Find Your Home Sweet Home
Congratulations on taking the first step to homeownership! Buying a home is exciting, and when you have access to the best resources, it's an enjoyable experience you'll never forget. Follow our tips to discover your perfect home in Virginia.
5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Whether you're searching for a rustic cottage or a hobby farm in Virginia, you likely have many questions on your mind: What do I need to know as a first-time home buyer? Should I get pre-approved for a mortgage? How much of a mortgage can I afford? We're here to answer your questions and make your home buying process easier.
First, Find Out How Much You Can Afford
Many first-time buyers jump right in to their home search without stopping to think about their budget. Take a moment first to consider your finances. After all, you don't want to fall in love with a home that is thousands of dollars above your price range. Avoid the disappointment and calculate how much you can afford before you begin your home search.
Estimate your expenses. This includes utilities, property taxes, insurance, and routine maintenance. Don't forget your down payment, either!
Check your budget. Determine how much money you're comfortable paying every month, not how much money the bank will loan to you.
Do you have other payments? Make sure your total monthly debt payments (including a mortgage) will be less than 36% of your monthly take-home pay.
Next, Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Once you have determined how much you can afford for your mortgage, sit down with a lender and start the pre-approval process. During a pre-approval, your lender will examine your finances, check your credit score, and tell you how much financing you will qualify for. Now you know your price range and can start searching for homes!
If you want to learn more about mortgage pre-approval, read our blog post about why pre-approval helps you as a buyer or call us at 703.966.9480.
Thoroughly Research Your Desired Area
You have likely already determined which area you want to call home. Now it's time to pinpoint a more focused location. Here are a few resources to help you learn more about Virginia's Hunt & Wine Country and decide which amenities you want to enjoy close to your first home.
Choose a Community
Virginia's cities and towns have a variety of amenities, so it's best to explore all of your options. Leesburg, for example, is a bustling city with major shopping malls and attractions, while rural communities like Bluemont offer quiet roads and homes with acreage.
Discover the Lifestyle
Virginia is known for its award-winning wineries, rich equestrian heritage, and abundance of events. Choose a community that is near your favorite amenities! If you have never lived in the countryside before, here is what you can expect.
In Virginia, small businesses are the fabric of our local economy. Whether you are searching for groceries or a gift for a friend, you can find everything you need at these one-of-a-kind boutiques, general stores, and specialty shops.
Make a List of Wants and Needs for Your Home
This part of the home buying process is crucial. Many first-time home buyers who don't create a list of their wants and needs often feel frustrated throughout the process, since their dream home isn't exactly what they wanted. You can find your new home quickly by listing what you want and need in your first home.
Come up with a list of things that you must have in your home (the needs) and the features that you could live without (the wants). The list could include anything from bedrooms and bathroom to a finished basement, acres of property, or amenities. Once you have your home's location and list of ideal features, it's time to finally start searching for your home!
Don't Go Alone — Take an Expert with You
Purchasing your first dream home is far too important to go at it alone. The first-time home buying process can be an extremely exciting and rewarding one when you are both knowledgeable about the steps and have the right real estate team on your side.
We all have unique equestrian backgrounds and intimate knowledge of the area, so we can assist you with all the details. From helping you search for a home to helping you understand how appraisals work and everything in between, we can make sure that your first home purchase is painless.
Ready to Find Your First Home?
No one knows the Virginia area like we do. Let us help you find the perfect home in your favorite location. If you're still searching for information, we have a wealth of home buying resources available on our website. If you're ready to get moving, call us at 703.966.9480 and we can talk about your plans.