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Buying a home in Chantilly?

Buying a Home in Chantilly

Chantilly Virginia boast one of the most desirable areas in the country so it is no surprise people would want to move here.  With established neighborhoods like Parkside Manor and Pleasant Valley to developing communities like South Riding,  Chantilly has plenty to offer an interested purchaser.  Aside from having access to major arteries like Rte 50, Rte 28 and Rte 66 it’s a short drive from Washington D.C. as well as the Dulles Airport.  So if your heart is set on owning a property here in one of the metro areas finest suburbs, you might wonder how to start the process.  Let me explain the steps involved in finding and securing your new home:

  • Loan Pre-Approval
    • Before jumping in the car and looking at homes, you must first be pre-approved for a loan in order to show a seller that you are willing and able to purchase a property.  To get pre-approved you will need to call a lender with information regarding your salary, assets and credit score.  This is a very important first step of the process as it determines a price range available to a prospective buyer.  An area lender that I’ve worked with in the past and  would highly recommend is Christian Searle. 
  • Automatic Home Search
    • After pre-approval it’s time to set up an automatic home search directly through the multiple listing service or a home search website.  There are several programs out there that will send you new listing information as properties appear on the market.  Your realtor will help you develop a criteria based on your needs and qualifications to create your search.  Also feel free to start here  – Search Chantilly Homes
  • Viewing Properties
    • Once the home search is operating you should start to see online properties that interests you.  When setting appointments to view properties it’s important to keep in mind that every property has a different format of how the owners will allow showings.  It’s best to give at least 24 hour notice when possible.  Also important to note, after seeing several homes in a day the properties and features tend to blend together.  It’s best to limit yourself to a maximum of about 4 homes per tour.   
  • Writing a Sales Contract
    • Once you have found the property that fits your needs, it’s time to write an offer!  Your agent will help you prepare the contract to protect your wants and negotiating interests.  Writing a strong offer can be the difference in obtaining your home or losing out to a competitive offer.  Your pre-approval letter from your lender and an earnest money deposit (standard is 1% of the sales price in the form of a personal check) will be submitted with the offer. 
  • Ratified Contract
    • When the seller agrees to accept the contract, and has made all of the necessary initials we now have a ratified contract.  Once the contract is ratified, your earnest money deposit, or e.m.d., will be deposited into an escrow account.  At this point you will have 5 days to complete an application for your loan through your selected lender.  The ratified contract is sent to your lender and selected title company to begin processing.  If a home inspection contigency is included in the sales contract then it will be ordered at this time as well.
  • Home Owners Documents
    • In the event that you have purchased a property in a Home Owner’s Association, the seller must provide a disclosure package from the association.  This package will provide information regarding the financial and legal status of the association.  The disclosure package will include information regarding the condition and status of all improvements made to the property.  If the current owner has made any improvements to the property without the proper permits it will be noted in the package.  With this information you will also be able to “predict” any future assessments that the association may make.  The disclosure package will also include information regarding the architectural review and covenants of the subdivision. If you are not satisfied with any of this information, you have a three day right of rescission from the time you receive the homeowner’s documents.
  • Home Inspection
    • If a home inspection contingency is included in the contract, the inspection will be conducted within the first week/10 days of ratification usually.  Any items that you would like to be fixed will be put on an addendum and submitted to the seller. If the seller agrees to the addendum all items must be completed before closing. If not all items are agreed upon by the seller you will have three days to decide if you would like to accept the items they will not repair or you have the option to counter offer once more.  If an agreement is not made, both sides can void the contract and walk away without penalty.
  • Termite Inspection
    • It is typically the responsibility of the seller to conduct the termite inspection.  The buyer may select to conduct the inspection with their own company.  If there is any evidence of damage or termite activity, it is the responsibility of the seller to make necessary repairs and treatments to remedy the issue.
  • Appraisal
    • If you are planning on financing your new home, your sales contract will have a built in appraisal contingency.  Some buyers will elect to remove this contingency in the event of strong competition; however, this should be avoided at all costs.  In the event that a property does not appraise for the sales price there are four options:
      • The buyer can pay the difference in cash
      • The seller can lower the sales price to the appraised value
      • The buyer and seller can meet somewhere in the middle
      • In the event that an agreement can’t be made, the buyer has the right to void the contract 
  • Walkthrough
    • The walkthrough will usually be conducted the day of or the day before closing.  At this point you will walk through the property to ensure that all appliances, utilities and fixtures are in normal working order.  You will also have the oppurtunity to check the home inspection items agreed to in the addendum to the contract to make sure they have been repaired.  If there are issues, they can be resolved by a seller credit at closing or through escrow. 
  • Settlement
    • On the day of settlement both the seller and buyer will meet at the title company for closing.  The seller will sign the deed and HUD-1 and give you the keys to the property.  You will sign the loan Trust documents and deed as well.  About ten days before closing I will contact you with the exact date, time and what you need to do prior.

NOTE: For foreclosures, short sales and new constructions leave yourself a 7-10 day buffer before you plan to move in.

These are all the steps in the general home buying process.  In Virginia it is custom for the seller to pay the full real estate commission for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.  I would strongly recommend hiring a buyer’s agent, it gives you an ally through the process and cost you absolutely nothing.  For more information or specific questions click here.


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Shaun Resimont

Shaun is a twenty year resident of Northern Virginia. Since 2004 he has specialized in helping people find a place to call home. With a background in sales, customer service and a client first attitude, Shaun has the ability to smoothly guide you through the home buying process. When not helping his clients, Shaun enjoys spending time with his two daughters, golfing and touring the local vineyards. He is ready to provide the service you deserve to make sure your next real estate experience is a success!

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