Real Estate is booming in Prince William County. This is a good news/bad news situation. While houses are selling at dirt cheap prices, these sales are helping to set the assessment rate and therefore, the amount of money brought in by the county. The sales are also helping lock in our home value. Anyone who needs to sell their home in the near future is going to be giving away their house.
Another down side of the real estate boom in PWC is that investors are gobbling up properties. Some of our neighborhoods are about 15% rental. The county is considering a rental inspection program down the road. Currently, in order to do that, an area must be declared a blighted area. Very few homeowners would like their neighborhood declared a blighted area.
Neighborhoods that have too many rental units are often plagued with problems from home upkeep to overcrowding. Absentee landlordism has been responsible for the downfall of many local communities as owners moved onward and upward and kept their properties. Other folks sold out to investors. Several examples of rental properties gone bad can be seen in the county and in the city.
Cheaper isn’t always better. Homeowners will have to be vigilant to maintain their neighborhoods if a disproportionate number of homes become rental units. Ideally, the investors will be members of the community. Then there is a real interest in who rents your house.
Hopefully, the upturn in the real estate market is a sign of recovery and that soon good news will emerge.