Newbie from Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia

19 Replies

Hi. My name is Drew and I live in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

My goal for the past 5 years has been to generate passive income using a buy and hold strategy. While located near Martinsburg, my primary geographic focus has been in nearby Washington County (Hagerstown/Williamsport), Frederick County and Montgomery County, Maryland.

At one point I was primarily interested in townhouses. Recently my preference has shifted toward small multi-unit residential and commercial properties with a residential component. Ultimately I have an interest growing a portfolio and possibly dabbling in other types of properties and strategies (flipping, development, etc.).

My primary strength is my analytic ability, whereas my primary weakness has been using a conservative approach.

I am excited to continue learning and potentially working with BP community members.

Drew

Hi, Drew. I just joined today, too. I have similar profile - own a rental townhome property and looking to epand to multi-until residential and commercial. I live in northern, VA. I joined here looking to learn and find opportunities. My career keeps me busy, but looking to build a real estate portfolio to transition from my career as I plan for retirement.

-Mark

@Drew B. @Mark B.

Welcome. Fill in the foundation below.

Check out the Start Here page http://www.biggerpockets.com/starthere

Check out BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner's Guide - A fantastic free book that walks through many of the key topics of real estate investing.

Check out the free BiggerPockets Podcast - A weekly podcast with interviews and a ton of great advice. And you get the benefit of having over 100 past ones to catch up on.

Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and rehabbers (cash buyers). Find them through Google and meetup.com

Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses, The Book on Estimating ReHab Costs http://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook

Consider checking out HUD homes for small multi's owner occupied gets first crack.

Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over

http://www.biggerpockets.com/files/user/brandonatbp/file/real-estate-rewind-a-biggerpockets-community-book

Good Luck

Paul 

Mark. Welcome and thanks for the reply. My wife and I have invested in relatively low end townhouses in MoCo, however we are finding it challenging to find multi-family in that area or any place close to DC within our price range/level of risk.

Either we've felt uncomfortable with the expense of the multi-family properties or (perhaps incorrectly) equated the higher priced properties as a tradeoff of low cash flow and possibly higher appreciation (due to increasing rents) vs higher current cash flow and lower appreciation in the more remote areas. My current preference is cash flow.

Have you identified any particular locations of interest in NoVa or elsewhere?

Drew

@Drew B.  I was fortunate to pick up a decent deal on a nice townhome in Fairfax in 2011 that has appreciated 20% since. It is cash flow positive, but my belief is as it continues to appreciate, the cash flow will improve.  My goal is not cash flow now, but long term capital appreciation, with goal of improved cash flow as I near retirement. 

It is hard to make the numbers work locally for cash flow residential, but I'm a DMV native and so I choose to invest locally, where I understand the neighborhood and growth dynamics,  and where I can manage landlord issues locally. 

I do see commercial opportunities.  In Arlington, where I live, residential properties are immediately snapped up, but I see older commercial properties sit vacant for extended periods. This seems to be a disconnect - there are high income residences surrounding underutilized retail and office spaces. My interest is in finding a way of improving these commercial spaces to serve the local market.  But I consider people much smarter than I have not bought or developed these properties, so I'd like to learn why, or whether  they are overlooking something I see. 

Mark

@Drew B. and @Mark B. 

Thank you for posting. I moved to Springfield, VA a couple of years ago and am looking for opportunities to buy and hold in the NoVa area. I am torn between investing out of state like Ohio where housing is much cheaper and investing in high property values of NoVA but your posts are encouraging me to not give up on looking for opportunities in the local area.

Welcome Drew and Mark,

BP is an incredible community. Everyone is willing to help and I've learned so much in my short time here. Good luck on future investing!

James

Hi @Drew B. ! I'm right up the road in Hagerstown and have a few units there. My partner @Bill Kenny has properties in Martinsburg and is also an Investor-Friendly-Realtor...he might be able to help you in your hunt. If your looking for deal in Martinsburg, Frederick or Hagerstown let us know as we come across them in those areas. Have you ever made it to the HUB City REIA in Hagerstown? If you want, give me a call or email and I can see if there is a way we can help each others businesses.

Happy investing!

-Mike

[email protected]

Hi Drew,

I'm here in Martinsburg, let me know if you would like to chat or meet to talk real estate. Always like to meet local investors.. Mike may like to meet as well.. 

thanks Bill


@Mike Webb :

Thanks Mike. I'm always looking for to meet people and to learn about opportunities. I will certainly drop you a line via email. 

Unfortunately I have not made it to the HUB CIty REIA. Perhaps sometime in the next few months.

Drew

Raju,
No doubt that is a tough decision.  I've struggled with it myself.  Perhaps you could split the difference and explore lower priced options in areas such as Woodbridge or Manassas?

Drew

Originally posted by @Raju Pothuraju :

@Drew B. and @Mark B. 

Thank you for posting. I moved to Springfield, VA a couple of years ago and am looking for opportunities to buy and hold in the NoVa area. I am torn between investing out of state like Ohio where housing is much cheaper and investing in high property values of NoVA but your posts are encouraging me to not give up on looking for opportunities in the local area.

Mark,
No doubt your cash flow will improve in that area.  It is a great start toward retirement.

If you every figure out why those older commercial properties in Arlington remain on the market for extended periods of time, I'd certainly like to know.  Are you sure it isn't simply high prices/non-motivated sellers?

Drew

Originally posted by @Mark B. :

@Drew B.  I was fortunate to pick up a decent deal on a nice townhome in Fairfax in 2011 that has appreciated 20% since. It is cash flow positive, but my belief is as it continues to appreciate, the cash flow will improve.  My goal is not cash flow now, but long term capital appreciation, with goal of improved cash flow as I near retirement. 

It is hard to make the numbers work locally for cash flow residential, but I'm a DMV native and so I choose to invest locally, where I understand the neighborhood and growth dynamics,  and where I can manage landlord issues locally. 

I do see commercial opportunities.  In Arlington, where I live, residential properties are immediately snapped up, but I see older commercial properties sit vacant for extended periods. This seems to be a disconnect - there are high income residences surrounding underutilized retail and office spaces. My interest is in finding a way of improving these commercial spaces to serve the local market.  But I consider people much smarter than I have not bought or developed these properties, so I'd like to learn why, or whether  they are overlooking something I see. 

Mark

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you