Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Northern Virginia Real Estate Trends— Buying a House Before Marriage

The American dream of owning a home is still alive and well and it seems more popular among those soon to be married. According to AOL Real Estate, Northern Virginia homebuyers may actually be better off purchasing a home before they tie the knot. Here are some reasons to consider buying a home in the Northern Virginia or DC areas if you're in this situation:

The most limiting factor in buying Northern Virginia real estate is the debt of your future spouse. For instance, if your future spouse has a low credit score, credit card debt, auto loans, and other financial obligations, you may have trouble qualifying for homes for sale in Northern Virginia. In some cases, by purchasing a house before you're married, you can avoid this problem.

Credit Score
If you have a higher credit score than your future spouse, it is important to know that lenders often take the lower of the scores. Because of this, you may be granted a higher interest rate even if you have a higher credit score. The way around it? You guessed it. Buying a home before you get married— if you know your credit scores now, you may be able to improve them before the time comes to buy.

If your spouse cannot source cash deposits in their bank account, it's a losing situation for the both of you. AOL Real Estate advises, "the mortgage company is still required by federal law to source any deposits beyond one's normal income source. [This is] another problem that's solved by buying the house first."

Loan Type
When using a conventional loan for your Northern Virginia home, and the other spouse is not included on the loan, their debts will not be included in your ratio that determines how much you are able to borrow in a home loan. However, they will be factored in when using FHA, VA, and USDA loans.

The moral of this real estate story? Buying a home when you're married can limit your lending options. Ready to start the search with a trusted, experienced real estate professional? Contact me today to discuss your options and begin the home search.

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna.

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Your Trusted, Experienced Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling or buying Northern Virginia real estate, you have a lot of decisions to make— and it all starts with finding a trusted real estate professional. Beginning your search for homes for sale in Northern Virginia will be a much smoother process when you have an experienced industry professional on your side. But can you really put a price on experience? One real estate study says yes, you can.

According to the Wall Street Journal, veteran real estate agents vastly outsell their rookie counterparts, at prices around 12 percent or more of their less experienced counterparts. "Veteran agents tend to list more new properties, more townhouses and condominiums and larger properties."

"The more experience you have, the more likely you are to sell the properties you list," said Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. "The more likely you are to sell [the home] at a higher price and the less time it stays on the market."

In fact, two-thirds of properties listed by veteran agents sold, while only half of properties listed by rookie agents sold. But why? As you may have guessed, veteran agents have greater knowledge of neighborhoods and a larger network of homebuyers and sellers, as well as relationships with home inspectors, appraisers, and mortgage brokers.

That's where I come in. With over three decades of experience in helping Northern Virginia/DC homebuyers and sellers make the most of their investment and lifestyle needs, I have the knowledge of the area to help you achieve your Northern Virginia real estate goals. As one of the top producing professionals in the Northern Virginia/DC area, you can count on me to sell your home in the area and help you find one that meets your needs— in the right amount of time.

Looking to sell (or buy) a home in Northern Virginia or Washington, DC area? I am your trusted, experienced real estate professional that can help you achieve your real estate goals and needs. Contact me today to start your process of moving to a new home!

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna.

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Staying Safe When Buying Northern Virginia Real Estate

When banking or shopping online, many consumers feel comfortable in the state of their security. You can protect your credit card numbers, use certified payment methods, and stay on track to avoiding identity theft— but how about when buying Northern Virginia real estate? When starting your home search online, there are online precautions to take to ensure both you and your personal information are kept safe.

"People who are looking for a home have money and criminals are out there watching," says the head of global research and analysis team of antivirus and security software company Kaspersky Lab. "It's like walking around a minefield. Buyers need to take steps to protect their information from identify theft and their computer from viruses."

Update Your Computer's Security
If you head online to look for homes for sale in Northern Virginia, your new computer can quickly become riddled with malware. The easiest precaution you can take it updating your computer's security software— anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and a firewall.

Update Your Browser
It's easy to lose sight of your personal information when using an outdated browser. Be sure to update your browser of choice by downloading the latest version and make sure all plug-ins have been updated as well.

Pick Up The Phone
It's not always a wise idea to send personal and confidential information through the internet. Sometimes picking up the phone to relay that information and confirm a person's identity can protect you from a world of headache later.

Shred Away
I am sponsoring a shredding event on September 21. You are welcome to bring papers to shred via our professional shredding truck. Come have a cup of coffee and a doughnut— and relax! There's no taking out staples, removing clips, or taking papers out of notebooks. You can simply drive up, dump your shredding documents, and be on your way!

The shredding event is on Saturday, September 21 from 10 AM to 1 PM at my office. 7010 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. Feel free to call with any questions: 703-750-2900.

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who's Buying Northern Virginia Real Estate? This Group!

More and more homebuyers have been entering the real estate market, looking for homes for sale in Northern Virginia. But who makes up this group of homebuyers? According to the National Association of Realtors, "more Americans are opting to live alone, with single buyers making up a quarter of all home purchases last year."

"In the U.S., there are 33 million one-person households, and living solo is an international trend," MSN Real Estate also reported.

But why are so many Northern Virginia homebuyers living alone? The fact, as determined by sociologists, remains that among this local real estate demographic, many of them are marrying later, divorcing more, and living longer.

It has also been determined recently that more homebuyers looking for Northern Virginia real estate are single women."Solo households are mostly women: 18 million women live alone versus 14 million men [with] the majority of solo households in cities and metro areas," one sociologist reported.

With more homebuyers being single and searching for real estate in Northern Virginia, the perk is being able to focus on lifestyles and how that translates into real estate— home features, home styles, and housing characteristics that play into a homebuyer's specific interests.

Agents say single person households may tend to be drawn to more low-maintenance homes, typically condos, and yet according to data, still place a high priority on buying homes in Northern Virginia that are in good school districts— for resale purposes.

The biggest challenge for single homebuyers is qualifying for a mortgage— do you fall into that category? If you're looking to buy a house in Northern Virginia and begin discussing your options for financing your new home, contact me today.

Let me show you the Best Real Estate in Northern Virginia and help you find your dream home!

Earle Whitmore