Buying a home anywhere in the United States can be long, complex, and stressful process, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Purchasing a home in northern Virginia is particularly arduous, as list prices have increased significantly and availability has dropped. According to a November 2019 report from the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, the average price of a home in the region is $625,860, which marks an 8.38 percent increase from October. Thus, if you’re feeling sticker shock, you’re probably not alone, and you have every right to feel this way. This is completely normal and you should be prepared for it. During the spring, the real estate market typically picks up as parents seek to buy homes in good school districts for their children.
Factors To Consider
Here are other factors to consider when buying a home in Northern Virginia.
Location And Commute To Work
It’s important for you to evaluate the duration of your commute from a given home to see if the neighborhood is a feasible distance from your work. A commute of 15 minutes by car and one of 2 hours by train are quite different, so be sure to assess what this travel time will look like for you if a shorter commute is important to you.
HOA And/Or Condo Fees
If you live in a condo or another type of upscale residential property, you will need to factor Homeowners’ Association (HOA) and/or condominium fees into your monthly payments. These fees are typically charged to help with maintenance, upkeep, and improvement costs, and they typically vary depending on the size of your unit, the amenities your building provides, and any expected annual expenses.
Proximity Of The Metro
You should also factor in how close your desired home is to the metro if this will be your most frequent form of transportation. It makes no sense to pay a higher price for a home close to the metro if you don’t ever use it because you have a car.
The History Of The Listing
It’s also crucial for you to review the history of ownership of any home you look at. This includes finding out how many times a property has been sold, at what cost, and whether any previous owners still owe taxes or other fees on the home.
You should also consider a property’s resale value (the amount it is expected to sell for in the future) because this can change significantly depending on factors such as its age, condition, and improvements or other changes made to the home.
Work With A Local Realtor & Find A Reputable Mortgage Lender
Your home search will be most effective if you speak to an experienced realtor who is very familiar with the Northern Virginia housing market. This type of agent should be able to give you specific recommendations on listings that meet your needs and preferences and that align with your income and budget. These factors will determine your ability to pay things like HOA fees and property taxes.
It’s also key for you to find a reputable mortgage lender who will be able to clearly and efficiently tell you if you qualify for a loan, given your income and credit history. They should also be able to tell you what type of loan is the best fit for you, depending on this information (short-term, long-term, bridge loan, etc.) and what the best terms would be for you for such a mortgage (down payment amount, interest rates, repayment periods, etc.)
Acquire Title Insurance
Title insurance refers to a form of indemnity insurance that shields the holder from financial loss resulting from defects in the title to a property. A title is a legal document (like a deed) that serves as proof of ownership of a property and contains the owner’s name.
It’s important to get title insurance because otherwise, you may become exposed to risk if there is any kind of title defect, like property taxes left unpaid by the previous owner. Without title insurance, you would become responsible for these back taxes.
Seeking More Information About Home Buying In Northern Virginia
Speak to the experienced at Mathis Title Company in Fairfax to learn more about the homebuying process in Northern Virginia.
Robin Mathis is a Supreme Court-sworn attorney who boasts more than 35 years of experience and is highly knowledgeable about both the buyer and lender sides of real estate laws and services. Meanwhile, Ann Andreatos is a title agent with 14 years of experience in the title and closing industry. Mathis Title Company will guide you through the process of ensuring you have a clean title on your home, including verifying that any property transfers are made legally and correctly. Their services include contract preparation and review, mechanics lien, refinancing, settlement, and title insurance.
Call Mathis today for an initial free consultation.