The DMV area is well known for its turnover: with the majority of employment here being dominated by government spending of some kind—especially military—it’s not unheard of for people to arrive, buy a home, spend a couple of years here, and then pack up for their next adventure. If you’re a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) or a member of our military, then you know this is just a fact of life.
That said, even if you’re a seasoned veteran of the ‘ship-out lifestyle,’ preparing for a significant move (especially a move overseas) can be a stressful and taxing time. Buying a home in Arlington was a long-term commitment—and so is moving out of one.
If you’re at a crossroads when it comes to whether you should sell your home or not, here is some information you might find useful for your real estate from the experts in Arlington property management.
You Can Always Sell Your Property Later
Foreign Service tours can be a considerable length of time—from three to five years abroad—and having to reintegrate when you return stateside can be a hassle after an intense round of service. If you choose not to sell your home, you’ll have somewhere familiar to return to after your time abroad.
However, you can’t just leave your home empty and potentially under the care of some well-meaning neighbors: it could become a target for squatters and pipe-strippers looking for copper. So: why not rent out your Arlington home?
The challenge with this part of your decision first lies in finding the right renter. The fact that someone can afford to rent out your Arlington home doesn’t mean they’re suitable to live in it. It’s important that you sift through candidates, so you don’t end up with a monster in your house. However, this is challenging to do in a different time zone.
If you don’t have time to conduct interviews with prospective renters, working with experienced Arlington property management can make the transition from home to rental property headache-free. You’ll have an ideal renter calling your house ‘home’ while you’re away and paying rent towards things like your mortgage and property taxes.
You Can Also Opt for a Sitting Service
If you’d rather pay someone to live in your home (rather than have them paying you), you can also opt for a professional house-sitting service.
Unlike a renter, a house sitter can also take care of your pets and possessions; think of it as a babysitter for your house. You’ll have someone to watch and care for your home as if it were theirs (along with everything you own) rather than turning your home into their new home.
However, if you don’t like the idea of having to pay someone to keep an eye on your property (even if you’re not planning to sell), then a highly-qualified, paying renter may be more advantageous to you as the homeowner.
You’ll Need Remote Management
That said, having a renter can be a source of stress for an overseas property owner:
- How do you make sure they pay their rent on time?
- How do you know they’re taking good care of the property?
There needs to be some sort of accountability. This is yet another time when working with professional Arlington property management services can make sense for you as a long-distance investor.
- What does your mortgage look like?
- Do you know how much you pay in taxes?
- What about maintenance, repairs, and insurance?
A property manager can help you analyze the expenses attached to your home and compare them to your earning potential from renting to ensure they find your bullseye rental price. No property owner wants to find themselves spending more than they make (especially when they move overseas), so it’s important to get your figures right.
A full-service property management company can also help you to figure out how to operate your property as a business so that you can benefit from tax deductions and determine if you’re required to pay any additional income tax in the country that you plan on moving to. They’ll take care of maintenance, collections, reporting, and the work of caring for your renters.
Your Home Will Be Waiting for You When You Return
While you’re away, working with a full-service property management company can help you immerse yourself in your new life with the peace of mind that comes from expert management. You’ll experience the benefits of passive income while you’re abroad—without the workload that real estate investments can often represent.
If you’re a Foreign Service Officer or member of our military preparing for your next assignment overseas, get in touch with us to see how we can put our skills to work for you! You’ll always have somewhere to land in the Arlington area when you leave your home in our care.