Category Archives: Columns

Investor Article 2017

Hi friends,

I am planning on writing a series of real estate investor articles this year for my client base. I will go ahead and post the ones with some relevance to Bethesda here. The first one, below, looks at the connection between Russian cyber attacks and real estate investment. Puzzled? Well read on and all will be revealed!

 

Russian Cyber Hacking and Real Estate Growth: Washington, DC Metro Market Investor Column 2017

The 2016 election campaign is finally, thankfully, over but as anyone paying attention to the news will know, the fallout continues. While the post-election discussions taking place are animated and wide ranging, there is one area in particular that should be of interest to real estate investors, namely the focus on Russian cyber actions during the election.

Puzzled? Trying to determine why those two subjects should be in the same sentence?

Well, consider what happened to the Washington, DC metro market after the horrific 9/11 attacks; the government massively increased its national security/ military/ intelligence spending and that drove economic growth in the region for several years. This growth had a positive effect on prices and some, including me, would argue allowed the Washington, DC metro market to ride out the Great Recession better than the rest of the country.

Now, post-election, cyber security seems to be positioned as the new “hot” issue for government action. Policymakers of all stripes are starting to recognize that other countries have developed significant capabilities in this area. If past is prologue, the natural response will be to dramatically increase spending to ensure that the US is the dominant country in the cyber/ national security space in the years to come.

Some commentators may be surprised at the suggestion that cyber security growth will take place in the Washington, DC metro area and not in Silicon Valley or even some of America’s emerging tech hubs. First, I do not want to suggest that there won’t be growth in those areas, clearly there will be. However, the DC metro area already has a thriving tech industry (it has been called the Silicon Valley of the east for a number of years) and can collaborate on cyber security with its neighbors in government/ intelligence and the military. This geographic proximity and intersection, combined with a highly educated workforce, ensures the DC metro market is perfectly positioned to lead the cyber actions job revolution. My belief, shared by others, is that the leadership in this sector will come from the DC metro area.

As the funding increases and these jobs come online (literally and metaphorically), the pressure on housing and house pricing will grow. The beneficiaries of this uptick in economic activity should be real estate investors, home owners and others involved in the real estate sector.

Of course, as in life, nothing is guaranteed and there are details to be parsed out, but I believe that the connection between cyber security and real estate growth should be looked at closely.

Warmly,

Raj

This note is part of an occasional series of investor related pieces that I produce for clients and prospective clients. I appreciate receiving feedback and welcome the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the US real estate market with you or individuals in your network. I can be reached at (240)486-3921 or raj@rajabout.com

All information in this paper (and the associated series of papers) is presented in good faith but its accuracy is not guaranteed. The author, Raj Purohit, is a licensed real estate salesperson in Virginia, Maryland and DC, and is not an attorney (in DC, MD or VA), accountant, financial or tax advisor. The information in this paper should not be used to influence any investment decision. Before making any investment decision, you are advised to consult with legal, financial and tax counsel.

Next Week: Condo Review

Hi friends,

As you know I work in residential and commercial real estate. From next week I will be writing a weekly post on the condo options for Bethesda (with a focus on the downtown area). If you would like me to focus on a particular building/ tackle a specific issue, fee free to drop me an email at raj@about.com

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The Majestic Bethesda!

Friends,

Just wanted to pass on the news that we are going to have a new Gastro Pub in Bethesda soon – The Majestic! It will be in the space once occupied by Gaffney’s (7141 Wisconsin Ave). Here is a little flavor of what is to come from owner Stefan Lalos:

Maybe like no place you’ve ever been… it’s Bethesda’s FIRST GastroPub! Comfortable. Friendly. Excellent food. Excellent drink. Excellent service. TV’s for news, sports and specifically Golf… booths and tables, a stage for some music a couple nights a week maybe, plus a big bar where you can come gather with your friends.

Essie Says: Suit Yourself

Bathing suit shopping season has begun, and as you plan for your summer holiday, stores are stocking up on all kinds of cute suits. From the South of France to South Beach, we’ve chosen four swimsuits that will suit your destinations. This week, Essie says that there’s no better way to kick-start your pre-summer workout than having a gorgeous bathing suit hanging on your bathroom door, just waiting for Memorial Day.

South of France
Milly – Chain-print bandeau bikini top + bottom
top: $105 bottom: $105

milly chain-print

Essie Says: Keeping it Short and Sweet

This season there is certainly no shortage of shorts. From high-waisted hot pants to denim boy-shorts, we have seen a variety of lengths, patterns, and cuts in a range of price points. Far from the Daisy Dukes of the 80’s and 90’s, this season’s shorts come in fabrics and styles that are appropriate for almost any body-type or occasion. May fashion magazines are all featuring the turned-up cuff look coupled with blazers and slouchy tops (take a look for yourself at Barnes and Noble’s if you don’t believe us!). This week, Essie says its time for Bethesdans to give the short trend a leg-up!

Essie Says: Earth Day

Ladies of Bethesda,

To honor the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, we urge you to pull together an environmentally friendly and socially concious outfit. Thanks to Stella McCartney and a sleuth of designers who have made eco-wear upscale and chic, mainstream brands are beginning to follow suit. As usual, we’re happy to provide tips and ideas on how to be sassy and stylish while making Mother Earth proud. This week, Essie says to stock up on organic wear, and to attend one of the local Earth Day events:

Brookside Gardens – All day festival (April 18)

“The Last Boat Out” – Chesapeake Bay Documentary – Hard Times Cafe (April 21)

Music & Kite Festival – Quiet Waters Park (April 24)

C&C CaliforniaOrganic Collection

Known for their comfy T’s and cotton dresses, C&C California was one of the first major brands to launch an organic collection. With temperatures on the rise, a breathable cotton tank is the way to go. We love trying out unconventional color combinations (navy and coral is a personal favorite).

Organic Collection

J Brand – Green Label

Pair these 100% organic cotton J Brands with your layered C&C tanks for a relaxed afternoon stroll, or try a pastel T with dark bootcut denim for a preppier feel.

J Brand

TOMS – Gold Glitter – $54

Add some funk to your Earth Day wear with TOMS collection glittered slip-ons. Each pair bought provides free shoes for a child in need. These socially responsible treasures will go with boyfriend jeans, skinnies or crops.

TOMS

Big Buddha BagsJessica Bag

These of-the-moment slouchy bags come in a variety of styles, ranging from punky to sophisticated. They feel and even smell like leather, but are 100% vegan! With no animal products or testing whatsoever, you can be cruelty-free without sacrificing style. Pick up a studded hobo or a Valentino look-alike to top off your Earth Day ensemble.

Jessica Bag

Speaking of Earth Day, there’s no better way to reduce your carbon footprint than shopping at local boutiques. There’s just no reason to drive to Tysons Corner when Bethesda Lane is within strolling distance: think global and shop local, girls!

Ciao,
Essie

Essie Says: Maximize Your Style

After two days of super hot temperatures, it was lovely to step outside this morning to more Spring-like weather. If you’re unsure what to buy for the highs and lows of Spring, Essie says pick up a maxi dress! These long, draped dresses are a great way to embrace the changing season in style.

T-Bags – Strapless Long Dress – $216 (Shopbop)

strapless long dress

Essie Says: Let’s Get Digital

On our morning stroll down Woodmont, we realized that Bethesdans are quite a tech savvy bunch, with pedestrians juggling at least one iPhone or Blackberry along with their morning Starbucks. The fashion world has embraced the digital age also, with live-streaming fashion shows and style bloggers sitting in the front row to report on SS’10. So is it to anyone’s surprise that digital prints are hitting the shops faster than Wi-Fi?  Prints-wise, the usual suspects have been pushing florals this season, to which we quote the wise Ms. Miranda Priestly: “Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking.” This week, Essie says: be bold and reach for the new digital prints!

There’s nothing like a silk jumpsuite, and these colors are just too appetizing to pass up!

Halston Heritage Short Silk Jumpsuite – $375

Halston Heritage Short Silk Jumpsuite

Essie Says: Single Shoulder – Twice as Nice

We hope everyone is having a fashionable Friday, despite the wind and rain. What better to brighten up a gloomy week day than a few toga-inspired tops and dresses? This week, Essie says that a bare shoulder is your best accessory, so stock up on single shouldered attire that will keep you cool and chic in the warmer weeks ahead.

Stella McCartney – Fall 2010 – Style.com

Stella McCartney

Milly – One Shoulder Ruffle Dress – $356

Tired of wearing the same styles to summer weddings? We say ditch the sweetheart neckline and be bold with a ruffly one-shoulder dress!

One shoulder ruffle dress

Sugary and Sweet: Pair this girly dress with nude mary-janes, and play up this season’s fun florals by adding a pink flower cocktail ring.

Funky and Fun: Rock out this seemingly demure dress with a thick leather belt with silver and gold studs; match the rock n’ roll feel with a pair of studded strappy heels.

Channel your inner Grecian godess with a beautifully draped toga-top; the brightly patterened silk will compliment your pre-Summer tan.

Robbi & Nikki – Silk One-Shoulder Blouse – $92

silk one-shoulder blouse

Daytime: Wear to an outdoor BBQ with a pair of this season’s up-scale cargos and Jackie-O sunglasses.   

Nightime: Pair with with dark skinny jeans, Stuart Weitzman Airforce heels, and a stack of asymetrical lucite bangles for cocktails at Redwood.

Stuart Weitzman “Airforce” Sandals – $395

Airforce Sandals

Stay strong through the Spring showers, and remember to shop for the weather you want, not the weather you have – enjoy!

Ciao,

Essie

Essie Says: Bring in the Army and Unload the Cargo

This season, we are seeing a return of the army and cargo look everywhere! Straight leg cargo pants can be spotted at Luna, cargo capris are on display at National Jean Company and military inspired pieces, from jewelry to dresses, are popping up in stores all around Bethesda. However, our dressing room correspondents report that even the trendiest Bethesdans are expressing cargo-concerns. Given cargo’s less-than-stellar fashion past (i.e. Union Bay circa 1993), it’s no suprise that shoppers are wary of appearing sloppy and unshapely, or worse, like they are “trying too hard.” But, unlike the Travis Birkenstockesque baggy pants of the nineties, modern cargo can be worn with ease and sophistication. This week, Essie says that it’s time to embrace the infantry!  We have found four utilitarian essentials that prove that cargo has come into its own.

1. J. Crew – Hand Painted Military Jacket – $158

hand painted military jacket

How to balance feminine with masculine:
Layer this funky military jacket with a silk or light cotton shirt with feminine detailing (as seen in picture). Choose ruffles around the collar or down the front and go for colors in neutrals or pastels; the femininity of the shirt will counter the roughness of the military jacket. To avoid losing too much shape, pair the top with fitted straight leg jeans, cuffed around the ankles, and a pair of thick strapped sandals with a wooden heel.

2. Vintage Havana – Super Washed Capris – $78

super washed capris

How to look casual cool without looking disheveled:
Many worry that cargo pants should only be worn by stick-skinny celebrities and prepubescent teens, but we disagree! Making this look work for your body type is all about the balancing act. Women who weigh more than an Olsen twin will need to offset the slouchiness of the pants with a form-fitting top. Pair yours with a simple racerback tank for day-wear, or dress them up with a minimalistic silky top and a double stranded thin gold belt.

3. Theory – Mettie Silk-Blend Shirt Dress – $320

mettie silk-blend shirt dress

How to move this look beyond street-wear:
If you are still unconvinced about cargos, then opt for a less-weighty version of the military look. This light-weight silk-blend dress is sophisticated enough to wear into the office or for a romantic dinner date with your significant other. Wear it to work with snakeskin pumps, a simple gold drop necklace and a sports watch. For a romantic dinner date, swap out the pumps for brown peep-toe ankle booties, emphasize your waist with an elegant python-print belt, and layer the wrist with chunky lucite bracelets.

Burberry Prorsum – Perspex and Glass Ring – $175

perspex and glass ring

This statement ring will rock out any of the outfits above; we just couldn’t leave it out! The reflective green-tinted glass will echo off the military greens of each look.

Have fun. Be daring. Soldier on.

Ciao,

Essie