Buying A House In Virginia: What You Need To Know 

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May 20, 2024

Are you thinking of purchasing a home in Virginia? Well, you and your family are in for an exciting and wonderful journey! Known as the Old Dominion, Virginia is known to be the home of picture-perfect landscape views to lively and culture-filled city centers. 

If you’re buying a house in Virginia and move there, get ready to enjoy a multitude of living experiences. And before you dive into the homebuying process, there are a few things you need to know to make sure everything goes smoothly and successfully. Read on to learn more. 

Pick The Location Of Where You Want To Live In Wisely 

Virginia is a state of contrasts. You have the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, with energetic city centers and peaceful towns in between. Deciding where to buy your residential property is said to be the primary and most important step to take. 

Ask yourself the following questions. Are you a first time home buyer and on the lookout for a family-friendly suburb with top-notch schooling systems? Look no further than the counties of Loudon and/or Fairfax. If your family prefers urban living with ready access to cultural amenities, Alexandria and/or Richmond are great options.  

Aside from all of that, don’t forget about how easy it is to commute and move around, along with your would-be home location’s nearness to public transportation systems and/or big highways that can make travelling much easier. 

Have An Understanding Of The Virginia Real Estate Market 

It’s believed that Virginia is among the most competitive real estate markets around, especially those in popular areas like Northern Virginia. 

Thus, before moving forward with house searching and getting pre-approved, it’s important to understand the current market conditions.  

Find the answers to the following questions to have a pulse of the current real estate market. Are prices going up or falling down? What kind of market is in the state the moment before you take in the plunge: a buyer’s or a seller’s market? 

Call and partner with a highly experienced Virginia-based realtor who knows the area and the market very well. They can provide you with the latest market data and trends. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions and help you negotiate later on for favorable buying conditions. 

Go Through Your Financial Health And Make Sure You’re Ready Financially 

Before you start house hunting, make sure your finances are in order and aren’t in the red. Take a look at your credit status and take steps to boost it, if necessary, before getting pre-approved for a home mortgage. It’s a known fact that if you have a great credit health you can get more favorable mortgage rates. 

Aside from that, you need to have saved up a decent amount for downpayment. Having 20% of the target home price you’re planning to buy is standard. As a golden rule, the higher downpayment that you have, the better you’re off financially later on. 

Nonetheless, there are home ownership programs in Virginia that allow for low or even zero downpayment. Ask your realtor or local housing authorities about them. 

Approach A Bank To Get Pre-Approved For Your Home Loan  

A mortgage pre-approval shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer with the financial backing to purchase a home. It can give you an edge in a competitive market like that in Virginia.  

In order to get pre-approval for your home mortgage, you’ll need to provide your preferred lender with various files, such as your proof of income like paystubs, invoice, and many more, tax returns, credit report, and many more. 

Work With A Virginia Realtor 

Working with a Virginia realtor is invaluable when buying a house in Virginia. They can guide you through the whole homebuying process, help you find properties that meet your and your family’s needs and wants, negotiate terms on your favor, and many more.  

Make sure to choose a realtor with a good public image, plenty of experience helping buyers purchase homes in the Virginia real estate market, and so on. 

Proceed With Looking For Your Perfect Home And Make An Offer On It 

You’re now ready to take on the most well-known part of the homebuying process – house hunting. Before going out and looking at different properties, you need to prepare a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your would-be home. This includes the number of baths and bedrooms, the size of the exterior and yard, and many more. Be sure to share this information to your realtor. 

Ask your realtor to set up and attend open houses and schedule private showings with you so that you can get a feel for the different properties available. Snap pictures and take notes on each home you and your realtor have visited for reference. 

Once you’ve found the perfect home, in consideration of your and your loved ones’ wants and needs, it’s time to make an offer. Your realtor will help you prepare a competitive offer based on the property’s real value and the current market conditions.  

After submitting your offer, be prepared for the negotiation process. Your realtor will help you forward your best interests when negotiating for closing fees, inspections, and the like. Do remember that you may need to compromise sometimes to close in on a sale. 

To Conclude 

Say your offer has been accepted by the seller – and in a competitive real estate market like Virginia, that’s considered a feat. Mazel tov! 

Now, you need to move and double down on the closing. That usually involves the inking of the paperwork, doing a home inspection, dealing with the lender to finalize your loan, and many more. All of this can be very stressful but your realtor will walk you through the whole process. Just remember to have patience and be ready to provide additional documentation if asked to avoid any delays. 

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