sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

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mesaverde
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sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by mesaverde » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:00 pm

I have a condo that I used to live in that I've been renting out. Two months ago I put it on the market to sell. The condo is in northern Virginia, 6 miles from where the new Amazon headquarters will be in Crystal City. It's close to a yellow line metro station that goes to Crystal City. Over the past two months the condo had a moderate amount of viewings, but no offers until now (coincidence?). With the new Amazon hq news, I'm tempted to keep the condo & continue renting it out. Condo values increased by approx. 140% over the past 5 years in Seattle, in part because of Amazon's presence. I live a few miles from the condo & manage it myself.

Here are the numbers:
Value: ~$230,000 (approx. the same as when I purchased it in 2010... the main reason I put it on the market two months ago)
Rent: $1,600/month (current market rate)
P&I: $800/month on a 2.5% 15 year fixed rate mortgage (with 156 months remaining). Currently ~$220 goes towards interest and ~$580 towards principal. The current loan amount is $106,475.
property tax: $240/month
HOA fee: $360/month
So, a monthly cash flow of only $200, but the principal is being paid down pretty significantly with the 15 year fixed rate mortgage. I have a stable job & emergency savings, & don't need cash flow.
Approx. 20% of my net worth is in this rental condo & my own home (the rest is invested in tax deferred accounts- Vanguard & Fidelity index funds).
If sold, I would need to pay 5.5% in real estate agent commissions & approx. $800 in other fees.

If I sold the rental condo, I would either:
1. Pay down the mortgage on my own home by $50,000 to reach 80% LTV (because I only have 5% equity on a 30 year 4.5% fixed rate mortgage with $80/month mortgage insurance).
and/or
2. put the proceeds from the sale of the rental condo in a tax efficient index fund, like VG consumer staples index or total stock market index.

Given this info., would you recommend keeping the condo & renting it out to see if the value/rent increases?
Last edited by mesaverde on Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Carefreeap » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:26 pm

Did you live in the condo? If so, for how long?

Do you have a renter in it now?

We lived in the Crystal City area as well as what I called "Barely McLean" really the Tysons Corner area during our DC stint back in 1987-1990. It's a nice area and I was a little shocked to hear how development flooded the area and has kept prices down.

Depending on your situation, I might be tempted to hold out until the spring during selling season but if the place is empty and you are paying on a mortgage I'm not sure it would make sense. You really do need to run the numbers.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by 123 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:07 am

I think you should increase your asking price somewhere between 10% and 25% in consulation with your real estate agent and continue to list the property. You may be able to cash in on a surge by speculators who hope to flip some properties. Maybe they're right, but maybe they're wrong. Speculators may be willing assume higher carrying costs if there aren't any comparables that would be needed to support a regular bank loan at a higher valuation.

Selling at a higher price now gets you the perceived benefit of the Amazon presence and enables you to move on with the financial plan you had.
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:46 am

It seems unlikely DC area real estate will appreciate like Seattle real estate did. Seattle real estate started from a much lower base and there was a MUCH larger influx of high paying jobs than what DC is likely to get out of this.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:05 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:46 am
It seems unlikely DC area real estate will appreciate like Seattle real estate did. Seattle real estate started from a much lower base and there was a MUCH larger influx of high paying jobs than what DC is likely to get out of this.
It is the expensive cities seem to get more expensive, rather than the cheap ones which catch up?

The housing supply does not seem to catch up with the demand. Granted, in condos, land supply is less of an issue - as long as the local municipality allows you to build upwards.

We seem to be in an era where the agglomeration economics favour the super city. That is to say, that the successful cities which can attract businesses then attract more businesses, to be close to what is already there. San Francisco in internet & technology, New York in Financial Services (and company HQs), Washington in a host of businesses that have a government/ regulatory angle (northern Virginia also happens to be the hub of the internet in a physical sense, as well, which probably contributes to many locational decisions).

Amazon could have chosen either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, both of which had much lower cost housing and excellent university infrastructure to provide talented young graduates (as Vanguard recruits from Philadelphia area). But that's not what they chose.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by ny_rn » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:41 am

Raise rent accordingly. It's cash flow positive.

Doesn't sound like you "need" to sale.

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mesaverde
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by mesaverde » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:10 am

Carefreeap wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:26 pm
Did you live in the condo? If so, for how long?

Do you have a renter in it now?

We lived in the Crystal City area as well as what I called "Barely McLean" really the Tysons Corner area during our DC stint back in 1987-1990. It's a nice area and I was a little shocked to hear how development flooded the area and has kept prices down.

Depending on your situation, I might be tempted to hold out until the spring during selling season but if the place is empty and you are paying on a mortgage I'm not sure it would make sense. You really do need to run the numbers.
Yes, I lived in the condo from 2010 to 2012 & have rented it out since then.
The condo is vacant now, but two people have applied to rent it out (in response to an ad).
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:55 am

The condo is vacant now. What you were clearing when it was rented was $200 month. To me even getting that $2400 a year would not be worth it overall. You've got the condo leveraged but if you sold it for the $230,000 and invested that you could certainly make that. $2400 annually is 1.04% of $230,000. Even in this 2018 crap year of market returns you might achieve that return by year's end.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by randomguy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:35 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:55 am
The condo is vacant now. What you were clearing when it was rented was $200 month. To me even getting that $2400 a year would not be worth it overall. You've got the condo leveraged but if you sold it for the $230,000 and invested that you could certainly make that. $2400 annually is 1.04% of $230,000. Even in this 2018 crap year of market returns you might achieve that return by year's end.
Sure but the number isn't remotely close to 1%

profit:580+200 = 780/month.
capital invested: 125k invested
return: 780*12/125 = 7.5%

That is an ok return on investment. Obviously this is insanely simplistic and we are ignoring a ton of factors (like vacancy, depreciation, repairs, repair costs,....)

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by 4nursebee » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:36 am

I would stick with your overall investment thesis.
Are you willing to hold at current return until housing demand reaches you?

When the powerball payout increases, do you think about buying a ticket, or more tickets?
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by arsenalfan » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:06 am

Depends on how you're feeling about being a landlord.
If it's ok by you, it is a 7.5% return as RandomGuy points out. That amount being paid towards your mortgage principle is profit (albeit requires the property to hold the value until you sell and realize that profit).
If you're not enjoying the landlording side job, then I'd sell it and follow your IPS.

As an aside, any way to force appreciation/higher rents by improving the property? Create another bedroom, give renters furniture credit (you have to approve it and furniture stays) so that it becomes a turnkey finished rental? I own some properties in a college area, and the kids just want dorm-like accomodations, so we buy bomb-proof beds/desks/couches, and were able to charge 25-33% more rent.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:30 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:46 am
It seems unlikely DC area real estate will appreciate like Seattle real estate did. Seattle real estate started from a much lower base and there was a MUCH larger influx of high paying jobs than what DC is likely to get out of this.
The general metro area might be large enough to absorb 25k new jobs (and singles/families) although I'm not sure with a relatively sudden influx, the prices wouldn't be affected.

However, I'd expect that any properties right *near* where the office(s) would be will still appreciate. There are always some who prefer to pay for the convenience of living right nearby.
OTOH... prices may already have adjusted, or close to it, in which case you might try raising your price now, and selling and getting rid of it.

But if you don't mind being a landlord, and can expect to increase rents in the coming years, think about that, too.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:41 am

If it were my condo and I didn't mind the extra work of landlording I would make sure my rents are still properly priced for the market and keep the property.

$200 cashflow on a condo with a 15yr mortgage is pretty good since the maintenance are likely lower than a house.

I would expect the impact of Amazon may only mean an extra 3-4% increase in yearly rents beyond what you were already increasing the rents each year.

--------

If you sell today without a 1031 exchange planned, remember to account for depreciation recapture in your total costs of selling. Even if you didn't claim depreciation (unless it was claimed but not used because your income was too high), you will still be responsible for depreciation recapture upon sale of the property.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:44 am

Not a big market timer but (a) real estate is not a perfectly efficient market and (b) I doubt prices in that area have accurately baked in the 25,000 new residents coming in. That said, 6 miles is probably on the outer edges of the radius where prices will go haywire. All else equal I'd probably hold on to it, raise the rents, and see what happens in the next 2-5 years; unless I needed to sell.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by donall » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:18 am

I would never be a landlord again, yet I would hold on to this unit to see if it appreciates.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:00 am

Amazon coming in is not going to cause 20,000 people to suddenly appear. It will take a couple of years for the first building to be ready, then they’ll hire maybe 2-3k net new people per year until they’re staffed up. If Amazon continues to grow like it has, there will eventually be some housing price pressure, but it will take awhile.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:02 am

Use the news to dump it now. Before this news of the 2 new HQ2 locations, what was the latest big news for Amazon. Hint, it was that they were going to RAISE their minimum wage to $15 an hour. The vast majority of Amazon workers are only getting $15 an hour. I really don't expect that they're going to be interested in million dollar condos or Aston Martin DB9's at $30k a year income.
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:04 am

I too would hold the unit at least until spring. You have interested renters. Give them a 6 month lease and reevaluate then.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:48 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:46 am
It seems unlikely DC area real estate will appreciate like Seattle real estate did. Seattle real estate started from a much lower base and there was a MUCH larger influx of high paying jobs than what DC is likely to get out of this.
Agree with the above. Also OP, keep in mind the DC city council just passed some ordinances that really knock down the ability for home owners to use their residences for short term rentals a la Airbnb in a direct effort to combat rising housing costs, so housing supply in the area will likely increase.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by cruzbay » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:52 am

As for the big influx of 25000 workers for Amazon, that isn't exactly what will happen here. They located in Arlington partially because of the existing talent pool. The DC tech market will likely see a much greater than normal 'churn' of talent with workers choosing to leave their current jobs and join Amazon. These people will live in their current homes and do the commute to "National Landing." Their jobs will then need to be backfilled which creates opportunity for newcomers in all of the DC metro area. And, of course, you will have a large group of people moving to the area for Amazon and possibly to attend the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus graduate programs right next door to Amazon. That program will be a reliable source of talent. In order to gain the incentives offered by our area governments, the average salary must be $150K, so yes, those people can afford to buy or rent nearby. These are not $15/hr jobs.

As for your condo, the 6 mile radius covers many neighborhoods of varying desirability for these Amazonians. If you are on the metro line, especially yellow or blue, you are well-positioned. Orange line in Arlington is also golden due to the proximity, the amenities and existing 'young professional' population. I would probably rent it out and hope for an improved situation when it comes up for renewal. You don't have an urgency to sell. The value of your condo for rent or sale will likely increase vs. decrease during the time that Amazon gets onto the scene and actually starts hiring. Best of luck!

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:21 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:02 am
Use the news to dump it now. Before this news of the 2 new HQ2 locations, what was the latest big news for Amazon. Hint, it was that they were going to RAISE their minimum wage to $15 an hour. The vast majority of Amazon workers are only getting $15 an hour. I really don't expect that they're going to be interested in million dollar condos or Aston Martin DB9's at $30k a year income.
The $15 an hour wage which applies to most of their employees is in reference to their very large warehouse workforce. There won't be warehouse workers in their offices and Amazon claimed the median salary of the workers in the two new HQ buildings will be over $100,000 per year.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:39 pm

mesaverde wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:00 pm
I live a few miles from the condo & manage it myself.
If housing goes crazy there then your home value will also do very well so it is not like you would be missing out on the boom if it actually happens.

One thing I would look at is what the combined market price of the condo and your home are relative to your overall net worth. It could easily be more than 100% of your net worth so just for diversification selling the condo could make sense.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:26 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:02 am
Use the news to dump it now. Before this news of the 2 new HQ2 locations, what was the latest big news for Amazon. Hint, it was that they were going to RAISE their minimum wage to $15 an hour. The vast majority of Amazon workers are only getting $15 an hour. I really don't expect that they're going to be interested in million dollar condos or Aston Martin DB9's at $30k a year income.
These won't be warehouse jobs. They will be professional jobs: software engineers, accountants, finance, marketing, HR, etc. It's hard to see the median compensation for this group coming in under $100k and potentially much more if you include stock. Many if not most of these people will be able to afford $800k homes. New college grads at Amazon make around $150k in the engineering group, for example. And those are new grads, not experienced engineers.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by jhfenton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:36 pm

Unless it were a big time sink for me, I would keep it, based on the financials you've summarized. It wasn't a bad investment last month, and the Amazon news should only make it better over time.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Gibby45 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:47 pm

I would keep it. The cash flow plus the depreciation plus potential appreciation means that it isn't (currently) costing you money. It's a condo so you shouldn't have to worry about much in terms of maintenance. You have interested renters. If they pass your background check(s) I would rent it out. Take it one lease at a time and only keep it if if the good outweighs the bad. You've paid down the mortgage significantly so you shouldn't be at risk of being underwater. Just make sure the financials of the building are in order. If you're on the fence the last thing you need is to be hit with a costly special assessment.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by N10sive » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:14 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:26 pm
New college grads at Amazon make around $150k in the engineering group, for example. And those are new grads, not experienced engineers.
Really! That is news to me. The average software engineer according to glassdoor is 100k. That seems typical for most in Seattle and for other tech companies. Unless your including stock etc.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Theseus » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:18 pm

I live in NoVA area but far from Crystal City.

Considering how the job market has behaved locally for the last 30 years - even during the multiple recessions, your worst case scenario is probably a little below average appreciation (not a loss) on the condo. But if HQ2 and $1 billion VA Tech campus turns out to be a magnet then appreciation will far outpace the market. Traffic is a nightmare here and close to metro would a very desirable location. In your shoes I would keep this condo as my assessment is that the upside is far more promising considering relatively lower risk of a loss.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:33 pm

N10sive wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:14 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:26 pm
New college grads at Amazon make around $150k in the engineering group, for example. And those are new grads, not experienced engineers.
Really! That is news to me. The average software engineer according to glassdoor is 100k. That seems typical for most in Seattle and for other tech companies. Unless your including stock etc.
Yes, stock is real money. Typical Amazon compensation for a new grad software engineer is something like $105-110k base, ~$50k signing bonus over 2 years, and $70-100k stock over 4 years. Average TC in year 1 would be something like $130-160k depending on how much they want you and how the stock performs. Other large tech companies in the area have comparable packages.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by NextMil » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:16 pm

If you are making $150k, unless you are MMM would you buy a $200k condo?

From my friend who lives in crystal city, 6 miles away might as well be a lifetime away especially for younger crowd, additionally he said they are throwing up high rises like their pants are on fire.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:16 pm

NextMil wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:16 pm
If you are making $150k, unless you are MMM would you buy a $200k condo?

From my friend who lives in crystal city, 6 miles away might as well be a lifetime away especially for younger crowd, additionally he said they are throwing up high rises like their pants are on fire.
No, but I'd rent a $200k condo.

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by mesaverde » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 am

Thank you everyone for the replies. It's a tough decision, especially now... last night the renter I had lined up balked and no longer wants to rent it, but today a buyer has made an offer for asking price.
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Carefreeap » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:01 am

mesaverde wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 am
Thank you everyone for the replies. It's a tough decision, especially now... last night the renter I had lined up balked and no longer wants to rent it, but today a buyer has made an offer for asking price.
The Universe has spoken! :P

Enjoy being free of the hassles of landlording. :beer

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:04 am

Carefreeap wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:01 am
mesaverde wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 am
Thank you everyone for the replies. It's a tough decision, especially now... last night the renter I had lined up balked and no longer wants to rent it, but today a buyer has made an offer for asking price.
The Universe has spoken! :P

Enjoy being free of the hassles of landlording. :beer
Have you seen the film "Adjustment Bureau"?
We now refer to that whenever something possibly fortuitous occurs. :happy

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by doon » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:09 pm

Just an FYI. Article about Long Island condo rush


https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-emp ... ounts-wsj
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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by Carefreeap » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:06 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:04 am
Carefreeap wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:01 am
mesaverde wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 am
Thank you everyone for the replies. It's a tough decision, especially now... last night the renter I had lined up balked and no longer wants to rent it, but today a buyer has made an offer for asking price.
The Universe has spoken! :P

Enjoy being free of the hassles of landlording. :beer
Have you seen the film "Adjustment Bureau"?
We now refer to that whenever something possibly fortuitous occurs. :happy

RM
No but I looked it up. Looks like a movie we should see. ;)

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:09 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:06 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:04 am
Carefreeap wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:01 am
mesaverde wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 am
Thank you everyone for the replies. It's a tough decision, especially now... last night the renter I had lined up balked and no longer wants to rent it, but today a buyer has made an offer for asking price.
The Universe has spoken! :P

Enjoy being free of the hassles of landlording. :beer
Have you seen the film "Adjustment Bureau"?
We now refer to that whenever something possibly fortuitous occurs. :happy

RM
No but I looked it up. Looks like a movie we should see. ;)
It was a bit of a surprise to us.
It's a bit lightweight, but if one thinks about it (and at the end, too), it's... not necessarily.

Did you see Contact (Jodie Foster)?
That was quite a surprise!

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Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Post by edge » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:17 pm

These are for corporate jobs. Director level positions at Amazon have historically earned 500k/yr due to stock grants/appreciation. VPs make millions. Amazon only gets government subsidies (20k/head) on employee salaries at 150k$ or greater.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:02 am
Use the news to dump it now. Before this news of the 2 new HQ2 locations, what was the latest big news for Amazon. Hint, it was that they were going to RAISE their minimum wage to $15 an hour. The vast majority of Amazon workers are only getting $15 an hour. I really don't expect that they're going to be interested in million dollar condos or Aston Martin DB9's at $30k a year income.

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