Section 8/Housing Voucher form

Should I accept Housing Voucher/Section 8 Tenants? Housing Choice Voucher tenants (or “Section 8 Program tenants”) are common in many jurisdictions in Northern Virginia. It is a federally funded and locally administered program to help low income families, the elderly and people with disabilities obtain safe and affordable housing from private landlords. A landlord usually first becomes aware of the program when a potential renter calls up asking “Do you accept housing vouchers or Section 8?”. The question is – should you? Some landlords actively seek out Housing Choice Voucher tenants while others are less open to the idea. Yet others are totally against it for theirRead More →

Can I put in a 2nd kitchen in my basement and rent out? The typical answer is “no.” Creating a second kitchen in the basement would change your “single family home” into a multi-unit home. These type of homes are often restricted through zoning and are typically found in densely populated areas. However, there are exceptions for special circumstances and some jurisdictions allow a second kitchen with restrictions or in special circumstances. In Arlington County you have two options. Accessory Dwelling (AD).  Per Arlington County “an accessory dwelling is a second dwelling with kitchen, bathroom, and separate entrance on a single family lot. In Arlington, ADs are only permittedRead More →

Why a stacked washer/dryer may be a bad idea A stacked front-load washer/dryer is a great space saver – particularly in a small home or condominium. The issues with stacked units becomes clear when one of the units inevitably breaks down. If the model is still being made you may be able to replace one of the units. However, more often than not, the exact model is no longer in production. If repairing the broken unit that turns out to be too expensive/not possible and an exact replacement cannot be made,  the homeowner will usually proceed to purchase the same brand and size washer or dryer onRead More →

Smoke detectors save lives. No home should be without at least one, and in most cases there will be multiple. In newer homes code requires there to be a smoke detector outside every living area, on every floor and inside each bedroom. The smoke detectors in newer homes are required to be hard wired, connected together (so if one goes off they all do) and to have a built-in battery backup. Those things are great ideas for older homes too but what is the minimum smoke detector requirement in our area? Per Current Virginia Maintenance Code VMC 704.2 you would need smoke detectors in ALLRead More →

Over the years we routinely receive calls from people looking to purchase investment properties in the Tysons Corner area. At Soldsense Realty we do a lot of purchases and sales in Tysons Corner and also own our own investment properties. We  also manage properties for others through our property management company called Red Umbrella Management. A common question is whether prices will go up in communities around the new metro stations in Tysons, whether prices and rents will go up or down in general and what type of investment financing is available.Read More →

Finding Great Tenants – Qualifying and Signing a Lease If you followed our earlier articles in this series  ”The Craig’s List Ad“, “7 Questions You Are Allowed to Ask“, ”The Showing Appointment” and read our articles on Overcrowding, Renters Insurance and “My Tenants’ Dog Ate My Hardwood” you should have a good idea of what lies ahead as a landlord and be prepared for the final step – qualifying and selecting your tenants! So, lets say you met some nice tenants at your property and one you particularly liked fit one or more of the following: They were as polite can be – they came on-time (actually it looked like theyRead More →

My Tenant’s Dog Ate Up My Hardwood! Being a landlord is stressful and challenging at times. The move-out inspection and subsequent security deposit disbursement even more so. You may have had wonderful experiences with a tenant that always paid on time. You may have baked them apple pie for the holidays and sent birthday cards to their children. However, when they move out and it comes time to assess the condition of the property (and return of the security deposit), all that is water under the bridge. Fights over the security deposit is a “favorite” in small-claim courts throughout the country. Fights can and do getRead More →