Frequently Asked Questions By Investors in Real Estate

Q.  What makes for an "investor" of residential real estate?

A.  Real Estate Investors own at least one residential property that is not his/her primary residence and the property is used, or will be used, to produce income.  For a property that is used for vacations or for housing in a location near a work site, for example, that is not rented out, is included on Second Homes.

Q.  What services does David Houghtaling provide me if I am interested in buying an investment property that I want to be income producing?

A.   Unless you already know exactly the property you want to buy, services will include searching for, showing you, negotiated with the seller or the listing agent, and working with your through settlement.  It may be working to find the property you desire by contacting current owners.  But before that starts, we will review your objectives and do the math.  The consultation may save you from buying the wrong investment properties.

Q.  What if I have an investment property to sell and want to buy a new investment property?

A.  Let's talk about tax consequences if you don't do a 1031 Exchange.  There are fiscal intermediaries and very specific procedures which must be done in order, but certain deadlines, and handled properly to save you money.  I will work with you and the "qualified intermediary" to make sure it works for you.  I can recommend companies that specialize in this process for you.

Q.  If I own an investment property what will David Houghtaling do to market it for rent?

A.  All of the basics, but also the things that make the difference between just "finding tenants" and finding the best possible tenants, at the best income for you, in the timeframe you want.  It's more than just a sign in the yard, a listing in the MLS and a lockbox.  For a comprehensive list of services including internet marketing, see Rental Marketing, Listing and Leasing Services.

Q.  Fair Housing.  What do I need to know as an investor?

A.  As a Realtor, by law, David Houghtaling must follow all Federal and Virginia Fair Housing laws and my commitment to you is to make sure that all advertising, application procedures, and practices, comply with the rules.  It also means that I will work to make sure that you remain compliant as my client.  Click for more on Fair Housing.

Q.  What is the application process for tenant applicants?

A.  Anyone interested in applying to rent your property will be asked to complete an application.  Each adult tenant will complete the application and pay Coldwell Banker for processing.  The current charge to the applicants is $50 per adult.  The applicants will also present a personal check as earnest money for the 1st month's rent at this time. 

Q.  What information is researched on my behalf on the application?

A.  There are 3 primary areas.  1. Credit check for adult applicants.  A FICO score and an NTN Score will be determined.  2. Employment verification(s) will be made to confirm employment periods, pay rates, and a determination of continued employment.  3. Landlord verifications will be made to determine if rent has been made on time, whether continued rent will be possible, and previous landlords will be contacted -- particularly if the applicant has lived at the current location for less than 2 years.  Finally, a WRITTEN SUMMARY WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE OWNER/LANDLORD.  While a recommendation is offered, it is up to you whether or not you accept the applicant.

Q.  Do you ever receive more than one application at the same time?

A.  Yes, quite often.  Each is told that another application has been received and they can be processed consecutively or concurrently.  Results are provided to the owner/landlord for a decision.

Q.  What is "Section 8" and should I know about it?

A.  Section 8 is a Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rent assistance program. Eligible households pay approximately 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent. The remainder is provided by the program and paid directly to the landlord.  To learn more about the Section 8 program in Arlington County go here.  For Fairfax County, go here.  For Loudoun County, go here.

Q.  What are the guidelines for a landlord if I am considering Section 8?

A.  Generally the process is about the same from county to county, but here are Loudoun County Guidelines.

Q.  Does David Houghtaling provide property management services?

A.  Personally, I do not, but Weichert, Realtors has an excellent Property Management department with a full range of services. 


If you have a question, please let me know.  To send me an email, click here.  

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