Insurance is usually the last thing people worry about when they are buying a new home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, that’s a mistake, because it will be an expense a buyer will have as long as they own the property.
Here are some key issues that the institute urges every buyer to consider:
- What is the condition of the plumbing and electrical systems? Older and poorly maintained systems cost more to insure.
- How far is the home from the fire department? A location close to the station usually means lower insurance costs.
- Does the property meet current building codes? Up-to-date properties are safer and also cheaper to insure.
- What about wind damage? If insurance against windstorms is required, is private insurance available or will the buyer have to rely on a state-run program? If there a windstorm deductible, how high is it?
- Is the home vulnerable to flooding? Floods aren’t covered under a standard homeowner policy, although most major insurers will provide it through the National Flood Insurance program. How much the insurance costs depends on where the property is. More information is available at FloodSmart.gov.
- Is there earthquake risk? Earthquake insurance requires an endorsement or a separate policy.
What is an ABR?
ABR is short for Accredited Buyer Representative. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. When you work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative you know that your rights are represented by a professional agent who is trained and experienced in handling the needs of buyers. There are four requirements which a real estate agent must meet to attain and use the ABR® designation:
- Previous and documented experience representing the needs of buyers and experience actually closing real estate sales.
- Successful completion the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designation Course.
- Successful completion of one of the ABR® elective courses.
- Membership in good standing in the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) and the National Association of REALTORS®.
These neighborhoods have that special mixture of luxurious homes with a desirable location. Many of these neighborhoods are served by the area's best public schools.
- Arcturus -- Along the Potomac River near George Washington Parkway
- Arlington Ridge -- Overlooking the capital's river valley
- Belle Haven -- An established neighborhood of distinctive homes
- Chesterbrook -- Elegant homes on quiet streets in Mclean
- Clifton -- A place to find your micro-mansion
- Great Falls --- Impressive residences with large lots
- Langley -- Great schools, quiet neigbhoods
- Rivercrest -- Stately homes on the Arlingwood bluff
- Seminary Hill -- Impressive homes on large lots close to town
- Yacht Haven -- Boater's paradise on the Potomac
There is a certain charm to a historic neighborhood that you cannot find elsewhere. Many of these neighborhoods date to the colonial era.
- City of Fairfax -- Old Town Fairfax has some of the oldest buildings in Northern Virginia
- Downtown Falls Church -- One of the oldest settlements in Northern Virginia
- Fort Hunt -- Fort Hunt Park is at the center of this community
- Lyon Village -- One of the areas first real estate developments
- Manassas -- Only the site of two major battles in the US Civil War
- Occoquan -- Overlooking the Potomac River
- Old Town Alexandria -- Colonial architecture is standard fare
- Mount Vernon -- George Washington's hometown
- Woodlawn -- Home to several historic structures
It's fun to live close to shops and restaurants.
- Aurora Hieghts --- Near the Pentagon at the center of the region
- Ballston --- Ballston Common Mall is at the center of this community
- Clarendon --- Market Common Clarendon has many shops and restaurants
- Fair Lakes -- Home of the Fair Oaks Mall and many nearby restaurants
- Old Town --Well-known for boutiques, shops and restaurants
- Pentagon City -- The Fashion Center at Pentagon City is a multi-level indoor mall surrounded by shops and restaurtants
- Springfield -- Springfield Mall is being renovated and replaced by a brand new shopping center
- Reston -- Reston Town Center is one of many shopping attractions here.
- Tysons Corner -- Home to Tysons Corner Mall and the upscale Tysons II Galleria
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