressed from where you are to where you want to be. 

It can also help to meet people IRL through the events page here. Going to local meetups can, if nothing else, inspire you to go for it. 

Personally, my wife and I invest in Hampton Roads BRRRRing small multi-family properties and have found the strategy works great for our longterm goals. There are lots of properties in the area that cash-flow. Depending on which city you are looking in, there can actually be quite a bit of inventory. Norfolk, for instance, tends to have a lot of multi-family properties. All of ours are on the Peninsula thus far, so it can definitely be done all over. 

As far as where to go from here, just consume as much as you can. There are countless people and threads here that can be a resource. There are also any number of books that can help you figure things out. I've highlighted a few below. 


  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad--the building block text for a lot of people; very helpful in getting the right mindset.
  • Set For Life—excellent strategies for how to gain financial freedom. Written by a relatively young guy with young people in mind.
  • The Richest Man In Babylon—something different, but this is a classic. Sort of a parable about how to think about money.
  • The 4 Hour Workweek—some nonsense, but also some good strategies for being efficient with your time.
  • The Millionaire Real Estate Investor—really comprehensive look at the path to building wealth in real estate.
  • The 10x Rule—all about thinking big and setting big goal. Mindset book.
  • Your Money or Your Life—short and simple book about how to think about money’s role in your life.

Welcome! The big local investors group is TRIG (link below). Lots of inventory but be wary of prices right now. They are higher than I would like so BRRRR is definitely the best strategy I see right now in the area. Recommend watching the weekly webinar to help with basics and listening to the podcasts as others have said. @Patti Robertson is the local expert and highly recommend her and her team for management.

@Renard Miller thank you for the advice.

So far I’ve read or am in the process of reading a lot of those books on the list. Thank you for posting because more resources are always appreciated.

Currently I've been told to look out in Newport News, VA and Smithfield. I mainly search Zillow and Do you have any other public sources you could recommend?

To answer your question about resources, I get better results from my agent's MLS system than I do zillow and other free sites. I'm able to apply better filters to get exactly what I want.

All great advice. I would also add that you should go to local meetups and make friends with wholesalers in your market. If you're looking to start with a small amount of cash and implement the BRRRR strategy, wholesalers are your friends:)

@David L. Rhoiney - Why Newport News and Smithfield? What city do you live in? In the cities that have really low prices to purchase, the rents are generally lower too. I personally steer clear of 100 year old houses for rental for several reasons. 1) They are almost impossible to keep in compliance with the building code regulations. 2) If you make they really pretty you can get them rented pretty easily, but if they don't have insulations - and most of them don't - tenants will not be able to keep up with the utility bills and will move at the end of the first lease. 3) Lots of times houses that old are also in flood zones.

@Mark Kenny thanks so much for the advice. I am planning on going to meetups to network and learn. 

I am definitely interested in working with wholesalers because I am short on time outside of work (and my family).

@Patti Robertson thank you.

Smithfield and Newport News are the areas I was told is expected to start to see growth. 

From what I can tell Norfolk is overpriced but rents well, as such the competition is high. I was also told the following:

1. Stay away from Portsmouth (although I have the impression that certain areas rent well).

2. VA Beach is overpriced.

And lastly, no one ever mentions Suffolk or Chesapeake, so I am unsure about these areas.

Good morning David. Welcome to Bigger Pockets, and welcome to the Hampton Roads. Lot's of great advice on this string thus far. Lot's of information to digest and consider. 

My personal experience with rental properties in the region is that there is no one-size fits all strategy as it relates to areas within which to invest. Some will say don't invest here because of this, or don't buy there because of that. My advice is, it depends. What is your risk tolerance? Does the deal fit your numbers? What is your short and long term strategies? There are just to many factors to consider before disregarding cities within which to invest; especially in the Hampton Roads.


@David L. Rhoiney I am also headed to Hampton Roads with a similar strategy in mind. Small multi-family is the goal. Norfolk and Portsmouth seem to have the most available, however Hampton seems to throw a couple every now and then. I have been focusing on Norfolk myself.

One of the owners I property manage for investors both in Norfolk and in Detroit.  Doesn’t look like he is on BP, but if you want a connection PM me.