Welcome to my first blog about Virginia. It will pertain to property ownership, real estate, marketing, financing and much more about living life in this particular area of the U.S.A. and why I think it's so great. Three years ago, my wife, son and I left the D.C. metropolitan area to move to Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. We have since returned and are purchasing a new home in Gainesville, VA.
Here is my story from the beginning... There were many reasons why we decided to leave the U.S. My wife and I both had families in Cyprus and close by in Jordan. I needed a change of pace from the daily grind that was my life. I felt experiencing life away from America would be good while our son was still not in school and easier to move around and relocate. Lastly, I wanted to try my hand in a completely different line of work. I have a lot of confidence in my ability to adapt and felt very confident that I would be able to do well given my business experience. With Cyprus joining the E.U. in 2004 and my father-in-law, who is a very prominent lawyer also working hard to convince me to move and of the numerous and lucrative business opportunities, I could not say no.
The plan was to stay there 5 to 7 years, figuring that you need that much time to study the market, evaluate which field to pursue and have enough time to turn it into a successful business and then return to Virginia in time for my son's first or second year in school. And of course to be in a more positive financial situation than when we left. Obviously, we came up short on the number of years and maybe one or two other goals we may have set. However, we have priceless gains, one is my nearly 2 year old baby boy, who was born in Cyprus and is a very good companion to his 3 and a half year old brother. We also gained the insight that only few Americans experience, which is to spend a three years overseas and see how different cultures view the USA and Americans. Some have been to the US and some have not - all their views were interesting to me.
In America I have met many people and heard many more say that the USA is the greatest country in the world. I always said to myself, how does this person know? How many countries have they been to? Now, I must say that I agree with them 100%, even if I have not been to that many countries, I know from this 3 year experience that they are right. Doing business there was the main reason I say that the US is the best country in the world. We have rules, regulations and an order and efficiency that make the country work. The American work ethic is unparalleled in my opinion.
I got into real estate in Cyprus since the property industry in Cyprus was at it's peak and I came in at just the right time. And although I was able to establish myself in a very competitive industry very quickly, the tide was obviously changing fast and coming from the U.S. I had an advantage of seeing this happen as I experienced a slight difficulty selling my home in 2006, a big turn around from previous years. Cyprus is very dependent on the United Kingdom bringing in thousands of expats a year, the United Kingdom was very connected with the U.S. and their housing market was starting to show signs of trouble, so it was easy for me to see which way the Cyprus market was trending. I still own and operate my marketing company in Cyprus with partners who handles on the ground operations as I take care of the internet side of the business and our three Cyprus websites. I also have plans to go international and work with builders and agents from other countries who have contacted me for that purpose over the last three years.
I plan to get my real estate license in Virginia, which I am studying for now, then D.C and Maryland. I will work on creating a niche in the foreign market. Northern Virginia has great homes, great schools and universities and lots of cultural events and activities that make it a wise choice for anyone who wants to invest. Since I am not licensed, I am currently not selling any property in the U.S. I will share my experiences in regards to real estate and especially now, as I have been going through the process of purchasing our own primary residence.
Stay tuned in for more!
If you have any real estate or area related questions or you're interested in buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia, contact or call Cleo 1.703.609.7407 & put our team of Northern Virginia home experts to work for you!