Starting out from Washington, DC / Arlington, VA

2 Replies

Hi all! My name's Andrew, I'm 29, and an architect in Washington, DC. I've been feasting through all the REI info I can find (friends, podcasts, books, etc). I'm starting out from DC, but have learned the high capitol bar to enter into this market as a buy and hold investor.

I'd love to be able to narrow in on a market within an hour or so of where I live (Arlington, VA) that has an entry bar appropriate for someone new. Some place that actually has a price:rent ratio that is lower than DC. Or, should I just focus on some far-away market because this area is so expensive? Looking forward to hearing from you all!


Welcome to BP @Andrew Davis . Absolutely focus on the DC area. I think you are wise when you realize that within a short drive you will find a more attractive price/rent ratio.  I think this is the case in almost every major metro area.  People are enticed to look far away, but looking closer is the less risky proposition.  A few areas I like that have a nice ratio that are relatively close to DC are Frederick, MD and Laurel MD.  I own properties throughout the metro area, but Frederick has a nice sweet spot of right around the 1% rule with a generally ok tenant base, and without the downside risks of some of the other areas where there might be an even better ratio.

@Russell Brazil Thanks for the info, Russell. I'm glad to hear that about Frederick- I've been perusing it online and intend to visit there in the next upcoming weekends for a closeup perspective. It seems mostly made up of SFR's, which is where I'd like to start.

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