Northern Virginia – An International Real Estate Investing Mecca

Washington DC Capitol , USA

Northern Virginia – An International Real Estate Investing Mecca

While the US as a whole continues to experience widespread interest from the international real estate investing sector, there are a few spots in the country that stand out. Of course, you’ll find New York and San Francisco on the list, as well as Houston. However, you’ll also find Washington D.C. on the list. While the D.C. area as a whole has fallen to fifth place in the nation, northern Virginia has risen, with cities like Arlington, Alexandria and Richmond becoming preeminent places for international real estate investors and relocation.

Why the Influx?

Why is northern Virginia experiencing such a massive influx of new residents from around the world? Actually, there are quite a few reasons, and each ethnic group moving here has a different driving force. Chinese residents are the fastest growing segment of the state’s population, and they’re coming to take advantage of employment, affordable housing and good schools. Indian residents have similar needs, and actually make up the most affluent demographic in the US (as well as in Virginia). Other nationalities come for a number of other reasons, including:

  • Affordable real estate – This is particularly true in comparison with the greater D.C. area, New York and San Francisco.
  • Excellent earning potential – Northern Virginia residents enjoy a higher annual income on average than anywhere else in the country.
  • Employment outlook – Tech companies as well as a range of other employers are moving to the state in significant numbers, offering excellent employment options.
  • A cultural melting pot – Virginia, particularly the northern half, is becoming a true cultural melting pot, and many foreign investors choose to move here to take advantage of that.

Where Are They Moving?

So, where are international buyers purchasing real estate? Where are they moving? You have a few main hubs – Richmond, Arlington and Alexandria, for instance. These cities offer direct access to Washington D.C. and the halls of power without forcing residents to actually live in the nation’s capital. There are other areas as well. For example, Fairfax County is home to almost 200,000 Asian residents.

Of course, not all international relocations are to major cities like those listed above. Others choose to move outlying areas where property prices are even lower, or to education hubs like Charlottesville.

What Are They Buying?

Predicting what various international buyers are purchasing is difficult, mainly because of the wide discrepancies between nations of origin, reasons for moving to Virginia and other factors. International real estate investors not relocating to the area tend to invest in multifamily properties, including apartments and condos. Townhomes are also popular. However, those choosing to move to the state permanently or semi-permanently purchase single-family homes or condos in walkable neighborhoods (this last is a prime target for Indian buyers, who value the ability to get around on foot).

The old Virginia is long gone – today’s state is culturally diverse and becoming increasingly more so every day. It’s an amazing time to live in northern Virginia, regardless of your nation of birth.


Contact Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty for more information about moving to Northern VA

Gene Mock Realtor



5 Tips for Overseas Vacation Home Buying Success

Owning a vacation home abroad in an exotic location is a commonly shared dream – and for those serious about making their dream come true here are the five main things to remember when homes buying abroad.

International Vacation Home Buying Tips

The dream of owning a vacation home in some sun-drenched overseas location is one the majority of us share, and because real estate proves itself time and again as a solid long term investment commodity, many more people are committing to purchasing real estate abroad as an investment that they and their family can also enjoy and benefit from.


When buying a vacation home abroad there are a number of key considerations to bear in mind to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls sometimes associated with buying long distance and in an unfamiliar country.  With these 5 tips for overseas vacation home buying success you can quickly cut a swathe through the research process and move towards securing the dream swiftly and securely.

Tip One – Learn the Rules and Regulations

Different countries have different rules relating to the right or otherwise of foreign citizens to own the freehold title to immovable property.  Some widely publicised destinations don’t allow foreigners to directly own the land on which their property sits (Bulgaria) or more than one property (Cyprus) for example, and some countries are less economically or politically stable than your own which can mean that real estate related rules and regulations may change in the future.  Make sure you’re comfortable with the workings of the country you’re considering buying a vacation home in, and if in doubt seek professional advice about that country and the ambitions you hold for owning a holiday home in it.

Tip Two – Good Investment/Bad Investment

If you’re buying a vacation home with a hope that it will go up in value and be not only a family retreat but a great asset, know that real estate, just like any investment commodity, can go down in value as well as up.  Furthermore not all countries have a real estate economy the same as the one in your own country – a little research would be wise into the historic nature of the property market in your country of choice as well as predictions for its future.  While such data is not a direct indication of how well your investment will perform it will arm you with more data to hopefully make your decisions easier.

Tip Three – Title Deeds and Legalities

Legal systems and the title deed registration process differ from country to country therefore know your legal rights and try and find out about the essential searches, surveys and title deed checks that need to be conducted before you should commit to buying your overseas vacation home.  Never enter into any form of contractual agreement without the direct assistance of an independent lawyer and never accept someone’s word that a vacation home has its permissions and title deeds valid and up to date.  Insist on seeing and checking all important facts and data before signing on the dotted line.

Tip Four – Accessibility and Desirability

If you’re thinking about making an income from your vacation home or even hoping to holiday in it yourself regularly, one of the most important factors to bear in mind is the accessibility or otherwise of your vacation home.  If your real estate is difficult to reach, with many miles to traverse and complicated and expensive plane journeys to plan, then it will just become a less desirable commodity over time. While a vacation involves getting away from it all and escaping every day life, a vacation destination and home should be easy and affordable to reach.

Tip Five – Enlisting Assistance

Consider enlisting the help of a reputable real estate agent, an independent lawyer and if you want to make money from your vacation home, a property management service.  Such professionals can save you time, effort and money and they can make the whole process of buying and owning a vacation home that much simpler.  Make sure you take references, examine credentials and see qualifications before employing anyone to assist you however, and if at all possible seek recommendations because anyone who does a good job will always get good press!

Let us guide you through the process with our international network of real estate professionals. As Global Property Specialists we are uniquely qualified to assist you in purchasing real estate internationally.

Contact Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty 703-342-8100 for guidance when buying international real estate

Gene Mock Realtor

5 Tips for Overseas Vacation Home Buying Success