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Articles – Buy

What buyers should know before entering the housing market

January 7th, 2024 by admin

The Greater Washington DC market is heating up again due to the impending mortgage interest rate drop.  Many listings in sought after locations have multiple offers.  In one of recent transactions, my buyer had to compete with 9 other contracts and the winning bid had to pay substantially higher than asking price.  Many properties are under contract in a matter of weeks if not days.  Location, showing condition and price are three key decisive factors for buyers. To get better prepared, buyer should have a pre-approval letter ready before house hunting. That way, a contract can be submitted right away as soon as a desirable property is identified.

Buyers today compete not only with other regular buyers but also investors. Properties under $600K are in the highest demand because they are more affordable and less risky. Locations that are located closed to metro stations and/or within good school districts are still most desirable.

Maintaining Your Home to Protect Its Value

January 15th, 2023 by admin

Buying a home is just the beginning. Keeping it up with proper maintenance will uphold its value and minimize frivolous repairs.

Here are few basic maintenance tips:
– Change the air filter every 2-3 months. Have an HVAC technician check the air conditioner in the spring and heater in the fall to ensure the system operates properly. The maintenance contract typically costs $550-650 a year, depending on specific service provider;
– Power wash and seal the deck and fence, especially if the construction materical is wood;
– Repair and paint over any exterior wood rots around the house. Consider wrapping the window trims with PVC (non-wood material) to avoid wood rots in the future;
– Check and repair any water leak from the ceiling, faucets, below sinks, or at the basement;
– Clean the gutter every year, especially if the house is surrounded by trees or located in a wooded area;
– Paint the interior walls every five years or so to give the house a fresh look.

A well maintained home will not only increase housing value but also bring positive energy to your life.

What to Expect in Home Inspections

August 27th, 2022 by admin

You will have to go through several inspections of your new home before closing. First is appraisal, so the bank can decide how much the home is worth. Then a termite inspection, done by a specialist. You should also have a general inspector come. That way you can establish what will be the seller’s responsibility and what will be your responsibility as a buyer. Once you receive the inspection, if you do not approve, you can cancel the purchase without penalty. Finally, you’ll have a final walk-through inspection. Revisit the property to make sure all changes were made and the house is in the condition you requested.

Buying the First Home

July 26th, 2022 by admin

Homebuying can be stressful especially for first time buyers. The whole process can be made simple when you have a team of experienced professionals on your side.

To get started, you will find a real estate professional who will represent you in the transaction. There is a huge difference between a full-time realtor and part-time agent, and an experienced professional versus a brand new licensee. You need someone who knows the market and has the expertise to handle the negotiation or any road blocks along the way. A good realtor will have a network of reliable vendors to refer you when the need comes — home inspectors, pest control technicians, HVAC service providers, roofers, contractors, etc.

Selecting a mortgage lender is a must before you start house hunting. Don’t select a lender just because he or she offers you the best rate. You want to make sure the closing cost is reasonable and the loan can be closed on time with appraisal and underwriting ordered and completed on a timely manner. If the loan cannot be closed on the settlement date as agreed by both parties, buyers will risk losing the escrow security deposit.

Sign up for our next First Time Homebuyer Seminar by getting on our seminar distribution list.

Closing Tips for Buyers

November 27th, 2021 by admin

Make sure your closing date is included in your offer. Most of the time, closing dates are kept and you can move in or out according to schedule. However, if you’re moving in, make sure to give yourself a few days leeway. You wouldn’t want to wind up in limbo for a few days, without a home to stay in or a home to go to.