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They say the best time to start investing in real estate was yesterday. But, I believe the next best day
My name is Tracey Neale and I am licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  After buying, renovating and selling residential real estate, I’ve learned a lesson or two about the ups and downs of real estate investing.
Lifestyle TV shows are a lot of fun! They make it look so fast and easy, but before you dive in - know that it will require a significant time commitment and a lot of hard work to stay in the game!
It will also take a double dose of dedication and education; calculating basis points, measuring positive cash flow and knowing how to create passive income, among other skills. And there are many different types of investors: wholesalers, tax liens buyers, landlords, and your basic flipper. We will examine them all, and discuss new and interesting ways to finance your projects like - crowdfunding, private and hard money loans.
When I started investing, I didn't have a source to help me figure things out, so I had to learn many lessons on my own and sometimes, the hard way. But, I am grateful because I developed a passion for it, even though real estate was not my primary career.
And that certainly hasn't stopped people from asking me to share my journey and offer tips.
So, I’ve redesigned this website to showcase some of my favorite properties and share a bit of what I've learned over the last decade+.
I feel blessed that many of the stories had favorable outcomes, but a few did not. Even so, almost all of the properties have unique backstories, and that is enough to keep me inspired. Like the one with ties to the Vatican that surprisingly drew praying nuns to the gate or the one that became part of an embassy in downtown DC. There is nothing like taking the worst building on the block and turning it into a gem!

Read my blogs and watch for upcoming videos.
Note: What I’m posting isn't investment advice, it's just tales of trade which you might find useful.

Buy. Renovate. Stage. and Sell.
Turning Unique Properties into Spacial Spaces



The Today Show

Fox News (DC)

The Washington Post

 The Georgetown Current

According to LandlordStation, the country's 28.1 million investors are having a 9.2 billion dollar impact on the real estate industry.
But there is nothing that they are doing, that you can't do, too!


​Read my real estate investing blogs below and subscribe to to see more.


And if you are looking to buy or sell in Southeastern or Northern Virginia - I can help with that too. 



We are honored to have been selected by Coldwell Banker for having the best staged property in our price range.  And, to have one of our "staged for sale" properties featured on NBC's The Today Show.
Staging can help buyers mentally "move in" by envisioning how their furnishings might look and feel in the property you're trying to sell. While staging is not a must,  some estimates suggest that a well-staged home can sell for 6-10% higher than the list price and in significantly less time. And, for homeowners, keep in mind that staging can sometimes include many of your existing furniture pieces. But you have to do your part, by making repairs, decluttering and keeping the property clean. When I started staging, I found that the toughest part was the cost of acquiring pieces, especially a nice variety of accessories.  What I found helpful was to establish trade relationships with companies like Restoration Hardware,, and among many others. They keep you up on changing design trends and offer items at a trade discount.  It's important to keep your looks fresh, so purge often. Luckily, that's the easy part. You'll find that agents, buyers, and others will offer to purchase or swap pieces with you. Craigslist, FB and consignment shops have also worked as selling sites. 

Sources: NAR Jan 2015 and Market Watch June 2016 (among many others)


In today's rebounding market,  all sellers want to find ways to distinguish their properties from the competition, because you want to make money or at least not suffer a loss. And when it comes to investors, the bar continues to be raised encouraging us to stay on the cutting edge of design. For me, that is a big part of what makes renovation fun and creative.

Some of the companies that continue to inspire ideas:

​-Water Works (fab baths)
- Walker Zanger (marble/tile)

RH and  Arhaus (home decor)

Passive Income Stream

 Passive income is one of the main principles of the New York Times bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Work hard for a few years,  then be able to step away and continue to have income flowing to you for the rest of your life.  Some experts believe one way to achieve this lofty goal is by applying the 5-in 1 rule.  The idea is that you keep one out of every five properties you renovate if that property is debt free and produces a positive cash flow. Or,  as suggested in the 1990's bestseller written by Robert  Kiyosaki,  the debt you have on the rental property is good debt, meaning that your monthly rental income covers it. He further suggests that you keep an escrow account to cover any unforeseen vacancies or repairs.  
Another point the author makes is that if you suspect that managing rental properties isn't for you, go with your gut. Many experts are quick to point out that owners with multiple properties would be better served by hiring a property management company. Go ahead and do it, they suggest,  even if that means forfeiting 6-10% of your monthly rental income, in part because of the amount of time that management consumes.

Read my blog on how to select an investment rental property and calculate basis points, to see if you landed a good deal.  And, keep in mind that owning rental properties may change your filing status with the IRS, so be sure to consult your CPA and personal team of advisors before you seal the deal.

Funding Options

When you are ready to buy, location, location, location is key whether you want to own investment property or a turn-key residence. In economic, legal terms it's called situs.  Whatever kind of buyer you are - get to know that concept, because it can make the difference between you making a profit or not. So, once you find a property how are you going to fund the purchase, renovation, and the carrying costs? Well, for investors if you're not able to self-fund or simply want to better leverage your money, there are many options worth exploring.
Some investors turn to small, neighborhood banks and opt to put down a large down payment, relying on their personal credit scores and financial standing to acquire those loans.

Many others prefer to use private or hard money lenders because they may offer asset-based loans with 100%  financing.  Simply put, those funding sources generally offer loans based on the property itself, rather than the borrower's credit. They are usually short-term loans and may come at a higher interest rate.

Along with turning to family and friends for funds, some investors also join local investor groups to network and share funding strategies.  There are several in the Tidewater area, but of course, I strongly suggest due diligence.  And, if tech is your thing - according to and other sites, with a loosening of federal regulations, crowdfunding has proven to be a modern money solution for investors. Stay tuned - we'll dig deeper into crowdfunding in an upcoming blog.
Bottom line, enter into any financial obligation with clarity, having done your homework and with a reasonable amount of caution.

Hampton Roads Meet Up Member:   

Sources: Bankrate, Connected Investor, Forbes

STAGED and SOLD with Multiple Offers In the First 24 Hours!! - Full Price

Stunning, fully detached nearly 4000 Sq. Ft. house. 5 bed/4.5 baths.  Fully renovated w/ chef's kitchen featuring high-end SS appliances Including a 48" refrigerator.

First-floor master suite with steam shower, body jets, radiant tile floor, two custom closets w/ lots of built-in extras you will appreciate!  4-season sunroom and separate office, hardwoods, five bedrooms/ 4.5 baths, gas fireplace inside,  wood burning fireplace outside under large arbor. The gardens are a must see, with separate grilling and dining areas, plus a lounging section. Fruit trees surround 1600+ sq ft.  Three car garage with plenty of storage. A one of a kind property with unique indoor and outdoor space and style.



This lovely property is nearly 5000 sq ft, chef's kitchen, three renovated baths, three bedrooms, three wood burning fireplaces, hardwood floors, huge laundry room with quartz counters and cabinetry that matches the kitchen, a large basement with walk-out, two car garage, and multiple rear decks.

STAGED AND SOLD IN (about) A DAY! Full Price

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