The most important investment you will ever make is probably the purchase of a home. Finding the right home in Arlington can be challenging but that’s why Nesbitt Realty is here.
Know Your Priorities
One of our jobs as agents it to help the client organize their thoughts. We like our clients to actually sit down with pen and paper and work through what features are most important.
- Location — Do you want to be a near Metro like Ballston or Court House? Do you want a particular school in Arlington County? Maybe you like a particular neighborhood like Shirlington or Aurora Heights?
- Size — Will a studio condo in Clarendon do? Perhaps you need a 5 bedroom house in Williamsburg?
- Parking — Do you need a 1-car garage or 2? Maybe you are going to walk to the metro from your home in Rosslyn?
- Style — 2-story house or ranch style home? Our site let’s you search by property type.
Equally important, on a new sheet of paper list all the features you absolutely do not want in a house. For example:
- high-traffic area — Some folks won’t buy a home near the Beltway or along a busy road like Rt. 50 or Glebe Rd.
- high noise area — Some buyers love the convenience of Crystal City, so people can’t stand the noise of the airplanes.
- maintenance — Are you willing take a fixer-upper? Would you buy a home that needed major repairs?
As you look at houses, keep both lists in mind. Your lists may change over time as you do more looking. You’ll want to add or remove features, or perhaps you’ll become willing to make compromises. Realize that you most likely will not find the “perfect” home. Your agent might tell you, perfect homes are not found, they are made perfect through hard work.
Get Your Credit Report In Order
Prior to looking at properties, you must get your finances in order. This is the time to review your credit report and clean it up, if need be, to maximize your credit score. Many people do not realize how important it is to check your credit report periodically to make sure it is accurate. You should pay off any past due amounts, or negotiate a settlement price to close the debt. Get such agreements in writing, before paying any settlement. Keep all receipts for any settled items from your credit report since it may take months to get the debt actually removed.
Get Pre-Approved For A Loan
You’re ready now to find a lender and get yourself pre-approved for the loan. Being pre-approved offers a number of advantages. It will clarify the price range you can afford. Also, once you find the home you want, you can place an immediate offer. If you have to wait for pre-approval, someone could buy the house right out from under you.
Several special programs are often available from lenders, such as the FHA or Ameri-Dream, that can save you money in the closing. Ask the lender about any special programs before you decide on a loan.
Get Good Representation
It is wise for the first time homebuyer to work closely with a real estate agent, no matter what type of property you’re looking for. A Nesbitt Realty agent will make your house-hunting much easier. Our Realtors know Arlington and we’re trained to know how to negotiate the many details of your purchase.
It’s essential that you have a real estate agent working for you as the buyer, rather than relying on the seller’s agent for the house you want to buy. The latter can involve a conflict of interest, which usually works to your disadvantage.
These are just the basics of home buying. Contact us to get more details and to learn more about how we can save you thousands on your purchase.