After much thought and deliberation, you and yours have come to your decision; you and your family will soon become the proud owners of a house in Virginia. But before you throw your cash into the first nice looking house that comes along, you will want to arm yourself with some vital knowledge that will allow you to make an enlightened decision. This is where the following 6 important things to know about house buying in Virginia can guide you to the best spot for you.
1. Distinguishing Between Wants and Needs
Before you begin your hunt for the best possible house, you will want to have a clear idea of what it is that you are looking for and what you really need in a house. Financial experts recommend that before making a trip to an open house that you have a clear picture of what it is that you are looking for. This will avoid being convinced by a smooth-talking real estate agent into purchasing a house that is really not what you need, or even want.
One good way to begin on this will be to make a couple of lists that provide structure to your search. These two columns will be labeled “negotiable” and “non-negotiable.” The first list will contain all the things that would be really nice to have in a house but they aren’t imperative to your life and comfort. The second list of “non-negotiable” points are things that you absolutely have to have in a house. For example, you will absolutely need that three-bedroom house, but the extra grandiose master bedroom is not really necessary.
Keep in mind that the “perfect” house doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, by knowing what you need and want, your real estate agent can help you get an option that is still pretty close to what you are looking for.
7 Steps to Consider When Purchasing Your Home
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2. Getting the Process Right
There is also a very specific process that must be observed when purchasing a house in Virginia . It is always best to get some information on these processes so that they can be carried out in an organized and simple manner. Here are some steps that can make the process that much smoother.
The first thing to do will be to see what kind of loans and financing options are available to you. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is always the best idea as this will show your sellers that you are a serious buyer and this can get you some valuable leverage when you are negotiating.
Next thing to do will be to find yourself a qualified real estate agent. The right agent will add great value to your process and can help you find the best home for your needs in less time as well as arrange a good deal. The time you will save in itself is worth the commission, and most of the time it isn’t the buyers who pick up the fee for the real estate agent anyway.
The next step in the process will involve making an offer and seeing what happens next. Typically, you will need to make another offer soon to counter the initial offer of the seller; this can go back and forth a few more times.
The final step after agreeing upon a price will be to fully inspect the house. If this inspection turns up some major issues, the price negotiations may start-up again.
3. Understanding All the Costs
The cost of your new house in Virginia is not as simple as the list price. There are many other factors that most first-time home buyers should know about but often don’t. Because of this, they often rush to buy a house and find out they can’t actually afford it.
According to the experts, a first-time homeowner should walk into their house buying project with their eyes wide open. This includes factoring in all the supplementary costs of home ownership that go beyond the monthly mortgage payments.
- Property taxes
- Private mortgage insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- HOA fees
- Closing costs
- Cost of maintenance/repairs
4. Buying What You Can Actually Afford
Along the same lines is affordability, which is not exactly the same as understanding all the costs involved. This must also be carefully considered before you buy your Virginia house. This means you will have to determine what you can actually afford, considering all the contingencies.
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This will mean taking a very close look at your job outlook for starters. Do you have an especially secure job? Is there a possibility your position will be outsourced or automated? If you were suddenly to become unemployed, how would this affect your capacity to make your regular mortgage payments? These are all important questions you will need to ask yourself before you begin to determine the affordability of your plan to buy a house.
5. Buying for Your Future Life
Another point that is especially important is considering the number of changes that can affect your life. With this in mind, it is not wise to assume that the house you buy will be the house you occupy until the day you die. If your life changes, the house you buy now may not be suitable for very long.
For example, you may be just starting a family so the small three-bedroom setup may seem ideal for you right now, but what about in a few years when children come along? Will you plan on making do with the house you have or looking for something a little larger than can accommodate the kids, cats and possibly a dog? If you don’t plan to stay in the same house, will the price tag allow you to build equity before you make the sale? You may not even get the chance to make any significant equity for the first few years or so. If you are not sure that this house will accommodate your needs and those of your family for at least seven years, you may want to keep looking.
6. Hiring the Right Agent
Finally, one of the most important things you will need to consider will be your choice of real estate agent in Virginia. This could potentially make the biggest difference in your finding a home you will love and the price that is perfect. A knowledgeable real estate agent will also be able to protect you from some shady dealings and eventually ensure that you come out on top from this deal.
If you are in the market for a local home, you can find a strong friend and ally with our experienced real estate agents.