I often get emails from people who are thinking about relocating to Vienna Virginia, where I live and work, asking me questions like what is available in certain price ranges. They also ask about long-term value or eventually converting to an investment property.
It is easy to understand these questions after looking at homes on Zillow or Trulia.
I get it.
Someone who isn’t actually here may be suspicious when I eagerly respond with enthusiasm about our real estate market because, from a long-term point of view, I see tremendous opportunity here.
Vienna location… in no particular order:
- Commute Time ~ Northern Virginia is where the job growth has been and will continue. According to George Mason University’s Center of Regional Analysis, over the last twelve months Northern Virginia has created over 31,000 jobs while Suburban Maryland has created less than 2,000. It does explain our traffic woes, but it should make a point that commuting to and from work is commanding considerable time. With that in mind, finding a home within a reasonable drive to work will be more desirable now and in the future. Vienna is next to two of the fastest growing job hubs: Tysons Corner and Reston.
- The Metro System ~ Vienna has long been known as the end of the Orange Line which goes right through Arlington and into DC. Yes, Foggy Bottom or the White House are minutes away. But Vienna is also going to gain from the completion of the new Silver Line which will pass through Tysons Corner, the Dulles Airport Toll Road to Reston in 2014 (eventually to the airport). Although the Tyson’s stops won’t have parking garages, they will be perfect kiss ‘n ride stations. There is also a part of Vienna where you will be able to walk to those new Silver Line stations or take a rush hour bus to the Silver Line.
- High Walkability ~ Over the past twenty years, the downtown section of Vienna has been redesigned to promote walking. Yes there are sidewalks and crosswalks, but there are places to go. For example, there is a Farmers’ Market on Church Street on Saturdays. There is a summer concert series on the Vienna Town Green. And there are coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and multiple Town events like Oktoberfest, Viva Vienna, a Halloween Parade and 4th of July fireworks. Also high on the list, the 42 mile W&OD trail cuts right through Vienna (gotta bike?). A few local friends actually ride their bikes to work!
- Schools and more ~ You might not have a kid in school, but Fairfax County Public Schools have an excellent national reputation for academics, admissions to college and sports. This fact alone is really important to people with school age kids who often will wait for a home in a particular school zone. Private schools and universities also dot the landscape with excellent faculties and facilities.
- Limited Supply of Homes ~ Although there has been considerable job growth in Northern Virginia, the overall supply of homes has remained flat over the last five years. The lack of supply and new construction has created a marketplace where homes are bought quickly, close to asking price unlike most of the United States. In fact, the gurus are George Mason have been yelling from the rooftops that we will have a housing crisis here in the next ten years unless we start to build 30,000 additional housing units that will be needed in the 2020’s.
Maybe this is a peak behind the curtain for you, or a look into Doug’s crystal ball but there are critical factors that need to be considered when considering moving to Northern Virginia. My point is simple, you can benefit from developing a long-term strategy before you move that will take into account these factors.
With mortgage interest rates hovering around 3.75% for a thirty year mortgage, and the strong potential for significant price appreciation in the long-term, this is an opportunity for you to take seriously. Let’s talk and put together a winning Vienna real estate strategy.