Budget

A house on moneyHow much you can afford is very important to consider when buying a new home.  As a rule of thumb, some experts suggest paying 25% of your salary towards your mortgage. Fortunately, for people living in Northern Virginia, there are several job centers like the Mark Center, Inova Hospitals, USPTO, NOVA Community College, Fort Belvoir and Reston Town Center in the area which offer high paying salaries.

Size

Would you like to have roommates? Do you have a wife and plan to start a family? These are questions to consider before taking the step towards home ownership. Depending on your circumstances you might prefer a 2 bedroom condo in Courthouse, instead of a 1,000,000 home in Mount Vernon.

Location and Atmosphere

Northern Virginia has a vast array of neighborhoods. For example, Arlington has a bustling metropolitan scene that is just a few metro stops away from DC. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is Woodbridge, which is a quieter small town type of area, which attracts commuters. Alexandria is a nice middle ground in between the two aforementioned neighborhoods. Alexandria has plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and shopping in a variety of neighborhoods like Old Town, West End, and Fairfax County.

Type

Condo? Townhome? Single family home? Each of these homes has their own advantages and disadvantages. Condos are nice because some include amenities, like a pool, fitness center, or dry cleaner, all conveniently located in the condo community. Some may prefer a home, because there aren’t any condominium fees.

 Commitment

Nesbitt Realty office
The Consultation Room at Nesbitt Realty

A mortgage is a long term commitment.  It is important to factor in job security when preparing to purchase a home. For those who end up having to leave the area, whether it is temporary or permanent, there is the option of hiring a property manager so that you can rent out your home and collect rent on it while you’re gone.

 Credit Score

To be considered a serious buyer, the first step to buying a home is to get pre approved. Getting pre approved can speed up the home buying process. One way to improve your credit score is to always pay your bills on time. Another way to build your credit is to open a credit card and use it monthly and pay it on time.

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Aubrey Nesbitt

View posts by Aubrey Nesbitt
Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office.