Buying a home in Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads need not be “Paralysis by Analysis” and these 10 Really Good Tips may help you when ready to pull the trigger on a real estate purchase.
As always, consult your REALTOR(R) here with any questions that may arise. You can consult the online full “buyer guide” by clicking the picture to your left.
1. Start with reviewing your credit report 12-18 months out from potential home buying. No Really Good credit means no mortgage from a lender. Pull your credit report from the Government’s free service at annualcreditreport.com. If you end up on a website that asks for a fee to see your credit you are at the wrong webpage. Review your free credit report and look for errors. If you find any errors get them corrected through the credit reporting agency that provided the report. Starting early on reviewing your credit allows for fixing most issues. Every little point helps with your credit score. Read more about credit and home mortgages here.
2. Get pre-approved by a Really Good respectable lender. This needs to be accomplished prior to scheduling homes to see or buy. You want to be ready to write a contract on your “dream home” thus having the pre-approval completed is a must. Set your desired budget you want to be at for a monthly mortgage payment to include taxes, insurance, and home owner association fees (if required). Have the lender explain closing costs and what they cover and what if any you need from a seller concession. Need a respectable lender? Just ask for recommendations. The Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads real estate market is improving and multiple contracts may start occurring again – you need to be ready to buy.
3. Once pre-approved start browsing for the price range of homes or condos you may be interested with using the Virginia Beach Real Estate Advanced IDX MLS search feed located here. Register and sign up for listing alerts so you see the most recent homes that come on the market in your chosen area/neighborhood. Know what your “wants and needs” are and stay focused. Contact Dennis Blackmore with any questions about homes or condos viewed and to set up appointments to view.
4. Do your due diligence when considering any area or neighborhood(s). This means driving through the neighborhood at different times of the day, view crime reports if necessary, and maybe talk to home owners near the property. Buyer Beware means just that – review the Consumer Disclosure Information Form provided by Dennis Blackmore. Write down your questions.
5. Check out local Virginia Beach schools to see if they meet your requirements. Homes in good school districts sell and you should keep real estate resale in mind at all times. To search Virginia Beach homes for sale by school district go to this real estate page.
6. After you have found the Virginia Beach home you want make the decision to write the contract. Often waiting a couple days (or sometimes hours) may result in the home being sold particularly as the market continues to improve. Have your pre-approval and Earnest Money Deposit ready to provide your REALTOR(R) for inclusion with the offer to purchase. Earnest Money is your commitment to the purchase offer.
7. Once your contract to buy the home is “ratified” (all parties agree) then prepare for home and other inspections. A home inspection is always recommended and normally a contingency on the contract. Other inspections (if required or necessary) may include pool, septic, well water, lead based paint, termite/moisture, etc. Read more about home inspections and tips here.
8. Obtain and read your home owner/property owner/condo association documents (if required) to ensure you understand the rules, regulations, and financial solvency about your new neighborhood or development. Normally, like a home inspection this will be a contingency document in your offer to purchase. If you have questions about the documents you may want to consult a real estate attorney. Generally association documents are very straight forward with no surprises.
9. Be responsive to your REALTOR(R) and lender for any documents they may request. Offers to purchase carry certain timelines to get things done and you do not want to be in default.
10. Walk Thru and Closing. You will have a walk-thru prior to your closing. This walk-thru is ensure any repairs were completed (receipts provided) and the home is essentially in the same condition as when you ratified the contract. Be available to tour the property with your REALTOR(R) and have the utilities changed over to your name effective the closing date. The closing firm will have had liaison with you regarding any documents needed (example: power of attorney) and if required tell you how much funds to bring to closing.
Get ready to get your keys and move-in!!