Category Archives: Buying A Home

6 Ways To Save Money For Your First Home


For many first-time home buyers, the idea of a 20% down payment is terrifying. It’s one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership. Maybe you want to own a home someday, but the thought of saving up thousands of dollars for a home purchase has deterred you from seriously considering it.

Believe it or not, it is possible to save enough money for a down payment and make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Here are just a few of the ways that you can start saving.

 

1. Track How Much You Spend Now

When saving for your first home, you’ll need to stick to a budget. Awareness of how much you spend can help you figure out where you can cut your costs. Consumer.gov outlines a few tips for creating a budget here.

2. Determine What You Can Afford

home buyer tracking financesEven if you don’t plan to buy a home for a few years, figuring out how much you can afford for your home will make your savings goal more concrete. Don’t forget to include taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance in your monthly payment calculations.

3. Start Small

Start saving for your down payment and other homeownership costs as soon as you can. The earlier you start, the less you will have to cut your spending and the more time you’ll have to reach your goal.

4. Shop Around for Other Loans

If you find that a 20% down payment is unrealistic, you can opt for a mortgage that offers lower down payment options. FHA loans, for instance, offer 3.5% down, and VA loans offer no money down.

Make sure to do your research. If you put less than 20% down on a home, you will have to purchase private mortgage insurance. We can talk more in depth about home financing options available to you.

home buyer looking at bank account

 

5. Make Your Savings Automatic

Many people find it’s easier to save money if it’s automatically transferred into a savings account every month. Check to see if your bank offers automatic funds transfer services, or ask if your employer can direct a portion of your paycheck into your savings account.

Web 1st Time

 

6. Create a Separate Savings Account

Establishing a savings account specifically for your down payment and homeownership costs is another great way to set aside money for a home. If you decide to automatically transfer money to savings, creating a separate account may make it even easier.

We Can Make Your First Home Buying Experience Easier

When you’ve saved up enough money and are ready to buy a home, we have all the resources you need to make your homeownership dreams a reality. Have a question about owning a home? Call us.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

Karen Biz Card

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

The 6 Most Important Home Buying Resources

home buying resourcesScrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and pondering the décor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only enjoyable experience; the entire home buying process can be pleasant when you have access to the 6 most important home buying resources

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of the loan, the interest rate, and annual tax and insurance to calculate how much you will pay every month.

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool

home buying resourcesIf you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It’s important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • What are the parking options in the community?
  • Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
  • How is the local school district?

We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home.  Home buying resources provided by us are customized to your requirements

5. A List of Recently Sold Homes

home buying resourcesResearching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier.

If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.

You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too.

6. A Local Real Estate Expert Is The Most Important Of The Home Buying Resources

But your best home buying resource in this area is the local real estate expert. He or she will have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Are you ready to buy a home? Let us help! Contact us today and we can work with you to find your ideal home. The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

home buying resources

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

home buying resources

3 Surprising Ways Public Schools Affect Your House Hunt

house huntIt’s back-to-school season and hard to relate it to a house hunt.  School supplies are front and center in the stores, back-to-school sales are everywhere, and school buses are becoming part of the morning commute.

Even if the public school district is not an important factor in your house hunt, the location of public schools can still have a significant impact on your home buying decision.

If you are looking for a home near a school, you may want to take these factors into consideration.

1. School Speed Zones

Pay attention to the speed limit around schools and times that the school zone speed is enforced. You may want to consider a home that has convenient alternate routes around the school zone.

2. School Bus Stops

Whether there is a bus route through your neighborhood or on a major thoroughfare, it can affect traffic around your home. Call the school district and ask if there is a bus that stops near your home to pick up students

3. Morning and Afternoon Traffic

house hunt
Traffic congestion near public schools may be an issue during the weekdays. Crowded carpool lanes and frequent bus stops can turn a short trip to the grocery store into a frustrating ordeal.

When you are searching for your home, visit the area during peak morning and afternoon hours. Again, you may want to consider a home that is farther from the school or has convenient alternate routes.

We Are Your House Hunt Guide

house huntA school’s location can affect your decision to buy a home, especially if you are new to the area. But a real estate agent is your local expert, giving you everything you need to know about how the nearby schools will affect your morning commute or afternoon trip to the store.

We can help you find the best home in the best location. Call us and let’s talk about your home search.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

house hunt

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

house hunt

Moving – An Unavoidable Part Of The Real Estate Process

Moving Van Root CanalThere are fewer things in life that are more stressful than moving.  For home buyers and sellers   moving is the “last play” of the real estate transaction – you either receive or surrender the keys to a home.   One of the most anxiety inspiring aspects of the moving process is not knowing how much it will cost until it is too late to change your mind! There are a number of different factors that will influence the cost of hiring a moving professional. Here are a few of the primary things that will factor into the cost of your move.

Time of year

The warmer months are the times of year when the majority of people choose to . For this reason, moving companies get booked up many months in advance. Trying to hire a mover at the last minute during a busy moving season can end up costing you a lot more than you would normally pay. Remember to book your moving company as far in advance as you can plan. Also, if you are able to move in the “off season” you may get a better rate

Size of your home

Most movers will be able to quote you a ballpark price for moving your home based on the numbers and types of rooms in your home. Movers are well trained in being able to estimate how much packing and moving is involved in a 400 square foot kitchen as opposed to a 200 square foot library. When you first contact your moving company, be prepared with as much information about the size of your home, number of rooms and type of rooms you are moving. Also, be prepared to explain the size and type of the place you are moving into. In general, the larger your home, the more expensive your move, but this is not always the case depending on the type of rooms and their contents

Distance you are moving

If you are moving across the country, this will be more expensive than moving across Web Buyers Atown. Part of that expense is in the gas and wear on the moving van. But this is also due in part to the labor and coordination involved in one crew packing your things in one state and another unpacking in another state. Sometimes, vans also are required to meet up with other vans mid trip and consolidate your belongings onto a different van that might be headed to your new locale. When you are quoted a price from your moving company, be prepared to ask a lot of questions about where your belongings are going, what route and all the details of the packing and unpacking of the van

 

Packing yourself vs. full service moving

The full service mover takes care of every aspect of the move. They will pack, load, move and unload your items. If you want to save money you can opt to pack everything yourself. However, you may end up being better off paying for the full service moving option. If a mover packs everything for you, then they also shoulder the responsibility for breakage due to poor packing and will absorb

Accessibility

When you call a moving company regarding your move be sure to tell them anything about the home you are moving from or moving into that might be difficult to access with a large moving van. If you live down a very long and narrow driveway, or up a step mountain road, then the moving van may not be able to get close enough to your home to load and unload directly adjacent to the house or building. IN this case, you may be subject to extra fees for carrying your belongings a farther distance to and from the van

Extra costs

Although every effort is made to gather the most accurate information regarding your move, be aware that many factors affect the cost of a move. You may incur other costs if there is a flight of stairs in your new home, if you purchase insurance, or if you use the moving company’s boxes rather than your own. Be aware when hiring movers that the price you are quoted isn’t always the final price you pay so talk to your movers about these extra charges and be prepared.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

moving

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

moving

 

5 Pros and 5 Cons of A Homeowners’ Association

.
Homeowners' Association

Across the U.S., homeowners’ associations are on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly constructed homes in 2014 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent in 2009.

So, what’s the draw of a homeowners’ association? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?

“A well-run and managed HOA can be a blessing, and a poorly managed HOA can be a curse,” says Bruce Ailion, a broker at RE/MAX Town and Country in Woodstock, Ga.

Here, real estate agents and homeowners weigh in on the blessings and the curses of homeowners’ associations (HOAs).

Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.

Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks sharp, says Brad Pauly, owner and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.

“This type of oversight eliminates issues with one or two properties weighing down all property values due to an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.

Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.

An HOA usually offers community amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas and security gates, Pauly says.

Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.

HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces, according to Lyons. This includes community lawn care (but not for your own yard), community snow removal (but not for your own property) and upkeep of common areas like the pool or the fitness center.

Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.

Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company, Lyons says.

Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.

Gina Estrada, who lives in a gated HOA community in Clovis, Calif., says that if you’re elected to serve on the HOA board or are otherwise active in the association, you’ll become better acquainted with your neighbors. Heck, you might even make some new friends. “I believe we should know our surroundings, including the people in them,” Estrada says.

Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.

When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. The dues vary, but typically run in the hundreds of dollars per month.

Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.

If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. “It’s possible that an HOA could prevent certain updates on a home,” Pauly says.

Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.

If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community, Pauly says.

Con No. 4: You’ll lose some of your freedom.

When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous, Lyons says.

“You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowners’ association to change any rule you don’t agree with. But if you lose, you will have to live with it,” Lyons says.

Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.

Estrada says her HOA elected a “rogue” homeowner to the board who decided to flaunt the rules and do whatever he wanted. For instance, Estrada says, the rogue board member thought the community needed speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them installed. That move caused a neighborhood uproar. The process to take out the speed bumps and remove the rogue homeowner from the board cost several thousand dollars, including legal fees, she says.

“When there is one rogue homeowner, it can really mess things up,” Estrada says.

Problems also arise when homeowners stop attending HOA meetings, Estrada says, and it’s left to a small group of people to make decisions.

“The board of directors of a homeowners’ association is made up of your neighbors. If you want to have a say in how things go, you have to serve on the board,” says Ailion.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

Homeowners' Association

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

Homeowners' Association

This articale by John Egan was originally posted in RISMedia’shousecall

John Egan is editor in chief at LawnStarter, which connects homeowners with lawn care professionals.

Fixer Upper Or Rehab – Which Should You Buy?

Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper

is a home that is structurally sound and only needs some cosmetic changes to bring it up in value. This can include paint, new carpeting or refinished floors. It also can include non-essentials like updated kitchen cabinets or lighting fixtures—essentially things you can do yourself, if you’re handy, that won’t require a lot of heavy lifting.

fixer upper

 

Rehab

is a project that is a lot more than that and can include everything from roof replacements to repairing water damage and replacing electrical components.

 

The Differences

Somewhere between the two is changing the structural layout of the home to be more open, which likely involves contractor work and permitting but won’t make the house leak or catch on fire if it doesn’t get done.

Perhaps the best way to understand it is this: if you can live in the home safely and comfortably while you’re doing work, chances are it’s a little fixer job, not a full scale rehab. If you will have to go to great strides to inhabit a property before it’s more than halfway finished, it’s leaning towards a rehab.

Risks And Rewards

All of this goes to say that when you buy a home with the anticipation of doing work on it, there are risks and rewards associated with each. While the term fixer upper is pretty widely applied to homes that need renovation before they will be up to snuff for most buyers, the difference between something that needs a couple touches and something that needs its foundation redone is huge. The closer you tread towards the rehab side of the equation, the more risk and potential for expense comes with it (remember that Tom Hanks movie the “The Money Pit”?) When you’re shopping for any home, you should hire a professional inspector to come through and examine your property, and they should be able to give you an idea of what types of things may be wrong with your investment before you buy.

There are benefits that come with buying a home that needs a lot of work however, and if you’re ready for the labor involved you can quickly grow an investment. Getting a home that requires repair opens you up to a less competitive, less expensive market with unique funding options (including mortgages that estimate and fund repairs as part of the principal). It can also mean rates, stolen copper, and unexpected outcomes. Rehabbing a property that you buy for, say, $60,000 in a neighborhood where homes regularly sell for $120,000 or $140,000 is a great deal, so long as you can get everything repaired for under $30,000 or $40,000. Not only will the home jump up in value by a great margin as it gets up to speed with surrounding homes, but it will appreciate regularly in value over time with the market and inflation, adding to your profit if you choose to hold onto it (either to live in or as a rental property).

When it comes to choosing a project house, should you go with something light or go the full rehab route? First, consider your expectations. Once you know what your resources and level of commitment look like, you can start looking for the property that best fits your investment strategy

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy a fixer upper or rehab property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

fixer upper

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

fixer upper

.Know the Difference: Fixer Uppers vs. Rehab HomesPosted on Nov 16 2015 – 3:14pm by Housecall by Nicholas Brown.  The text has been modified

5 New Home Mistakes to Absolutely Avoid

new homeA home is a major investment and it’s one that stands to appreciate if you continue to invest your money wisely. Avoiding these five critical mistakes will help you turn your home into your greatest asset instead of your greatest expense.

1) Don’t sell too soon.

Generally speaking, it takes at least three to five years to gain home equity. That said, it’s best to avoid reinvesting on professional movers for at least as long.  Moving is expensive, time-consuming and stressful. If you tend to move a lot or want the freedom to come and go to see the world, you might consider moving into an apartment or condo before you think about buying a single-family new home.

2) Don’t forego the inspection.

Having a home inspection is a crucial step in the new home buying process. The job of an inspector is to identify any potential problems with the home — problems that, left undiscovered, may leave you with hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.

A home inspection may reveal major issues with:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Eroding foundation
  • Improper insulation
  • Faulty chimney
  • Water damage
  • Pest infestations

3) Don’t go too big.

Always think in the long term when buying a home. Are you starting a family? Are you buying for more than one family? Is this house just for you, as an individual or a couple? If you buy a house that’s too big, you could be stuck with far more maintenance than you wish to perform like when the water heater goes out, or the AC needs fixing. So make sure you don’t put thousands into a home that doesn’t suit your needs.

4) Don’t overspend on new home landscaping.

As you’re settling into your new home, you’ll probably consider a lot of renovations. Look before you leap. Unless your home requires immediate renovations, try to spend new homethe first year making smaller changes and building up your budget — especially when it comes to landscaping. Maybe reseed the grass if it’s in poor condition, but don’t add on a new porch or deck. It’s best to wait at least two years before budgeting for big exterior improvements; this way, you’re better prepared financially should a surprise maintenance issue drain you in the interim.

5) Don’t forget the warranty.

If your home doesn’t come equipped with reliable appliances, you’ll have to purchase them. Consider the warranty on any appliance you consider. Whether you should get an extended warranty depends on how worried you are about the brand of the appliance and the price you pay for it. Cheap appliances are more likely to break down before the warranty is up; high-end appliances are more likely to outlast even the extended warranty.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a new home or any property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

new home

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

\

The text in this posr was originally posted on  RISMedia’s housecall  Nov 5 2015.  The photos have been changed.  

new home

“Know Before You Owe” – New Rules Now In Effect Could Impact Closing Costs And Date

know before you know“Know Before You Owe”. That is true now more than ever. if you’re a home buyer, changes to the closing process are now in effect

New regulations go into effect on Saturday, October 3rd, providing new loan disclosure forms that are designed to help you better understand the terms of your home mortgage before you close on your new home. That means if you applied for a loan on or after that date, you will receive the easier-to-understand forms.

What You Need to Know About the New Closing Disclosures

To summarize, these new rules combine mortgage loan disclosures from both the Truth-In-Lending Act (which informs consumers about loan terms) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (which deals with closings) into one simplified set of disclosure forms for home buyers who are getting a mortgage.

The official title to these regulations is a mouthful — Truth-In-Lending Act / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule— so the regulations are just referred to as TRID. (The enforcement agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also calls it Know Before You Owe“.

“Know Before You Owe” is designed to help borrowers clearly understand the costs and terms of their home mortgages. Here are the changes that you can expect from these new regulations, from the number of forms you’ll need to fill out to the time requirements that can alter your closing date.

You’ll Have Two Forms Instead of Four

If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll receive two forms under “Know Before You Owe.” The first, a loan estimate, based on your financial information. You’ll receive the loan estimate 3 business days after applying for your mortgage. The second, a closing disclosure, which outlines all of the costs you will need to pay. You’ll receive that form 3 business days before closing.

These two new forms are more user-friendly, and are replacing four separate forms that home buyers received before — two Truth-In-Lending statements, the loan estimate, and a list of itemized fees.

With these new regulations, you will have time to review the terms of your mortgage well before closing, so you can understand exactly what fees there will be. You can read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s full guide to the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms here.

There is a 3-Day Review Period Before Closing

Under the new “Know Before You Owe” rules, mortgage lenders must send you easier-to-understand information about your loan — the Closing Disclosure form — 3 business days before closing on your home, giving you time to review the terms of your mortgage.

However, some changes to the mortgage terms — like changes to your interest rate or the loan product itself — will mean that you will need another 3-business-day review period, possibly delaying your closing date. If you would like an overview of the details, the CFPB highlights the instances where the 3-day review period would be affected.

We Can Answer Your Questions About “Know Before You Owe”

If you are buying a home and have questions about these new regulations, and what it might mean for closing on your home in the future, contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions in detail.  Over the years we have encountered numerous regulation changes that demand a need to “Know Before You Owe”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

know before you owe

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

know before you owe

The 7 Best House Hunting Strategies

House hunting strategies really come into play now that Spring is almost here! The warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and longer days are perfect for viewing homes in person, and it’s no wonder that the spring season is a popular time for home buyers to start looking at homes and neighborhoods.

But before you start driving around and visiting open houses, you should follow these important house hunting tips.

house hunting strategies1. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Getting preapproved for a home loan is one of the best tools you have when searching for a home, especially when you have competition.

If you are preapproved, the home seller takes your offer seriously and may end up accepting your offer over another interested home buyer who is not preapproved.  Of all the house hunting strategies this is the miost important

2. Get to Know the Neighborhood

If you have a specific home in mind, it’s best to visit the area more than once, at different times of the day and week.

3. Have a List of Your Wants and Needs

Have a detailed house hunting checklist outlining your wants and needs, and make sure that your list covers the type of home (e.g. house or condo), the location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and home features that you are looking for.

One mistake that home buyers make during their home search, however, is having a wish list that is too strict. You don’t want to get stuck searching for the perfect home that may not exist.

house hunting strategies4. Don’t Be Afraid to Examine Everything

If you have narrowed your home search and are viewing homes in person, it’s time to examine everything: doorknobs, cabinets, windows, faucets, light switches. Now is the time to find out if there is anything that needs repair, not after closing.

5. Consider the Weather

Relocating from another state or country? When buying a home in a new area, considering weather conditions and seasonal temperature changes is important.

For example, you may value a home that has a covered garage if you move to an area where snow is more common, or you may want to choose a home with a shaded backyard.

6. Order the Home Inspection

It’s crucial to have a trained professional examine the home you are interested in buying, even a home that has just been built. This is the best way to identify any major repairs that need to be made.  This is where the “rubber meets the road” in your house hunting strategies.  It alerts you to existing and potential problems that could impact negatively on this property as a realistic choice.

house hunting strategies7. Put My Experience To Work For You

If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed while house hunting and competing with other home buyers, I will be there to guide you through the process and keep you focused on the next steps.

I want you to be able to find the best home in the best location, and I am here to help. So if you are searching for a home this spring, talk with me about what you are looking for in a home and we can find it together.

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket We have used these “best house hunting strategies” many times over

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

house hunting strategies

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

house hunting strategies

Can You Purchase A home With Student Loans?

student loansAs more millennials are preparing to buy a home, one issue is making it difficult for many — student loans.

The Project on Student Debt calculated that just about 7 in 10 college graduates in the Class of 2014 had student loan debt, and on average each student had about $29,000 in loans.

With mortgages often amounting to well over a hundred thousand dollars, many first-time home buyers may be asking whether they can even qualify for financing with their student debt.

So, is it possible to buy a home even with thousands of dollars in student loans? It depends.

What’s Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?

It all comes down to your debt-to-income ratio, or what percentage of your gross monthly income goes toward your total monthly mortgage payments.

Lenders recommend a debt-to-income ratio no greater than 36%, with no more than 28% of your monthly income going toward paying off your mortgage. As an example, someone who earns $50,000 in a year and has $1,500 in monthly debt payments would be right at the 36% recommendation.

student loansSo even if you are saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans, it is possible to obtain financing for a home if your debt-to-income ratio is right around that recommended ratio.

You Also Need to Consider Credit History

When home buyers apply for a mortgage, lenders look at whether they pay their bills on time and their employment history, for instance. If you have good credit history, that may further help you qualify for a mortgage.

You can always talk to a reputable lender about whether you can qualify for a mortgage with your student loan debt. Talk with us and we can help you get started with the mortgage pre-qualification process.

We Can Talk About Your Home Buying Plans

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the area, we can also recommend a reputable local mortgage lender so you can discuss the right mortgage for you, including interest rates and down payments. We even offer a free mortgage calculator on our website that can help you calculate monthly mortgage payments.

Contact us today and we can get started!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

student loans

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

student loans