3 Things That First-Time Buyers In Arlington Should Know About Home Inspection

If you are a newbie buyer, a home inspection can seem like a terrifying process: What if your dream home in Arlington has some major issues hidden beneath that shiny fresh coat of paint? But there is no need to panic just yet.

Here are three important things that you need to know about home inspection and how it can protect you from a really bad deal.

home inspector
A home inspector

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Closing Costs When Buying A Home

Closing costs are often the last thing a person thinks of when buying a home. While closing is the joyous moment the home becomes yours, the costs can be surprisingly aggravating.

When you purchase a home, condo or other property, you will go through a period known as escrow. During escrow, various issues related to the property transfer are worked out. The last day of escrow is known as the closing day and you are going to be paying closing costs.

Closing costs come in many forms. Some involve significant dollars while others are relatively painless. Here’s a list of typical costs:

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Buying a home in Alexandria VA

Alexandria VA
Market Square at City Hall

Buying a home in Alexandria VA can be one of the best feelings in the world. Nothing beats that feeling of security and satisfaction when you open the door to a new home and are happy with your purchase of your own residence. The question is, how can you best ensure that feeling is going to happen? There are a lot of pitfalls in the real estate world and naturally you want to be able to avoid them and end up with a great home. Here are some great tips on how to streamline your home purchase and keep those little headaches from cropping up.

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5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.Credit Cards
photo credit: Andres Rueda
photo credit: Andres Rueda

2. How much you owe. If youowe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits.

3. The length of your credit history. In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer’s oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp., and only one in 20 consumers have credit histories shorter than 2 years.

4. How much new credit you have. New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly.

5. The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit — installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example.

For more on evaluating and understanding your credit score, visit www.myfico.com.

Properties in Braddock District

Beautiful 3Bed 2 Bath Second Floor Unit, Great Location with easy access to I 495, Rt 66 and Major Highways .

7753 Patriot Dr #21

Bright and Open rooms with hardwood floor, newly renovated kitchen with stainless appliances and granite countertop. Large balcony and plenty of parking space. [Ivymount Court - $254,000]

Don't miss your opportunity to own in a sought after community of Kings Park West! This beautiful home features a gorgeous updated kitchen with Stainless steel appliances.

5017 Gainsborough Dr

Large master bedroom with sitting room on the main level. Cozy all-season enclosed porch off main level kitchen extends your living needs. There is a large deck too. The staircase boasts pristine natural hardwood that extends to all three upper bedrooms. Renovated Bathrooms. Finished walkout lower level with large family room with fireplace and large patio right outside. You will find plenty of storage throughout. Wonderful upgraded/updated move-in-ready home awaiting it new owners. Hurry! [Kings Park West - $600,000]

GORGEOUS top level unit.

10300 Luria Commons Ct 3g #3g

Completely renovated: new light fixtures; kitchen with high-end 42~ cabinets, granite counters, new tile floor; bathroom with new shower/floor tile, fixtures; unit has new paint, high-grade carpet; large B/R with walk-in closet; HVAC - 2019, W/D in unit, 1 assigned prkng space. Not FHA VA approved. Own for less than rent. [Burke Centre Station - $180,000]

MUST SEE! Nestled in the tree lined community of Random Hills Landbay, this end unit brick front townhome presents fantastic curb appeal and boasts an attached garage, gleaming hardwood floors on all three-levels, and updates throughout.

4067 Heatherstone Ct

The lowest level features a fantastic family room with gas fireplace that can alternatively be used as an in-law suite with a private full bathroom and access to the fenced-in backyard. The main level wows thanks to an open floor plan with an immaculate updated kitchen. Upper level is home to 2 spacious bedrooms with two full bathrooms and vaulted ceilings. Yes, it has two masters! The larger master suite is fit for royalty with a walk-in closet, double vanity, and jacuzzi tub. The second master can easily be split into two bedrooms to create three bedrooms on the upper level! Home is conveniently located close to dining shopping, movie theater, highly rated Woodson School Pyramid, and more! Commuter bus stop is only feet away from the front door. Community features pool, tennis courts, jogging/walking paths, and playgrounds [Random Hills Land Bay - $558,000]

3 fabulous levels featuring 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, den plus main level office.

5507 Heming Ave

A large main level addition which adds a huge family room, dining room, main level bedroom and full bath all in an amazing location! Hardwood floors and a wood burning fireplace in sun filled living room that would also make a great home office. The kitchen is in the center of the home and features updated cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. Upstairs is home to 3 bedrooms with hardwood floors and 2 fully updated bathrooms. The lower level is perfect for an in-law or an au-pair suite with 2 bedrooms, full bath, a kitchenette all with a separate entrance. Other highlights of this beautiful house include fresh paint, replacement windows, one-car garage, patio,chair rail, crown molding, fenced-in backyard, garage. Situated in the desirable community of North Springfield near Lake Accotink with a quick access to I495 and I395 [North Springfield - $599,000]

Welcome to the sidewalk lined community of Burke Centre.

6008 Lincolnwood Ct

Cul-de-sac colonial home has been updated from top to bottom and the meticulous care and attention to detail from the sellers shows in every corner.Home presents fantastic curb appeal thanks to tasteful landscaping, newer roof, and attached 2 car garage.Foyer entry greets you with gleaming hardwood floors that stretch throughout the main level and upper level hall.Convenient main level powder room.Separate formal dining room is framed with elegant wainscotting.Family room just off of the kitchen offers cozy fireplace and perfect place for everybody to hang out while dinner is prepared.Your inner chef will rejoice in the updated eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliance, marble countertops, tiled backsplash, and more!Enjoy your morning coffee in the breakfast area with access to the spectacular backyard deck.Master suite is fit for royalty with walk-in closet, sitting area, and updated en suite bathroom.Breathtaking walkout lower level with spacious and open recreation room with high efficiency gas fireplace.Separate laundry room with utility sink.As fall approaches, watch the leaves turn to gold around the picturesque Bryce Pond.In the spring, watch the fireflies (or lightning bugs) dance around the water and listen to the sweet melodic song of nature from frogs, birds, turtles, and more.Excellent location close to shopping, dining, and entertainment options.VRE with free parking just up the road offers routes to DC and Richmond.Highly rated Robinson school pyramid. [Burke Centre - $684,888]

The Carlisle by SimpsonBurke-Residential,To Be Built with Enduring Quality and Timeless Appeal, 4300+ Sq.

0 Tunwell Ct

Ft., Estimated Completion Spring 2020. Close in and Private this Neighborhood of 5 Single Family Luxury Homes will be Complete with The Construction of This New Design on our Largest Home-Site. Available with Optional Exterior Brick or Stone veneer and Durable, Pest Resistant HardiePlank Shake and Lap Siding in attractive reveal, 2-zone HE-HVAC Systems with Natural Gas, HE Water Heater, Lo-E Casement windows and two insulated Overhead Garage Entry Doors w/remotes. Solid 3" Pre-finished Hardwood in Foyer, Hall, Powder Room, Great Room, Breakfast Room and Kitchen. Oversized Kitchen Island, Owners Suite Overlooking Stream Valley with Sitting Room,complete with Luxury Bath, and 2 Separate Walk-in Closets. Wide Hallway to Additional Bedrooms 2,3 and4. Finished Rec Room and Game Room on the Lower Level. Optional Rear and Side Deck are offered. Location, Location, Location, EZ access, 495,395, HOT Lanes, VRE, Metro Bus, Bike/Hike Trails, Walk to Shop, Eat, Schools, Library. 3 Regional Malls Tysons Corner, Springfield Mall and Fair Lakes within 15 Minutes Or, DC, Arlington and Alexandria within 20 minutes. Families Love Living on Tunwell, Ask Your New Neighbors [None Available - $975,000]

Stunning TO BE BUILT Craftsman home .

4910 Charles Lawrence Ct

Ready Jan/Feb 2020. Please contact listing broker for more info. Products and Prices subject to change without notice. ANY Photos are for informational purposes only. [Vertain Park - $1,499,000]

MAGNIFICENT ONE OF A KIND MEDITERRANEAN VILLA CUSTOM BUILT IN 2008.

5315 Ox Rd

A HOME WITH CHARACTER FEATURING *TEN+ FOOT CELLINGS *GOURMET KITCHEN WITH CHERRY CABINETS AND GRANITE COUNTERTOPS *BUTLER PANTRY *WINE CELLAR *MEDIA ROOM *GUEST HOUSE..SPACE AND CHARACTER ARE THINGS THIS HOUSE DOES NOT LACK AND A MUST SEE TO APPRECIATE. [Prop. of H J Botts Et Al - $1,800,000]

Renovated, Neighborly cul-de-sac culture, Motivated Seller! Priced $35k below competition.

5304 Kaywood Ct

New kitchen! Renovated all 4 bathrooms! Fresh paint and new carpet! New windows! 2018 roof! Hardwoods on main level. Walk out basement with den. Fantastic screened porch perfect for entertaining. Small back yard. FCPS: Oak View, Robinson. Easy access to Metro bus and VRE. Pool memberships available. No HOA! [Kings Park West - $675,000]

Simple Steps to Buy a Home

Will Nesbitt sits in the consultation room
Will Nesbitt in the consultation room

I’m going to buy a home, what’s the process?

  1. Go to your bank or lending institution to obtain pre-approval.  As part of this you will discover what amount it is willing to lend.  This is important both to know your budget and to ensure that your offers are accepted.  Failure to pre-approve can ruin your chances for success later.
  2. Sit down with a Realtor to see what’s available, what meets your needs, and to discover the hidden dangers in home buying.
  3. Once you have found a property you wish to buy you can proceed with an offer.  Your Realtor will provide invaluable assistance by performing a competitive market analysis, a snapshot of recent home sales and their amounts, to determine what will make an offer that gets you the best possible price, without having the seller walk away.
  4. The seller reviews the offer; if it is rejected, the seller may make a counteroffer.  This process can continue back and forth until both parties ratify and accept the offer making the offer a ratified contract.
  5. A ratified contract then puts into motion a host of background tasks that proceed invisibly to ensure your new home is in good order:
    1. Home inspected for condition, damage and hidden surprises
    2. Appraisal to ensure the banks investment is covered by the value of the home
    3. Loan approval to secure funds for the purchase of your home
    4. Title Search to ensure the seller really has full right to sell your home
    5. Walk-through inspection to ensure nothing changes at the last minute with the property
  6. At settlement the lender’s money and the title transfer come together to deliver you ownership of your new home.
  7. Now it’s time to move in!
For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

Properties in Jamieson

  • 5 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector in Northern VA

    home inspector
    Home buyers in Northern Virginia are well advised to interview a home inspector before hiring that inspector. What should you ask if you’re going to hire a home inspector in Arlington, Alexandria or Fairfax County? Here are a few ideas for questions.

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  • What Is Title Insurance?

    Title insurance protects the policy owner against loss in the event that the property’s title or legal ownership is something other than insured. It helps ensure that the property owner is assuming clear title for the real estate being purchased. Title insurance is different than other types of insurance in that it offers protection against…

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  • We rebate money to buyers.

  • Are You Looking To Buy A Home In Alexandria?

    Today we’re featuring this property for sale at River Towers in Alexandria Virginia. We highlight properties that are interesting, unique or just good deals. This 1 bedroom property is listed for $168,000. We like to keep our eyes open for home buying opportunities for our clients.

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  • A Buyer’s Expert in Reston

    One of the most important aspects of any home that you move into is, without a doubt; the area. Homes may look fantastic online, but there is always the possibility that the area this fantastic home is in may be less than desirable. Before you move to any new town, subdivision or city, its a…

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What to Know About Credit Scores

In preparation for buying a home, it’s a good idea to understand credit scores. Credit scores range between 200 and 850, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

  • Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card bills on time? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also affect your history.
  • How much you owe and where. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, spreading debt among several accounts can help you avoid approaching the maximum on any individual credit line.
  • The length of your credit history. In general, the longer an account has been open, the better.
  • How much new credit you have. New credit—whether in the form of installment plans or new credit cards—is considered more risky, even if you pay down the debt promptly.
  • The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit—such as installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage.

7 Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

Top 3 Tips For New Home Buyers

  1. Get pre-approved. Pre-approvals inform the seller that you can afford to purchase their home and that you’ve met with a lender who has agreed to finance your purchase. You will also know how much you are qualified to borrow. No sense in looking at $500,000 homes when you only qualify for a $400,000 home.Preapproved
  2. Find the right Agent. Buying a property is one of the biggest undertakings you will face in your life so it pays to have a professional who will be with you every step of the way. It makes sense to work with someone who has more education and experience than you. At the end of it all, hiring a real estate agent will save you time and money.
  3. Educate yourself on the cost. There is more to buying a home than just the purchase price. Closing costs, inspections, appraisal, moving fees, homeowners association, homeowners insurance, and other fees are often a surprise to unprepared buyers.

12 Ways a Realtor from Condo Alexandria Can Help You

Will Nesbitt
Will Nesbitt at Watergate at Landmark

1. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a Nesbitt Realty Realtor® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.

2. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

3. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are Nesbitt Realty Realtors® have access to a variety of informational resources. Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can provide local community information on utilities,

Julie Nesbitt
your Realtor Julie Nesbitt

zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

4. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements

Stuart Nesbitt
Stuart Nesbitt

(access rights) for utilities. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

6. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

7. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

8. When selling your home, your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

Realtor Ron Ginyard
Ron Ginyard has the experience you need to successfully realize your real estate goals.

9. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The Realtor® Code of Ethics requires Nesbitt Realty Realtor® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

10. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your Nesbitt Realty Realtor®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

11. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position.

Dillon Lee
Dillon Lee

This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

12. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® can help close the sale of your home.

Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your Nesbitt Realty Realtor® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

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