Keen Investing – Apartments for Sale in Washington, D.C.

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Buying a rental property in the nation’s capital could be highly lucrative in the current market. The city is growing, and new apartments in Washington, D.C., are popping up all over the place, providing more opportunities for motivated investors. 

The real estate market is showing signs of slowing down, but the rental market remains strong, so there has never been a better time to take the plunge. This guide examines whether purchasing one of the apartments for sale in Washington, D.C., is worth the money.

Washington, D.C., at a Glance

Nearly 700,000 people live in Washington, D.C., but the Greater D.C. area has a population of over 5.4 million. The region is the second-most populated metro area on the East Coast and has one of the highest populations in the entire country. 

Washington, D.C., also has one of the country’s strongest economies. It features the second-highest median household income among major metro areas in the United States, thanks to its status as a government hub and international business hotspot. There’s plenty of opportunity in Washington, D.C., and people will want to be here as long as it remains the national capital.

Market Trends in Washington, D.C.

Keeping an eye on market trends can point you in the right direction as you decide whether to purchase one of the apartments for sale in Washington, D.C. These conditions are constantly changing, so gathering up-to-date information is a vital part of the process. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Prices Remain High

The cost of buying an apartment in Washington, D.C., is high compared to the rest of the country. The city’s median sale price for an apartment or condo is $470,000, and while that number is down 3.1% year-over-year, D.C. remains an expensive place to purchase real estate. 

Rental Prices Are Also High

The cost of apartments for rent in Washington, D.C., is also high, though, so you can expect to recoup your investment from your tenants. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C., is about $2,300 per month, while the median for a two-bedroom unit is more than $3,100. 

It’s a Buyer’s Market

We could be witnessing a buyer’s market forming in the D.C. area, as inventory is up 3% year-over-year, and contract activity is down 38.2% from 2021. Real estate of all types is sitting on the market for an additional 10 days compared to 2021 as well, opening up more opportunities for investors to find a deal.

Occupancy Rates Are Consistent

Rental rates are holding up despite the high rental prices in the D.C. area. About 96% of Class C and Class B apartments are occupied by renters, while Class A luxury apartments have an occupied rate of over 94%. There’s significant supply in the city, but occupancy rates are holding steady.

These market trends suggest that D.C. will continue as a robust rental market despite the considerable expense of living in the city. Investors can take advantage of Washington’s desirability by getting in on what could be a buyer’s market in the coming months.

5 Reasons to Buy a Rental Property in Washington, D.C.

The Greater D.C. area could be an excellent place to purchase an apartment as an investment property because you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to rent it. The city and surrounding areas have plenty going for them, which is why so many people want to live here. These attractive traits include the following:

1. Excellent Job Opportunities

D.C. is the hub of national politics and everything that goes along with it. The result is plenty of career advancement opportunities for attorneys, investment experts, bankers, chefs, and service industry professionals. There’s also a bustling international community in Washington, thanks to the abundance of embassies, assisting the job market even further.

2. Fantastic Culture and History

The nation’s capital is full of culture and history, including well-known spots like the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Mall, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian museums. These venues make Washington, D.C., an attractive place for young professionals, helping fuel the rental market.

3. Great Neighborhoods

Anyone moving to D.C. has plenty of excellent areas from which to choose. The Capitol Hill area is loaded with culture and is the city’s epicenter. The Southwest Waterfront has an impressive culinary scene, DuPont Circle is full of trendy bars and restaurants, Georgetown features historic architecture, and Columbia Heights has a family-friendly vibe.

4. Outstanding Access to Transit

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority makes it easy to get around D.C. without a car. The trains travel throughout the downtown area; into suburban neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, and Woodley Park; and to surrounding towns and cities like Bethesda, Rockville, and Alexandria. A bus line also travels throughout D.C. and into Virginia and Maryland.

5. Active Outdoor Scene

Washington, D.C., is best known as a metropolis, but that doesn’t mean residents have to give up their favorite outdoor activities. The city is home to dozens of jogging and biking trails, and there’s hiking and camping to discover in nearby Shenandoah National Park. Some beaches on Chesapeake Bay are accessible in under an hour as well.

Young professionals want to live in Washington, D.C., and the rental market should remain strong because of this desire. Investors can be confident that there will probably always be people looking for apartments in the city.

Get Help Managing Your Rental Properties

Buying a rental property is an excellent investment because you’re likely to collect a return every month. The apartment you purchase will begin paying for itself as soon as you get a tenant, leaving you with a sizable asset after repaying your mortgage. The process becomes even easier if you hire a property manager to deal with the day-to-day.

Nomadic Real Estate offers property management services in the Greater D.C. area. Our team can find qualified tenants for your rental apartments and ensure everything goes smoothly for you as a landlord. Contact Nomadic Real Estate today for more information on our Washington property management services.

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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.