Keen Investing: Apartments in Ballston, VA

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Did you know that landlords make an average of $73,000 off their investments each year? If you’re looking for a way to set up a passive income stream, investing in the real estate market can be a fantastic option. But the key to success is finding the right location to buy an investment property.

Ballston, Virginia, is a thriving neighborhood within minutes of Washington, D.C. Read on to learn about this area and why you should start investing in apartments in Ballston VA.

Meet Ballston

Before we dive into the benefits of investing in Ballston, Virginia, let’s learn a little more about the neighborhood. Ballston is a subdivision of Arlington, Virginia, and sits just north of the city center. There are more than 9,000 residential units in Ballston, most of which are rentals – and another 1,500 apartments are expected to go up in the next three years. 

Your residents will never be at a loss for things to do in Ballston, given that the neighborhood has more than eighty restaurants within a five-block radius. There are also spas, nail salons, boutiques, and more to fill all your residents’ shopping needs. Ballston also has cooking classes, an immersive adventure experience center, and the MedStar Capitals Iceplex, home to the Washington Capitals. 

Great Job Market

When you’re choosing where to buy an investment property, you want to find an area that’s on the rise. For one thing, you want to make sure your property value will appreciate over time so that, when you go to sell, you make a hefty profit. You also want to make sure you’ll have plenty of quality tenants and lots of demand for the apartment.

Ballston offers a fantastic job market, given that it’s located in the heart of Arlington, Virginia. For one thing, the city is directly across the river from Washington, D.C., and is home to both the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense. Deloitte and Lockheed Martin are also major employers in the area. 

Strong Local Economy 

Arlington’s economy is also on the grow and promises to stay strong in the coming years. Amazon recently announced it will set up a new headquarters in Crystal City, another neighborhood of Arlington. This new location is expected to bring about $15 billion to the area within the next eight years.

Within Ballston itself, you’ll find a thriving local economy that will draw in lots of high-quality tenants. Ballston is home to the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Virginia Tech, and more. The neighborhood also has stops for both the orange and silver metro lines and serves as a bus hub for many of the regional transportation services.

Low Property Taxes

When you’re buying a property, the up-front cost is only the first of the expenses you have to worry about. You’ll also have to pay maintenance fees and so on for your property, but the biggest hit can come in the form of property taxes. On average, D.C. property owners pay more than $3,600 in taxes each year.

Virginia, on the other hand, has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country. Residential property owners have to pay less than 1 percent property tax, which is far less than the national average. You can save a lot of money in taxes just by owning property across the river from D.C., rather than in the city itself.

Affordable Prices 

Investing in the Ballston real estate market can be a fantastic way to take advantage of the thriving economy our nation’s capital provides. However, investing in real estate in D.C. itself can be an expensive prospect. Most properties there sell for well over half a million dollars, making it an expensive venture for first-time investors to get in on. 

In Ballston, however, you can get a number of properties for well under the half-million-dollar mark. In fact, there are some wonderful apartments available for $250,000 or less. For beginning investors, this price range can be exactly what you need to get a solid start in the real estate investing world. 

Find the Right Spot 

Once you’ve decided to invest in Ballston, your next step is to find the perfect spot. You want to find someplace that’s close to the center of the action – nearby coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and so on. You also want to make sure there’s easy access to public transport nearby so your tenants can commute without the hassle of driving if they prefer.

Luckily for you, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an area of Ballston that doesn’t meet these criteria. The whole neighborhood has a walk score of 93 and a bike score of 84, making it very easy for residents to navigate. Your tenants will also have easy access to the orange and silver Metro lines, making for an easy commute into the city.

Find Apartments in Ballston VA

Ballston, VA, is the perfect place for you to invest, whether this is your first property or your tenth. The neighborhood has a fantastic job market and strong economy, as well as a thriving culture. Properties here are much more affordable, and the central location will mean a lot of close-by conveniences for your tenants.

If you’d like to find the best apartments in Ballston, VA, check out the rest of our site at Nomadic Real Estate. We provide leasing, management, sales, and, most importantly, peace of mind. Contact us today and start making your D.C. investment the smart way.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.