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

Move in Ready.

6007 Ridge Ford Dr

..walk to the VRE and Pool. 4 Bedrooms and 3 full baths, gleaming hardwood floors, New Carpet, professionally painted. Spacious Master Suite w/ master bath and walk in closet. 2 living areas, Vaulted ceilings, light filled rooms, large storage area in basement, private wooded lot, sought after Fairfax County Schools. [Burke Station Square - $610,000]

Completely Renovated 2 level Rambler from TOP TO BOTTOM, 5 Bedrooms 3 Full Bathrooms Brand-new Kitchen: Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite counter-tops, Cabinets.

7607 Roanoke Ave

All 3 Bathrooms were completely redone: New tiles, vanities, toilets, fixtures, mirrors. New Hardwood floors throughout both levels. New roof, windows, doors and all light fixtures. Basement has 2 full bedrooms + a Full bathroom and living room, perfect for In-law suite or rental income. All these updates PLUS a huge Park-like backyard! [Davian Place - $559,888]

Just Renovated! Beautiful 3 Level Burke Centre Townhome.

5817 Oak Ladder Ct

Brand new gourmet kitchen with custom cabinets and Premium quartz countertops; New SS GE appliances; fresh paint all throughout; New engineered hardwood flooring on entire first floor; Recessed lighting; renovated master bath with custom vanity & quartz vanity top. New vanity with quartz top in second bath; New carpet on entire second floor. Backs to trees; Walk out Unfinished Basement; 2 Assigned Parking Spaces [Burke Centre - $425,000]

OPEN SATURDAY 7/20 1-4PM & SUNDAY 7/21 1-4PM*VACANT & READY! Almost 2200 Sq Ft on 2 Finished Levels*4 Bedroom and 2 Full Bath Rambler backing to trees in sought after Keene Mill Manor.

8110 Blairton Rd

Freshly painted*Newly refinished hardwood floors main level*UPDATED VINYL TILT-IN WINDOWS 2008*NEW ROOF 2000*NEW VINYL SIDING & NEW FRONT DOOR 2008*Good size carport and long driveway plus lots of street parking. Good size eat-in kitchen overlooking trees*Gas cooking*Large basement with rec room w/wetbar, 4th bedroom, space for adding a 5th bedroom and large utility/workroom/storage area*Remodeled full bath lower level*Fairfax Connector Bus 18G on Greeley express to Pentagon*There are 2 nearby pools Rolling Hill & Walden Glen Pools close by (membership required)*Top rated Fairfax County Public Schools, Keene Mill ES (recently remodeled), Irving MS, and West Springfield HS (recently remodeled) within minutes*Walking path to Lake Accotink straight up Carrleigh Pkwy*Tons of nearby shopping options including Whole Foods, Panera, Chipotle, Giant, etc*Fort Belvoir nearby straight down Rolling Rd where it becomes Fairfax County Pkwy*VRE off Rolling Rd*Springfield/Franconia Metro near Springfield Town Center*I395 w/Express HOT lanes to DC*I495 w/Express HOT lanes to Tysons Corner [Keene Mill Manor - $529,900]

Beautiful spacious home in West Springfield! 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, hardwood in living & dining, Hardwood under carpet on the upper level.

8108 Ainsworth Ave

Fireplace/rebuilt back wall, smart htermostat, Updated upstairs bathrooms, Additional kitchen cabinets added. Lower level wall unit, Large fenced backyard, playset conveys! Over-sized detached garage w/heat & air condition worth 20k, Ft. Belvior, DC, Pentagon & I-95 in proximity! Public transportation and Metro mins away!! [West Springfield - $549,900]

Beautiful home with great curb appeal sits right on the corner of a cul- de-sac and 1 block to Lake Accotink Trails! Gleaming hardwood floors throughout the entire house accentuates the small details.

7626 Webbwood Ct

Start your morning with a cup of coffee in your breakfast area that walks out to your deck. Tap into your inner chef in your updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, built-in microwave, updated backsplash, custom cabinets, and granite countertops. Master bedroom features built-in sliding mirrors to closet, and a master bathroom with granite countertops and a stall shower. Snuggle up by the fireplace in the family room on the main level or the fireplace in the living room on the lower level. Backyard Oasis - Stone and gravel sitting area that is shaded by a large mature tree, fenced in private patio, and a backyard that is large enough for fun activities!Walk to Lake Accotink for Kayaking, trails, mini golf and much more!! Direct access to I-95, I-395, I-495. 15 minutes from National Landing and Amazon5 minutes to VRE Expres Train, 10 minutes to Springfield Town Centre and 15 minutes to Dunning Loring or Springfield Metro [North Springfield - $534,888]

Built in 1898 and once the Burke Hotel, this plantation estate was moved to it's current location in 1981.

9331 Old Burke Lake Rd

Home has been restored, renovated and remodeled to include all new finishes, equipment and appliances Exterior is yellow pine German siding and roof is cedar shingles; interior includes heart pine wood flooring, 3 fireplaces ( 2 gas & 1 electric); kitchen has Carolina handmade bricks with colonial mortar, mahogany granite, wood cabinets, 2 dishwashers, 2 washer & dryer sets; lower level has full bath, bedroom, and kitchenette with separate exit; many more unique features; Sited on a beautiful .91 acres with a pool; 3 car garage attached + 2 car garage detached; well maintained on a quiet street; close to VRE, bus routes,Springfield Metro; MUST SEE! [None Available - $1,150,000]

Beautiful five bedroom home nestled in the serene, established neighborhood of Olde Forge! Home is located on a gorgeous corner lot off of a double cul-de-sac featuring a cozy, private backyard with an inlaid brick/stone patio.

9603 Helenwood Dr

Home has one of the only enclosed garages in the neighborhood. Home features: updated kitchen and baths; solid surfaces counter tops; stainless appliances; hardwood flooring on main level and four bedrooms; large master suite with walk-in closet; bright and airy fifth bedroom which can be used as a loft or office and lots of storage space! Great commuter access in all directions, to include the Express Bus to the Pentagon two houses away. Close to restaurants and shopping. Nationally ranked school pyramid. Come check out this beauty! [Olde Forge - $645,000]

***PRICE IMPROVEMENT*** Location! Location! Location! Terrific North Facing Home in a Great Established Neighborhood with lots of Privacy!Well-kept Brick front over 4100 Square feet Single Family Home backing to 52 acre Fairfax Villa Parkland! Rare 4 fully finished levels with 5 Bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom and 2 car garage! Bright Main Level with open floor plan with Hardwood, Carpet and Gas Fireplace.

11319 Bulova Ln

Gourmet Eat-in Kit with Stainless Steel Appliances, Maple & Corian. Spacious Master Suite with Sitting Room & Luxury Bathroom; fantastic 4th level Teen Suite or Office with Full Bathroom. Fully Finished Basement with Large Recreation Room, Wet Bar and 5th Bedroom with spacious Full Bath. Walk-up to Wooded Yard. Deck & Stone Patio for outdoor enjoyment. Perfect for Entertaining! All the Lawn Maintenance, Trash Removal and Snow Removal is included in the HOA! Maintenance free! Great Schools! Beautiful Exclusive Community! Move in Ready! A MUST SEE!! [Cloisters of Fairfax - $765,000]

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

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    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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  • 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.