New member in Northern Virginia

18 Replies

As cliche as it sounds, I first became interested in investing primarily to find our next dream property and ultimately gain financial independence, wealth and early retirement just like countless others before me. Having done some research, and thus far avoiding the Guru traps and “get rich quick” schemes, i’ve finally decided it’s time to get serious. I am soo happy to have found this site ! I have no experience, little know-how and even less resources to start. Just like a young new college student, I’m undecided on my major (niche) but plan to start out in tax lien investing and go from there. Again--- I am sooo glad to have found this site.... Aside from learning all I can here....I also plan to get licensed in the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia) area---primarily to learn even more about the industry, "earn while I learn" and use the knowledge to gain an even better insight as I build wealth through my investments. As an added bonus, I plan to provide my services to help my fellow veterans, active duty and other public servants find their own ideal properties to own, rent or invest in, as a veteran myself, and one way of giving back to the community. I look forward to learning, networking, sharing and discussing topics of mutual interests as I start on this new journey.


Fellow veteran and newbie here.  Good luck with your plans! I've been listening to bigger pockets podcast and have found it extremely helpful and motivational -- I recommend you look into it if you haven't already.

welcome to BP. I look forward to hearing about your successes. Keep us informed. As a licensed agent, and a vet as well, please reach out whenever the need arrises. Best of luck!

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@Damon R.

Welcome to the BP family! You came to the right place to learn all about real estate investing! Here are some recommendations for you:

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@Damon R.

Welcome thanks for your service. Have a buddy who closed deals including 242 units while deployed.

Take a good look at the books provided by BP they get deeply into topics covered.

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


Wow. Thanks to all for the warm welcome and advice on where to begin ! I am delighted to find such engaging and enthusiastic support, something that sets this platform above many others and speaks volumes about the dedication and professionalism of its members.  Again, I look forward to learning, discussing and sharing topics of mutual interests.

@Damon R. Welcome to the site. I like the strategy, so many newbies try their hand at wholesaling (myself included) without a real understanding of how our local market works.

If you can add value to the community by being licensed and understanding the business in that capacity, you will undoubtedly earn while you learn.

Hope to see you around at the local meetups.

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Welcome Damon. Alicia Miller. I am a licensed REALTOR in D.C. And MD. You do not need a real estate license to be an investor. There are a lot of fees involved in getting and maintaining a real estate license in D.C., MD and VA. I strongly advise you to do your research before taking a pre-licensing class. Most of what real estate agents are taught has little to do with investing. If your focus is investing, then focus on investing rather than obtaining a real estate license. It is not worth the trouble nor the money in my opinion. You can order books off of for MD and VA real estate licensing. They are the same books issued in pre-licensing classes for about the same price. They mainly talk about the state and National laws and, some basic property knowledge that is useful with investing.

I wanted to do investing since 2007. Went in on a deal with an investor and it went bust. Got my money back and decided to take a different approach to investing. I thought getting my real estate license would propel me into the world of investing. It did not. Here I am still working on where I'd like to be with REI.

  Although I've learned a lot with being a licensed REALTOR,  I find about 98% of what I've come to learn as an agent is public record/knowledge. There isn't much information now-a-days that is specific to agents anymore. Times and technology have changed. Truthfully, the only thing being a licensed agent will do that is specific to holding a license is get prospects access to the property. The main focus of an agent is to show properties to prospective buyers and list and market and promote a property if they are representing the seller. All other things are placed on the broker, title company and lender/loan officers. 

  I made a mistake  in getting my license. It may be different for you. My passion is investing and holding a real estate license was a waste of time for me. I still have my real estate licenses. They are both active and current. Should the Multiple listing service make their information accessible to non-agents, I may choose to let my licenses go. For the moment, I will suck-it-up and keep my licenses.

Stick with forums like BP and take their education tools to heart. This is the stuff that will be useful for investing. Sign up with the MD tax assessment website to gain access to deed and property records. Having deed and property records will show you the trustees and owners of the property. Also, Virginia as-well-as D.C. Virginia and MD are broken down by County. Tax records will usually show square footage, number of rooms, value of the land and house, tax I.D. Number, yearly cost of property taxes, current owners(s), etc. Zillow, Trulia and MRIS-MLS will provide property description information such as bedroom count, square footage and bathroom count, etc. I've heard that recently MRIS-MLS has made a 'watered-down' version available to non agents for a fee. Not sure if this is true. I pay the agent fee-$165.00 every 3 months.

You've definitely landed in the right place with BP. Good luck to you Sir. My comments /input/suggestions were not to deter you in any way from your goals/plans. I just wanted to put some things into perspective for you. Again, if REI is your true focus, I would not recommend pursuing real estate licensing. Put your energy and time into investing. Take care Damon. (Sorry for any spelling mistakes :))

Welcome. Having been an active investor and agent for most of the time since 1984, I recommend getting licensed for most serious would-be investors. With all due respect to those with another view, which may serve them well, it's not just about access to the MLS. It's about not paying an agent to do work that you have to do anyway--whether that work is research, making contract presentations directly, attending inspections, negotiations, etc. Why give away 2-1/2 to 3% in cash? And there are 100% commission structures available without monthly fees.

I completely agree with @David Maddox there is more to being an agent than access to the properties. My brokerage and several others have 100% commission structures with no desk fees, no splits, great for investors.

Beyond that, the purpose of a license is not only to learn the laws of being an agent, but to learn the business through and through. I learn so much from my investor clients by analyzing deals for them, understanding their financing and exit strategies, and the people part of the business. The people part of the business is the biggest part.

In the end you have to do what makes sense for you and your goals, analyze your options, reach out to people that are where you want to be, or have learned what you want to learn.

Thanks @Account Closed  and  everyone else for your input and perspectives...I'm sure this is an ages old dilemma that both newcomers and veterans in the field have debated ever since man bought & sold his first hut !!  lol. While there are merits to both stategies & philosophies---as a newbie, and out of respect and deference to all of the valued opinions, I will pass on choosing a side... for now..... LOL  I need the colleagues !! (NB: . ..I'm also new to this forum thing and have much to learn...   ) Thanks again everyone and happy investing !!

@Damon R. - Welcome to this great site from a fellow NoVa realtor/investor. I am fairly new to the site as well and there is wealth of information here on various aspects of REI. Make sure you check out the podcasts and read through different boards.

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