Low inventory dominates the conversation when it comes to many areas and price ranges when searching for homes in Northern VA. It can be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you are looking in areas like Vienna, Arlington, old town Alexandria, and parts of Fairfax if you aren’t prepared.
I would like to offer a few tips any home buyer in Northern VA can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the purchase process.
1. Get Pre-Approved First
You must get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start searching for homes for many reasons. First, it is imperative to understand your budget and how a payment fits to give you the confidence of knowing home ownership is within your grasp. When the time comes to make a serious offer on a home, a pre-approval must accompany the offer, otherwise the seller will not even consider the offer.
This step will allow you to narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being more expensive then you can afford! I have written an article that goes into further detail of the importance of a pre-approval, First Step to Buying a Home is a Pre-Approval.
2. Know Your ‘Must-Haves’ Vs ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’
Do you really need waterfall granite countertops in the kitchen to be happy with the home of your choice? Would a two car garage be a necessity or convenience? Could the perfect ‘man cave’ be a future renovation instead of right now necessity?
Sit down and and list all the features of a home you would like and categorize them as ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-like-to-haves’. This will keep you focused on what’s most important when you start touring homes in Northern VA.
3. Drive The Neighborhood’s You Want to Live In
Every neighborhood in Northern VA is different and have their own unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, test drive the area. Make sure it meets your needs for amenities, commute time, and school district. Here is an article I wrote detailing the importance school district for many potential home buyers, Northern VA Homebuyers Sacrifice Must-Haves for Better Schools.
4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Once you have decided on a style of home and your ‘must-haves’ stick with them. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code. For example, if you are looking for homes with 4 bedrooms on the upper bedroom level, to be close to your children, then don’t look at home with bedrooms on different levels.
5. Take Notes of Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the details of each home will run together after the first few listings you visit. Take notes and/or photos to document each home and the details on the listing sheet as you tour the property.
In a high-paced, competitive environment of Northern VA real estate, particularly in the really hot areas, any advantage you can give yourself will help. Making an informed quick decision and writing an immediate offer is a great step when searching for homes in Northern VA. Make sure you have an experienced real estate agent that has your needs in mind first on your side, contact me now.
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Call Joey, an exceptional real estate agent and REALTOR with RE/MAX Preferred Properties, for selling or buying a home in Northern VA. Your Home My Passion.
Specializing in Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Dunn Loring, City of Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Sterling, Tysons Corner, Vienna, or anywhere in Northern VA.