New Investor in Hagerstown, MD & Montgomery County area

26 Replies

Hi everyone,

I'm a new investor from a small town in Maryland. Just wanted to touch basis with some current investors in the Hagerstown & Montgomery County area! I just wanted to know if anyone had some tips for me as I begin my journey. You guys know how starting something new can make you feel.

Thanks in advance,

Ebonie

Welcome to BP @Ebonie Williams . I am a Realtor in your general area.  I do not own any properties in Hagerstown/Washington County, but I do own properties in Frederick and Montgomery County. (As well as other places).  I am kind of partial to Frederick myself.  I feel like I get solid returns there without the downside risk that Hagerstown or Baltimore might have.  Although it doesnt have the appreciation potential that Baltimore has either.  I get good appreciation in Montgomery County, but not much cash flow at all.

Welcome to BP @Ebonie Williams ! Hagerstown is a beautiful little town! I can't wait to hear about your experiences up there! I think @Russell Brazil is spot on. You will have some great CAP rates up in Hagerstown, but you will have little to no appreciation there. The opposite would be true in my neck of the woods (Gaithersburg).

Wherever you do decide to invest, trust your gut and yourself! You'll have a better feel for you local area then I will :)

Hi Ebonie,

I help investors buy properties in Washington and Frederick County. They are really two different markets. We look for buy and holds in Hagerstown and because Frederick has a quicker turn over that makes it better for Flipping. Those markets are so close but yet so different. I own rentals in Martinsburg WV which is very similar to Hagerstown but you avoid some of the extra regulation and taxes. Let me know if I can ever be of any help. I have some great market stats on those markets if you interested. Also @Mike Webb is very active in Hagerstown and may be of help to you as well....

Bill

Hi Ebonie, welcome to BP. I'm a newbie myself and I know how intimidating it can be with all the terms and information out there. If you haven't done so already, listening to the podcasts is a great way to learn and multitask. I usually try to listen to an episode a day and I like that they try and breakdown all the terms for all us newbies.

Wish you luck and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know!

@Ebonie Williams Welcome to BP! I am from Hagerstown and know the area pretty well. 

What is your goal as an investor? Do you plan to buy and hold, flip, etc? My tips would be to plan ahead, do a lot of research, do your due diligence, ask a lot of questions, form good relationships with local contractors and other vendors you may need before you need them, become familiar with local landlord laws.

Let me know if you have any specific questions!

Hi Ebonie, Welcome to the Bigger Pockets community. I have learned a lot from this site particularly from the podcasts. I have a property in Frederick and manage several others. If you would like to discuss ideas, let me know.

Bob

Hi Ebonie!  Welcome to BP.  I am a buy and hold investor primarily in the DC metro area.  I'm also a real estate broker.  Love to hear more about the Hagerstown market.  I drive through the area and see lots of pretty properties but don't know the market so I don't jump in.  You'll find lots of knowledgeable folks here so don't hesitate to reach out and ask questions.  Teresa

Hi @Ebonie Williams and welcome to BP. If you have any questions about Hagerstown or ever want to grab a coffee to chat, feel free to email, call, text or any and all the above :) I intend, at some point, to do an informal meet-up but I've been spread a little to thin to getting it set-up. The Hagerstown REIA (google HUB City REIA) is a good starting point to meet some like-minded investors to help you jump in.

Best of luck and welcome.

Hi Ebonie!

Congrats on taking a step in investing! I host a Real Estate Investor Meeting for Women on the Second Thursday of each month. We meet in downtown Hagerstown at Bulls and Bears from 6pm-9pm. Check out our page www.facebook.com/Tristatewomen

We connect and learn from each other from our experiences and we have a different local expert speak each month lead our discussion. Great information and of course tons of fun! :)

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

Welcome to BP @Ebonie Williams . I am a Realtor in your general area.  I do not own any properties in Hagerstown/Washington County, but I do own properties in Frederick and Montgomery County. (As well as other places).  I am kind of partial to Frederick myself.  I feel like I get solid returns there without the downside risk that Hagerstown or Baltimore might have.  Although it doesnt have the appreciation potential that Baltimore has either.  I get good appreciation in Montgomery County, but not much cash flow at all.

 Hey Russell, I've been researching what the word is on where great Flip markets are in Maryland. Can you explain why you are partial to Frederick? I've found in other threads with your old posts that Frederick is a great flip market (you also mentioned Ivy City, Petworth, and Trinidad). I've been studying J Scott's The Book on Flipping Houses and Estimating Rehab Costs and for sure I want to step my foot into flips in the upcoming months, once our winter season passes. Would love to hear from you!

Thanks, Christine

welcome to BP!  Such a wealth of information you have already received.  Please reach out if I can assist you with anything or answer any questions!  Attend your local reia and meetups.

Originally posted by @Christine Nieva :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:

 Hey Russell, I've been researching what the word is on where great Flip markets are in Maryland. Can you explain why you are partial to Frederick? I've found in other threads with your old posts that Frederick is a great flip market (you also mentioned Ivy City, Petworth, and Trinidad). I've been studying J Scott's The Book on Flipping Houses and Estimating Rehab Costs and for sure I want to step my foot into flips in the upcoming months, once our winter season passes. Would love to hear from you!

Thanks, Christine

 Well in this thread I was specifically talking about the cash flow possibilities with little risk in Frederick. Frederick is a market where you can hit right around the 1% rule.  I also compared it against what I saw as riskier markets in Hagerstown and Baltimore.  Frederick has a higher median income by quite a bit over Hagerstown. Frederick has a growing population, and a pretty diversified economy.  It also, while be a far outlying one, is a commutable area for those working in DC. Hagerstown and Baltimore carry more risks. Economic mostly, which can really swing real estate prices. Fredericks prices and economy are more stable, and prices are significantly cheaper than MoCo, but rents are only marginally cheaper.

Hi everyone,

I'm a new investor from a small town in Maryland. Just wanted to touch basis with some current investors in the Hagerstown & Montgomery County area! I just wanted to know if anyone had some tips for me as I begin my journey. You guys know how starting something new can make you feel.

Thanks in advance,

Ebonie

Yes I personally know how you feel, when I started over 40 years ago in Baltimore, it was so frustrating, I couldn't get the local investors to give me help or ideas, they saw me as competition. One investor that I would see at public auctions all the time said that if I married his daughter he would tell me all of his secrets of making money (I often wondered what she looked like.), but I was married so, that didn't work.

I started buying tapes (remember tapes, they'd get hung up in your tape player and wouldn't work anymore) on real estate investing, I took many seminars from speakers from a-far, digested dozens of books on investing and experimented creating buying offers using creative techniques (had to, had no money).

I became an agent (that wasn't fun, but I did well) selling residential properties (that job diverted my energy from investing to driving around potential buyers), and earning almost nothing for my efforts.

What I did not have when I started was a computer, no email no real estate chat rooms, no pagers, cell phones and no internet, Bigger Pockets wasn't born yet.

I use to have to go to the court house and assessment office in person if I wanted to know who owned what, I use to run foreclosures after getting the information from the legal pending filing.

I remember the first cell phone I purchased, it was call a 'bag phone' it was as big as a shoe box. My first pager almost got me killed when I got my first page (from the paging company to see if it was working) it was set on buzz, it was in my pocket at the time, I thought I was being attacked by bees, almost ran off the road.

Oh yes, I remember using pay phones to set appointments and call prospects while on the road. The problem was to find a pay phone that worked and hoped you had change to make the call

Today Eboine, it is so much easier to make this business work, all those tools I did not have you have at your finger tips, you can search the net, print mailing labels, go to Craig's List, Bigger Pockets, find housing code violations, court filings, run internet ads and much more.

I suggest that as a new investor, use these great tools, work them every day, create contract offers, look at real estate, build a mailing list and most important MAKE OFFERS ALL THE TIME!

When you are in Baltimore stop by the office, I'll show you what a Bag Phone looks like. (simile)

Charles

Welcome Ebonie! I would just say don't give up and keep looking for opportunities to advance your knowledge of real estate and different ways to invest. I am new myself but I feel my confidence building the more I go to local meetups, read and listen to podcast like those available here on bigger pockets and other sites. I've even started wholesaling properties as a way to get started investing without using my own money. I wish you the best!

@Russell Brazil I often read your posts about Frederick. What are your thoughts on buying new construction properties in Frederick MD as buy and hold and then renting them out? Or even a model leaseback? Also any particular areas in Frederick you recommend?

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