Many people who work in our nation’s capital, especially those who work for the federal government, buy property in Northern Virginia because of their great value, impressive amenities and school districts, and a short commute to Washington, D.C.
While it might seem like a no-brainer for those stationed in Washington, D.C. to buy homes in Northern Virginia, this is also a good option for those who work in the State Department or for the United States Foreign Service.
Even though these employees spend a great deal of time stationed in other countries across the globe, they stand to gain a lot by renting out their Northern Virginia homes.
Why Foreign Service and State Department Employees Should Rent Out Their Homes
Here are four main reasons why State Department and Foreign Service employees should consider investing in a rental property in Northern Virginia:
1. Frequent travel
Those who work at the United States Department of State as a foreign service officer will be asked to serve at one of over 270 embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions across the world. The invaluable work they do may take them anywhere from Africa to the Middle East to Asia.
While these employees were aware of these travel requirements when they first took on this career, they may not have considered what they should do with their homes while they are away for long periods of time. The last thing these individuals will want to do is to leave their homes unattended.
Research shows that vacant properties are linked to reduced property values and increased crime rates. When homes are vacant and perceived as abandoned, there is a greater risk for vandalism, arson, and other costly property damage.
Leaving a home unattended will also lead to maintenance issues that require repairs with a heavy price tag.
Without someone to mow the grass, check on pipes, control the temperature, and handle other basic maintenance problems, these issues can spiral out of control. A small water leak can turn into permanent water damage and a mold problem that costs thousands of dollars to fix. A broken window can lead to issues that require an exterminator.
One way for these employees to avoid these problems is to turn their homes into rental properties.
When people who are planning to be away from home for long periods of time rent out their homes, they won’t have to worry about vacancy leading to hassle and hefty costs down the road. They will have tenants around to keep the place occupied and alert them of any necessary repairs before they escalate.
This means a plumbing issue can be addressed before it costs an arm and a leg. It means that there will be lights on and other indicators that the property is occupied that will deter crime. It means that the homeowner can rest easy while they are away because they know their home is in good hands.
Working for the State Department or the United States Foreign Service often requires frequent travel abroad. People who pursue careers within these organizations should consider renting out their homes during periods where they will have to be away from home.
2. Reliable housing
Although the life of an individual who works for the State Department or the Foreign Service branch of the State Department will lead them across the globe, there will be times when these individuals will need to stay in the United States. They will need to live in close proximity to the State Department so they can report in-person when necessary.
As a result, they will want to find homes that are near Washington, D.C. Areas in Northern Virginia like Fairfax and Arlington are popular for government workers who need to commute into Washington, D.C., especially those who do not need to travel for work.
Although these workers know they need to have a place to stay if they are working in Washington, D.C., and they understand that it is not feasible or affordable for them to stay in a hotel or bounce from place to place long-term, some who travel frequently are hesitant to purchase properties in this area. This is typically due to a few, understandable concerns:
- Buying a property that they will have to sell if they leave in a few months or a year doesn’t seem worth it
- Leaving a property vacant when they have to work overseas can lead to crime or maintenance concerns
- Paying for a home in Northern Virginia and a home abroad is costly
While these concerns are valid, they can be addressed by investing in a rental property.
When State Department and Foreign Service employees invest in rental property in northern Virginia, they will always have a place to stay when they are stationed in the area. This will ease the burden of trying to find a place to live when they are in the United States.
Furthermore, they will be able to find tenants to rent out their property and collect rent money when they leave the area, preventing them from having to try and sell their home, worrying about leaving their property vacant, and breaking the bank to pay for two homes.3. Property value
The housing market in northern Virginia is booming, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Even as the suburban areas across the nation are returning to normal after seeing the market skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic, northern Virginia’s housing market is continuing to blossom.
The median home sale prices are up, and the median number of days a house is on the market is down. According to Virginia Business, during the fall and winter of 2021, homes in northern Virginia are expected to experience the largest price increases that have been seen in the past few years.
In a NVAR report, Terry Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, says, investing in a property in Northern Virginia is “likely as close to a sure thing as you can get in real estate.”
With the increased need for affordable housing, the rise in remote work, and the growing desire for more home space, all signs point to now being the best time to rent out a home in Northern Virginia. Experts argue this will be the case for the foreseeable future.
Those who work for the State Department and Foreign Service do not have to worry about their properties losing value. Not only are rental rates continuing to rise, but places like Arlington, Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean, Haymarket, and Gainesville are becoming increasingly popular places to stay.
When it comes to making an investment that will provide good returns in the future, there is no better time than the present to purchase a home in Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia housing market will always hold its value, offering a great investment opportunity for those who will spend time stationed overseas.
4. Headache-free source of income
Although owning a rental property can be a good source of income, individuals with demanding jobs that require travel might think investing in a rental property is the last thing they want to do.
Managing a rental property comes with a lot of responsibilities:
- Marketing the property to find prospective tenants
- Screening and interviewing tenants to see if they’re a good fit
- Worrying about affording to pay two mortgages if tenants can’t be found or have to be evicted
- Determining a fair price to charge in rent
- Collecting rent each month
- Coming up with a process to handle late rent payments
- Learning local and federal laws regarding tenant rights, managing properties, and paying taxes on rental properties
- Handling evictions and any associated costs
- Responding to maintenance requests in a timely manner
- Conducting property inspections
- Addressing property damage and providing upkeep for routine wear-and-tear
With all these responsibilities and challenges, renting out a property can feel like taking on another full-time job- one that it’s nearly impossible for someone to do well when they live 50 miles away from a property, let alone 5,000 or more.
However, while investing in a rental property might seem like one more challenge to add to a long list of responsibilities to handle, it can actually be a headache-free way to make some income while a government employee is away from home.
It is possible for someone who lives abroad while working for the Foreign Service or the State Department to make a solid passive income on a rental property without worrying about any of these challenges.
With the right property management company, all of the stress of renting out a property goes away.
Property management companies are well worth their cost because they are knowledgeable about the rental process and handle all of the stressful aspects of renting out a property.
Worried about how to market a property to grab the attention of renters in the area? Don’t be. A property management company will market your property, list it on dozens of websites, and find great tenants in no time.
Afraid of extensive property damage or tenants skipping out on rent? Put your fears to rest. A property management company will have a tried and true process in place to screen tenants and will be picky until they find a great fit.
Unsure of how to go about finding affordable and reliable service people to make repairs efficiently and effectively? There’s no need to worry. A property management company will have relationships with repair companies in the area, and they will take care of all maintenance and repair requests as quickly as possible.
Those who work abroad will be able to receive all of the benefits of owning a rental property without any of the hassle if they work with the right property management company.
How RentSimple Can Help
If you work at the State Department, RentSimple can help you make a profit on a rental property in Northern Virginia.
Here are a few ways that RentSimple makes renting out your home...simple:
We have marketing expertise
Taking smartphone photos of your property and putting them on a site or two is not going to cut it. If you want to find tenants, you will need professional photos and access to premier listing sites.
At Rent Simple, we hire professionals to take high quality photos and video tours to advertise your property, and we share your listing complete with detailed property descriptions on over 50 websites. We have the reputation and expertise necessary to help your property stand out among the crowd. This is why the properties we manage stay on the market for two weeks less than the average in Northern Virginia.
We specialize in rental home management
While other property management companies split their focus between home rentals and sales, we only focus on rentals.
This means we are well versed in the local laws and ordinances related to rental properties in Northern Virginia, and we give our rental properties 100% of our attention.
You won’t have to worry that your rental property will take second place to home sales. We will be on top of setting and collecting rent, finding high quality tenants, and providing maintenance and upkeep for your home.
We have unmatched guarantees
While purchasing a rental property is a risk, RentSimple helps you cover your bases. At RentSimple, we offer guarantees including a Good Pet Promise, an Eviction Free Guarantee, a Rent Guarantee, and even a Happiness Pledge.
Tenant forgets to pay their rent? No problem. We cover 100% of the rent owed. Tenant’s dog causes property damage? That’s okay. We cover 100% of the repair costs.
With our guarantees, both you and your tenants will be satisfied.If you want to reap the benefits of investing in a rental property without the challenges of managing the property while you’re stationed abroad, contact RentSimple.