What Should I Know When I am Buying a House Near Virginia Beach
Article by:Tein Hlwa
Buying a home can be hard, and frustrating, but at the same time exciting especially when you are a first-time homebuyer.
To get more familiar with the home-buying process, here are 10 tips to help you get started as you start looking to buy a home near Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Make a what “I need” and “what I want” list: identity what features are necessary near Virginia Beach as well as those that would be nice to have when you begin your home search. Write down the non-negotiable features your new home needs — the more specific, the better.
If a home near Virginia Beach, doesn’t have your entire list don’t bother. For any listing make sure it has all your must-haves and keep track of it. During the open house, take notes and photos of the property so you can review them later when deciding what you need and what’s right for you.
- Determine your budget: understanding how much house you can afford helps when buying a new home. You can estimate approximately how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can handle beforehand. Then focus on your needs as well as your price range. Doing this will give you a better idea of the kind of home that is within your budget.
Watch expenses and save more: saving cash for a down payment doesn’t happen overnight so cut down unnecessary spending. Skip the extra coffee trips and place money in a special account to watch your progress. If you have a hard time saving ask your employer to deposit some of your paychecks into a savings account or have your bank automatically deposit money into your savings account.
Interview real estate agents:choose a few agents near Virginia Beach, before deciding who you want to work with on your home-buying process. Find out how long the agent has worked in real estate in the area. Ask if the agent works alone or with a team, and what their schedule is like over the coming months. Schedule an interview with real estate agents to see which one makes the best sense for you and your needs.
- Work with a local agent: hire a Virginia Beach real estate agent who has the experience, negotiating methods, a large network, and local knowledge to help get you through the process and to help close on the right home for you.
Disclosure Requirements are not as Strict in Virginia
In Virginia, sellers are only mostly obligated to remind buyers of their responsibility to inspect the home. They’re only required to provide additional information if:
- The property is located near a military installation.
- Drywall is defective; or
- The property was a former meth lab, and it has yet to be cleaned as per state guidelines.
- You can read more about the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act
Real Estate Purchase Agreements are a Must
In Virginia, it’s mandatory to have a purchase agreement signed by the buyer and the seller. It’s a legal document that outlines details such as your offer, the acceptance of that offer, a description of the property, and the terms and conditions of the sale.
Make sure to sit down and take the time to outline the main terms at the negotiation table. Have your real estate agent add contingency clauses in case issues were found with the title and/or the property itself.
Negotiating position:while the home search near Virginia Beach can be a very long process, keeping your composure is a must versus being over-enthusiastic. Avoid letting the home seller hear you make any statements about the home when viewing like how much in love you are with the property.
- Make an offer: negotiating isn’t easy; discuss the following aspects of your offer with your agent and have a complete understanding of the financial implications before you sign a contract for the home near Virginia Beach like these:
Market price: your agent can help you determine an offer price based on your budget, market, and comparable homes in the area.
Money deposit: placing a portion of the purchase price in an escrow account can show the seller that you are serious. Discuss the scenarios that could cause you to lose this deposit.
Contingencies: these are provisions that may let you get out of your contract without losing your deposit under certain circumstances, like passing a home inspection or appraisal, or securing a loan. With your agent, review how these provisions can protect a buyer’s interests and what impact they can have on a sale.
Get an appraisal: if you’ve applied for a mortgage, your home-to-be near Virginia Beach
needs a home appraisal. An appraiser will estimate the home’s value based on the home's condition, location, square footage, and renovations. If the appraisal is lower than what you have offered, you have options. Some may include:
Appealing the appraisal: an appeal can extend the process by a few weeks.
Ask for a second appraisal: this is an added cost and can also extend the process.
Negotiate with the seller: sometimes a seller will lower the price or help in other ways.
Walk away: you may lose the money already paid for inspections and/or appraisals, and your earnest money deposit may be at risk if you don’t have an appraisal or a financing contingency in your contract.
- Follow your home inspector’s checklist: your inspector should be trained to check your soon-to-be home near Virginia Beach for any issues. Go with the inspector during the inspection to ask questions and find out any hidden details of the home. If any issues are the inspector can recommend necessary steps to fix them. The home inspection should vet features and infrastructural components like:
- Roofing and structural problems
- Mechanical and electrical troubles
- Plumbing concerns
- Overall home condition, functionality (i.e., windows, doors, vents, lights, fans), and safety (i.e., mold, hazards, faulty smoke detectors).
Final Sale: the sale is not final until you sign all the paperwork and get the keys. Anything you do before closing has the potential to impact the sale. Most states do not have in-person closing meetings however if you have an in-person closing meeting, it’s advantageous to avoid voicing any deal breakers.
In addition to helping, you search for a home and drafting your offer, your real estate agent can also assist in understanding local laws and regulations such as the following items.
Buying a home for the first time is a long yet rewarding process. Preparing for that adventure is one that does require a financial commitment, time in selecting the best fit for you, and the right real estate professional to guide you throughout the process. If you need help we are always there to help you get the home of your dreams.