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
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.

Real Estate for:

What styles of homes do buyers prefer?

A recent Realtor.com® survey of more than 1,000 home shoppers found that architectural preferences differ by generations. Older buyers prefer ranch-style homes while millennials prefer contemporary and colonial homes, with only six percent of millennials favoring ranch homes.

 

What are buyers seeking?

According to a new realtor.com® survey of more than 1,000 home shoppers, privacy is driving the purchase decisions of many older buyers, with more than 20 percent of those 55 and older saying that having a space of their own is their main goal, followed by the physical comforts and stability of homeownership. On the other hand, 17 percent of millennial buyers placed the highest weight on family needs when house hunting, followed by stability (14 percent) and personal expression (13 percent). Only 12 percent of buyers younger than 55 cited privacy as their chief priority.

 

In Northern Virginia, Nesbitt Realty & Management can provide you with property management solutions that help your properties operate smoothly, increase in desirability and enhance investment value. Property owners, investors and landlords across Northern Virginia rely on Nesbitt Realty achieve their goals of superior property management performance and profitability.

Whether your properties are single-family homes, condos, duplexes or townhouses, Nesbitt Realty will manager your property with most dedicated, full-time property managers. We know how to attract and retain desirable tenants.

Learn more now!

We love what we do.

Finding a rental is not always easy. Depending on occupancy rates in a particular area, it actually might be quite difficult to find available rentals that are also within your price range and meet all of your pre-determined requirements. However, even in areas where there is not a great deal of competition for the available rentals, renters may still have some difficulty finding the perfect home.

Figure Out Your Needs

The first step of any rental search should begin with the potential renter carefully identifying all of his/her needs in a home. This list of needs will be different for every renter. While some renters are simply looking for a place to eat, bathe and sleep other renters may be looking for a living space which will serve a number of purposes including working, entertaining and participating in leisure activities or hobbies. Do you need to be close to the Metro? Do you want granite counters? Do you need a washer and dryer in the unit? What is your budget?

It is important to prioritize your needs and distinguish between needs and wants because you will probably have to compromise.

Use Our Website

Once a renter has a good idea of the basic features he or she needs in a rental, it is time to use our website to identify neighborhoods, condos, and properties.  This research will give the renter an idea of the types of properties available for rent in Northern Virginia. Many people are shocked by the prices and what is actually available.

Get Our Recommendations

Renters may also help themselves in their search for a rental by seeking recommendations from a rental agent. Our agents know the area and know the market. Once you have identified your needs and wants, we can probably take you directly to your best option. [Read more about rental agents.]

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.

VRE 35And 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

A Single family house at 5428 Grist Mill Woods Way Alexandria VA 22309
Grist Mill Woods is in Alexandria 22309

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.

Condos at 2001 15th St N #615 Arlington VA 22201
Odyssey is in Arlington 22201

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.