buying a home: Holiday House Hunting in NoVA - 12/04/13 02:58 AM
Here in Northern Virginia, as in most of the country, the holiday season may be one of the best times to buy a home. If you can find the time between all of the shopping, parties, and feasting, it can be one of the most advantageous times for house hunting.
While it’s true that during the holiday season the real estate market often slows down, it also means that mortgage lenders slow down as well, giving you a chance to have your loan processed faster. Having fewer homes on the market doesn’t mean that you won’t find something you like, either. … (0 comments)

buying a home: Northern Virginia Money Talk - 03/20/13 11:35 PM
 
All indications point to 2013 as being one of the best years in recent memory for buying a home here in Northern Virginia. Mortgage interest rates are fantastic, and the inventory of homes is increasing. Before you set your heart on a particular property, be sure to know how much you can truly afford to spend.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house shopping is a great way to stay within your price range. When you go to your lender to apply, be sure to bring the following items with you to make the process go as quickly … (0 comments)

buying a home: On the Road Back in Northern Virginia - 02/14/13 12:41 AM
 
We’re all waiting for the housing market to return to “normal” – from Northern Virginia homeowners, to prospective buyers, to industry professionals, too. The idea that despite all of the changes in the industry during the past few years, we will somehow find our way back to “how it was before” may be idealistic, but statistics show that we are certainly well on our way back up.
Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, periodically reviews current market statistics against those considered normal, or from before the downturn. He looks at construction starts data from Census, existing home sales data from the … (2 comments)

buying a home: Mortgage Options in Northern Virginia - 12/19/12 11:36 PM
 
Whether you opt for a 30-year fixed-rate or a different option, it’s easy to think of mortgages as a one-size-fits-all product. The truth of the matter for Northern Virginia homeowners, though, is that the best choice of mortgages for a young, first-time homeowner maybe quite different than what best suits someone buying a home to see them through their retirement.
When first starting out most young homebuyers have a good credit rating that qualifies them for a mortgage, but they may not have the down payment necessary for it. One solution is a low-down-payment conventional mortgage, and another is a … (0 comments)

buying a home: Dealing With the Aftermath of a Northern Virginia Storm - 11/14/12 08:56 PM
 
This year has been an active one for Northern Virginia weather. From a severe summer storm to a late-season hurricane followed immediately by an early-season nor’easter, this year certainly hasn’t been meteorologically boring. Once the immediate danger has passed, these tips from This Old House can make the cleaning up quicker and safer.
Flooding: Heavy storms often bring heavy rain that in turn often causes flooding. If floodwaters do come into your home, turn off the power – but only if the water hasn’t reached the level of the lowest electrical outlet in the room where your main breaker is … (3 comments)

buying a home: Getting the Best Deal You Can in Northern Virginia - 10/30/12 10:46 PM
 
When you’re ready to buy a home in Northern Virginia, getting pre-approved for your financing is a good idea. It will help you narrow down the market to those properties that are within your range. It’s not the only thing you should have ready to go, though. The most valuable part of your negotiating arsenal may not be financial at all – it may be information.
The first step to being a well-informed buyer is to ask your agent to prepare a market analysis for you. Also known as a CMA, this is a list of homes that are similar … (0 comments)

buying a home: Prevent Pitfalls When House Hunting in Northern Virginia - 10/17/12 07:01 AM
Buying a home here in Northern Virginia is admittedly a very big step. Homes are big investments, but they’re not simply financial investments. Finding the right one for you and your lifestyle requires an investment in time, too – house hunting time as well as house thinking time. Getting your housing priorities in line before the hunt begins is essential, but staying on your game during the hunt is just as important. Get geared up for your home buying venture with these tips that can help you avoid common property buying pitfalls.
Buyers typically make quick emotional judgments about the properties … (0 comments)

buying a home: Great Mortgage News for Northern Virginia - 10/10/12 05:57 AM
 
Freddie Mac's recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey® held good news for the Northern Virginia real estate market. Fixed mortgage rates broke their previous average record lows – this means that affordability remains high, and refinancing is still strong. The survey found that nearly all mortgage products reached new record lows, and can only serve to support an already improving housing market.
Freddie Mac’s survey report for the week ending September 27th is as follows:
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from the week before when it averaged 3.49 percent. Last year at this … (0 comments)

buying a home: Autumn in Arlington - 09/26/12 02:24 AM
 
Even though we often think of autumn as the beginning of the end of the year, there’s always a lot of energy and bustle that goes along with it. Here in Northern Virginia, there are new adventures to be had when the leaves begin to turn, events that tap into our rich history and our wonderfully diverse lifestyle.
This time of year is busy with harvests, and farmers markets are brimming with fresh vegetables and fruit. Our forefathers would have taken advantage of this time by preserving this abundance to see them through the winter. Now you can, too. The … (3 comments)