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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
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From day one of Marine Corps Boot Camp, Situational Awareness was drilled into my head and became a part of me in every way, shape, and form. Notice your surroundings, analyze the threats and opportunities, and always be prepared for the unexpected. I left the Marines with an Honorable Discharge after I returned from the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 and started my illustrious career in Real Estate in 2004. I learned a great deal during my service and still exercise Situational Awareness on a daily basis, just in the professional (and safer!) forum versus a military setting.
Recently I had two prospective Buyers who were interested in 1 and 2 bedroom Condo's in the Arlington VA and Alexandria VA home markets. They are both of similar education, background, gender, and age and had even expressed interests in a few of the same properties at roughly the same time. How they handled the current market conditions were vastly different.
Buyer A was looking to purchase a 2 bedroom condo and rent one of the rooms to offset her mortgage payment. With the current market conditions as they are, he was interested in properties that were listed at 50%-60% of the market high sales price in years past. He found a great little unit that was close to work, well within his budget, recently renovated, great amenities in the building, and appreciation already rising in that particular building. He planned to own this unit as a personal residence for 3-5 years and then convert it into a investment property. The comparable rents in the building for similar units would have resulted in a 30% profit margin per month even factoring in the condo fees and taxes. In a few years when the highly stable Washington DC Metro returned to it's extremely competitive market condition circa a few years ago, Buyer A would have made literally thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands in the next few years using the model of owner-occupant converted to investment property model.
Unfortunately for him, he decided that he would wait a year or two to see what happens to the market. When he does come back into the market, he will have the "Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget" problem. He has seen the market now and knows what he can get for a $125,000 condo. Within a couple years the same condo could have been worth anywhere from $200,000-$250,000. The next time he looks, let's say 18 months from now, he will remember the quality of home he could have purchased for $125,000. I'm expecting that he will have a bit of hard jolt when he realizes that he doesn't have the same purchasing power that he did before. When the market is down, IT'S TIME TO BUY!!! With property values with nowhere to go but up, he has lost money in appreciation, tax benefits, income from rents, and could possibly end up with a lower echelon home.
Buyer B as I explained before is very similar to Buyer A. Education, gender, price range, and income are all the same but with one small difference. He has Situational Awareness of the market. He literally reads everything he can find about market histories, interest rates, distressed properties, and he understands that NOW is the time to buy in the Washington DC Metro Area. He has turned from a Home-Buyer to an Investor and is already planning for his next property purchase in the coming months. He is not lamenting the current market conditions, he is EMBRACING them and he is using them to increase his net worth. In a few years when properties are extremely expensive, I'm sure that he will tone down new investment purchases simply due to the market conditions. Simply due to Situational Awareness.
Home ownership is a great thing. It's the American Dream. But dreams can turn into nightmares. Everyone knows someone that has completed a short sale, gone bankrupt, or been foreclosed on. It's a terrible thing when there is a situation like that. But it happens, everyday. My father, a retired Teacher and retired Army Master Sergeant, is very fond of telling everyone "Education is your ticket out of poverty". It's true. Educate yourself to the current market conditions and you will flourish in your real estate endeavors. Please feel free to contact me at the Fairfax VA Real Estate Center if you have any questions or concerns regarding the market in Northern Virginia.
Remember, Situational Awareness will save your life and your checkbook!
My name is Braden Halter and I specialize in the purchase and sale of single-family residences and income property within Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Please use this blog as a resource in your next Real Estate Transaction.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.