What are the steps of buying a home?

It’s a waste of time and energy to look at homes that are outside of the budget, so prequalification is the first step for any home buyer. If you choose to work with Nesbitt Realty here are many of the steps that we’ll be taking on the road to home ownership.

Julie Nesbitt is an Accredited Buyer’s Agent and Top Producing agent.  Put her experience to work for you.
  1. Tour properties — We’ll take a top level tour of some of the properties that are in your budget. This gives the client something concrete and real to think about so that you can decide whether this home ownership thing is for you or not. It also gives us a chance to see which properties most interest you so that we can rely upon our experience to identify communities and properties you may have overlooked.
  2. Revisiting — We’ll revisit those communities that hold the greatest interest and look at everything available in those communities.
    • A few more choices — If none of these really feel right, we’ll find a few more to consider and continue with the search.
  3. Make an offer — When we’ve found the property that stirs the soul, fits the budget and feels right, your agent will prepare an offer. At that time we’ll collect earnest money.
    • The earnest money is evidence that the seller is serious about the purchase and is held in escrow until the sale is completed. We’ll submit a preapproval letter, a copy of the earnest money deposit and the signed offer for the seller to consider.
  4. Negotiations — Sometimes there is a difference between the asking price and the selling price. The selling price is determined by negotiation. We’ll pass drafts of the contract back and forth until the buyer and seller have agreed on all terms.
  5. Loan processing — Your loan officer will then collect additional documentation from the you and from your agent. This documentation will serve the purpose of proving the representations made in the loan application process. The buyer will produce pay stubs, bank statements etc. The loan office and agent will also order an appraisal as required by all lenders.
  6. Settlement — Settlement is the word used to describe the actual transfer of ownership. We’ll settle on the property in a timely fashion on an agreed upon date. Settlement will occur at a title company’s office and a settlement agent will ensure that funds are present as is marketable title.
  7. Ownership — Here’s where the fun begins … as does the responsibility of home ownership.

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Nesbitt Realty can help you buy your new home in Northern VA.

Nesbitt Realty is a tiny little family business thriving in one of the largest and most competitive real estate markets in the world.  Find out why our clients love us.

If this is your first home purchase or if you’re an old hand, we’re happy to help.

Nesbitt Realty appreciates every client and we’d love to help you achieve your real estate goals. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you or to get a free assessment of your property’s value. Nesbitt Realty has received numerous awards and recognitions for client satisfaction because we get results that make our clients happy.

We’d love the opportunity to show you about why our clients rave about our service.

 

Prореrtу Management Prоvіdеѕ Pеасе оf Mіnd

While rеаl еѕtаtе can bе a luсrаtіvе іnvеѕtmеnt, mаnаgіng tenants, rераіrѕ, аnd rеlаtеd issues саn bе challenging. Thіѕ is еѕресіаllу truе for owners who live in another location or hаvе full-tіmе jobs bеуоnd thеіr rеаl еѕtаtе investments. Fоr thеѕе individuals, hіrіng the right property management соmраnу саn рrоvіdе muсh-nееdеd peace оf mіnd. Hеrе аrе questions to ask when interviewing a potential property manager.

  1. Hоw lоng hаvе уоu bееn іn business?
    Nоt оnlу іѕ a lengthy record in thе industry оftеn іndісаtіvе of a trustworthy business, but it аlѕо mеаnѕ a manager hаѕ lіkеlу dеаlt wіth most рrоblеmѕ thаt tеnd tо crop uр with rеntаlѕ. Exреrіеnсе wіth a rаngе оf іѕѕuеѕ, including lеgаl, accounting, emergency response, аnd mаіntеnаnсе expertise, is essential. Nesbitt Realty has been around for more than 10 years and our property has been involved with property management for another 20 years prior to that.
  2. Arе уоu licensed bу thе аррrорrіаtе ѕtаtе аnd іnduѕtrу authorities?
    In most ѕtаtеѕ, licensed mаnаgеrѕ must tаkе an approved рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt соurѕе and раѕѕеd a ѕtаtе licensing еxаm. But the Commonwealth of Virginia, does not require a property manager license. None-the-less, all property managers at Nesbitt Realty are licensed real estate agents that report to a licensed real estate broker. Our agents are knоwlеdgеаblе about ѕtаtе rеgulаtіоnѕ fоr hаndlіng rеntаl іnсоmе, ѕесurіtу dероѕіtѕ, аnd оthеr financial mаttеrѕ.
    In аddіtіоn to lісеnѕurе, сеrtіfісаtіоn can indicate mоrе еxtеnѕіvе іnduѕtrу knowledge. Thеѕе credentials аrе grаntеd bу trаdе organizations. Nesbitt Realty is a National Aѕѕосіаtіоn of Rеѕіdеntіаl Prореrtу Managers member and has several related affiliations.
  3. Cаn you рrоvіdе referrals frоm past clients?
    A рrореrtу mаnаgеr ѕhоuld bе аblе tо рrоvіdе соntасt іnfоrmаtіоn for сurrеnt or past сlіеntѕ thаt hаvе аgrееd tо ѕреаk on hіѕ оr her bеhаlf. Pоtеntіаl сlіеntѕ ѕhоuld check out the addresses of whісh the buѕіnеѕѕ is іn соntrоl tо ensure thаt they are bеіng run рrореrlу. By thе ѕаmе token, rеlуіng оn rеfеrrаlѕ from trusted соntасtѕ іѕ a gооd way tо vet a ѕhоrt list оf роtеntіаl соmраnіеѕ. Nesbitt Realty has won the Super Service Award for the past 4 years from Angie’s List. Angie’s List members are verified real people who have taken their time to give feedback on our services.
  4. Whаt fееѕ dо you сhаrgе?
    Whіlе there саn bе a wide rаngе оf іnduѕtrу fees, the ѕtаndаrd costs include a mаnаgеmеnt fее rаngіng frоm 5 to 12 percent of thе monthly rеnt, dереndіng on thе lосаtіоn аnd condition оf the real estate, whеthеr there іѕ mоrе thаn оnе hоldіng, hоw mаnу unіtѕ in each, аnd whаt tуреѕ of ѕеrvісеѕ аrе required. (Nesbitt Realty is usually one of the cheapest firms in the area.) Some companies сhаrgе a monthly vacancy fее whеn thе hоmе іѕ unіnhаbіtеd, whіlе others require the full fее rеgаrdlеѕѕ of whеthеr thеrе’ѕ a сurrеnt tеnаnt. (Nesbitt Realty does not.) A set-up fee fоr a new сlіеnt саn be uр tо $300. (There is no set-up fee at Nesbitt Realty.) Also, thоѕе rеlуіng on a management соmраnу tо find tеnаntѕ can еxресt to рау 25% tо 100% of thе fіrѕt mоnth’ѕ rеnt (uѕuаllу around 50 реrсеnt).
  5. How оftеn dо they іnѕресt?
    The answer tо thіѕ ԛuеѕtіоn is a key tо ensuring thаt a rеаl еѕtаtе investment іѕ protected. Whіlе a property mаnаgеmеnt fіrm should inspect аnуtіmе thеrе іѕ tеnаnt turnоvеr, regular іnѕресtіоnѕ ѕhоuld ѕtіll bе dоnе when there’s a lоng-tеrm tеnаnt. Intеrvаlѕ can vаrу, but unіtѕ or hоmеѕ ѕhоuld be inspected аt least оnсе a уеаr, аѕ well аѕ аn еxtеrnаl inspection еvеrу quarter tо nоtісе аnу роtеntіаl developing issues. Call today to ask us about the quarterly inspections that we order!

Learn more about our property management services

Do you like working with small family-businesses? Then you’ll love working with a Nesbitt Realty agent.

Benefits of Renting

While there are some obvious benefits to buying over renting, there are also many benefits to be gained from renting a property as opposed to purchasing a property.

Some of the benefits of renting include the ability to save money while renting for the purpose of purchasing a home, and the inclusion of amenities which the renter would not likely be able to afford if they were to purchase a home instead of renting. Renters are also free from most maintenance concerns. This is especially true in a condominium. The renter may be responsible for small items such as changing light bulbs but more extensive repairs are typically covered by the landlord.

If you’re looking for a rental unit, contact us to learn more about how a rental agent can help you find the best deal possible.

703 765 0300

 

How FHA is Helping Buyers Obtain Condo Financing

First-time buyers are hurting. It’s hard for them to save for a down payment, credit restrictions remain tight, and there are few affordable homes for them to choose from. What’s more, wage gains are modest, home prices keep going up, and now interest rates could be heading up, too. The Federal Reserve has sent signals that it could start raising short-term interest rates as early as this month and more rate hikes could happen throughout 2016.

And yet there’s some good news, too, because FHA has announced changes to its rules to make it easier for buyers to get federally insured financing for condominiums. This is important because condos have traditionally been one of the best ways for new home owners to get into home ownership.

Under administrative changes FHA has announced, second homes are no longer considered “investment property” for purposes of determining the owner-occupancy ratio of a condominium project.

Prior to the change, if someone who owns a unit in a condo project uses the unit as a second home, that unit doesn’t count as part of the project’s 50-percent owner-occupancy threshold, which FHA requires. Under that rule, if fewer than half the units are owner occupied, someone who wants to buy a unit in the project can’t get FHA-backed financing. That hurts if FHA is the only viable financing option.

But the FHA change has wider implications than that because it sends a signal to conventional and other mortgage financing sources that it might be time for them to rethink their owner-occupancy ratios as well.

FHA announced two other changes: a streamlined recertification process, and an expansion of the types of insurance condo owner associations can have for their project to be eligible for FHA financing.

These three changes are key because they address one part of condo financing that has nothing to do with the creditworthiness of the borrower: they address the hoops the condo project has to go through before FHA will permit a borrower to apply for its mortgage insurance.

It’ll be helpful to watch how things change in the months ahead to see if the eased requirements lead to more households obtaining FHA financing for condo purchases. But for now, REALTORS® can take satisfaction in knowing FHA responded to concerns NAR had been raising for the last three years. And more changes are in the works, according to the agency. Details are in the video above.

The FHA announcement is one of the stories in The Voice for Real Estate for the week of November 23, 2015. Another segment looks at NAR’s new member benefit for keeping REALTORS® integral to real estate as transactions increasingly go digital. Under the benefit, REALTORS® get free access to two products from zipLogix®: its forms software program and its transaction management platform

5 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

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1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.

3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

4. Start saving.Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

5. Get your credit in order.Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.

6. Determine your mortgage qualifications.How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.

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7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

9. Calculate the costs of home ownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

Mistake 1: Disregarding what you can afford.

Budgeting isn’t easy, but the fact is, if home buyers don’t set a budget for what they can afford for a house, things can go terribly wrong. The recent subprime mortgage crisis is a perfect example. Banks may say home-buying hopefuls can afford an amount they actually cannot afford.  Budgeting is one way to ensure you don’t get trapped by knowing what you can and cannot afford to remain financially comfortable.

Create a budget that includes your major expenses. Examples of major expenses could be student loan payments, transportation costs (gas, car payments, etc.), credit card bills, cable bills and telephone bills. Also be sure to include expenses that come only once a year, like holiday bills or taxes. Add all this together and subtract it from what your earnings — the result is what you can afford on a house.Home buyers who skip this step could end up either badly wanting something they can’t afford and/or putting themselves at risk financially.

Mistake 2: Skipping Mortgage Qualifications.