Let’s take a look at some of the best deals in the Northern Virginia rental market today.
Home prices will likely climb 10 percent in 2013 and 8 percent in 2014, according to Barclays analyst Stephen Kim, who recently upgraded his view of the housing market from neutral to positive.
Kim told The Wall Street Journal recently that low mortgage rates are helping to make buying more affordable than renting in many markets.
About “18 months ago, the industry was nothing much to look at: dilapidated foreclosures were flooding the market, home equity had suffered the worst retrenchment in a generation, and housing starts and sentiment were far below historic troughs levels,” Kim notes. “But after stabilizing in 2012, both new and existing home prices are now accelerating much more rapidly than in the 1990s cycle.”
Source: “The Housing Market: Not Your Analyst’s Oldsmobile?” The Wall Street Journal (April 23, 2013)
Inlet Cove is near Fort Belvoir and Potomac MillsInlet Cove is alongside Route 1 This neighborhood of townhouses is near grocers and eateries Inlet Cove is close to Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, and Potomac Mills shops, in the city of Woodbridge Interior to these properties are multilevel Inlet Cove is serene
Pending Home Sales on an UpswingPending 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®. 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…
A Good Time to Buy a High-End HomeSome of the best housing deals are on high-end homes, many over $1 million. Some of them need TLC or they aren’t in the most-coveted locations. But there are plenty of desirable properties and lots of sellers who are getting impatient. Buyers with cash have the best opportunities. Buyers who need a mortgage should move…
Looking for the big price drop?If you love price drops we have good news. NesbittRealty.com now features the biggest and most recent price drops on area real estate. We have condos, townhouses and houses all with big price reductions. These HOT properties will attract a lot of attention so contact us to take a closer look. In general we look…
Who is today’s homebuyer and why are they buying?The National Association of Realtors recently did a study about the characteristics of home buyers. Some of the findings might surprise you. Thirteen percent of buyers purchased a home with one or more parents and grandparents together with adult children. There were several reasons given for purchasing a multi-generational home. Cost savings; Children over the…
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.
- 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.
- Paying the principal is forced savings. Everyone knows that paying off a mortgage is better than paying rent forever.
- 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.
- Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools.
- Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented.
There are five basic ground rules when it comes to buying a home and shopping smart, and they are:
#1 – Get your financing before you get your home
There are few things in life as disappointing as losing out on the home of your dreams due to not being able to secure funding. While the desire to get out there and search for that great home is understandable, it is vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home.
Getting the financing ahead of time has a number of important advantages, including knowing how much you can buy and gain more respect from the listing agents. By knowing how much home you can afford before you shop you will avoid wasting your time looking at unaffordable properties, and the listing agent will be more than willing to show you the homes in your price range.
It is also important to take a good look at the various types of mortgage on the market before getting started in the home buying process. These days, mortgages come in far more choices than the typical 15 or 30 year. For that reason, potential home buyers need to understand how each type of mortgage works, and to gauge which mortgage is the best choice for their needs.
#2 – Look at the community, not just the home
It is a good idea to look at the entire community, instead of focusing on a single home. This can be a particularly important thing to consider for those moving to a new metropolitan area, as these buyers will be unfamiliar with the local climate and lifestyle. It is crucial to determine the areas of town that are most desirable, and to consider things like distance from work and local shopping opportunities.
We have all heard that location is the key consideration when it comes to real estate, and that is certainly the case. Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake, and it is important to choose the location as well as the home. Potential buyers can learn a great deal about the nature of the various neighborhoods simply by driving around town, as well as by talking to other residents.
#3 – Be fair with your first offer
Trying to lowball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can paying too much. It is important to carefully evaluate the local market, and to compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for.
Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as “comps” in the industry, is one of the best ways to determine what is fair, and to make sure that you neither overpay or underbid on the property.
#4 – Always get a home inspection
Always investigate the home for any possible defects before making an offer. Compared to the cost of the average home, the price of a quality home inspection is virtually negligible. Hence, get a good home inspection done before you buy.
To find the best home inspector, it is a good idea to seek out word of mouth referrals as many of the best home inspectors rely on word of mouth advertising.
#5 – Do not alienate the sellers of the home
Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity of the buyer and the seller. It is important to avoid alienating the seller of the home during the process, and to avoid nitpicking every little detail during the sale.
Keeping the goodwill of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide the best environment for seller and buyer alike.
Of course as a homeowner you’ll be responsible for maintenance and repairs on the house. As a condo owner, many of these responsibilities are handled by the condo association. Either way, if you commit to buying a home you’ve identified yourself as the type of person who has taken charge of his or her life. A homeowner can paint the wall any color. A home owner doesn’t need the landlord’s permission to get a cat.
As a homeowner you’re more likely to be a part of the neighborhood watch and the garden club. According to some studies, home owners are more likely to vote, and more likely to participate in local government activities. As a condominium owner you have become one of America’s landed gentry. According to the Rossi and Weber National Survey of Families, home owners possess significantly higher levels of self-confidence than renters.
Tax advantages are one of the biggest financial benefits of home ownership. The typical home owner that pays a $1,000 house payment will realize tax savings of about $120 each month. (As a general rule, most homeowners can deduct most or all of their interest payments on their home loan, property taxes and loan points, but check with your tax adviser about your situation.) What this means is that next year your rent won’t go up, but your liability will go down. Generally if you can afford the cash flow, it’s cheaper to buy than to rent. Because you’re a homeowner, you know what this means.
This increase confidence and wealth will have an impact on your family life as well. According to Boehm & Schlottmann, University of Tennessee, “Children of home owners are 59% more likely to become homeowners. Their children are also 25% more likely to graduate from high school and 116% more likely to graduate from college.”
As an owner, you’ll stop paying rent and you’ll start building ownership equity. A survey of consumer finance by the Federal Reserve Board found that the median net worth of most modest-income owners is almost $60,000 compared to less than $10,000 for renters in the same income group.
In many cases, your home will provide you with more privacy than rental living. For some, this means a quieter living environment, for others it’s the ability to have a grow garden, have a backyard barbecue or a build a garage. You’ll have the freedom to make whatever changes or improvements you like. Now that you control your living environment, you can make adjustments as your family changes or just as your personal taste dictates.