4 Things to Know Before Investing: Exploring Reston, VA Real Estate

4 Things to Know Before Investing: Exploring Reston, VA Real Estate 4

Virginia is for lovers…of life, that is. And if you find yourself living and working in the V side of the DMV, there’s no better place to be than Fairfax County–especially Reston. 

It’s a thriving suburb for DC commuters who want access to a big city while still keeping that small town, open community feeling. It’s home to many major employers who are going strong and a popular location for those looking to raise families. 

In short, it has a little something for everyone. If you’re looking into Reston, VA real estate, here’s what you need to know to get started. 

1. Where is Reston? 

Reston is part of Fairfax County, Virginia in NOVA. Unlike Rosslyn, which is a hop, skip and jump away from DC, or Alexandria, which is further south and prides itself on its historic Old Town, Reston is for those who want to be a bit more removed from the hubbub. 

In fact, Reston is out past Tysons Corner, McLean, and Wolf Trap, almost all the way to Dulles Airport. Granted, Dulles is approximately a lifetime away from civilization (just ask Maryland commuters).

Reston is at the far-flung corner of Fairfax County for transit users, to be sure, but it’s actually quite accessible as long as you have a car. It’s only 20 miles out of DC, an easy commuting suburb for those with a car. 

2. The History of Reston

Once upon a time, Reston was the idea of a Harvard-educated Manhattanite named Robert Edward Simon Jr. (his initials, R.E.S., spell the first three letters of Reston), the scion of a wealthy real estate family. 

Simon spent much of his career in New York, but he remains indelibly linked to Reston, his planned community created in the Virginia countryside in the 1960s. 

Reston was a departure from Simon’s other projects, which were largely commercial (shopping centers and the like). After selling Carnegie Hall to New York City in 1960 for a crisp $5 million, Simon needed to invest his profits before they were hit with a capital gains tax.

A real estate broker told him about an area that had just become available outside Washington, DC. It had three major attractions in close proximity: a superhighway (the Capital Beltway), a world-class airport (Dulles Airport), and a high-speed access road (Dulles Access Road) linking the two. Simon was intrigued. 

Simon’s background in commercial shopping centers shows through in his vision for Reston, which includes a series of shopping plazas each serving a “village” of 10,000 to 12,000 residents. He also included 35 houses of worship, 21 schools, an industrial park that would employ half of Reston’s workforce, and a downtown area. 

Simon’s goal was to create a self-contained community where fathers did not have to be harried commuters, as he was early in married life. Instead, he built a community where parents could work, do their shopping, attend the ballet, have dinner with the kids, and more without leaving town borders. 

It’s a vision that’s still paying off in Reston in 2020. 

3. Is Reston a Good Investment? 

4 Things to Know Before Investing: Exploring Reston, VA Real Estate 5

These days, it seems that nothing can slow the breakneck pace of development in Reston, with a surge in housing developments and high-rises leading to more than 1,200 properties changing hands in 2018. 

For Reston homeowners, this was actually a point of concern. 

Despite the surge in available housing, average home prices have been going down for the last several years after a major surge following the housing crash in 2008. 

However, that’s actually fantastic news for investors. 

Now, with home prices going down, you can actually secure a property for cheaper than you might have otherwise, and that will help your profit margin as demand for housing in Reston continues to go up. 

4. What’s the Average List Price for a House in Reston?

Pricing in Reston is reflective of the larger DC market–which is to say expensive

The Reston housing market is highly competitive, with Redfin placing the average home price at around $446K with an average 35 days on the market and homes selling for just 1% under the list price. Plan on having at least $300K to break into the market at all. 

It’s a high number compared to the rest of the country (after all, DC is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country) but relative to the rest of DC, it’s par for the course. 

Reston is also riding on the rising real estate value in the whole of Fairfax County thanks to the Amazon effect–Amazon’s HQ2 is arriving in National Landing, formerly Crystal City. 

What About Condos?

4 Things to Know Before Investing: Exploring Reston, VA Real Estate 6

Condos in Reston are priced just as high, going for a median price of $333K as of January 2020. 

Keep in mind that although housing developments and high-rises are popping up like weeds, Reston as a whole is decidedly suburban. This is also related to the fact that Reston is primarily comprised of homeowners rather than renters, with renters occupying just 37.3% of the Reston population

However, the rate of housing development means that apartment complexes outnumber single-family houses and townhomes, which means you have more options if you’re willing to invest in apartments. 

Looking Into Reston, VA Real Estate?

Ready to invest in amazing real estate along the silver line? If so, we’re here to help make your dream a reality. 

We know Reston, VA real estate like the backs of our hands because we have decades of experience in the DC housing market as property managers and leasers. We apply that knowledge and philosophy to all of our services. 

If you’re ready to see what life in Reston can be like, we’re ready to make it happen. Click here to get in touch. 

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