7 Shortcuts to Internet Home Buying in Northern Virginia

Will Nesbitt, Principal Broker

Searching for a home is becoming easier every day with more access to web sites across the country Realtor.com is the king of real estate listings. There are real estate company sites such as nesbittrealty.com where you can access the local affiliates and all their listings in Northern Virginia. Or a little back door play is to go to the state board of realtors where they list all the local realtor boards and the local MLS sites.

1.nesbittrealty.com – The number 1 real estate web site. Has easy access to its real estate listings around the world. The “maps”  “coverage areas” “find your perfect home” “just listed” “featured properties” website allows you to enter in your criteria and will notify you of any updates or new listing you can select to have the emails sent daily or weekly. Nesbitt Realty’s system is state of the art in high tech features when you request information on any of their listings your request goes one stop and then directly to the agent’s phone who listed the home. During normal business hours you should get a return call within minutes with all the up to date information directly from the listing agent. No other real estate company or lead source has anything that approaches this system.Continue reading

Pending Home Sales on an Upswing

Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring home buying season, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Gambrel roof in Waynwood

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3 percent to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1 percent above March 2009 when it was 85.0; this follows an 8.3 percent increase in February. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said favorable affordability conditions have been working with the tax credit. “Clearly the home buyer tax credit has helped stabilize the market. In the months immediately following the expiration of the tax credit, we expect measurably lower sales,” he said. “Later in the second half of the year, and into 2011, home sales will likely become self-sustaining if the economy can add jobs at a respectable pace, and from a return of buyer demand as they see home values stabilizing.”

Regional Numbers

* The PHSI in the Northeast declined 3.3 percent to 75.1 in March, but remains 27.2 percent higher than March 2009.
* In the Midwest the index increased 1.2 percent to 98.9 and is 18.5 percent above a year ago.
* Pending home sales in the South jumped 12.7 percent to an index of 121.2, which is 28.3 percent higher than March 2009.
* In the West the index rose 1.9 percent to 99.9 and is 8.8 percent above a year ago.

“Another encouraging sign is the improvement in the availability for jumbo and second-home mortgages,” Yun said. “As bank balance sheets strengthen, it is just a matter of time before lending of non-government-backed mortgages steadily opens up.”

Source: NAR

Properties in Fort Hunt

Top 2015 Home Buyer Stressors

Here’s a typical Craftsman home in Del Ray Alexandria VA

Rising home prices have created a market that favors sellers. Under these current market conditions, little

wiggle room for buyers on a budget is provided. In the previous year buyers in the market voiced that their top Real Estate sales stressor was a limited selection of inventory of homes for sale to choose from. Additionally, the year leading up to this year had notated that other top home buyer stressors were prices, competition, rising mortgage rates, and home shopping fatigue.

Here are the 2015 top home buyer stressors:

  • Affordability, prices jumped too quickly
  • Competition, other buyers want the same property
  • Circumstance, need to sell current property first
  • Down payment, didn’t squirrel away enough to prepare
  • Unreasonable mortgage rates, can’t make the move into home ownership just yet

Source: Top 6 Home Buyer Concerns on Realtor.com

Properties in Arlington

Beautifying a staircase can be a smart move

Many folks consider stairs and hallways as strictly utilitarian — a place to get somewhere else – but these spaces can be great for decorations.
Considering that stairs are often one of the first elements home buyers see when they enter the front door of a home for sale, beautifying the steps can be a smart investment.

Consider these ideas for making the stairway more attractive:

  • A few tastefully positioned flowers can really stand out on at a stairway
  • Paint a runner in a bold shade of marine paint. Or do it in a pattern, like a stripe or polka dot.
  • Carpet the stairs with a pattern that hides dirt – even if the rest of the house has hardwoods. (As an added plus, carpeted stairs are safer than bare, potentially slick ones.)
  • Tile the risers, the vertical part of the stairs that get scuffed easily.

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Do you need a brand new kitchen?

original kitchen at Montebello

One of the biggest questions every condo buyer and home buyer has to ask is, “How much work am I willing to take on?”

Some folks want a turnkey residence. Some folks want a residence that has brand new modern appliances and cabinets. Some people want appliances and cabinets that have never been used.

Some people don’t mind an older kitchen. Some people like the feel of a kitchen that was put in long ago.

Others like an older kitchen because they like the idea of ripping out the old and putting in the new. It can be very gratify—not to mention financially rewarding—to completely remake a residence.  As a homeowner, or condo owner, you are the ultimate authority. It is your domain to decide what will stay and what must go.  This can be a lot of fun.

Brand new kitchen at the Eclipse

But, remodeling can be a lot of work.  Living through the dust and the inconvenience can be a hassle. If you don’t know where to turn to, it can also be very expensive.  But no matter how you personally resolve the issue, it’s important to consider before you actually start shopping.

5 Costly Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

Nesbitt Realty helps first-time home-buyers realize their home-buying dreams.

Buying a first home can be a daunting experience. Here are five common and costly mistakes that novice home buyers make:

1. Ignore the costs of having a low credit score. Lower-score borrowers pay thousands of dollars in increased interest rates over the life of the loan.
2. Make purchases on credit before settlement.  Lenders continue to check credit scores right up until the time of closing. Too much shopping could cause the lender to take back the loan.
3. Scrimp on an inspection. Being surprised by the need for expensive repairs can be financially devastating.
4. Buy without contingencies. Buyers should give themselves an out if the inspection turns up problems or the bank raises the interest rates.
5. No money for insurance. Insurance can be surprisingly pricey. Buyers who don’t budget for it can face a nasty surprise.

We help our clients buy homes in Northern VA.

Our home buyer’s resource page will answer common questions like:

  • Why Nesbitt Realty?
  • What is a buyer’s agent?
  • What is a buyer’s rebate?
  • How much does representation cost?
  • How we find your new home?
  • How much home can you afford?
  • How much are closing costs?

Read answers, home buyer’s tips & tools

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

 

5 Reasons Buying Real Estate is Better Than Renting

Are you considering renting in Northern Virginia?  With remarkably low interest rates, perhaps you should consider buying?  Here are 5 solid reasons that buying is better than renting.

 

    1. Be your own landlord. The landlord picks the paint colors.  The landlord decides whether pets or smoking is allowed.  If you are the landlord, you make the decisions.  And you decide whether to extend your lease or not.
    2. Paying the principal is forced savings. Everyone knows that paying off a mortgage is better than paying rent forever.
    3. Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains.
    4. Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools.
    5. Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented.

What is a buyer’s agent?

The buуеr’ѕ аgеnt is the individual that represents buуеrѕ whеn thеу рurсhаѕе a hоmе. This аgеnt nеgоtіаtеѕ with thе seller’s agent (thе listing аgеnt) to соmе tо a final price аgrееd uроn by thе buyer аnd ѕеllеr. Thе buyer’s аgеnt is paid оnсе thе dеаl goes thrоugh.

In thе rеаl estate аgеnt community, the buуеr’ѕ аgеnt іѕ often rеfеrrеd to аѕ the “selling аgеnt.” Thіѕ іѕ pretty соnfuѕіng to nоn-rеаl еѕtаtе fоlkѕ. Thе term selling agent іѕ ѕtіll used tо track a rеаl еѕtаtе trаnѕасtіоn’ѕ рrоgrеѕѕ in thе Multiple Listing Service (MLS,) ѕо you mау fіnd thаt real еѕtаtе аgеntѕ ѕtіll refer tо buуеr’ѕ аgеnt аѕ thе selling аgеnt.

Learn more about how a Nesbitt Realty buyer’s agent can help you realize your home ownership dreams.

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

 

Taxes Are Tricky for Second-Home Buyers

Purchasers of second homes should be aware that, according to the IRS, taxpayers who are married and filing jointly can’t deduct interest on more than a combined total of $1 million of “home acquisition debt” for a primary and a secondary residence.

Entrance to the Torpedo Factory condos on a snowy day

Taxpayers also may deduct up to a combined total of $100,000 of home-equity debt on their first and second homes.

After refinancing, a home owner can only deduct interest on the original amount of the loan at the time they refinanced, plus $100,000.

Buyers and refinancers also can deduct loan fees – “points” – if the money was used to buy or improve their home. They can’t deduct them if they refinanced to lower the interest rate.

Source: Inman News, Tom Kelly (04/07/2010)

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

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  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

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  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

    Open House, Sunday, 1-4 BIG PRICE DROP! 7202 CHURCHILL ROAD McLean, VA 22101 6 Bedrooms 5.5 Bathrooms 6,752 SF $1,695,000

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  • [FWD: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures]

    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

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Survey: Americans Dream Big About Home Ownership

Eighty-seven percent of Americans recently surveyed say that owning a home is something they dream about, according to a survey by JPMorgan Chase.

“Owning a home is at the heart of most Americans’ dreams,” says Kevin Watters, CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase. “And people are saving as much as possible to achieve home ownership.”

Sixty-six percent of Americans surveyed say that they believe home ownership is a good financial investment. Seventy-five percent say it’s a crucial part of raising a family.

First-time home buyers are getting more optimistic about being able to achieve home ownership too. The number of potential first-time home buyers who say they are optimistic about being able to put money down on a home over the next six months doubled in the last six months, compared to previous survey results.

“First-time home buyers are crucial to the housing market and the overall economy—and to their communities,” says Watters. “As families buy their first home, they are investing in their communities and enable other families to move up. That will eventually spur more new construction, generating additional jobs.”

Source: “Survey shows homeownership is still the American Dream,” HousingWire (March 15, 2013)

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

    Read More

  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

    Read More

  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

    Open House, Sunday, 1-4 BIG PRICE DROP! 7202 CHURCHILL ROAD McLean, VA 22101 6 Bedrooms 5.5 Bathrooms 6,752 SF $1,695,000

    Read More

  • [FWD: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures]

    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

    Read More

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.