Ashburn, VA – Shaking off the worst of the winter’s cold, Northern Virginia homebuyers are deciding that now is a great time to start looking at purchasing a home, especially in Arlington county. According to the Washington Times’ recent article, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/29/arlington-county-among-fastest-growing-in-virginia/, only Loudoun and Fredericksburg grew faster than Arlington over the past four years. In addition, Ashburn and Loudoun area home buyers and sellers will be facing the season’s most active real estate market they’ve seen in years. Housing inventories have bobbed up and down recently, but real estate brokers expect more buyers to pursue a smaller pool of properties. The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) predicts lower housing inventory levels are expected to continue throughout 2014, although overall prices are ticking back up. http://fcnp.com/2014/01/15/nvar-reports-home-prices-bouncing-back/
How can home buyers prepare?
Northern Virginian home buyers should be prepared to view and select a property from a smaller inventory pool of homes for sale in the Loudoun and Ashburn areas. Fewer homes means the home buyer has fewer choices with more competition. This smaller selection may cause several buyers to bid on one property. However, by working with my experienced brokerage team, you can leverage our expertise to guide you through the complicated process of a multiple offer situation.
Secondly, existing home sales will continue to favor buyers who are flexible and can see past the small defects of outdated style, worn carpet and old paint. What appears to be a great price for a home may include 60’s style wallpaper and peeling linoleum flooring. Also, keep in mind that sellers want a buyer who can put in a top offer without contingencies, such as selling their own home first.
Finally, home buyers should look into building a new home. Not only will the buyer have the ability to pick out the paint colors and cabinets, they will also avoid a potential bidding war with other buyers on an existing home. Building a new home, while time consuming, may be a great option for buyers willing to wait longer for their home. Ask my team about reduced down payment requirements or low mortgage interest rates for new home builders in the area. Builders are seeing a slow increase in competition and may promote special financing incentives. Buyers who may not have considered a new build may be pleasantly surprised.
Quick list for first time buyers
Not sure where to begin on a making the jump from renter to home owner? Here are a few suggestions to make the process go smoother:
- Check your credit first. By knowing ahead of time what your credit looks like before looking at homes for sale, a buyer can head off any surprises and get a good number set up to qualify for a mortgage.
- Be prepared to pull out the paperwork. Getting a home loan requires documentation and proof of income. Bank statements, direct deposits, paycheck stubs, savings accounts and other financial data will be needed by the loan officer to complete a pre-approval for a mortgage.
- Evaluate several mortgage lenders to find one you are comfortable with to get a pre-approval letter. The lender should be an expert in working loans out for your situation and explaining what the latest requirements are, such as down payment amounts or qualifying restrictions for jumbo loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, VA loans, 203k loans and more.
How does the market affect home sellers?
The changing market place means that homeowners need to get a handle on the current market value of their home. A tighter seller’s market requires a suitable list price using the most up-to-date real estate market information. With real estate prices and local inventory levels constantly shifting, just a few weeks’ time can change the market price for a home.
Using a licensed expert will make sure your property is appropriately valued for the current market place. For a current market valuation of your home, email my office: Justin@E4Realty.com. By running a complete search of the database, we can find all the comparable homes for your specific neighborhood based on recently closed sales for pinpoint accuracy. An up-to-date market analysis includes recently sold listings as well as what active homes are for sale on the market, and the subsequent price range.
In addition to a current market value, homeowners may need assistance sorting through a multiple offer situation if more than one buyer is interested in buying the home. The highest and best price is not always the foremost consideration, as closing deadlines or contingencies may come into play. As your listing agent, my team and I can help weigh the offers as your individual needs require.
The next step in the home buying or selling process is to pick up the phone and get all your Loudoun and Ashburn real estate questions answered today. Email me at Justin@E4Realty.com to get a free, no obligation market analysis plus all the active real estate listings in northern Virginia, including Loudoun and Ashburn counties. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how my team and I can put our expertise to work for you on either listing your home or finding the perfect place in beautiful northern Virginia to call home.